12/10/18

img_9420.jpg

Downstairs after dinner and everyone in bed but me.  Long day, whole day in field and all I wanted was this.  Some Jazz, low-lit room, xmas tree providing most of my sight.  Walking up and down hills in SF makes me want there, the houses, I want just one of them… some impressive grander in my head bouncing forth and back and back to my senses which even I now question.  Outside, sky and air remind me of what time of year envelops my Now.

Music on me unexpectedly quits.  No mood to fight, quibble, scuffle.  So I leave it off.  Could turn it back on, with phone, but I’m composed in the composition of this room.  Could use another beer for session.  But I’ll wait a minute.  And the music comes back.  What is this devilish device doing to me?  To my writing.  Ignore it, I tell myself.  At lunch, which I told myself I wouldn’t do, dine out, I was in Harvey’s (think it was called) writing in the corner, before the omelet arrived and walked around Castro taking in everything— lights and cars, shops and the bars with their engaging names, street lights and the evidence of history.  Going back tomorrow, and making it more a point to write in “real time” as some say.  But I hate that utterance and word sequence.  “Real” “time”.  If you have to note that it’s “real”, or remind yourself or a reader or observer that it’s “real”, there’s an obvious incongruence.  To me, anyway.  So.. point, write in immediacy spree.  While people walk by, walking their dogs, as they answer the door to us knocking to tell them about what we’re doing for the community, put all to page.

Down here, in this room, family room while family upstairs swirls and swivels and swims in dream, I’m doing something, I think.  Missed class tonight, and I feel awful, but no choice was mine.  One of the sales leads out so I was the transporter man or whatever, taking team to and from between Noe Valley and Castro.  San Francisco, begging me for conversation the same way that Paris would let go of Hem.  I’m out there as a Field Sale Supervising, most presently and poignantly doing my job, but as well not letting the writing Me away gaze. 

This room, now, just what I need.  Tree luminous, piano notes and keys hit, and now me.  Thinking of how I want to be seen, read, this job I have at a tech company that’s making me more a writer than I ever would have forecasted.  Drive down with reps, talking about certain topics then re-focusing on what we were about to do with this new campaign, me the whole time thinking how with business if everything was this exciting, like in the wine world, businesses would more readily attain what they sought.  The room says more to me, like just enjoy the room, go get a beer and be Hemingway for a night.  Think about your city, SF, and how tomorrow will be definitively different than today.  This room, now, not so much what I need but what’s ME.  What I embody… composition, the page, me here on couch, in assembly.  Time, rather “real”.

Technology not cooperating.

Laptop not cooperating.  Keyboard not responding.  Tried using this computer in office, the word processing doc program, and its cooperation was shit.  So I’m typing directly to blog.  Which I never do.  But, these blogs I’ve made my home and soon my sole career and composition, so I type here.  I know where to find these words.  And frankly, I like this bigger screen.  Need a break from that laptop monster and this occurrence gives me just the warrant and excuse to use this actual computer.  I’m using the office, the desk, the chair, the room, imagining it my eventual office in downtown SR or Healdsburg.

Kids play upstairs, agreeing to let me work.  This is definitely a morning of a writing father, a jotting daddy who needs things to work when they don’t, and they continue to defy, so I find ways to write.  I’m a writer and if I have to the pen and paper are my most reliable and ready ally in any tech scuffle.

Kids upstairs, playing.  They don’t have these worries, or any.  Jack asks projecting his voice what I’m doing down here.  Think he’s up to something.  I know he is after asking what he’s doing and he throws down the stairwell, “NOTHINGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG…..” I’ll trust him, or seem like I do even though I anything but do.  Don’t hear any thumping or falling of any objects.  Emma’s not crying so all much be composed, right?

Checked on laptop and it has no interest in cooperating, communicating, anything for me.  I come back to actual computer, the blog, the only anything I can use.  Day off but me self work.  There’s no such thing as “a day off” for writers.  I’ve forgotten about the laptop and now fixate on the day, later, a run I know I have to do but already dread, and if not dread than just want to think of anything to do so I don’t have to do THAT.

If I didn’t have this coffee, I’d be far more mentally disheveled and scattered, wrecked than I am now.  Kids play quietly upstairs.  The quiet is near unnerving– And there’s a funny noise.  Like a toy breaking, falling then shattering.  But I hear no vocal reaction.  This desk, the laptop, the morning, teaching me.  Lessons compounded and turned, around and in other directions for my story.  This writing pops.

