And for the rest of the day, I’m singing……
Telling it what I see for me.
20 minutes to work, before work. Feel yesterday’s run, everywhere. Thinking about last night’s lecture on narrative and telling a story, characters in the story and how they work, how they function and promise certain things in the story itself.
Kids not wanting to start the day, and me not knowing which way I want to take, or write, the day. One thought—make the day more about YOU. I will. With everything. And teach more, or share more ideas. One—the day isn’t with intention, you assign it intention, a thesis. In these twenty, I don’t look for anything in particular, but start the day as I often do. Eager to get to the Road, to SF, not be in the office all day as I was yesterday. Not that I at all have issue with the Sonic office. I love it, I study it, I seek to in many ways emulate it. Today though, I need the Road. I have to gather enough story today to get me surprisingly closer to the Road, to my travels.
People in an out of the breakroom. Me not writing in the nook as it’s under construction. A little odd. I’m in my writing spot, but not. Aims for day—Make it more about YOU. 2, observations, as many as you can collect, no matter how seemingly plain or boring, or insignificant. Last, when back at office, inventory everything you collected in and for the story. Make a list, just a numbered cascade of action. This is something I’ve tried to do in the past and either surrendered from feeling overwhelmed, or told myself it was just too much, or I somehow allowed distraction to divert my movement.
Not sure if it’ll rain in the city, today. I’ll bring my jacket either way. Don’t want a repeat of last week, me the only character on the team without a jacket, getting overtaken by precipitation. I’ll get lunch here and take with me on Road. No lunching out with team, tempting as it is at times.
I look left, out window, at some of my running route. I actually did it, and hit the 7 mile reach-goal. I’m still somewhat surprised, to be honest. Have to maintain that same intention, we all do. If we want what we say we do, there needs to be verifiable effort, proven effort. Only we provide excuses, and only we allow procrastination.
Jack asking me, a lot lately, when I will have my own office. Think that’s more a fiery aim than the travel. Thought…. Note every thought, I said to self getting out of car and walking into building from that awkward side-back door that sets you in a mini-hall before spitting you into the grand floor. This office and its architecture, a medicine for distraction, tangents. Sonic embodies freedom, as well as a centralized appreciation for and promotion of personal pursuit. Not sure if my 20 minutes are up, yet. Don’t care. I’m ready to start this day and get on the Road, and invite new projects. Take on as much as you’re able. And, you’re more than able. You are the projects.. they affirm and confirm identity. YOUR, identity.
Planning day. Week. Life. How it’s all to go. Self-publishing this book and changing certain dimensions before “the assessment”. The day I turn 40. Want the book done. No more not-selling writing. No more self-doubt.
This cold, making a second pass, but I’m defying it and denying it any entry or connection to my character. Staying elevated and positive in all pulses.
Almost done with my latte. How the fu– Time just moving so I move with it, and like I stipulated in the thousand words– Guy enters nook carrying a ladder and I ask if I’m in his way he says no I’m fine, I ask if he wants me to move he says he’s going to paint the wall black within the next hour or so. I tell him I’m going to be out of here just before nine and he extends his fist for a bump, I answer with bump, “Have fun!” He says and leaves.
Have fun. I think about that. Of course. Why not. I am. Have fun at work, in work, with my work. What I do. My character and its definition and decision, decisions. Have fun. Enjoy the story.
This morning continues to educate me on me and my work, me here at Sonic. This, this building, me and my role, I’m seeing is part of the There. Yesterday meeting in the Zen Den, or Zen Cove as I call it still from time to time, talking about what’s ahead and how everything now moves in positive pulse, tells me I need focus on it more. My book, on Thought, the definition of thought and what thought does, can do, where it comes from, wildly provoked by this building, this company. And the other building, when I’m in there. I didn’t see this, when I applied, when I first started, or even in my first month.
The first month, I was still celebrating being out of a tasting room.
Work… work… work….. I write about work and making work your own. Making it your own story, your life, what you are and who you are, not just job title and location.
8:41. Made self lunch this morning so I HAVE TO eat and write in car. Not all ideas and thoughts, visions about and from where, past where I am. My office, this office, always working with this company and help tell its story. Revolution, movement, music, poetry, SOUND. I can barely stand and translate everything that’s being said to me by the morning. Sonic very much reminds me of a Coltrane track, in its precise yet frenzied and random patterns, the profuse passion for the Now, the track itself, being there, present and speaking, reciting, reveling in colorful immediacy.
8:44. I’m reminded here and when in Field that each moment serves standalone story. All of them. No exception. From business consideration, this is enigmatic and pragmatically spastic. That’s why I identity with the language, with the scene and stage and ways from day to day.
