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…
Laptop not cooperating. Keyboard not responding. Tried using this computer in office, the word processing doc program, and its cooperation was shit. So I’m typing directly to blog. Which I never do. But, these blogs I’ve made my home and soon my sole career and composition, so I type here. I know where to find these words. And frankly, I like this bigger screen. Need a break from that laptop monster and this occurrence gives me just the warrant and excuse to use this actual computer. I’m using the office, the desk, the chair, the room, imagining it my eventual office in downtown SR or Healdsburg.
Kids play upstairs, agreeing to let me work. This is definitely a morning of a writing father, a jotting daddy who needs things to work when they don’t, and they continue to defy, so I find ways to write. I’m a writer and if I have to the pen and paper are my most reliable and ready ally in any tech scuffle.
Kids upstairs, playing. They don’t have these worries, or any. Jack asks projecting his voice what I’m doing down here. Think he’s up to something. I know he is after asking what he’s doing and he throws down the stairwell, “NOTHINGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG…..” I’ll trust him, or seem like I do even though I anything but do. Don’t hear any thumping or falling of any objects. Emma’s not crying so all much be composed, right?
Checked on laptop and it has no interest in cooperating, communicating, anything for me. I come back to actual computer, the blog, the only anything I can use. Day off but me self work. There’s no such thing as “a day off” for writers. I’ve forgotten about the laptop and now fixate on the day, later, a run I know I have to do but already dread, and if not dread than just want to think of anything to do so I don’t have to do THAT.
If I didn’t have this coffee, I’d be far more mentally disheveled and scattered, wrecked than I am now. Kids play quietly upstairs. The quiet is near unnerving– And there’s a funny noise. Like a toy breaking, falling then shattering. But I hear no vocal reaction. This desk, the laptop, the morning, teaching me. Lessons compounded and turned, around and in other directions for my story. This writing pops.
Voices outside. Neighbors starting their day. “What are you guys doing?” My voices flies up the stairs from my office seat. “Emma’s reading.” Jack says.
“What is she reading?”
“The puppy book.” Jack offers back, soft and in eased tone.
What are you reading, buddy?” I say.
“I’m reading the shark book then, um, I’m going…I’m going to read the dinosaur book.”
“Good! Enjoy your reading!” I say to him as I say to my students before they read each other’s work in a class essay workshop.
Sip coffee and look down, under chin and see post-it, with note. “Dear dad […] w e love yo u”. I smile then am interrupted in my enjoyment of a post-it with more life on it than I’ve ever seen by message from neighbor saying she needs her table back, the one she leant us for Thanksgiving. I say sure and open the garage door and let her take it, return inside and ask upstairs how the reading’s preceding. “We’re just doing a lot of reading, okay Dada?”
Back at desk, and the morning couldn’t be more for me if I had written it this way, or any way. Neighbors wheeling stuff around. Think there’s a collaborative garage sale sale going on. Something like that. What are they reading? I hear Emma explain something to Jack and then he clarify what she’s attempting to elucidate. Thinking I should go up there and read with them.
But, they come downstairs. Slowly. Emma saying, “Hey, Dada… what’s up?” I laugh and ask her same. She then say something I can’t understand and don’t need to. She says she needs to do something. “I need get dressed.” The morning and its story cooperate where tech doesn’t want to. And again, this shift in habit and writing practice teaches and reiterates dimensions to which I was already privy.
Writing my life, at this point in my life, to understand the story and my character and my writing, or anything, questions form. Inquiries that will not halt. I follow them, to more solutions then more puzzles to solve and codes to decode and deconstruct.
Jackie calls me up, I say I need five minutes. Which I do and don’t. I surrender the path that is the morning and day and just the sequence of songs in each set of numbers the clock reads play. We wish for a lot, we Humans. We focus on what’s absent rather than celebrating what’s present. This morning reminds me to celebrate, to forget about whatever the laptop’s doing and just move, be mobile, be writing, be loving. The babies upstairs losing their littleness and I age and we all age, so I capture everything. Jack singing some song I can’t understand or identify. Think it’s a Christmas song, I don’t know.
