7:14, up with Emma downstairs. Last cup of coffee made. And me, wondering how this day’s to do. No class tomorrow morning, but I need to get something done, be productive, this writerfatheradjunct, always moving and thinking but not finishing a book, his snapshot of his life, but that’s to change..
More wine images and travel scenes accost me this morning, and what and what….. My head’s everywhere this morning, hate that feeling. But little Emma has not a care in the world in that shaking chair, hitting that little monkey and koala bear making them swing back and forth, obviously so proud of herself with those little gratification roars and coos. I envy her in that little moment down there, I’m up here the grownup in theory all stressed and bitter that I didn’t wake at 4 to write and still dreaming, dreaming about everything. Bloody hell, still have to shave, and shower, find something to wear (have to take clothes to dry cleaners)— wow, I bet this is wonderfully exciting reading for you, right reader?
Emma still with her swings and jabs and hooks at those swinging animals from the arching portion of the chair, just above her, right in eyeshot, taunting her. She swings again and hits them with study-worthy accuracy. And what I learn is that I need to keep swinging, and the swings need to be dedicated and ferocious. That’s the only way I’ll get to the Road.. but no more of that fucking wishlisting. Where I am: downstairs in Autumn Walk Studio, watching Emma, Alice getting a little more sleep upstairs while Jackie watches cartoons— Emma sneezes a couple times I ask if she’s okay and she just smiles back then readjusts on her animals, swings poignantly a couple more times and I’m forgotten, she back to her mission. Rain expected today but who knows if that expectation will go anywhere or produce anything— coffee still over there in the kitchen just below the spout of that Keurig machine which I soon need to replace, upgrade.. want a fully-stocked coffee bar in this studio, for the writer to always stay fueled and write-ready. What I want: to write, travel, lecture, teach.. always be writing.
First sip and the day is off, wine tapdancing in my sight like an awake dream with instructional intention. The repetition in certain facets of life annoy me and only push me to what I want.. which is what, which is what— now I’m bored in what I’m writing and reading. Thinking of a character, who retired early, now just sails up and down the west coast. No ambition for “sailing around the world” as so many of his friends do and have done. He just wants to stay in his up-and-down. His last trip, he made it up to Alaska, then came back down. Stayed in Alaska for a couple weeks, then back home to Sausalito. He wants not a single complication or arduous anything. Just his ways, just his boat and where he’s always gone… I’ll note on this character, Larry, throughout the day if I can. What’s he do, or did he do if he’s retired… An engineer, commercial engineer for a huge firm out of .. New York? I’ll do a little research, try.. first piece of Larry, 3500 word short, like a former student has been composing lately, submitting the pieces to me and me giving it whatever read I can afford time-wise.
159 words for Larry’s story. Wrote title, some intro-ing prose, then the last line of the short, so I know where it’s going. I’ve tried that before, I think it’s the Joyce Carol Oats method but never finished. You should see Emma, reader, with he sounds and looks up at me smiling so proud of herself and me of her as well. I would give anything to just stay home all day and write, or go to my Healdsburg office when I have it, and I will have it, soon. Can;t wait much longer and I won’t. I can’t afford to. All day today, record, and don’t stress about the full sentences.. no, singular words and ideas like I tell the students. And one for now: that bar, the counter, the color and texture of the limestone and how so many comment on it, sometimes looking at that gorgeous surface and running their hands along it more than connecting with the wine they’re tasting.
Winemaker friend, Susie, came in yesterday.. thinking of when I’m her, or like her, making wine, delivering my story and adherence to wine’s words and languages to sippers from everywhere, watching them as they move their glasses in counterclockwise revolutions and hope the wine speaks to them or teaches them something about themselves, establishes some new memory or vision, story or simple thought.
Overthinking this morning maybe, no I am, about wine and writing and what I’m doing so close to 37.. two kids and this Studio, this new assignment at Dutcher and what I want from it— I keep telling myself, think about YOUR wines, YOUR story, YOUR aims. And I am. But I’m impatient, and I’m told by people older than me it’s a consequence of my generation. Not sure I agree but I entertain the possibility for sure, it could be, in fact it more than likely is. A fruition of some handicap I can’t evade or shed. So I have to work from with in it, with it, don’t fight it. If my writings and moods are quick and empirically in-the-moment, then that’s where I’ll write. I’m cemented in the holding that I’m too old to change that significantly.
I try to mimic Emma her on the keyboard— a boat, me sailing just around the bay and anchoring somewhere, sipping an espresso and writing, staring at Alcatraz and printing what I write, the day’s 3000 from the desk and in that Bay wind, the Pyramid off to the side of the scene, my finishing the work and re-reading, satisfied and thankful and meditative— I’m finally here, on my boat like Larry, breathing the air and the way I’ve always wanted to. The air I deserve, that I HAVE deserved.