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…
Coffee. A day off. But I don’t want any kind of a day off. Busy over the week but that’s no permission for non-submission. I’m writing today, and that’s all there is in my character and mind. Today I’m Jack Kerouac. More than Kerouac, or Hem, or Carver, Faulkner, I’m ME. I’m the me that had wine last night and doesn’t have to worry about speaking wine from having to speak about wine, today. I’m free. I’m free of wine’s industry and telling me what to do, busy tasks for the sake of staying busy… no. No more. I’ve said this before, but I feel obligated to again put such in these day’s pages— Wine is what I write, wrote, again write. Not the bloody industry. Or maybe I am. Maybe I should. Again, my tell-all of wine’s world and functioning and lack of. But that’s not where the knowledge is. That’s not healthy to obsess, and to do some tell-all is from vindictive voice.
Head a bit foggy this morning, from that last glass of whatever blend that was. Think Merlot and PV and maybe something else. Martin Ray’s Bordeaux varietal project. Still see myself having my own label, someday. Some little tasting room… but enough dreaming. What am I making happen, forcing to fruition today? A run. And not on a fucking treadmill. Just plugged in the running watch, that Garmin thing the wife-ish person bought me for xmas or something. She bought me one of the best models and I have not used it satisfactorily. So, then, a run. Write and write and write…. I descend upon self whenever I don’t write or don’t hit some word amount, and I know why then have no idea why. Today, new. The Newness invites me to travel from thought to thought as Neal and Jack went from State to state. I think about my life, where I am in it, riding from house to house on appointments yesterday with that tech whose name I can’t remember and so horrible I feel as we had quite an enjoyable day. Finally eating lunch in west county, Occidental, eating sandwiches I bought for us under a tree, watching people drive by on that narrow main street drag. The first house, not a house at all but a traitor on a bigger property, Windsor. Felt bad for the bloke, later in his life and that’s all he had. He was of elevated soul and disposition, saying “I’m great!” Then I felt bad for being bad. He’s fine, Mike… I said to self. When we called to make sure he was home so we could do, or the tech, DAVID, could do what he had to. Left Windsor then went to Healdsburg to connect something at this lady’s house, who lives with her photographer husband. This house I found especially interesting as the house had a beautiful side area, completely shaded and set up like a cabana, or gazebo bar or lounge area. Then in back of main structure to their shared studio. Walking up small and steep little bright dark-blue stairs to a loft, the studio area itself where her husband’s photog equipment and her web developer area situated, catty-corner to the other. There was a couch which I can only deduce was either a little gathering spot for the artists and their musings, gatherings, or a waiting area. I thought to myself this is just the studio I want, just the office I’m aiming for. I saw my office in a second home, in Healdsburg. Just blocks from the square as this dwelling was.
Then in Occidental, we drove out, out to West County’s distant dimensions. The lady’s house had some flawed connections, or some blockage in the phone line itself. I didn’t quite understand what’d transpired till after we’d left and David to me explained. What I thought was quite literary about this house was the envelopment of those tall redwood trees, if they WERE redwoods. How nice it’d be to have a place like that to write, to have a studio or some office to finally finish my fucking book. Then to lunch. Saw one of my former students, which was quite startling and pleasantly perfect for the educating day I was having riding along with my new tech ami. While the sandwiches were being mad eI used the restroom in the Union Hotel. The original Union. It felt historic, which it is, but something else I couldn’t place. Not haunted per se, but something, something was there, something had been there, there were years and years of vacationers there and however many stories and characters… something there had me. History, wine, wine’s world and town, more history and directions. The Roads…
While in the deli I looked at what wines they had. Nothing too commanding or provocative, but even still I thought of what it’d be like to be just passing through the town, having lunch with whomever I’m traveling, opening a bottle of something, and just watching, observing the town breath, learn from it. Since being with this new company, I’ve seen more possibilities in everything, everything that makes this writer who he is, how he wants to be seen. From the writing itself, to business interests and aims, tech, blogging, photography, wine and food, Sonoma County, my running, health, truly all parcels of my person. Now seated, and measuring, forecasting what I want at the end of this latest 30-day whatever. Not sure if it’s one of those challenges, or just some new representative sample. Of what I do where I am, when I’m there. What I do with time when I have it as I do now with the babies on their first day of weekend, a day off for us all, watching their little cartoon from under their little blankets. They lose their littleness by the day, and I know will one day read this, or one of my pieces or books. So this 30 days, which was shoved into action really from curiosity and something I saw from one of those business/speak self-proclaimed authorities to know fucking everything about everything. So I answer with humility and curiosity, hoping the humility eclipses. What will happen in 30? I stand back up, look at babies, knowing I need to have them ready for wife character in under an hour from now.
To the Road. MY, Road.
In being a creative, doubting yourself is death. Plath said in one of her thousands of journal entries that “The worst enemy to creativity is self-doubt.” So, no doubting Self. Ever. This is more than some cheesy manifesto or declaration for me. Another of my favorite authors, as many or probably all of you know, is Jack Kerouac. One of the first bombs of urgency that he projects at us comes in the inaugural chapters, “The only people for me are the mad ones…” Mad people don’t ever doubt themselves, they just do what they do, and with mad beauty, mad effulgence and placement. Today is Friday, but not for me, as I work tomorrow. I’m working today at the winery but I only feel a push, a creative shove that will keep me creating and walking around the vineyard blocks staying motivated, decided. And what have I decided? To create, teach creatively, share what I’ve learned creatively. Frankly, doubting yourself is death to any forward. I’m not hoping to be a motivational anything. Certainly not “speaker”, or … anything. I’m just sharing what I learn. THAT, is my pedagogy. Positivity is not optional. The creative act is contingent upon a dominant positive and yay-saying disposition that visible in all creative work.