Voices outside.  Neighbors starting their day.  “What are you guys doing?” My voices flies up the stairs from my office seat.  “Emma’s reading.” Jack says.

“What is she reading?”

“The puppy book.” Jack offers back, soft and in eased tone.

What are you reading, buddy?” I say.

“I’m reading the shark book then, um, I’m going…I’m going to read the dinosaur book.”

“Good!  Enjoy your reading!” I say to him as I say to my students before they read each other’s work in a class essay workshop.

Sip coffee and look down, under chin and see post-it, with note.  “Dear dad […] w  e love   yo     u”.  I smile then am interrupted in my enjoyment of a post-it with more life on it than I’ve ever seen by message from neighbor saying she needs her table back, the one she leant us for Thanksgiving.  I say sure and open the garage door and let her take it, return inside and ask upstairs how the reading’s preceding.  “We’re just doing a lot of reading, okay Dada?”

Back at desk, and the morning couldn’t be more for me if I had written it this way, or any way.  Neighbors wheeling stuff around.  Think there’s a collaborative garage sale sale going on.  Something like that.  What are they reading?  I hear Emma explain something to Jack and then he clarify what she’s attempting to elucidate.  Thinking I should go up there and read with them.

But, they come downstairs.  Slowly.  Emma saying, “Hey, Dada… what’s up?” I laugh and ask her same.  She then say something I can’t understand and don’t need to.  She says she needs to do something.  “I need get dressed.” The morning and its story cooperate where tech doesn’t want to.  And again, this shift in habit and writing practice teaches and reiterates dimensions to which I was already privy.

Writing my life, at this point in my life, to understand the story and my character and my writing, or anything, questions form.  Inquiries that will not halt.  I follow them, to more solutions then more puzzles to solve and codes to decode and deconstruct.

Jackie calls me up, I say I need five minutes.  Which I do and don’t.  I surrender the path that is the morning and day and just the sequence of songs in each set of numbers the clock reads play.  We wish for a lot, we Humans.  We focus on what’s absent rather than celebrating what’s present.  This morning reminds me to celebrate, to forget about whatever the laptop’s doing and just move, be mobile, be writing, be loving.  The babies upstairs losing their littleness and I age and we all age, so I capture everything.  Jack singing some song I can’t understand or identify.  Think it’s a Christmas  song, I don’t know.

Jack again demands I come upstairs and I agree.  Hear them playing and him trying to teach Emma about the functionality of some toy.  “Emma, turn it off!” I ask him to please be nice to her, he rationalizes “She doesn’t follow my rules…” Smile, back to writing more.  Love how they think, how they talk, argue and respond and in a micro-nanosecond turn their thoughts into something so convenient and obscure that only they can see connected dots.  That amazes me, their language.  Their thoughts and how they create and respond, occupy their time.  They never obsess over what’s not, only what is.  That, if anything this morning, more than that fucking laptop, teaches me.  I’m a student and they’re the collective professor.

Wonder how I’m doing in class.  My grade.  Do they like my blog, this after-laptop piece?

He calls again, little Kerouac.  This time, he doesn’t accept my excuse.  Up…..

12/2/18

And I have that again.  That ‘I don’t know what to write again’ feeling. 

Something.  Is it a feeling.  What is it.  Look at me.  I can barely write.  Am I writing now, here in home, lone, listening to Coltrane as I do so often and thinking and thinking to despicable overthought trot.  Receipts next to me I told myself I’d log to inventory somehow, but no….  Dream last night about helping someone write a birthday poem for a friend.  I said something off the top of head and the person liked it.  She told me to write it down, a co-worker at Sonic, handed me her notepad.  More book than pad.  Saw how much she’d written in days recent.  Everything.  Literally everything that happened that day and everyday before that was documented.  Everything from putting money in her wallet for the day, logging that she bought a bottle of water from the snack shop in the building, everything.  Not sure if I got around to writing down what I recited for her, so taken by what she wrote.

Now, I write.  Or try.  What’s with me, lately.  And my writing.  What’s holding me, stopping, stalling me.  Have to figure this out, crack whatever code this is or cut through this fog before 40.  Goddamn that number.  Forget about it, I tell myself.  Don’t think, just write, I tell myself.  Just like one of the students in my class.  The would-be scholars that come into my class, classes, hoping to be better writers.  How’s their instructor, though?  I’m writing, now.  Early in morning, day of daylight savings.  Would be 09:20, but I have 08…. Feel like a warrior, now, taking back my territory, ground, land.  Still having trouble writing, typing.  The jazz helps.  Nothing more I want than this, this right here, establishing whatever legend or story for self I can.  On writing.  On life.  On happiness and singularity.  All of it.  Just writing freely and not looking for any kind of synonym stream or beaming, shiny words to make my prose sound like anything else but me.

