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…
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.
There is no happenstance in patterns.
In YOUR patterns.
I never thought a tech company would make me more a writer. Make me love going to work so amiably and loudly. Make me so vocal and ravenous with new project production, make me more a figure for personal branding, and branding, marketing creatively, more of ME and who I’ve always thought I was. The work I do at the tech office is dimension and shape-shifting in a way I’ve never known or seen thought I’d be a part of. I’m creatively present, a wild wine writer more so than I was prior. “vino tech lit” I have written on a post-it at my desk, on those cubicle-esque walls. But I’m in no cube. No box like that Napa wine-pedaling office. No, this is a the flavorful contrast dreamt before. And now here.
Yesterday in street with one of the sales leads talking about destiny and where we are, what we do, and if something happened in way of some fortune found us, what we’d do. We both expressed dreams and of course acquiring something we’ve always wanted be that go back to school and earn multiple doctorates or buy property somewhere, or just rent forever and travel, or something else.
Now on my only day off between both work weeks I compose self and compose here, writing freely thinking about starting a wine business of some kind. Like what? I don’t know. This is the coffee talking. Definitely the medium roast acting as my medium and meaning for me to finally finish a book. Not just post tirelessly on this blog. Travel… sipping something in my hotel room night before a talk on writing or writing about wine, business… something. Just writing and see what happens. More free than simply freewriting. And why does this goddamn laptop want to make that two words, free and writing. It’s one. One unified and assembled effort and concert. Every day very much part of my musical character.
Coffee cold and not that interesting anymore. Usually don’t mind cold coffee. After all nearly every night I make coffee and put the pint or mug in fridge as to have iced coffee in morning if I’m planning on writing early, which I always aim to do but rarely actualize. Tomorrow, a run. 8 miles or maybe just see what I can do in an hour on the tread. I don’t know. I don’t know how to gain the most from this time to self. Wife putting on hero coat and taking our two excessively energetic mini-beats.
Travel… Greece, Spain, France, Russia. Write everywhere, run everywhere. Changing habits, intensifying and diversifying certain facets to my story and character modes. Dishwasher steaming, already done. Haven’t done any of the chores vowed accomplished by time wife and Emma and little Kerouac return. Papers to grade as well. Don’t want to think about. Wont let self. Rather just listen to music. Hear the notes. For all of us. You, reader… this author. WE, not merely the ‘I’. Writing for both of us. Thought this before, but not too much practice and maintenance of such habit. That can change realizing in this sitting.
Never wrote so much. And at a tech company, which seeing now is more a creative firm, a sizable thank tank or education and philosophy colony. Partner in office showing me the proverbial possibilities of where we are, what we do, what the office’s circulation and respiration relay and rile, realize. And now, just before 40. What can anyone do but embrace what they have, use it, kinetically utilize each scenic ingredients. Taking pause, meditative stall justified in this kitchen, smelling steam from done dishes.
Work more than about the ‘I’ of anything. More then inclusive, the aggregate, community and composition. Story singing, then immediate reaction from one writing this, this writer seeing more in his surroundings and “job” which is anything but. A life, a story new, making him more a writer and more a wine seer and verse molder than his months before. His last day in wine’s industry and on some ineffective business model’s clock, 8/23. Nearly 60 days out. Seeing more. Understanding. People working around him, teaching, making more routes possible in multitudes never before forecasted.
Needing to return to me, I wonder what brought me here. IS it wine’s laughable conception and abetting of professionalism and you being able to have any type of career there, or is it me understanding who I am. Finally. I don’t know. I have to focus on me, the I of it all for just a minute. Here in kitchen with wife and babies gone, and coffee colder than I want it to be and about to switch to sparkling water, counting down days and weeks till semester is done. Setting aside two hours tonight, returning to papers and more of me in this final semester.
My business, my story, the story inclusive, everything eclipsing the other with love and adoration of what the other province does. The other night at dinner with wife, tasting two new wines, drawing in head what my eventual wine business will look like, what the room will say, narrate. This new assignment at the tech company which is anything but just a “tech company”, throws my thinking into new throws and destinations, more honed to road that reaching any destination.
Seeing my eventual office, somewhere here in Sonoma County. Not having left the tech company, but achieving something there which will deliver my own office, somewhere where I can work and there is no toys or other kid articles around my operating space. Want it in Healdsburg like the one artist studio next to Duke’s, his or her entire work space on display. Not sure I want to be that accessible, but something like that. What me and that co-worker yesterday spoke to each other in Berkeley, telling me new possibilities. Thought of them the whole drive back to the office. And now here. Where else, to?
