all interpretation and meditations leaning toward more. More exploration, more scenes, more looking around and acknowledging Now. Nothing behind, all ahead and in front of me asking to be experienced. What am I doing here, accepting any order, any regulatory, any institution. More, on that Road, the music, lights, cars, families traveling in winter or whenever. Sitting on unfamiliar boards, me…
to be in the Road.
Home from class. Dinner had. Now wine having. My thoughts are still, and mobile and motile when they wish be. Xmas tree, lit to right. 2 days and 6 months till I’m 40. Today busy, back and forth from city. Not sure exactly what neighborhood or district I was in. Doesn’t matter as SF always does something to me. Makes me think of owning a house there, driving kids to new house and showing them what all the work I do did. Whenever I come home late, it’s for this. But, a wish. At this point. Paired a Syrah, St. Francis of course, with a microwave burrito. Funny but perfect in framing and station.
On the drive back from the city I thought about driving, speaking, how I began the day with my notes and speaking to a co-worker about what I want from the day, the first day out in “the field” in over two weeks. Driving, travel, seeing all the houses and the remodels, that one porta-potty by that remodeled house that I thought of using after all that coffee and not using the bathroom in Marin, Novato, at the gas station. So much movement, so much said, activity and effort, again not to forget the 90-minute lecture I just gave. And now, still. Stop. Pause. Wine and its composition laws.
Honestly, the wine isn’t saying much to me. Again. Again this happens. Want to be back in class. And I could. Tonight we discussed narrative and the practice of narrative. What is would entail, the perception of narrative… each of our narratives. Telling a story from our own life. Of course, some close to me want me to talk about something when I’d rather write about something else. Right now. This tree my son helped decorate, Syrah at day’s close.
My concentration wains and feigns, is strained by hours behind me. Coughing a bit. Do I have something? A cold? Shit. Hoping the Syrah helps when I know it won’t. I sit on the couch and look at the tree longer. Lights. Hanging pictures. Decorations kids made at school, with pictures, glitter, meant to catch eye, eyes, and my eyes are certainly caught by anything these Madigan babies do. Again the image of them reading this class, like a class I had in Stevenson Hall, 1999, with Bob Coleman. Their professor trying not to call them out but he may let a remark slip. “Mike Madigan was always knowing of his kids and what they would think… what does this suggest about his identity and consciousness and the conscious reality of his character, his identity, at the time?”
How did that, that time, me at SSU, pass so passively and swiftly as it did? I become annoyed with time. With me. With me being here. With the Syrah for not teaching me more. This wine isn’t saying a thing. I dump it out. Into sink, down the drain. Just kidding, she’s still here. Sip… and still not much said. That’s what she wants. That’s what the story wants. Have to deconstruct and decode, work harder, find something in the mindful myriad of the wine. So, again I go…
No nap, today, fought against pull and push to do so. Thanksgiving over, wife out shopping at one of those shopping special eve whatever’s. Me, home. Wine. Just finished glass of Claret. The night passed with such cruel progression. Indifference. Babies asleep upstairs. What movie do I watch, my dilemma. My life’s trouble. Think of how fortunate I am with my family and to have such family, to be sitting where I am, here on this we seek to shed, new one one the way… Day of giving thanks, I need to show more giving of thanks, being thankful.
Tonight, I do intend exploring more wine. No aim to wake at 4am or 4:10 like this day. No. I may actually just sleep in. I will. What do I mean, “may”? May have to punch out. Take the night as it approaches me, describe and translate it, or in such order reversed… then wake tomorrow with more thought. More story. More ME. Tired now, forgetting I’ve been up since 4-something. Think 4:10. Has it been that long? Yes. It has. Me, that writer. Now. Time to Self and I sip wine and be here, writing. A writer.
Does the writer want apple pie or Chardonnay? Both sound like they sound, their own precise appeal and connection. I’m not torn between both but urge to be curved by both, somehow. 9:08. Feel like bed but I won’t. I can’t. But more, I refuse. Why can’t I be a human, just have dessert or drink wine. Is it that complicated? Are my thoughts the hinderance, the block and or impediment? I think it may be just that. Not in any kind of a writing swoop, and I can’t figure anything of it out. How does pine figure. What type a figure be me, I, this writer.
I feel like I’m not doing a thing, while doing too much. A mess. Should have taken a nap.
