Wine tells me to stop, stop thinking.  Altogether. 

Yes. Stop thinking.  Start actuating what I advocate.  That’s where my thoughts land, this morning.  That’s where all the thoughts I’ve had since gathering them for this submission have wanted me to go, land, meditate.  In wine.  On wine.  Everything in that vineyard—what vineyard?  I’ve walked so many.  I remember the second tasting room I ever worked in, Mayo, where a guy names Rich and I would open together and taste through the wines, and listen to jazz.  Actually, he was THE Human Being that introduced me to Bobby Hutcherson and my music life and identity has never been the same.  In that small Glen Ellen TR, I’d pour wines for people, one flight called the “Adventure Tasting”, I’d explain each wine like it were its own world, own character in the platy, the cast, of ten wines.  TEN.  Even then I thought that was a bit much to have on a flight—well, it is—but Rich and I were cautious, poured light except for ourselves, and listened to what people had to say.  What I remember about the Mayo room were the floors, some type of rock or tile, and the room felt clean and not sterile but just art studio or loft-like, and I could only write about it then on a little journal Rich gave to me after telling him I taught at the JC and other community colleges.

Don’t have any pictures, before I had an iPhone or any quality phone where I could capture something and store it somewhere. Doesn’t matter, since I associate Mayo with my wine and music intersection even more than St. Francis, or Arista, Dutcher Crossing, or even Roth where we’d have music playing as soon as we clocked in and started setting up private tastings and those infernal fucking cheese plates.

Wine decided everything with me.  And I’m probably on such a wine sprint this morning since I didn’t have a single sip last night.  Had a glass of some red blend at the Whole Foods on Guerneville a couple hours before class.  “It’s very cranberry-y…” the lady in the taproom said, with eyebrows raised, like there was something wrong with that sort of color and code in a blend.  Told her it was fine and she poured me a godly pour, telling me the alc’ was low and that’s the rest of the bottle so she “went a little heavy”.  I didn’t mind, say down at one of those tables and took a couple notes, posted a picture of the glass somewhere, and thought about what’s next for me and wine.  What do we do next? Do I go back to the tasting room?  Do I seriously start saving for the wine shop, and looking for investors?  Ugh… do I want investors?  Need to think about that. Well… no I don’t.  I don’t want investors.  I know that without thinking, no matter what kind of business I’m considering.  So then what… put money aside, keep tasting, keep writing about wine and keeping the music ever present in my vinified flight.  Wine decided years ago, even before meeting Rich, that she wanted to meet me and have me do something with my oeno-influenced pages.  So…. I do.  I am.  Here.  This morning….



Sales team here in about ten.  Been nonstop since day started, noting and thinking trapping thoughts about everything from wine to writing, teaching and education to sales and selling something.  De-emphasizing book idea for a minute, more so fixating on not letting any thought go, not letting and notion or possibility (hate the word, notion), story and narrative, last night’s class still in my behavior I can see and I’m in learner’s stride as well as professor’s.  What do I want to sell…. Nothing, honestly.  But then, everything.  All these approaches to writing, reading, reading the scene you’re in, the wine you sip, the work you do.  Everything I do in the classroom as an educator of English, Reading and Writing, is here.  At this desk.  Like when I used to list writing projects on a piece of binder paper in Math class, freshman year of high school… music projects, script ideas, novels, visions of poetry collections.  Almost too many dreams or sights, but is there such a thing?  I see now at my older age, yes.  We shouldn’t contain ourselves excessively, though.


Wine and what it’s done to my story, teaching me not only about sales, but about organization, what to read and how to read it, how NOT to write about wine.  Everything, truly…. Wine it’s fair to say has taught me more than most worlds and stories, characters and scenes.


Today, observe more.  Talk less.  WRITE.  Collect.  Learn.  Read, WRITE, be taught.  At this older age, 11 days and 1 month from 40, I’m moving faster in my project and prose pace.