What do I write— My surroundings.  So now, here in kitchen with no kids, wife, just these typing fingertips desperate for a story and some direction of something, something that….  Thought of taking pictures, of any nearby vineyard.  But no.  I’m not a photog.  I’m a writer—  A writer who does like to take pictures, yes, but a writer who has plenty of pictures he hasn’t used, of vineyards and other realities and scenes, things and people, so many somethings not yet put to blog or page or given a set of words, or even an acronym.

Kids clothes, pull-ups for daughter, coupon, a bag for something, headphones and a pen, more receipts, a mocha with 4 mighty espresso knocks in it.  I’m here, present in the kitchen presenting my now-self to a later self, hoping that that punctuates a solid sense of self.  Mood, in a one of those shapes of determined and eased confirmation.  Who I am and what I’m doing.  This started this morning, soon as I woke.  I knew, I knew that narrative and personal essay were calling, and I thought of my story…. All the jobs I’ve had.  How sometimes I’m embarrassed by such while others entirely proud and joyous as that’s what’s made me, me.  From the grocery store, to the music story, while in college working in that office for can’t remember what it was, a medical something company that came to your house I think and took blood….  To the wine world.  The wine world.  The story always comes back to that, to them.  Told a friend the other day that the only tasting room I’ll ever again set foot in will be my own.  True, last night I thought sipping the St. Francis Syrah here in home before dinner out.  Wine… wine…. Could write about that in only so many ways, then I think that’s the only thing I should be writing about.  That’s the singularity, that’s the happiness.  That’s where I write, that’s where I find self.  I don’t know… this is a different morning for me as a writer.

Tell self to wash hands of anything stalling me, stopping me, putting up some kind of wall.  All the praise and good write-ups I get for being a professor, or instructor, louden that.  Be active from that.  I know I’m using a lot of ‘I’ in this entry, but I’m just getting started.  Let me warm up a bit.  It’s morning 1.  Of how many?  Don’t know yet.  I don’t quite know where this is going.  I’m not meant to.  I just don’t want to be one of those wishing writers after age 40, or even at that age.

Was near distracted by those receipts, off to left.  To crumble them up and toss them in trash.  No, I told myself.  Stay where you are.  Write.  Write more.  Never be not-writing.  Keep with your composition keep and streak.  Only 08:32, thank whatever.  I need time.  I need this time, time to just be with self, to write, to see where this project, or idea, yet another project or idea is going.  Just see where it’s going, where it’ll take you.  You only have to move, see what happens next.  Knowing answers isn’t the objective.  Explorations is.  Just seeing, wandering, meandering, soaring and not moving wings too much.  Let yourself be careless, free, free in the new freeness you’ve discovered.

Thinking of more Newness to embrace.  That’s an aim that should be pursued.  If you don’t know what to write, or what to create, what to do, just make sure you’re moving.  You’ll find something, something.  And if it takes a while then it takes a while.  Enjoy the journey, enjoy the exploration, enjoy the enjoyment of you decided to move in a decided direction.  Receipts crumbled and tossed into trash.  Now more typed movement to this track.  More New, Newness I can’t let slide or skip away from me.  Teaching self to write and read, completely and wholly over again.  Thinking of jobs again, then forgetting them as soon as they surfaced.  While swim around in past tides where there’s a new one right in front of me.  I see where I’m going…. Have always seen, but always been distracted.

(11/4/18)

Again catching self in an overthinking maelstrom

I leave the house.  Come to downtown Santa Rosa, to Beer Baron.  A place I’ve only been once.  Ordered a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, one I’ve never had before and don’t think beyond that.  Just enjoying this whim, this sudden cruise downtown.  Not sure where the direction of the writing’s going, and I don’t need know.  To the characters I was thinking of in the tasting room.  Yes…. The two that are behind the bar and want to get out of the industry, starting their own wine gallery.  That’s what they call it at first…. I came here just for this, for new ideas and brainstorming, not be at the drawing board but to draw a board of ideas.

All this before class.  All of it, of this, my new stories and wine thoughts, wines I’ve tasted recently, yesterday with the St. Francis Chardonnay then some Kobler Viognier when home.  Everything in the pages, on them, constituting them.