Of March. Still not feeling one hundred, and the morning for me is odd, little things happening here and there that aren’t worth page presence, but I’m thinking of 40 and how it’s now quite close. Wanted to wake this morning to run but the facets of whatever bug I have were still dominant. Went to be last night I believe just before or after 8. Woke this morning to wife telling me we slept in, around 7:15 I believe. So, rested, me, yes. But I’m off. In nook with jazz in ears and 4-shot latte, needing today to do something. Looking for other income possibilities, to one day have that house in Monterey or Santa Cruz, on the Oregon Coast, then I remember– Where are you, Who are you, What are you doing. Don’t look for anything. Got it, got it…. Kerouac in Big Sur cabin re-assessing everything around him and in his story so do I now in this morning with this latte and with this cold or whatever I have. Throat still a bit pained, not so much a nasal note, but I’m not my fullest of full selves.
Wife and babies going to Tahoe with fried and her daughter. You’d think I’d be thrilled with the time to self. Not. Not at all. Didn’t see babies last night, and won’t tonight and tomorrow nuit. Know that’s affecting my mood and how I’m composed, now. I’m sure of it. What if I pulled an all-nighter, tonight. Didn’t have dinner with my brother, Jesse, and just ordered in, typed until I found more of what I found this morning with the idea and purposing of classes online. Not so much an English class, or writing class, or ever reading, but FINDING self in the literary. March’s Ides, this Ide, moves me one way, the back into Self to find more Self, seeing self in classroom and staying in classroom.. not needing to look for ANYTHING.
blogs, then later study. 8:43. About to brush teeth, then launch. Somewhere, to take pictures. Photograph and trap the vineyard.
Did go out and shoot a vineyard, after driving a large seemingly never-ending (never-ending in terms of my indecisiveness, not so much the drive itself or the Sonoma County Roads) loop from Coffey Park then into Windsor and Healdsburg where I stopped to use the restroom at Oakville Grocery and get a sparkling water, then back to my home zone then to Olivet where I shop what I think are older Zin vines. Went for a run which was anything but impressive so I won’t even bother giving it page life, then home for lunch and shower and nap. Got a cold brew which I never have, from Starbucks and now I’m here on campus. Ready for work. Ready to intensify and angrily demand this transformation of my writing and teaching life. Have some grading to do but not going to bother now. Now, in this Now, I think of where we’re going, what we choose, the decisions we make and the results.. How we interpret those results, how we react to them, and what’s entailed in that reaction. Why do we complicate when really we ought simplify? That’s what this transformation I seek is much about, consolidation and a certain containment of identity. My backpack, a commanding and telling symbol in this effort, right now with it filled with papers and books, and change and pens, a couple journals and who knows what else. Tomorrow I won’t bring it to the office. Leave it home. Identity, Self, our stories…. Sipping the nitro slow and with a specific caution as I’ve never ordered it before and even with the handful of sips I can already tell it means to shove me somewhere, to not so much motivate me but order me to stick to my own order. To decide on my Now, where I am. In this conference room.
For a second, I pretend I’m him. In Paris, not in this conference room, and younger than I am now, just watching people come in and out of the restaurant, or café. I see one person, a young woman and she’s a student, I can tell. With her notebook held by left hand and occasionally in crook, and a small backpack. She sits down at a table by the window, after ordering. Not sure what she told the older man at register, but I’m guessing something light. And I’m guessing she won’t be here long. Or maybe she will, I don’t know… Away from my vision, I just think of Hemingway’s writing, his discipline, how when I speak of him in the class what he would have to say were he there with me. I’m in a conference room, I’m not in Paris, and I’m assuredly and humorously not Hem. I read, though, and react to his scenes, on hunger being healthier and everything looking “better” as he said when you’re hungry. What does he mean by “better”. For me a writer and thinker, I can only think more usefulness and more value for page. In noting all thoughts and all feelings and observations for day, I embrace the conference room. No students in here with me. Though, I’ll be in the classroom in a matter of hours. Just under 4 from now, if you need know. Sharing ideas and hearing their ideas and observations of Hemingway’s text.
On the drive this morning, seeing all the evidences of the recent rains, how bright the greens are, especially with today’s sun and elevated temperatures, I knew I was taking the long, overly procrastinating route with unintended intention and meaning. To see more of where I am. Sonoma County. To gather thought and measure how I’d approach the day. Now that I’m in the day, and here on campus in this conference room knowing this will be my last semester here for a bit if not forever, the Stanford visions come back. What is it about that campus? I even thought of the university this morning I think while turning left onto Eastside Road. Part of it’s the walks I used to take with Dad around the campus, and of course surviving what I did at the Children’s Hospital, but there’s something else. Something…. The research culture or the cafeteria, shit I don’t know. But I want to speak there. I want to teach narrative and nonfiction, journal writing, THERE. There is my There.