Finding I can’t keep up with what I write and posting. Can’t post quick enough, or I write too much too fast. Have time to gather what thoughts I have after this busy, busy day. I do find I’m overthinking more than I possibly ever have, and I wonder why, why am I doing that. No answer, so I breathe deep, deeper again, think about my wine novel, or wine novel idea, and writing, and teaching, and there I go. There I go into a thought cyclone and wondering which something I’ll pick. 49 minutes to self in the conference room, teaching myself to be singular. Writing out things I want done tonight, by tonight’s end. There, done. Well, I wrote them in my head, anyway. Seriously I did. Empty the backpack which I didn’t do yesterday or the day before as I hoped I would. Post some past paragraphs to blog, clean home office, grade papers… oh my god those papers, frightening me. The stack now more of a skyscraper, just gets bigger and bigger, yes intimidating me and I have no idea how to attack it. Why do I let this happen literally every semester? Why am I still teaching in this orthodox, institutional sense? How come I’m not yet independent with my lectures and thoughts on journaling, writing, essay writing, Sylvia Plath and Jack Kerouac, poetry? Enough with that, that line of thinking if you could even call that thinking. I don’t. I won’t.
Rubbing eyes again, picking up coffee cup to see how much I have left from the dose I took from Sonic. Not enough, really…. Or maybe too much. The book taking shape in my head, about the tasting room and teaching, where I am and— feel like I’ve written this before. Fuck, I know I have. Mom always urges singularity in my writing. One thing. Then I stress the same in class to students. Then, what do you know I actuate none of what I advocate. I should just write about wine. That’s it. Haven’t written about a singular offering in a while. Hard to keep up with that, too. Am I a writer or not? Tonight I’m doubting myself. Department Chair asking me how I’m doing and do I still have a house living in Coffey Park even though I’ve told her twice that I still do, then I start talking and talking and re-living the whole thing. Need a glass of wine. No bullshit, I’m going to meet with students briefly, then go get a glass of wine somewhere, and write about it.
Can’t post quick enough, I began this post. But maybe I will if it’s just about wine. If I write everything about wine and post it here, edit minimally…. I want a Cab. Whatever Cab they have at Whole Foods in Coddingtown, in that beer room or tap room. Will people look at me funny if I order wine in a tap room? Who cares. I’m a wine writer. It’s my job. Or, it is now. Gathering thoughts, trying my best to organize then and be centered, approaching 40, breathe deep, again deeper. There. I’m there. I think. Jesus Christ I hope I am this time.
Used to many times go to the Fountaingrove Hilton and have a glass of wine before heading home. Just sip an SB, or Pinot, sometimes Cab, and do a little writing in the lobby area, or that entrance walkway to the bar and restaurant. One year ago, today. All of it happened. The night of the 9th Mom, Dad, and I fled to Katie’s house in Sonoma to get away from approaching fires only to have to leave the next day. Don’t want to talk about it, only wine. Wine. Old friend observing class so no early dismiss. Good. Need to stay in character. Looking for ideas in one of the old journals I have with me. Notes on wine, more wine, more notes and flavor suggestions from Pinot, to a Rhône blend, to a couple Chardonnays.
This should be interesting.
Did first hold right before five. After that, push-ups and planks. Some sit-ups. Not really counting, just wanting to keep motion continuous. Set stop watch, not a countdown. Just keep the motion motioned, what I’m telling self. 05:12.
Conscious of the noise and mood of the morning. Everything I do on this hardwood or just wood floor make a sound, loud thin and audible. Like an airy crack, or crackle. Wife leaves for her workout offsite. I start coffee. Vowing tomorrow morning with the day off I’ll go to gym at 4-something. Not only enhance the shape I’m in, but start a new way, new story. Yes another promise, more so though a plan than remark avowing anything.
Can already feel the little I’ve done. In legs from hold, abdomen from pushups just a moment ago tallying 100, and arms from planks and pushups. Time for coffee.
Didn’t post thousand words from last night before class. Will today from whatever coffee spot I can find in the Sunset. Sight 1 for day is that, coffee and composition in the City. Second, hit a few doors with the reps. Then, a poem while walking whatever avenue we’re on. One of the views yesterday from 28th and something, I just looked out at the ocean like I saw something or someone in it. The air’s olfactory makeup told me to keep walking and keep watching. Feeling some goal or aim, some aspiration or creative desire sprint from San Francisco, for me. And if it weren’t for Sonic I wouldn’t even be there having these observations and reflections.