This place, a serious bar more than a restaurant or any wine bar I could see myself opening.  Earlier thinking of self as failed in some wine aims and dreams.  As the waitress just now puts down the glass, I find I’m not in any way “failed”.  Have I even really started?  What if this could be my office, everyday, I think.  Come here and work from noon to whenever.  Why not.

I stare at the Sauvignon Blanc for a bit before smelling it, and much before tasting.  I let it be a symbol, a reminder of wine’s life in my life, its presence and my past and present, all futures.  I won’t let self take a sip just yet, but rather draw my characters at their winery, at day’s end, having a glass of Pinot on the patio. They talk about just going for it.  Saving whatever they have saved and putting it into some wine business.  A brokerage, they think.

But then I as the writer put the idea on hold and think of how I’ll approach them, this story.  Their stories.  The wine story coupled with their stories and mine.  I stop everything and focus on them, Jane and Elly.  Jane out from somewhere in the midwest, always wanting to work in the wine industry, years ago and now here and tired of being tasting room locked.  Elly, from San Francisco leaving her corporate corner to be in wine’s everything.  She’s worked two harvests, then to tasting room as production for some reason just wasn’t her thing.  She knew why, and didn’t know why.  She loves the winemaking process of course and everything that goes into harvesting and fermentation, barreling-down lots and pressing, even the shoveling of tanks.  But the people in the tasting room and the words they’d say, the interactions with people, called to her and wouldn’t let her ignore.

I take my first sip of the SB and focus on me writing, what brought me here.  Then the two characters.  What we all have in common.  They of course, or maybe not so obviously younger than me.  I keep writing.  Till this is the ONLY thing I do.  Writing about writing and people and what they do for work. How work and our jobs, labor, determines so much of our character and how we estimate the world around us.

Think today is the day I finally killed overthought.  I’m not editing, or measuring, forecasting or worrying about how anything I write, type, is perceived.  I’m just moving and not allowing any stationary sets for this writer or any of his characters.  The two girls start a website, for anyone coming to wine country.  They see themselves as fashionable intel, something to make people more pleased with their choice to come to Sonoma County much the way I’m please with my election to come here and write.  Relax before class.  See me in business with son and daughter, eventually.  I quit the wine industry but am very much back in it on my own accord and set of terms, rules, and I guess some regulatory rattle.

Second sip.  Such real and truthful tropical body and bravado.  Nothing invasive or excessively aggressive.  This is a character that has me more into my characters and these new characters I’m writing.  I return to them and what they want, what would make them happy, what in wine they want to grow toward.  What do I want to be, grow toward.  Wine, travel, speaking on wine both metaphorically and immediately.  Tonight, open something new.  Study it. Let wine dictate my own fate, give me direction and more introspection.  Tempted to take the night off from class.  No.  Use it as speaking practice.  Not practice at all, the second sip says, and I sipped minutes ago.  Can still feel that tropical shock and rush, set of steps. 

I pick up the glass and nose what remains, which is a good two sips I’m guessing.  40 next year.  That’s where my head is.  And then what.  Maybe I’ve overthinking that as well.  Sure I am.  Look at the wine, focus on it… wine writer and journalist, one who actually writes and journals and doesn’t just take a blare of ridiculous shots of himself and other wine “experts” or “writers”.  Glass up again, sip….  Follow the stories, MY story.  Don’t think at all.  Just write.  What I tell the students, every semester.

Talking about writing, tonight. That’s it.  Beyond simple argument, or any attempt to persuade which was the chapter they had to read in that “Prose Reader”.  Or maybe that’s singularly what I should discuss.  I think about taking notes, but the wine says no.  Be in the moment.  Or be above the moment, flying and hovering above simple time and whatever that clock reads, dictates.

Finding that when you write down ideas, they speak back.  They instruct you on possibility and presence.  They talk back, love back, write back.  Thank fun to the Story, and everything, LIFE, for today.  For the embrace and blind subscription to whim.  To not sink into overthink.  To blog and jot against any overthought.

With he glass done, I slow.  Thank of the walk yesterday with my son in the vineyard and showing him the remaining clusters on the canes.  I had him taste a couple….  I thought of us, in business, how our visions of our company will differ and will be surprisingly in some places identical.  All this from wine.  Thinking of wine, living wine, writing wine.  Wine writing me, since my first day in the St. Francis tasting room, 2006.

