There, all these numbers,
You can do that? How?
There, all these numbers,
You can do that? How?
Been a morning for the writing father. Feel scattered, worn, disheveled and in a terrible creative drought. At Hopper, last night the laptop not opening but this morning it did, and thank the Craft that it did as I was about to lose my composure and character composition altogether. Have 59 minutes till I have to leave, get a bit of gas and head to Geyserville. In this sentence desert where I have nothing to say but the obvious and expected for me, I look at the pages I stapled together yesterday. Title for chapbook series, “Rune Rove”… Then I write “Wine is an invitation and invocation”. Then, “Freedom is not a phase.” Something obviously meant for the students this coming semester… so I open the teaching blog (which I thought I would have killed by now, and post it… On the second page I scribbled “Rain isn’t allowed to inject boredom. Only boldness.” I remember writing that the day before yesterday when I was altogether bored in the tasting room, just watching the rain fall and thinking about how much I COULD be getting done had I not been at work. And now I realize, “Get shit done at work.” And I did, but I could have done more. Yesterday I wrote quite a bit in my little notebook I bought at work. Idea for an independent class, some poetry, other thoughts… I kept moving, no matter what my mood was— And I wasn’t in a mood, but I kept thinking, “What if I were at home or in my office… what I could be getting done…” Don’t wish, just do. That’s what I’m taking away from the last couple days, and today. And this morning, where the writing father is being approached by kids, wife, the day itself… not enough time, even though I woke rather early and was in bed last night before 10, which is a rarity for me.
Taking back the morning. Huh, ‘taking back’… It never went anywhere. It was always mine. And on the drive to work I’ll record some thoughts into the mic function of my phone, anything that comes to mind, about putting everything on the blog, to photography… to shooting more videos like I did in the vineyard yesterday on West Dry Creek Road. Part of today’s business plan involves a walk in the vineyard, contributing more to the “#life #happiness #bottledaux’ project I just started to upload with that very video.
Not too many people around me in Starbucks this morning. One on her phone, the other in the opposite corner on her laptop, and man eating a banana, coffee at his side, waiting for I think another drink. The morning’s transformed, re-blended… ‘Nother note from yesterday’s makeshift notebook— “Freedom— Sovereignty, Liberation […] from/for what? From ALL. For Autonomy”. OUR Autonomy. Perfect for the semester’s dominant idea and search, Freedom. In the texts, for ourselves, getting what we want from life and from our studies and not being corralled. Looking at the clock and I realize I’m being corralled, pushed to move quicker from the time, 8:53. Will have to start packing at 9:15… prep mic for ride, write all day in little notebook. At lunch, use phone for visuals and writing. Laptop only for this sitting, this placement at this table in the corner of sbux where I fight off the morning. No morning is not yours, readers. All of them are. The day, even more so. Tonight, going to fully ready for next morning. Always say I will, but I will. I have to. Again, thanking the Craft.
1/1/17. So it’s here. And I’m here for a couple hours to gather self… Not an inch of planning, just doing. Hopper Starbucks for a couple hours and disbelief that it’s already 2017, but I have to get over that, and immediately. Woke with a bit of a stomach-honed uneasiness but that’s not at all a result from the wine or sparkling J Rosé I bought Alice, but eating too late. And that ice-cream sandwich nightcap. Yeah, won’t be having one of those for a while. First lesson from this first day of ’17, is to just do. Feel like in English classes they instill too much process and procedure when it comes to writing. In high school and even in the JC’s quirky and medicinal-looking rooms. Why not just hop into your idea, start writing and edit or polish or refine later? Why can’t writers, or any of us, just be allowed to DO? To write? To express and be ourselves as that’s what living is. That’s what Newness is and learning from Self— when you try new approaches and avenues, and you find yourself in a belle vie. The first day of a new year, after so many do so much planning, you’ll find me here in Hopper just writing, just flying at the page with a blind appetite and subscription to this writing life. To this creative life. Even with my center a bit a-quake, I sip slowly a medium roast. Left the sparkling water bought for me at home. She just called to remind me.
Rather large man sits across the room from me, making noises and laughing. I’m not being judgmental but I do need to concentrate. On my story as a teacher with this new year and how this WILL be the semester to end all semesters— Or rather, to START all the following semesters. Me, mobile, sharing my ideas and thoughts and approaches with students, and formulating new ones with them. Saw one of my strongest and more cherished students from Spring of ’16, yesterday at the Piner Café while in line to ring out with Jack (after he and I enjoyed a daddy-Jackie lunch). The man across from me makes more sounds but then focuses on a tablet he brought and is quiet, or quiet under all this Hutchinson I have playing. 2017… New Year, New Day, New Mike, New STORY— So I fly toward it like a fly on a freeway about to hit a glass flat, but I dodge and continue flying toward impediments, evading them or slaying them. Wine is music so it will be there with me in my story, in the 2017 stream…
Already see day one of Spring ’17— Theme: Freedom. In all the authors we’ll be covering. Hunter, Plath, Kerouac, Hughes. This will be the most constructive and magnetic semester of my career. For a number or reasons, but foremost how everything will extend from the “teaching”. Connected to this blog and to me and culminating in a book, sending me on travels where I’ll sip wine from some hotel room and write about the wine and the room and how I can’t wait to go back home to Alice and the little beats. One object for this year, as I scribbled in the Comp Book, was something like “MUSIC…more music”. Again, something like that. But Bobby now tells me to just play, jumpy around in your own notes and knots and consciousness hops. 2017 is about life in the creative and only living such. No playing roles, or “looking the part” as so many say— that’s always annoyed me. Why spend anymore time doing anything but actuating.