Not the kind of run I wanted. Don’t see morning as loss, though. In any respect or touch. I did sleep through the 04:00 bell but woke by the 04:10. Tally win. Went to gym. 5 miles and some-hundred calories which I don’t emphasize but always interesting to see what kind of number I can put to board. But why didn’t I get to 9 or 10 as I yesterday dreamt? Water…. should have had more water yesterday and last night. Then, stretching. Pain in right leg, up by hip is easy warning that stretching be more emphasized in my running life. Here I now sit, though, post run, writing about running and what I want next. Pushups throughout day. And, more or less fast till 4 when guests start showing for Thanksgiving. Hard to not be hard on self for the run, but I can’t do that. As a runner, or the type of runner I want to be going into the two marathons first half of next year, I have to analyze. Deconstruct. 1, more water. 2, more stretching. 3, more core work in abdomen, pectoral, general center and sternum. Then, don’t start so fast. I know that had something to do with my 5-mile stoppage. I need to juggle the splits and intervals, speed stretches of the run.
Waking early is the answer to so much in anyone’s story. Even if it’s to wake early and be solitude-sown with your own thoughts. Waking early, earlier, is a demand that should never be ignored. More than a mere requirement.
Part of the business of running, waking at this hour. 05:38 and the running writer is WIDE awake. Typing on phone ad I don’t want laptop button pushes to wake the babies. Sipping cold coffee from the tumbler in car. Not much left. Sip slow, I tell myself. Don’t wake kids. My thoughts now go to vision, visions attainable then dreams that are still attainable but a bit distant.
Just caught self looking at word count. Why do I do that? Self-scolding after. Don’t do that, either. I fixate and form more focus in the Now. Where I am and what I’m doing. Cognition of character. What I want. How a writer approaching 40 will attain it. IT. Same thing they wanted before seeing Road. Narrative atop narrative encouraging more writing. I want coffee but coffee itself tells me to back off. Conversation last night with student, how my words reached her, showed her some benefits to trying new practices and approaches. Making me think…. what I have to do. Doing it today. Thankful for the Now, the craft, words collection, meditation. Here in the kitchen after a run with which I’m anything but thrilled.
I did it again. Looked at the goddamn word count. Same way I kept looking at how much time I had into my run, and how many miles. Qualitative and quantitative combatting for my attention and priority placement. Just write, I tell Self as I do students in the room with me. Measuring the day, not so much planning it while sitting here, drinking whatever’s left in this tumbler. Thought, stay thinking I tell myself. Keep your cogitation in a constant constant. It takes me to papers, papers I have to write. On literature, writing, thought itself. No more numbers, I order
05:47, 8. Now what. Sit on the couch. This tall boy chair is not so accommodating with this ache I hVe in right leg by hip. Now feeling tired. Don’t think I can fall asleep with the coffee I’ve allowed prance in circulation. And I don’t want to sleep, anyway. I will write this whole bloody day. Wine at table, family, appetizers, hopefully rain.
Just realized I left a book at work, on desk in my quasi-cube. Co-worker called it “my cube” the other day and I almost said something. Hate that word, cube. Reminds me of the Napa job, at “the box”. Forget it. Or not. Contributed to story…. The book I’m thinking of, want to read a bit of it. May be able to look it up somehow online but that’s not the same thing at all. That’s not reading. It scrolling, or skimming. Not even sure if it’s either one of those, honestly.
More than writing about running, I’m noting what I notice in health’s composition. Me– music, running, reading, writing, speaking and sharing ideas (not so much “teaching”). What I’m doing now I see as healthy. Not spending these early hours, this time here (now on couch), scrolling through some media feed social or other. But, with thoughts. My thoughts. This room, this day… now.
One of the guys with whom I work in field talked to me recently about taking more time to Self, establishing more rhythm in his daily motions and walk, speech, interactions with people inside and outside company. If you wake earlier, you will be allowed this. You can see more. You feel more and understand more of Self. You not only need to bring yourself to this place, but you have to desire it honestly. Not necessarily with purposes in mind, but just desire it for YOU.
Tired. Need to go to bed earlier. And again, drink more water. What if I were to close my eyes right now– Do I deserve that? I only ran five miles. STOP SAYING THAT. I switch my speaking pace and containment. On couch, looking around room…. hear nothing. No movement upstairs, no rain, utter sound void. Sniffle, hope no one heard that. Waking early, even this exhausted or tired rattle through my arms and face, eyes, has me pushed to more narrative, prose…. my running story. Anyone’s story.
Stomach. Telling me not to ignore it. Thoughts telling me to stop thinking. To lay down, rest eyes. Or, just sit quietly. After I…. no, no coffee. Sniffle again. Think I hear one of the kids. Writing over? I think.
Run eyes, core with storm, roaring and growling, a deep torque. I move.
Didn’t get to writing the essay I wanted to over lunch, but not a big concern. Didn’t go out to eat, which was a larger forward step. And now, in one of the writing pods, points and spots of collection for me. Too cold and uncomfortable in the break room for any reasonable or useful writing.