05:31. Waking this early, a badge of sorts. Hear son move around in his bed, and if he wakes early and breaks this sitting, I don’t mind. It’s part of the story. Part of the story but the whole of who I am– writing daddy getting in whatever time I can to write. At work at my desk between little addresses of some spreadsheet, or organizing, or prepping for some meeting. The subject is me. The story, each page, and I never need be sorry.
The workout, over. Me on couch in qualified dark, fan light overhead on my dim setting so I can have some isolator writer mood in here. I keep forgetting it’s harvest right now, and so many of my vino people are out there, right now, pulling clusters from rows and into bins, into a gondola pulled by tractor, a driver up early and away from his family, doing what he needs to them feed.
05:36. I feel like one of them, right now. One of the early. One of the characters they defies law, the expected, that doesn’t sleep in. They can’t. Their minds won’t let them. Mine won’t let me. At all. This morning I’m alive with Sonic and supersonic thoughts of speaking, words, fearlessly sharing ideas from one city to next on work, business, writing everything down and so many say that and never do and if they did, my god, it would not only help what they do but wildly and poetically shape their business and their place and placement in it.
Could go back to bed even if a writer wanted to. Hell, even if my body and functioning orders em to. My thinking’s of a beatific defiance this morning, and only accepting sentences. As a workplace, Sonic tells you to be more of you, it challenges me and how the wine industry never could– Telling me to not only keep doing what I’m doing, but intensify. AMPLIFY. Diversify. Play with form as you do in poetry, poet. And more. More.
05:41. I ask myself where the time went and nowhere, nowhere. It’s still very much presented and around me, present. Gifting me with this couch and all the musing I need for a day in the city. Will I wake as early tomorrow, or early as I have written… I have to. I know how I’ll feel if I don’t. I know my mood if I won’t. Set alarm, every movement today for tomorrow’s early steps and words, lines, however many miles I run on tread or however many reps I finish. Not waking early, and I’m citing hours like this, is in no way literary. Writers don’t sleep in. We can’t sleep, for the most part. We deplore rest, and idleness. Just laying in bed and scrolling, sitting on couch watching a show, or just hanging like a coat from some hook, some executed prisoner from a tight meanly knotted and enclosing circle.
05:47. I love this. I do. I don’t have to think about what to write. It’s right in front of me, blatantly. No sun or suggestion of it through the glass door to right. This is true morning to me. When the sun steps and straight lay stands communicating with the world, its day. It’s started. The day is off and you better find a way to catch it as right now you’re surely not ahead if you haven’t been up. I’m here, knowing I’m ahead of the day. Time again, my topic. Twelve hours from now, I could very well be in traffic. On 101 somewhere. San Rafael, the Novato narrows, Petaluma. Somewhere. I have twelve hours to do something to my story… I do it. Start the timer. 12 hours. Get to work and collect in writing for a bit, then attack tasks. Reps get in before ten, so we head out early. Quick, this Friday. My writing will equal, rival, buzz by pacing.
Son definitely awake. 05:52. I could get a stet in day, again. Teeth and shower, dress, pack, take stuff out of bag as to bring laptop for written lunch and be lighter while hiking the SF streets. Keep the motion motioned. To halt is to fall. And I can’t. Not this close to 40.
Diet for day… Coffee, only healthy snacks, no full meals till dinner, and then do note to lightly eat. Speaking of my beloved coffee life… I sip…
Storms of it.
In your own pages.
Wine never needs to frame complicated. Wine should never direct prolix. She’s inviting, approachable, narrative and affectionate. What’s surrounded by curved glass reads a presence, a prophetic face and storm of versifying lines.
After a day, working, wine waits, debates her approach to me, my life and day and immediate room. The room, now, connotative in resonance, assurance, a perceptive seat. I’m at a table with her, being instructed, listening,eating leftovers and coaching me on Now, this doesn’t have to be layered or codified, and sort of sophisticated set.
Haven’t touched this glass. But the visual and nearness has me. Inward recite, and known night, thrown toward a lone vinified light.
Telling me to tell myself something.
Meta in all turns and sips.