More people come into Starbucks, appearing beat, worn, over-sipped, tired from the night before. How could you do that to yourself? That would waste if not terminally infect any forward in this first ’17 page. Others aren’t like me, I know, or like my writing friends like the lady at work in the office who also teaches and understands this phylum of thought. We have to write, we have to be we, always. It’s definitely here. The year where everything has to happen. Freedom and exponential simplicity but I’m overthinking as usual, as a usually over-self-used writer. Write forward, write from this coffee and to the next one, and back home to the water you were supposed to have drank more of. 2017 orders me to continue as veridical as possible. No fiction, only truth. And I do plate any fiction, like with Kelly, then it has to be from a place of truth, a fold not in any way fictive. Truth solves everything, and truth coupled with creativity is impervious. I start to relax, on this first day, while Roy Hargrove and Ronnie Mathews play. The first day puts me in a place. One if not lucrative then assuredly, freeing.
Article posted. Now I’m more than eager for the rest of the day. In office for a couple hours before getting into the tasting room for a few hours. Moving more than a mile a minute. And I’m more than simply inspired. I know what ’17 is bringing. And I’m ready for it, abundantly. Listening to some music in the office before heading to the room to pour, talk about wine, educate people on the property and Debra’s story.
‘Nother goal for new year— don’t be so obsessed with word count. I mean, why? Yes it’s a goal and yes it’s a solid number, and yes, I know, much of writing and journalism involves targeting word counts and submission guidelines usually involve word count-something. But I’m going the other way, if you don’t mind… Actually I don’t care if you mind. 2017 is about doing everything differently. EVERYTHING. New habits, new art, new words, new language, new music, new teaching methods. Everyone this morning eager to get out of here. I dread departure. I’m too propelled in the day, this music I’m listening to, how the vineyard looks. Gemmes…
An idea I share with my students, and after the wine I had tonight I know this to be very much a punctuated truth. Refusing to clock-out till 12AM, and I look at my phone and the time taunts me. But it as well just decides to be my most amiable of allies. It reminds me, “I’m not here forever, so keep writing, writer!” Part of me wants to be resentful of time and venomous toward its most innate functionality but I can’t. The sovereign page is the moment I’m in, and I have to seize it, force myself toward it, forward in it. Even in this late hour. Writing anymore, as I age and progress in the story hones me to a fruitfully creative homeostasis. One I’m not used to. And in these final 2016 days I grow in the promise of more scenic and secure sentence sensibilities.
The moment, or this moment, is me, here, on the floor writing when I know I should be reading and preparing for the next semester— my next brick-and-mortar teaching effort on the SRJC campus and for what— well, for them, my lovely and promised, prolific students who are worked to a dry and emaciated tiredness but still keep in their tank-roll to their respective goals. Part of me’s a teacher, while most of me curtly and candidly aims to remain a student— the one in-book always and scribbling my Composition Book like a maniacal machine eager for knowledge. I think of that first week at SSU, in ’99 (yes I’m old), and wondering what was next as an English major. I knew even then that every day had impact, contributed to something more grand and gearing. Not so much that all days were standalone pieces, but that all days were not to be just looked at as ‘another day’.
Having my nightcap here in the living room, looking right at the xmas tree knowing xmas is over, that time just keeps with its keep and takes what it takes, but I record all, not letting a single day get away with its inherent robbery of my life, time, day, health, planetary presence. This writer wheels on with my eyes, observing and seeing all days and all moments in those days, and all stage artifacts and microcosms as hugely impactful to my ubiety. I become and feel more elevated than I have in days. Not sure if I should credit this ’13 Merlot or the moment, this Now I’m in, cycling and circling such a crazed ravenous wanderer needing sights and specifics for prose or variable verse— he doesn’t know.
So… Me, calming. All times, seconds and nano’s, their own structure and shape, and what I muster is draped. More ideas, but I let them away fly, not all need be put to page and shoved into a written way. I stand alone with these wined standalones, only wanting to read and share the idea, not at all teach. Who’s credentialed or qualified to instruct? I’m only trying to be a shop of ideas. And I’m not selling. Just giving away. Not charity, just free thought buffet— a successful unsuccessful brick-and-mortar. At least I, we, had moments to quaff.
Don’t get frustrated. Only embrace the time you have to write. If you can only scribble a note, be more than content with it. Embrace it… immerse yourself in it. We writing parents are not gifted so much as we are challenged by time. The challenge is to control it, make it work for you and write with what time you have. Not a second squandered. I have about two minutes before my daughter whom I just put down for a nap erupts in a lightening storm, Blitzkrieg, avalanche of hellish protest. So I use it. I don’t complain about what little time I have, I fortify self in that time, this time and all times, all moments. By writing. I’ll have time for a longer piece, later.