Can feel my heart accelerate with frightening reassurance, writing that last sentence. I mellow and measure, smile and type on. Nearing 40, and yesterday’s whatever it was I felt on 85 and 280, dead. I’m re-composed and my composition in character and immediately liberation flashes new theses and doctrine. I smile again, with no one in this room, books all around me. If we don’t have something envisioned, a vision that is ours and only ours, then our story ails by the day. I won’t let that happen, I thought soon as I woke from nap. Now with this new coffee type I’m intimidated to again sip, but do anyway, I sense my heart provide a new beat. One to which I recite and ignite not so much a new plight but sight. I see where I’m going, or do I.
I’m a teacher, but not yet the one I wanted to be when in high school. That’s okay, though– I become so bored with my writing I’m tempted to delete everything I just wrote. But don’t. I start a new story. Don’t write a sentence of it, physically, but read it in moment while typing this. I can see the book on a stand, somewhere. Would I buy a copy of it? Maybe. Sure I would. What’s it about. Everything. How’s that for an answer. One minute he’s talking about wine, the next running, then teaching at the JC, then wine again, then kids, then working for a tech company that makes him more a writer than he ever was before, then some other shit. That’s the book, mine.
Had quite the nearing forty panic or maybe even anxiety on the way home from Monterey, yesterday. 7:43 now back home and here by self, I just think about that drive and why I felt that way. I have not a single idea, to tell you the truth. Then, I know why. Just can’t assign it words. Has to do with what I do, where I am. Think I may be getting tired of Sonoma County, though realizing that could just be a symptom of or associated with the travel urge and thirst. I thought, Transformation. Now is when I transform into the writer and teacher I’ve always wanted to be. Since I had such ambition senior year in high school. I start with this morning, with this beat, with this kitchen, this “day off” which I won’t let be anything like a day of nothing done.
I charge my camera. Last night before bed watching a documentary on Africa, and deep reaches of Africa and the wildlife. These shots and video stretches where the animals were seen in their most truthful talk and motions. I want to take something in, down, with camera today. Of course first I think of the vineyard. But where do I start. They’re everywhere, here. No longer feeling that restlessness I did on the drive. Ambition, hunger, looking for my moveable feast. Where do I start. I don’t pressure self. I think of now, this quiet, the counter…. Me. In the car I kept thinking singularity, focus, an extension from the man’s remarks after my speech on Saturday, that my energy was unlike anything he’s seen I merely “needed” a bit more centrality. Is he right, or is this who I am. Or, does there need be realized a symphony of both characters. No more panic, no confusion, no questioning self and second-guessing self. This morning, another start to ME. Transformation I guess you could interpret, but not doing much with the original character. ME. Here the poet who wants the same thing as everyone else. More. Not so much more money although of course that’s be welcomed, but more movement, more observations, travel and exploration, wonder and wander.
The feeling comes back, just like what I felt merging onto 85 from whatever. I need to move quicker, I need to not be so careful, I need the travel. Don’t pressure yourself with finishing a book. You’re closer to 40, but so what. Don’t shoot for the wine world, anymore, anything in it, even your own label one day. And teaching at the JC, I need to move on. And besides, I want to teach yes if you could call it teaching but in more locales, to more students. I want to see other campuses. I’m quite exhausted of SRJC and the same parking routine, walk up the Emeritus stairs. The smell of the rooms, the technology not working. I want those rooms I’ve never seen, the campus quads full of students, not just the after-work and commuter passers.
7:55. Feel the coffee molding the character it hopes from me, today.
Move quicker in thought. Today I take pictures. Not so much to be a photog, but find something. Thinking Alexander Valley, near Robert Young, or more toward White Oak, Soda Rock. Maybe just go after the entire valley. Transformation of character—be out there, out There, seeing everything and observing whatever I can find in the rows. The closer to 40 I get I’m noticing myself losing a bit of urgency. This, frightens me. And, angers me. Today I re-write the character into one of a more angry or near-angry tirelessness. I need a measure, I realize. Yes, I find self thinking of word count. Can I fit in 3000 words, today. Yes. You have the entire day. One thousand for morning, another for photography and journaling what you find out there, then one last k for end of day.
