Espresso in the shade

at Lancaster. First time working here in over 5 years.  My aim today is to dominate everything I do.  Have a literary lunch that will change my life— wow this espresso’s strong, made by one of the winemakers.  Ready for day…hear woodpecker behind me blended with traffic sounds from Chalkhill Road.  This winery, probably more than the others, changed how I saw myself in the wine world and its industry,  

Cool in shade, little breeze.  Hear puppy on crush pad barking.  He barked at me as I went around back to get into building and see if the TR mgr was here.  She’s not.  I’m early as always.  Sipping espresso in the shade.  Wanted to scribble in new notebook but left pen in car.  No interest in getting.  I shouldn’t be writing right now, I realize.  But enjoying where I am.  Looking around, breathing the air.  Breathing the same air the birds are.. me, with them, one with them on this one property.  Used to call this “AV Winery” in past writings.  Now I want the name known.  Where I am, what I’m doing, what I have to thank for where I am.  Me now– that lion in the crest.

‘Nother sip.  My god that is strong.  Want a machine like that in my eventual-office.  This side area is perfect for my lit lunch.  Shade, trees, umbrellas and the sounds of cars looking for their next winery.  Maybe this one.  Here in AV.  Leaning back into wooden chair with left leg at 90’ angle over right knee.. meditation, collection before day.  Today.  MY day.  New day in this wined story.  Who knows where it will go after today…  Man, I can’t believe I’m actually here.  Back.  Full-circle, or something.  This is always the part in the story where something shifting happens.  Where the character is furthered somehow.  So how?  What happens next?  Guess I’ll have to wait and see, right?  I hate waiting.

wine sketchez

Two flavorous supernovae located at Bottle Barn.  Found gems there before but never like this.  And again, with imports…  AND, both under twenty dollars.  This reminds us as consumers that price relevant, but also relative, and not telling of much.  The Albariño with its telling euphonious momentum and nuanced makeup, conveying letters of place and conviction, attention to me as the sipper, while the Garnacha spoke in my more direct an declarative dotes.  The more oxygen assimilated into the white wine’s climate and note complexion, the louder it became, the more assertive with its attitude and varietal character.  Then, the Garnacha just became more interesting.  Not that the Albariño didn’t, only the Garnacha shape-shifted a bit, moved with more seductive syncopation and sensibility… berries sewn in smoky sentences, determined grip and pervasive pulse, structure atop structure.  People always go on and on about the “finish” of a wine.  The Garnacha didn’t have one.  All sips tied together.   “Price is ancillary, at best, in terms forecasting quality.” What last night taught me.  And, next visit to Bottle Barn assures I’ll be in the import plain and not just reflectively skip to the Sonoma, Napa, Paso parcels.  Or maybe I will, but not before seeing what the world itself has for me as a wild wine writer.

inward jot

photo-on-12-13-16-at-9-24-am-2journal – 12/13/16

letter…

With only 38% on laptop, here at Dry Creek General store, I try to regain some sliver in sanity’s palm.  But the xmas music playing sends me to lunacy— earphones in and I fly away in my own words.  Hors de combat, or at least how I feel presently.  But I’m not letting myself slow.  This morning, let’s make a promise to each other, that this Tuesday, today, we don’t let this fluffy sequel to Monday impact our stories in any manner we don’t order.

I fall flat with my sentence streaming, but only ‘cause I told myself so.  Outside, clouds, I wait for rain’s arrival hoping it’ll do something to the morning’s progression.  But why wait for it or anything to shift gears, why not embrace where I am now, in Dry Creek’s heart at the general store—  Two older ladies next to me speaking over their morning coffees.  They look like locals.  They’re not dressed like someone from out of town.  Yeah, I could be wrong observationally but since I’m trapping the picture on MY page I have to be right, right?  Break between songs and I’m stung by that infernal xmas music.. saved by one of my favorite ambient/electronica tranquil tracks, “Morning Star” (Parliavox Remix) by Flunk.  Makes me think of my character, what she’s doing in her studio— is she sketching or painting, thinking about what she wants to draw or just drawing and seeing what her light, euphoniously complected hands materialize.  I lose track of the battery percentage on this laptop and just scribble like a deranged dingo, about her.. her studio in San Francisco, her jogs along Embarcadero, how she sees the waves and makes daily notes of their behavior.  She finishes always with a ten minute or so cool-down, just walking, gets coffee, heads to office where they always have a stack of administrative rubble to throw at her.  And if she’s lucky then she can be involved in creative.  But when home, draw.  Anything.  She refuses to think excessively, ignores the pressure propelled at herself from internal engine to produce something mainstream or marketable, or nice.  She just draws… this morning a homeless man reading the paper by a large planter next to a pier’s entrance…

Already free.  In this character, in the wandering thoughts where traps and chains don’t work.  They just don’t.  We speak different languages for which there is no translator dictionary.  I know you’re finishing your final submissions, but do try to find time for yourself.  If it’s not writing, then something that douses you in zen, which frees you.  Time does not care about our sensitivity to it.  The numbers keep to their gallop.  Our job as thinkers, writers and creatives and otherwise, is to keep moving.

