blogs, then later study. 8:43. About to brush teeth, then launch. Somewhere, to take pictures. Photograph and trap the vineyard.
Did go out and shoot a vineyard, after driving a large seemingly never-ending (never-ending in terms of my indecisiveness, not so much the drive itself or the Sonoma County Roads) loop from Coffey Park then into Windsor and Healdsburg where I stopped to use the restroom at Oakville Grocery and get a sparkling water, then back to my home zone then to Olivet where I shop what I think are older Zin vines. Went for a run which was anything but impressive so I won’t even bother giving it page life, then home for lunch and shower and nap. Got a cold brew which I never have, from Starbucks and now I’m here on campus. Ready for work. Ready to intensify and angrily demand this transformation of my writing and teaching life. Have some grading to do but not going to bother now. Now, in this Now, I think of where we’re going, what we choose, the decisions we make and the results.. How we interpret those results, how we react to them, and what’s entailed in that reaction. Why do we complicate when really we ought simplify? That’s what this transformation I seek is much about, consolidation and a certain containment of identity. My backpack, a commanding and telling symbol in this effort, right now with it filled with papers and books, and change and pens, a couple journals and who knows what else. Tomorrow I won’t bring it to the office. Leave it home. Identity, Self, our stories…. Sipping the nitro slow and with a specific caution as I’ve never ordered it before and even with the handful of sips I can already tell it means to shove me somewhere, to not so much motivate me but order me to stick to my own order. To decide on my Now, where I am. In this conference room.
For a second, I pretend I’m him. In Paris, not in this conference room, and younger than I am now, just watching people come in and out of the restaurant, or café. I see one person, a young woman and she’s a student, I can tell. With her notebook held by left hand and occasionally in crook, and a small backpack. She sits down at a table by the window, after ordering. Not sure what she told the older man at register, but I’m guessing something light. And I’m guessing she won’t be here long. Or maybe she will, I don’t know… Away from my vision, I just think of Hemingway’s writing, his discipline, how when I speak of him in the class what he would have to say were he there with me. I’m in a conference room, I’m not in Paris, and I’m assuredly and humorously not Hem. I read, though, and react to his scenes, on hunger being healthier and everything looking “better” as he said when you’re hungry. What does he mean by “better”. For me a writer and thinker, I can only think more usefulness and more value for page. In noting all thoughts and all feelings and observations for day, I embrace the conference room. No students in here with me. Though, I’ll be in the classroom in a matter of hours. Just under 4 from now, if you need know. Sharing ideas and hearing their ideas and observations of Hemingway’s text.
On the drive this morning, seeing all the evidences of the recent rains, how bright the greens are, especially with today’s sun and elevated temperatures, I knew I was taking the long, overly procrastinating route with unintended intention and meaning. To see more of where I am. Sonoma County. To gather thought and measure how I’d approach the day. Now that I’m in the day, and here on campus in this conference room knowing this will be my last semester here for a bit if not forever, the Stanford visions come back. What is it about that campus? I even thought of the university this morning I think while turning left onto Eastside Road. Part of it’s the walks I used to take with Dad around the campus, and of course surviving what I did at the Children’s Hospital, but there’s something else. Something…. The research culture or the cafeteria, shit I don’t know. But I want to speak there. I want to teach narrative and nonfiction, journal writing, THERE. There is my There.
Can feel my heart accelerate with frightening reassurance, writing that last sentence. I mellow and measure, smile and type on. Nearing 40, and yesterday’s whatever it was I felt on 85 and 280, dead. I’m re-composed and my composition in character and immediately liberation flashes new theses and doctrine. I smile again, with no one in this room, books all around me. If we don’t have something envisioned, a vision that is ours and only ours, then our story ails by the day. I won’t let that happen, I thought soon as I woke from nap. Now with this new coffee type I’m intimidated to again sip, but do anyway, I sense my heart provide a new beat. One to which I recite and ignite not so much a new plight but sight. I see where I’m going, or do I.
I’m a teacher, but not yet the one I wanted to be when in high school. That’s okay, though– I become so bored with my writing I’m tempted to delete everything I just wrote. But don’t. I start a new story. Don’t write a sentence of it, physically, but read it in moment while typing this. I can see the book on a stand, somewhere. Would I buy a copy of it? Maybe. Sure I would. What’s it about. Everything. How’s that for an answer. One minute he’s talking about wine, the next running, then teaching at the JC, then wine again, then kids, then working for a tech company that makes him more a writer than he ever was before, then some other shit. That’s the book, mine.