10/22/18

As someone who obsesses over work,

and what work he has to do, what I have planned the next day and the remaining hours of this day, I am honestly with nothing.  But I make myself write.  One student tonight saying one of her goals is, was, is to wake at 2am to get ahead in her studies and I assume write a little as she does write poetry and write in short lines, short stanzas, pieces that span only a page.  And I say ‘only’ out of awe, that she does so much to a page in only a page’s pulse.

Was nearly too lazy to write anything tonight.  Told self, “Just a hundred words, per blog.” But I can’t hold self to that.  Should I do what this student plans on doing?  Should I set alarm for 2?  Isn’t that the time of the artist, the writer and poet?  Didn’t I read that somewhere?  On my lunch today grading papers and writing in the Sonic journal as this goddamn laptop didn’t want to let me use it.  Of course, now, I do push the buttons and have a note in my writing normalcy.

Finish the fucking book, I tell myself.  Like my son said tonight as I poised to make his bed with new sheets, “GET TO WORK.” I am.  I say the same to self.  

Sip the Barbera I popped last night. It, she, more calm.  Me the opposite of anything tranquil at the moment.  Working in the home office which isn’t as common as I’d love to tell you it is.  But, WORK.  Work.  What I write about.  Force self to write when I don’t want to.  I do write about wine, but that’s not my only onus and thought light.

Now, I’m like a train with this, these writing thoughts.  I, not failed.  Not failing in my aims.  I won’t allow that.  No one should.  Why would you.  You are here, once.  And I’m not addressing the fact one only lives once…. I’m speaking to myself and you, that where you are, right now, the opportunity and life invitation to bring a project to completion is singular.  You see it once.

You are a train, if you wish be.  Some unknown animal of fruition, bringing works to an offering stage.  There are only stops that persist acknowledged.  So acknowledge none of them.  I see so many of these speakers and motivational-who-be’s profess all this counsel but don’t consider the most apparent reality… the audience member has to decide.  They only elect to act if they bring themselves to movement.  Tonight I could have just as easily poured this red from El Dorado, sat on the floor of this home study, went on phone and scrolled through some photo pour.  No.  We decide to draw, paint new plausible for our Personhood.  Decide to move, be alive, mentally, alive, wildly alive in all movements of your steps and actuating saunter. 

What work does for and to the character is animated in divinely lucrative chant.  Dodge the task, never.  Distractions and suitable sanctions to project-dodge are terminal.  The panacea, always, is preemptive production.  Never, labor deduction. 

10/15/18

0706

In the home office, if you can call it that anymore. Pulled cold coffee from fridge. Kids play upstairs. As usual I’m not up as early as I want but it’s a day off so I don’t speak too hard on self, at least not right away. In this office, or room where things just find their way anymore, I think about the day I want to have. We can have any day we want. So what do we want. Yesterday thought about books versus blogs, what give more priority. Then today. What do I do with it? Ahead of self thinking of tomorrow and papers to grade. We only stop self from progression when we think too distant.

A Meeting

Now home.  Today, sent me.  Somewhere.  Not sure where.  This is more than work.  This is more than a job, Sonic.  The place where people walk around smiling and talking with each other, where they smile and greet each other and fall into a joyous back and forth about everything.  I won’t get comparative, promised I wouldn’t do that in this sitting at day’s end.  But today, did something.  After my EOD meeting, on several worlds and ancillary topics, a conversation which I was more than merely invested in, I hurried on into the rest of the day and onto campus to give my most kaleidoscopic and axiomatic lecture yet, I think.

Sipping from a bottle Thomas gave me, and I direct further toward and into this meeting with self, me here having an inward conversation, hoping to come to some sort of useful singularity but maybe I won’t.  Maybe this is just for the sake of exploration, for setting sail into some new thought stream. Where I’ll land.  Not sure.  And why do so many focus on destination?  I know I do from time to time but even still sometimes we just need to relish and have internal dialogue and mediation on the trek itself… the voyage, the journey.

If I do manage to wake as early as I’ve drawn, tomorrow, I’ll work out while writing.  Down here, downstairs, living room, in dark.  And if one of the babies wake then I guess I’ll deal with it, I have to.  A 90 minute workout, all core-honed, what I’m hoping for.  I still feel Sonic’s office around my senses, all five, and the eighth, ninth.  This Italian red proposes something different, as it’s something different in my usual sip pattern.

So I keep with kaleidoscope’s shades and telling.  Don’t need to be yet privy to destination.  I’ll get there…. I will.