Should have written more in Monterey. Was difficult, though, with the babies. Had chance the night we went out for dinner and when back in Inn room wife offered me some time to self, to go to lobby and write for a while. I, tired from drive down and skirmishing with kid ways and playful and then not so playful defiance, surrendered to exhaustion. Where I was. Had a glass of the Truett GPS blend, then fell asleep next to Ms. Emma.
Now grappling with how I start the day. Want to get a run, somewhere in. Around noon, I reason. That gives me about 4 hours for other projects. Talk about overthinking, yeah, I know that’s what I’m now doing, right here at the counter. Pictures, thinking of taking pictures of the vineyard at this stage in their development as characters, then writing about it. Should leave the house before 9, head to AV. I think I know where I want to start, but I’ll finalize destination when I get there. And maybe write in the rows, looking at the sleeping stubs, the mustard where I can find it which is everywhere right now.
This has nothing to do with a proximity to 40. At all. This is ME, overthinking and wondering if I should do this or if I should try this, if a book is what I should focus on or if when I speak I’m too much this way to that way, to too too whatever. I stop woth that and settle in now, the Now where I am at home. I remember when I’d walk outside the Roth tasting room to take pictures in the SB block, I wouldn’t overthink anything. There was nothing to think about at all, really. It was just me and the vines. That was the IT to it all.
8:10. When done with this first set, I’ll get ready. Throw something on, not think about it much. Thinking I won’t head to AV, with the distance involved. Maybe just down the Road, to Olivet or something nearby. Wherever there’s vines. I just need to be near a vineyard. That will impeach this unsettled shape in my senses and character, literary shape. I’m letting this happen, I know, this approaching 40 uneasiness and uncertainty, nervous note set. The transformation is to stop it, entirely. Embrace it, I suppose. But, STUDY it. Note all its notes and beat.
He has class tonight, and suddenly he’s more eager to teach than on days where he does get 6-7 hours of sleep night prior. He notes what’s on his mind, exactly and not exactly what’s present in his thinking.
The office starts to calm. The voices lower and fade in intensity, but his intensity can only compound and compound further in words and complexities, or what he thinks are complexities. The essay idea forward and forward further in his chair, right where he is. There’s no lack, of anything, at all. Like he’s before thought and like his mother has so many times told him with his writing, everything he needs to write about is right in front of him. “You have enough to right about right where you are.” Mom said. She was referencing his life as a father, but Mike takes such sight and applies and threads it into other scenes, the one currently right now as he types at his desk. He’s found an antibody, a compositional vaccine.
Santa Rosa, Ca.
Wrote another thousand for book idea, or effort, or whatever it is. In dark here in office, writing and collecting listening to Coltrane of course and easing into day.
This morning, much more eased and agreeable than yester’s. Onward, with coffee, music, poetry, THOUGHT, reasoning what I want and how to get there, to my There.
About 20 minutes left to self. Then into role, mode, actuation and actuality of one working on a Saturday. Will be in city tomorrow with family for little Kerouac’s birthday. Excited to not have to drive, walk around the streets with no other intention but to do just that. Think we’re hitting the Exploratorium and I don’t know what else. Either way, the writer needs just such a day.
Santa Rosa, Ca. East Wind Bakery.
Feeling the ten miles. Already finished a 4-shot latte so no caffeine ordered here. Surprised I made myself actually do it, order a bottle of water. Going into work later, close to 11. Brentwood again, and again tomorrow, day next, and next week. Which I don’t mind, at all really. Love the quiet, and frankly it’s a transition welcoming and welcomed, easing and eased after so much time in the city.
Not my first time writing here, but my first morning typed sitting like this, first time when I’ve had to go in late and decided to locate here. Can smell the pastries, croissants, muffins and cakes, espresso and coffee, and I’m tempted but won’t answer.
Last night’s talk with 100 class throwing new momentum at me and me the same with and at it. Talked about narrative, closed my section on Sedaris and began speaking on Hemingway, how he narrates. Shit, looked in bag for my copy of Feast but not there. Think I took it out last night or this morning, put on desk in home “office”.
Studying how I made this morning happen, how I woke at four and drove to gym incredibly and surprisingly awake and ready to run. Bed early, last night. Ate lite dinner on campus—ham sandwich on whole wheat, no cheese, bottled water and plain Sun Chips. And at work, light snacks throughout day and leftover quesadilla pieces. Planning on waking tomorrow to write, 4am… want to write the book on waking early, at my time at 4am but I understand and wholly, perceptively appreciate that not everyone has such as their time. Be it 5 or 6, or even 7, it’s attainable, more than attainable, with the proper preceding practice and habit. Then, maintain the habit and practice. What writing is, or what Hem’ has me seeing I need do, with discipline and general written way, principles.