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”.

Kerouac has

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…

05:29

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.

11/22/18

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)

Again catching self in an overthinking maelstrom

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.

10/22/18