Jack again demands I come upstairs and I agree. Hear them playing and him trying to teach Emma about the functionality of some toy. “Emma, turn it off!” I ask him to please be nice to her, he rationalizes “She doesn’t follow my rules…” Smile, back to writing more. Love how they think, how they talk, argue and respond and in a micro-nanosecond turn their thoughts into something so convenient and obscure that only they can see connected dots. That amazes me, their language. Their thoughts and how they create and respond, occupy their time. They never obsess over what’s not, only what is. That, if anything this morning, more than that fucking laptop, teaches me. I’m a student and they’re the collective professor.
Wonder how I’m doing in class. My grade. Do they like my blog, this after-laptop piece?
He calls again, little Kerouac. This time, he doesn’t accept my excuse. Up…..
to be in the Road.
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.
to clock out early and collect.
Have a glass of wine and on day reflect.
Businesses need be built, but letting ideas stay in pause and simmer often proves surprisingly beneficial.
New lunch spot in Berkeley. Crepevine. Ordered Denver Omelette with Coke. Eating by self on a lunch break, finally. No reps or leads with me. And I love my crew, truly love. But I needed a minute or set of minutes to self, to collect. To write.
Lady brings over Coke and I’m more than content with my choice. Other lunches I can cite I regret ordering what I did and not spending the time writing or doing something for writing, blogging, business. Something. The music of the day is more than just an encouraging nudge, but a direct instruction to make everything of the day I want it to be. For a minute considering dropping the only class I have for next semester, but then rationalize it a marketing opportunity, and speaking practice. Or, not so much practice but a training lab or ground for ideas new. I see the chef or cook making my plate. This town, as I’ve always seen it, one of activism of course but art, people and poetry, art and music, expression and freedom. So I write in the same sense and sameness.
Chef brings over brunch. Looks indescribable, if you must know. You must know, I tell myself, and you. These Road notes, city to city speaking Sonic engaging the population and principle communities. I want just a couple more sentences. Tell self to put down just a couple more, older guy on other side of restaurant with wife and friend, looking at menus while group of younger girls sits outside and laughs, enjoying their mimosas and talking to each potter like they haven’t seen each other in ages. This is what I do. Write at cafés, restaurants, random places and what’s happening— Chef tosses a bunch of clean silverware in the holder at distant 12, on the other side of the counter. Cook is on other side prepping plates, cooking or boiling, simmering something.
My time in Berkeley before working with Sonic is limited, to be brief. I came here a couple times when I lived in San Ramon, early 2000s. But now I’m here quite regularly. And the feel and voice is perfect for where I am in my story. Looking for more, more stories and more people, more experiences that contribute to my business identity and aims. Sounds of the restaurant move me, provoke more. I’m right where I need be. This is where my story really begins its composition and construction. If the Roads of Sonic and I never intersected I wouldn’t be here with this view of Shattuck, eating here, with this cold Coke, the omelette, the sliced sourdough toast, the ladies just outside the window at the small table eating salads.
Nearly done with lunch, thinking of getting a refill of Coke so I can write for a bit longer, just stay here and enjoy my time, the time to me to collect. Lady sees me either getting ready to leave, or that’s what I think she thought I was about to do but I ask her if refills are free, she says yes and rushes to get me another. All that remains on plate is some of the country potatoes and the sliced sourdough, which is surprisingly sour. I’ve never found sourdough bread sour, really. These slices are. Not to their detriment, just I notice, that’s all
This will be my last meal out, in field, for a while. That’s what I say now but who knows if I’ll hold to that. Want to open a store, store front of some kind, or at least have my office set up. Yeah, that’s what I really mean. Just my office, my blogging hut, little literary parlor, outside home. I pick at the bread, again. I’m unusually relaxed. And not just here at Crepevine, here in Berkeley, but today. Today is a day for me like few are.