Coffee. A day off. But I don’t want any kind of a day off. Busy over the week but that’s no permission for non-submission. I’m writing today, and that’s all there is in my character and mind. Today I’m Jack Kerouac. More than Kerouac, or Hem, or Carver, Faulkner, I’m ME. I’m the me that had wine last night and doesn’t have to worry about speaking wine from having to speak about wine, today. I’m free. I’m free of wine’s industry and telling me what to do, busy tasks for the sake of staying busy… no. No more. I’ve said this before, but I feel obligated to again put such in these day’s pages— Wine is what I write, wrote, again write. Not the bloody industry. Or maybe I am. Maybe I should. Again, my tell-all of wine’s world and functioning and lack of. But that’s not where the knowledge is. That’s not healthy to obsess, and to do some tell-all is from vindictive voice.
Head a bit foggy this morning, from that last glass of whatever blend that was. Think Merlot and PV and maybe something else. Martin Ray’s Bordeaux varietal project. Still see myself having my own label, someday. Some little tasting room… but enough dreaming. What am I making happen, forcing to fruition today? A run. And not on a fucking treadmill. Just plugged in the running watch, that Garmin thing the wife-ish person bought me for xmas or something. She bought me one of the best models and I have not used it satisfactorily. So, then, a run. Write and write and write…. I descend upon self whenever I don’t write or don’t hit some word amount, and I know why then have no idea why. Today, new. The Newness invites me to travel from thought to thought as Neal and Jack went from State to state. I think about my life, where I am in it, riding from house to house on appointments yesterday with that tech whose name I can’t remember and so horrible I feel as we had quite an enjoyable day. Finally eating lunch in west county, Occidental, eating sandwiches I bought for us under a tree, watching people drive by on that narrow main street drag. The first house, not a house at all but a traitor on a bigger property, Windsor. Felt bad for the bloke, later in his life and that’s all he had. He was of elevated soul and disposition, saying “I’m great!” Then I felt bad for being bad. He’s fine, Mike… I said to self. When we called to make sure he was home so we could do, or the tech, DAVID, could do what he had to. Left Windsor then went to Healdsburg to connect something at this lady’s house, who lives with her photographer husband. This house I found especially interesting as the house had a beautiful side area, completely shaded and set up like a cabana, or gazebo bar or lounge area. Then in back of main structure to their shared studio. Walking up small and steep little bright dark-blue stairs to a loft, the studio area itself where her husband’s photog equipment and her web developer area situated, catty-corner to the other. There was a couch which I can only deduce was either a little gathering spot for the artists and their musings, gatherings, or a waiting area. I thought to myself this is just the studio I want, just the office I’m aiming for. I saw my office in a second home, in Healdsburg. Just blocks from the square as this dwelling was.
Then in Occidental, we drove out, out to West County’s distant dimensions. The lady’s house had some flawed connections, or some blockage in the phone line itself. I didn’t quite understand what’d transpired till after we’d left and David to me explained. What I thought was quite literary about this house was the envelopment of those tall redwood trees, if they WERE redwoods. How nice it’d be to have a place like that to write, to have a studio or some office to finally finish my fucking book. Then to lunch. Saw one of my former students, which was quite startling and pleasantly perfect for the educating day I was having riding along with my new tech ami. While the sandwiches were being mad eI used the restroom in the Union Hotel. The original Union. It felt historic, which it is, but something else I couldn’t place. Not haunted per se, but something, something was there, something had been there, there were years and years of vacationers there and however many stories and characters… something there had me. History, wine, wine’s world and town, more history and directions. The Roads…
While in the deli I looked at what wines they had. Nothing too commanding or provocative, but even still I thought of what it’d be like to be just passing through the town, having lunch with whomever I’m traveling, opening a bottle of something, and just watching, observing the town breath, learn from it. Since being with this new company, I’ve seen more possibilities in everything, everything that makes this writer who he is, how he wants to be seen. From the writing itself, to business interests and aims, tech, blogging, photography, wine and food, Sonoma County, my running, health, truly all parcels of my person. Now seated, and measuring, forecasting what I want at the end of this latest 30-day whatever. Not sure if it’s one of those challenges, or just some new representative sample. Of what I do where I am, when I’m there. What I do with time when I have it as I do now with the babies on their first day of weekend, a day off for us all, watching their little cartoon from under their little blankets. They lose their littleness by the day, and I know will one day read this, or one of my pieces or books. So this 30 days, which was shoved into action really from curiosity and something I saw from one of those business/speak self-proclaimed authorities to know fucking everything about everything. So I answer with humility and curiosity, hoping the humility eclipses. What will happen in 30? I stand back up, look at babies, knowing I need to have them ready for wife character in under an hour from now.
To the Road. MY, Road.