And why? ‘Cause I’m behind. In so many ways. See so many of my wine industry friends traveling and I know what travel would do for me. So I have to scold myself, “Why aren’t you there?” Which forces the question, ‘Where am I?’ Sonoma County, Dry Creek much of the time, not poor placement. But I need more. I need something to get me out there, in the world, writing on random trails in Yellowstone or some forest in Central America…
Not going to be another chapter like that, this night– This sitting and this day, not how I want to put words into a page before bed. Had my last glass of that Sonoma County Syrah a little over an hour ago. How winemakers and family members of family-owned wineries always travel, won’t lie it makes this writer jealous. So what’s the big deal about travel? Why do I want it so bad? What do I want to see, experience? Well, I want to see everything. I remember one time seeing a documentary or some Nat Geo piece on a guy who was exploring the Amazon or some part of it and blogging the entire way. I nearly want to be in harm’s way, like Hemingway. I want to be where developing stories are, where “action” is, where there’s an intrinsic peregrination of something, and I’m witness to it, writing about it the whole bloody way.
Drinking my nightcap—yes, I succumbed to the call of one of the wines I picked up today doing “outreach”—and wondering if it would taste different if I were on a balcony in Madrid, looking down at a street like I was in Paris, ’09, with my wife asleep behind me and this writer at the hotel room desk staring at a particular streetlight, fantasizing about going for a walk and recording everything I heard, saw. Travel is the aim, to see everything, or as much as I can. Look at me, again here at this desk in this same chair in the Autumn Walk Studio, wishing and wishing and wishing, as I said I wouldn’t do tonight, my usual writing momentum of voiced aspiration. I’ll use what I have, make material from this desk, all the clutter atop. Just heard our neighbor, ’S’, pull into his driveway. Imagine the day he’s had, a guard at San Quinten, faced with the most evil of evils, on both sides of the bars. Me, I just went to a winery. Yes, I face seductively prepossessing scenery, daily. But it doesn’t challenge me, or put me with a raised heart. I would go so far as to argue that he has more material than I do. I don’t want his job— well, I’m not the character type to execute his duties, but he faces worlds and character that could fill pages upon pages. But it’s not my life. I can’t wish for it. I have to use what I have.
Walked the vineyard again today at lunch, as I didn’t pack anything to nibble or inhale (not even my usual pbj— See? My son’s better at prepping lunch for himself than Daddy is…). Thought about how easing it was to just walk, not have to worry about rain, how accented the colors were, how they spoke to me and only me and how I should just keep walking and put my goddamn phone away.