Realizing where I am now. MY struggle as a writing father, teaching and buzzing around in the wine industry. They have ways of keeping you in their self-anointing and codified little lockbox. Or maybe I’ve kept myself there. And now here I am meeting with students the day before Thanksgiving, advising one of them to trust their heart more when they write— “Don’t sound too academic,” I offered, after she asked me how to be a more academic-sounding writer, student with her writing, in the essay she’s about to submit in an application to Stanford. And me, thinking about putting more into my academic career, if you could call it a career. You can’t. I’m an adjunct. This is hardly a bloody career. I could put more into my teaching and apply to full-time jobs if there were any, for my students, but I’m more service to them as a writer. Instruct through my writing, I tell myself. “Embrace the struggle,” I say in this classroom which is now empty. Of course I have my coffee in the tumbler, open Comp Book, phone, but this quiet, this quiet causes me to re-fuel in straying ways while in the struggle.
I need to decide what to do, and I mean forever. The wine world, or industry, is better enjoyed and more beneficial to a writer as a hobby. I know, I need to get to that point where it can be just a hobby and not an economic necessity. Working on it, working on it… And this adjunct life, I can’t. I can’t, I just can’t. Not anymore. That’s why I went down to one class for next term. I truly just can’t. I will keep myself here not a semester longer teaching more than one class. So this writing will now see more salvos than ever. I will bite no lures, chase no bait, be invited anywhere, or “accepted” anywhere, or be “offered” work. I’m drawing with more ferocity now. I go to you, you don’t come to me. This feels amazing, honestly. A multi-sense euphoria that holds and releases then embraces again. I don’t have wine with me I have this tumbler heaping with coffee so I raise it to the podium at my left, cheers, and move on with my typed march.
Where I am now, a sort of bottom-of-the-ninth feeling. The urgency only emboldens, and teaches. What a relief, being the student again. In the exposed Comp Book, and with some jazz now playing, I scribble some short lines, poetry, for me and this time to self. This meditation… That student who asked me about writing more academically, writing her final paper on how meditation is more advantageous and curing than medication, which only seeks to treat and not so much repair or truly make better….. Wrote five short lines, slightly rimed. I know where I am, more accenting I know what I am. Writer. Teacher. But through writing. Not because some institution offered me a section.
I slow down, and maybe that’s best. Just take a break. This room all to myself, my exhausted self after a run this morning and rushing to get ready for class even though I only met with three students. Yes, I’m definitely starting to slow down a bit but that’s not really acceptable in this inning. Writing myself a career, not on a drawing board of sorts but in my own syllable net, inner narrative and meditation in an empty college room. I’m learning, just as important as writing from your heart, a writer must be competitive, be ready to read within seconds, at and minute or second on that circular monster. This “struggle,” if you could call it that, determines the story, my newly minted resolution. Out of the box, even with it so locked.