Catch myself spacing out a bit, and pull myself back to keys. UPS driver a couple tables behind me having something for his lunch break I calculate, then chef tells one of the girls from outside group that he’s going to bring out some specialty crepe, complimentary. I look up at see Chef holding crepe on plate with some mint leaves around it and a birthday candle. Woman comes back in to check on it carrying her little one. Candle lit and Chef’s daughter, I’m assuming walks it out, carefully. She looks uncomfortable in each step, like she’s never walked out a candled plate before. Hear them all singing, then clapping, then nothing but cars on Shattuck and the music they have playing in car.
What’s right in front of me, what I write about. At least now. And maybe onward. Take fork into hand scooping some peppers and bit of onion and potato, bite. Wonder how I’m still hungry but I only had that cereal at desk this morning. I look down at a more barren plate and realize I am still hungry. Need to wait. Need to write, what’s here for me in Berkeley, my new writing city, the streets and communities and the more collective community of this area. Couple more bites and push plate forward with napkin atop. I’m done. Now, just sipping the Coke refill and typing. Man walks in and asks questions then leaves, thanks the lady for something. Directions possibly. I can see this as me when I’m on the Road, like this but more expansively, in other states and countries. What’s in front of me, my topic. Restaurant staff ever-observant of what happens around them, who’s here and who’s walking by and the ones that actually stop here. And am I ever please with my election to here stop, order the Denver, sit here by window.
Readying to leave. Walk over to crew in the Safeway parking lot. Chef talks to hostess, which I think might be his wife. He jokes with her about a dollar bill, about money or something. All in fun and good. Feel a bit tired, sip Coke, more people come in. Rub right eye once. Then I tell self not to leave. I don’t want to leave. Pies in display case behind me and to left, chef and consistent cook laughing about something. Wanting a shop of my own…. But of what.
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.
Has me in a thought train and throw of a certain sow.
There is no happenstance in patterns.
In YOUR patterns.
and what work he has to do, what I have planned the next day and the remaining hours of this day, I am honestly with nothing. But I make myself write. One student tonight saying one of her goals is, was, is to wake at 2am to get ahead in her studies and I assume write a little as she does write poetry and write in short lines, short stanzas, pieces that span only a page. And I say ‘only’ out of awe, that she does so much to a page in only a page’s pulse.
Was nearly too lazy to write anything tonight. Told self, “Just a hundred words, per blog.” But I can’t hold self to that. Should I do what this student plans on doing? Should I set alarm for 2? Isn’t that the time of the artist, the writer and poet? Didn’t I read that somewhere? On my lunch today grading papers and writing in the Sonic journal as this goddamn laptop didn’t want to let me use it. Of course, now, I do push the buttons and have a note in my writing normalcy.
Finish the fucking book, I tell myself. Like my son said tonight as I poised to make his bed with new sheets, “GET TO WORK.” I am. I say the same to self.
Sip the Barbera I popped last night. It, she, more calm. Me the opposite of anything tranquil at the moment. Working in the home office which isn’t as common as I’d love to tell you it is. But, WORK. Work. What I write about. Force self to write when I don’t want to. I do write about wine, but that’s not my only onus and thought light.
Now, I’m like a train with this, these writing thoughts. I, not failed. Not failing in my aims. I won’t allow that. No one should. Why would you. You are here, once. And I’m not addressing the fact one only lives once…. I’m speaking to myself and you, that where you are, right now, the opportunity and life invitation to bring a project to completion is singular. You see it once.
You are a train, if you wish be. Some unknown animal of fruition, bringing works to an offering stage. There are only stops that persist acknowledged. So acknowledge none of them. I see so many of these speakers and motivational-who-be’s profess all this counsel but don’t consider the most apparent reality… the audience member has to decide. They only elect to act if they bring themselves to movement. Tonight I could have just as easily poured this red from El Dorado, sat on the floor of this home study, went on phone and scrolled through some photo pour. No. We decide to draw, paint new plausible for our Personhood. Decide to move, be alive, mentally, alive, wildly alive in all movements of your steps and actuating saunter.
What work does for and to the character is animated in divinely lucrative chant. Dodge the task, never. Distractions and suitable sanctions to project-dodge are terminal. The panacea, always, is preemptive production. Never, labor deduction.