The ladies still talk, sipping their coffee hardly at all.  I’m convinced their locals.  They seemed too relaxed to be tourists with a schedule, that have wineries to hit or sites to see in Sonoma County.  Break between songs…. UGH!  It’s xmas, I get it… ahhh… “Savoir Faire” by Thievery.  Remedied.  Someone walking behind me and around the table, sitting right across from me.  He eats his scone theatrically and stares at the shelf behind me.  Definite tourist.  Looks at his phone, probably to text his friends at whatever hotel.  Annoying.  He has every right to be here, as I, but my centeredness is sectionalized now.  I won’t let it.  This entire day, this soggy sequel to Monday, has no choice but to do what I want it to.  But I have to be qui vive, in all seconds and beats.  Today.  I offer you do the same.  Make the day ever yours.  -Mike

I Pick

img_7063

In the adjunct cell and I immediately started grading the English 100 papers when I sat down with this cannon of coffee.  Now the adjunct takes some notes in the “holstered journal”, as I mention it to my students.  Not sure where to go with this sitting just know I’m back on campus after taking Monday off, enjoying a day of writing and Self time to measure and contemplate, further deconstruct realities and possibilities.  Dickinson said something like “I dwell in possibilities.” I do, too, but I want to more dwell and act from made actualities.  Something immensely gratifying that I brought about, and I’m right there, I’m right there.

Hear doors opening and closing in the hallways.  I’ll say, for some reason today, I’m so glad to be on campus, or ‘back’ on campus.  Ready for both sections, but I’m not sure they’re ready for me and the energy I’m about to catapult at them.  Time, 11:42AM, and I have more than enough time to meditate before class and collect myself here with these exposed Composition Book and Carpe Journal pages.  ‘Nother sip of coffee and I think more of what I want, but maybe I should stop, think outside of the box, right?  Noticing now, and of course at my old ass age, that I continue to have the same reality in certain respects and confront the same results on account of my practices don’t change that much.  Well, now they are, will— no, ARE.

Uncomfortable in this chair, so maybe I should walk around the library till I find one of those chairs by the window, or one of the windows on the third or, better, fourth floor where I can see the entire SRJC world right there, write about the seasonal change and how today’s cooler than the last three angrily heated installations.  I’m not stopping for anyone or any thing.  NEVER.  When the alarm on my phone sounds (set for one hour, to get all my prep and grading done), I’ll head for the bibliothèque.  And I’ll go right upstairs.  Being in this office is much part of the problem with experience excess similarity in existential momentum.  (Wrote that down, “Existential Momentum”, for classes, then a sentence: “You don’t like it?  Change it!”)

Another sip…  Thinking of the wine I had last night, that Zin from Truett Hurst.  How it was loud, both with the jammy thing and alc’, but somehow harmonizing and melodic, musical and narrative.  I’ll write about it, and another Zin I took home yesterday from Dutcher, tonight.  More wine writing, from me… NEEDED.  Again, change that momentum.  Wine and its industry doesn’t have to be the fang-set its in the past been.  With this voluminous yay-saying yodel of mine across the page in recent months, I’ll change everything about how it registers with me, and fellow industry characters.

Alarm sounded, 11:51AM, but I don’t want to get up.  And why should I?  This moment’s mine, right?  That’s just it, though, Mikey…  Make it more your own by leaving.   Going to the library.  Be in the presence of goal-chasers, the driven young student who wants to transfer, graduate then go to grad school, or begin their career.  Student noting me a few weeks ago, about how she graduated law school and passed the state bar on her first try, emailing me thanking me for all I’d done for her.  How she had a 1-point-something GPA at SSU then took my class and was somehow enlivened beneficially.  That’s the feeling I want to experience, over and over, over.  Repeated.  Yes that’s selfish, but it’s from helping others which makes me think it’s not as selfish as other endeavors.  I could be wrong, but I’m just writing freely.  Maybe too freely.

This office, which I ALWAYS call the ‘adjunct cell’, is more freeing than I credit.  Why?  I’m liberated from the commotion in the hall.  I’m all to myself, thinking for myself and the benefits of others, most immediately my students, and I can just collect.  Like I do on a run, after some brutal stretch in the sun or some uphill scuffles and then the ground evens, or is slightly downhill.  You collect, you recover, you sprint on.  (Wrote that, or some derivation in the Carpe as well.)  Right now this isn’t an office, or a cell, or even a room.  It’s a ship, taking me from one “possibility” to the next actuality.  Reward, rewarding my Self by pushing, moving with agility and unusual acumen.  Forgot I was uncomfortable in the chair.  Well, actually, now I’m not.  In fact, this is the most relaxed I’ve been all day.

11:59AM.  Now into the afternoon.  You know, I’ll just head to my classroom.  My plan for the day is to not ask for too much student participation.  Do most of the speaking, presenting.  And not to show off, or gloat, or be too aggressive with my young colleagues, but to throw self back into character.  I have no regrets about taking Monday off, taking little Em to the doc, but it takes me out of character a bit, frankly, makes me lose momentum.  I won’t have some lazy, gradual immersion back into instruction, but a forced placement of my educator self back at the front of that room.  I realize how stretched and wandering my thoughts are, but that’s enjoyed by the author.  From last night’s Zin sips to taking the babies to school this A.M., to me now readying for detachment from this shared bureau (office, in French, I just learned), to the walk to Maggini Hall where I teach the 100 class… all purposed.  All purposeful.  Free now, which is why I stayed in this once-odd chair, where I have to sit up straight but not too straight otherwise the back hurts— and the back part is too far back to lean back…  But I don’t care.  The moment’s mine, as is the page and my class, the students’ eyes and hopefully ears.  New day, new story, new fold, new form.  Carpe…  CARPE!