Sonic teaches me to monitor my progress, to self-educate more and self-teach, or even as much I don’t particularly like the word, coach self. Didn’t get to write 1,000 word essay on the Kerouac climbing mountain quote, but I use the time I can after eating those two microwave burritos. Not an exciting lunch by anyone’s standards, think it’s safe to say. Track goals, coaching of self, education and lectures, repeat repeat repeat.
Little over 30 minutes. All to self. In this chair. And I’m collected and composed, in my aims. Not so much goals. Not a fan of that word, either. Aims. Visions I’m convinced will become material and real. Comfortable in this chair. May need more coffee when back at desk. Not focusing on time anymore, or what I should write. I know this all returns and re-connects in some sort of audibility to wine. Last night’s Pinot made by parents’ neighbor, can’t recount his name, but I remember not caring for him too much so when I saw the unlabeled bottle on their counter last night before dinner, that simply read “2015 PN”, I asked what it was. They told me, his Pinot. I poured some, not wanting to like it but I did and Dad let me take the rest home. Once home and after kids were put to bed a little too late, I poured a full glass. More expression and lesson in her laps. The wine wanted me to pay attention to the Now and not think about the work week ahead. To stand there, sipping, thinking of music, jazz or that slow chill ambient station, the one I associate with a play list you’d hear in a wine bar. My wine bar. Now in this chair, taste it again. The wine, the kitchen, the outside air horrid as it might hang.
I repeat my wine words and thoughts and wishes, yesterday in the vineyard and my new wine column ‘vino dharma’, my visit the other day to Stonestreet. Adhered to wine, thoughts and dream about full glasses and bottles on racks, travels to any country where I can taste and write about what’s sipped or spit. Conversations with winemakers and farmers, owners and those that just know the history of where they work to some unusual and admirably obsessive condition.
Aim, writing, till I leave at 4:30— Wine sentences. Not so much descriptive ones, but a wine sentence, of any kind or core. Any wine sentence, of any kind. For what, I don’t know. I have enough to finish my book, or any number of books as I wish with all my observations, in and out of the wine world, or its industry. But I want to focus on wine, what people say and what I say, people I meet for the first time in a tasting room like yesterday that guy from Boston.
More stories, on their way. 20 minutes left on this “lunch”, and I’m an eager storm of saying, observations, wanting to have all wine anythings bound. Don’t even need to sell them, just give them away. Wait, is that a smart marketing plan? Do I need a marketing plan, or some sort of sales map? Another aim, perhaps. That.
Where I be.
Stopped in to see friend, Gary, at Stonestreet tasting room in Healdsburg while waiting for hair appointment. This time, he was there. We said hi and all greetings expected, then began talking about literature and wine as we always used to when we worked at a Sonoma Valley winery, how certain narratives did certain things to a reader just as certain wines would speak, do speak, with certain placement that other wines cannot convey.
He poured some white blend, SB and Sémillon, then to three reds. All Cabs. The one I wanted of course out of budget reach, but the close-second I took. Cabernet, right before a haircut in the middle of the day. I was composed and at peace in the tasting room, around wine and thinking of wine, seeing and feeling wine in a way I haven’t, for some time now. Wine and I were speaking to each other, again, finally. And in a tasting room, no less.
The only tasting I did, today. Now at home writing whilst daughter naps, sipping some coffee much needed. Thinking of the Cabernet, and that white blend. Wine with its grip and reach. Wines speaking to me– telling me to move. Move quicker. Finish the bloody book.
It’s midday now, so I guess that was morning, technically. Late morning. So now in day’s middle, I plan for wine, what I’ll sip tonight and alongside write. Now meditating and think of next everything. Wine and me writing its visions and trips. Think more about days in the tasting room, I’m thinking. The tasting room today, Gary behind the bar pouring for those people from wherever. Wine has always been to me about dreams, and dreaming, doing something you want to and not so much have to. The love in wine and any endeavor associated with wine is the obligatory. You’re with her, what’s in your glass, what in the bottle you’re about to pour not from any coercion. It’s your story, your Road, your everything and you’re right there with it, with her, as fortune would so say it, place it.
Walking into the tasting room earlier and even before seeing Gary and he waving me over, the town, the square, Healdsburg, started singing to me. Telling me to have my office there, with all the tasting rooms and art studios, with the Cabernets of Stonestreet and other varietals and interpretations. Watching friend pour and listening to people deliberate over decision, so strained as to what to let into their homes. What, I thought, am I taking with me. Don’t want to be one of those freeloading industry people that just visits friends in tasting rooms and doesn’t tip and worse or about as bad doesn’t buy at least one bottle. Chardonnay and the first Cab. Done. What I chose.
Look at the Cabernet, on desk of home office and seeing it in my Healdsburg office. Wine writing me again before I start again writing wine. I want today to happen again, and keep happening.