08:39.  Had FaceTime call with wife and babies…

miss them all, especially the babies, and my little girl with that self-understood smile of img_6459strength and goals, wanting to learn and touch everything around her (And throw, too, which I’m working on…).  Onto cup 2 for the tireless writer.. and everything need be documented.  Want to write more about my character, Kelly… thinking about her a lot these past few days, her life in the city and working in that office for the ad firm and never really being allowed to dwell in the creative.  Why, why she wonders and gently broached the topic but never gets any answers from management.  Her friend Sherry having her own creative outfit but no work for her friend, which kills her.  But what can she do.  They’ve been friends for over 20 years, since they were in preschool.  Both in their mid 20s and looking for their story.  Sherry closer to hers while Kelly technically knows but is blocked from attaining what she really wants.  But only in her head, and that’s where my novel starts, I guess… or sequence of stories… young artist needing to work but not liking her work, trying to make the best of her work but blocked even from doing that, by management.

These fires will only empower the wine world and animatedly bolster our businesses.  I know it.  That’s the attitude I’m embracing going forward.  Tempted to go for a drive now, but…. No.  Stay put.  I mean, where would you go?  Go go to Olivet Road, maybe, then to Guerneville Road and around RRV.  But what would I shoot?  Guess I won’t know till I get out there, right?  Later… not now.  Thinking a tasting’s called for, for today.  RRV, yes.. then maybe… don’t know.  I just know I have to stay in my wild wine character… write everything.  Carry my little black journal with me.  Looking at the notes I took the other day, before and after Justin came over— husband of Melissa’s friend.  Keeping it together, he was, but barely.  I poured him some of that first SB, New Zealand made, and we talked.  I gave him some of wife’s socks, shirts, a couple pairs of shoes for his wife.  I would have given him some of my wear, but he’s a bit bigger than the writer, so all I could offer him was my ear, wine, a hug before he got back in his car.  Taking notes of this all, not to trivialize but so that I adequately grow and learn from it.  People losing everything they have, had.  Kevin and I on our walk last night, seeing the fire actually touching our block here, by the mailboxes, even charring some of the fence behind wife’s friend Amanda’s place.  I keep telling myself I’ll stop talking about these goddamn fires, but I can’t.  What does it have to do with wine?  Everything.  Community.  Life.  Enjoying the moment and learning from the moment, and understanding the moment for its autonomous importance.  Life could change, in far less than ‘a heartbeat’.

Song ends, and onto a new one.  Need my office.  Need an office in the city.  Yes, SF.  See what my character sees, maybe go there three times a week.  Work from home and take what I produce here, bring it there.  Monday, Wednesday, Friday.. in the city.  Rest of time up here in wine country.  Need to get camera from car…. Got images and a dollar in quarters, dumped into baggie of coins.  Think the writer needs more coffee.. why not.  Keep the party going.  Will stay here while the cleaning crew does their thing.  Disport myself with Kelly, her story… supplementing her income by working in a tasting room in the financial district, one that pairs wine and music… she learns more about wine than she anticipated, starts drawing bottles on tables, hands holding bottles, pouring wine.. her art takes a new direction, yes, but tells new stories…. She sips wine in her studio apartment on a street I haven’t determined yet, sketches her last shift.. everything about it— the slimy businessman, probably late 50s, inviting her to his office so he can pour her some “real wine”, as he put it.  Kelly starts keeping a sketch journal, quickly jotting notes below some rushed illustration…

Thinking of my babies, up there in Sac’…. Have to work nothing short of obsessively while they’re gone.  Had the temptation to switch to coffee last night, but didn’t.  Why not.  Didn’t want to fuck up my sleep.  WHY NOT???????????  Should have stayed up all night, let the echoes of the wine fade like the smoke over San Miguel, Coffey, Autumn Walk, and work.  Well I’m here now, working.  Working and telling the wine story post-disaster.  This “disaster”, though, could be an anomalous mitzvah.  It is, as I’ve intoned.  Giving me all this time to write and taste however many wines I have and will, build new stories and approaches to wine.

