1/6/19

Been writing in more than one place for the ’19 story.  Oh well I say to myself with another glass of sparkling, Jackie over there playing on the tablet my mom and dad bought him this past xmas.  Nothing I’m writing lately I’m liking.  Certainly not loving.  So what’s the bandage for that?  One part of me says just write free, with less shackle and inner-hassle.  What’s that mean I don’t know so I re-focus on Jack.  The day he and I have had, his sister too.  She now off with wife and wife’s friend and wife’s friend’s daughter to Target to get who knows what.  Kerouac has some inner dialogue with himself regarding the game, if it’s a game or some scholastic, learning program…. “Jack, what are you doing?  What are you playing with?” He gives a bit of a mumble but I’m not convinced that was directed at me.  He goes back to doing that, whatever that is.  He rests the right side of his face in his right palm, right elbow on right inner-thigh as he sits on floor, legs crossed and lightly locked.  We just spent the past couple hours watching football.  Playoffs.  Or postseason.  Chicago versus Eagles, in Chicago.  Eagles pulled it by a point.  Just one.  I of course was on CHI’s side for various reasons—none of which I’ve told you so I guess I shouldn’t write “of course”—and so was Jack.  Both us disappointed in the result.  But we move on.  He with his game, or learning program, me with words and this morning before our together time, and time with his sister, a 7-mile run which I now feel.

Hoping to get some reading in, tonight.  Hemingway, Coelho, Plath, Hughes….  Not sure I’ll touch all four books, but one of them I’m rather confident.  Need to write more poetry, read Hughes more, and other poets like Cummings, Plath of course, Yeats, and from that collection of several poets I was gifted years ago.  Today teaches me to not work against existing momentum, ever.  What you want to do with the day is one matter, what you’re able to do and what you can do with what is present is quite another write.

Writing everything down….  Jack, quite poised and careful how he touches that screen. Face Ibn right palm, again.  He says nothing to me on his own, and I don’t want to break his connection to his current action so I just push these buttons while I look at him.  My little boy who daily loses his littleness to time— Time, that fucking animal, devouring all of us as a matter of duty and functionality, normalcy.  Why I deplore normalcy, the patterns.  The expected.  The unavoidable tumult of the clock.  I look at reflection, mine, and can see changes in my face, around the mouth and eyes.  Forty this year— fuck.  Have I lost some of my awareness and writing ability?  Am I starting to fade?  Looking over at little Kerouac, my little beat.  He’ll keep me young.  His sister, too.

Three days left in year.  Today counted.  Coffee in nook at work.  Break before work, or work before work depending on how it’s looked at.  As I noted yesterday, again I caved, having lunch at a nice spot actually on I believe 4th and Balboa— sorry, 5th and Balboa.  Don’t regret the chicken sandwich and fries I had with co-workers, friends.  But I should have gone to café.  Of course today I set out for same, but I dismiss the dilemma and set self in now where I’m set in this nook, at this new table and chair, writing spot for a writer going into a new year, on his second cup, made in the back office where you proceed down a somewhat sizable hall with glass offices on either side, then that one magical room with the coffee.

Phone, journal on desk, or table, right now it’s my desk or that’s what I have self convinced of.  Writing meditation, the morning, Saturday, next three days off with the new year cartwheeling toward my pages.  Not only learning, I always say that— but instructed by the intersection of one year, then another.  Me growing in story and character… we all grow, or don’t.  That’s a decision.  Yesterday at California and 7th, “Not everyday’s a treasure chest but work feverishly to get what you get.” Jotted before crossing street to next block where reps were speaking to people at their doors, remembering Plath’s words in Bell Jar chanting ‘I am I am I am’ in every street pavement square and at every stoplight. 

Music in everything.  If we don’t see IT that way, then we’re only living, going to work then coming home and sleeping.  The worker shouldn’t see work as work— they shouldn’t work, they should be passion explorers, and if they don’t like their job, their “work”, make it something’s that not only liked but layered in love, loved.

12/10/18

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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)