Need another cup.  New song, new sights… wine, the vineyards.  I will be out there.  Before filling my little demitasse, I stare at it.  Yes, the obvious metaphor, wine and life, but I take a moment and all the moment sings, taking the moment for the moment it is.  Nothing is more ‘wine’ than just that, that act.  Not connecting the moment to anything necessarily, or even analyzing it.  Just accepting it, welcoming it, letting it speak or not speak to you.  This is Zen, this is composition of Personhood.  The cup tells me to back off, think about the day and what you’re going to do— the Kelly novel, notes for her, what she’s drawing… she doesn’t even live in wine country, and was raised on the Peninsula, and is wrapped and kept and told by the vineyard blocks and the bottles she pours in a way I could only hope to be.  My character in competitive quakes with MY character… huh, interesting.  What psychology.  Feeling like leaving now, walking a block.  But I can’t.  Would be constricted by time.  Need limitless time, for what I want to do today.

10:57.  The quiet in this house hurts.

My family should be here, but they’re not.  Some could say this house shouldn’t be here, but it is.  On the side of the San Miguel tracks, there are no thoughts like this.  The houses are gone.  Couple seconds ago I was bothered with the prospect of taking a cold shower.  There are no showers being taken on that other side, or along Coffey.  So I humble, I silence, I meditate and conceive what’s before me, a writer of wine.. so much life and in that life there is less than “little time”.  Wine isn’t just about celebration, it’s also about appreciation, acknowledgement of life and how invaluable it is.  That morning, Sunday, with the winds at 60+ MPH, and smoke notes and visible glowing pieces from a structure or structures floating our way, pushed by those gusts, I had no idea what to think.  Had to remain composed for babies, show some strength or sternness.  The quiet broken by the train and a car driving on our street or the one over.  Don’t want to be here, but I should want to be here.  I have a home.  East San Miguel can say nothing such.  Try to enjoy what’s left of my coffee, in my Coffey Park studio/home/base/heart where wife and kids eat, sleep, play, love and learn and grow.  My coffee cold, but not like the shower.  Now’s a time to write, record, be quiet like the house.  Don’t think about work, business, selling, wine.  Concentrate and somehow measure and inventory how lucky you and you family, your street, are.  I write this on the floor of my bedroom, sipping coffee, after a shower, collecting musings and measurements.  The sound void does sting, but it as well sows, sews.  New visions, scopes, hopes, decisions.  For me, family, the story’s entirety.—. Fuck, why were we, am I, so lucky?

Can’t think like that.

But I am.

The loud quiet here begs it.

(10/13/17)

Daddy with time alone

in home, briefly.  What does he do?  Sip Chardonnay, brainstorm.  How to build this business… with words.  Use what you have… wine. Teaching.  The Chard I’m sipping now, ’14 Sonoma Coast, Roth of course, telling me to not think about anything.  But rather, imagine.  Delight in rich daydream.. which I’m now doing. Seeing Self with family on back deck of the Carmel house, listening to ocean, in front of fire pit (yes I want one of those at the house), just focusing on moment.  So now, here at the Autumn Walk Studio, I do the same.  Me, on couch, legs crossed– and I confess I write this on my phone, which I hate.  Chardonnay calls me.  Says it has something else to show me.  “What?” I beg.  “Take a sip and I’ll show you.” She says.  I do.  See me running, on mile 5, looking out at the waves as I try to lower my per-mile, see a gull playing with some plants that ashore bumbled.  “You’re almost there.” She says.

Again focusing on and appreciating how zen-soaked the Studio is.  Even when wife and babies get back, I’ll force myself to see it the same.  What to now do, go outside and have some red, watch the neighbors’ kids be kids and play freely, immune to obligation and grownup restriction… freely about the block with mechanized vessels and t-ball stands, bats and balls and other stuff that was not around when I was a kid– yes I’m at that age.  But fighting reality is senseless.  Embrace, and reverse- or re-engineer where beckoned.

Now daddy sees.  Everything.  Quiet is cure.