My 3 pages today, sharing what I learn as I learn it. Just now, as I walked in, I saw a cluster of grapes going through veraison, just the beginning stages, very beginning steps toward ripeness. In my head I thought, “I need to get inside, clock in!” But what I did, just stop, enjoy that moment and focus on and enjoy the varying shades of green, deep purple and light purple, that purplish-pink, light red. I took a couple breaths for me. Yes, I’ve written about breathing before, but those breaths just outside this building (house, actually), made me feel strong, confident, dousing doubt in weight more mightier than itself. It was like those burning stars Kerouac talked about in that part of ‘Road’. Burning, Roman candles, wanting everything right then and there. The feeling followed me in here— and I sit here a creatively animalistic mammoth of this new teaching mode.
Another lesson from this morning: Graduating. The act of graduating is not just in school or academic contexts. You move from one page to another, one geography to next, moving upward hopefully and not in an exhaustive lateral. Two students of mine, past ones from just this last Spring, are currently at their school of transfer, UC Santa Cruz. They’re excited, you can tell, eager to start the new Newness before them. I know what that feels like and I want it again and again, again, and I can get that, I tell myself. No doubt, I can get that. The next step is teaching myself to teach more creatively and go as far outside the conventional box as your mind will let you. And this mind will let me do whatever I want. It’s my biggest ally, supporter, like a wandering cheerleader entangling and untangling my anxieties and insecurities. At this new age of 37, in fact, it’s quite eager to hunt down and kill the self-doubt if it ever steps into sight or some subtle tangibility. It’s more than an enemy to my 37 mind, it’s a bouldering threat. But we’re not afraid. And, if you feel something coming, some doubt or challenge, or collision, get in front of it. You’ll love how you feel afterward.
I know, “You said you weren’t going to try to be some motivational anything…” I’m not. And if I sound that way I apologize. I’m advocating a complete absence—no, VOID, a total VOID—of fear. Fear and doubt work concertedly, often. If not all the time. You feel a fear of something, then you doubt yourself letting the fear trample your ardor. Or, the doubt morphs into a ravenous fear. Just stand up to it, all of it. What’s the worst that can happen? You fall down, you lose once or twice, or a dozen times, but you again step and step, move forward. Again, please understand: THIS IS JUST SOMETHING I’VE LEARNED. I’M NOT A SPEAKER ON THIS SUBJECT. But I can share. I’m a sharer. Maybe an over-sharer, yes, but I’m intrepid to the point of not caring, just putting my thoughts out there knowing my inner-pushes and motivations are to help someone that feels self-doubt.
Plath and Kerouac both had their doubts and troubles, demons and challenges, blocks and bumbles. But they created. They brought themselves out of their nay-saying maelstroms and wrote, put books together, added to their stories with unbridled withstanding. I learn ever time I read ‘Road’, or ‘Bell Jar’ or some other Plath work. This is a dance, with me and literature, my story and paginated steps back and forth and teaching myself that I can teach myself and learn with more vocality than I did when in college. I will graduate. Soon. Be in my travels, sharing more positive pulses and peregrinations with anyone who’ll listen.
If this were a Pass/Fail course, I wouldn’t even see the word ‘Fail’. What is that, anyway? Who invented that bloody word? Like those grapes outside I come into maturity, finally, at age 37. I’m not old, but I’m definitely into life, deep enough into the story where I can’t and won’t and don’t see failure. At all. I’m like the cluster outside that’s standing in the way of aggressive sun rays, saying “You don’t hurt me, you can’t burn me, you only add to me…” Or something like that… Lost my train of thought, enjoying a couple breaths at this desk and staring out at the vineyard. Oh yeah.. the Pass/Fail thing… yeah, who’s to say what’s a failure? You have all the time in the world to get what you want. Yes, tomorrow’s not promised, I get all that. But I don’t think like that. The urgency is here with me, and that’s enough.
Enjoying the steady, slow, accommodating beginning to my day, with the outside vines, inside this house with my coffee, no ringing phone, my projects for the day cued up. The day teaches me something else, even more crucial in value than the breathing outside next to my car: ACKNOWLEDGE YOU’RE ALIVE. ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU CAN GET OUT OF YOUR CAR, BY A VINEYARD, AND BREATHE. Yes. Like I’ve said and written on my blog I don’t know how many times— ‘You know how many people in America would kill for a view like this from their desk?’ True, so I need to slow down. I offer you do the same. Just try it. Move a little slower. Don’t worry, the self-doubt and fear won’t catch you. If anything, I’ve just recently found, this makes you more impenetrable as a person, as a writer and creator. This day has also taught me that you can’t create when you’re negative, or in a mood or funk. Last night, a disagreement with someone only weighed on my thinking, and I tried to write but only paginated word-sewage. I hated what I wrote. In fact, I deleted the whole piece, close to 500 words and I never do that. Enjoy the steady, smile, be positive, and enjoy your writing fly and you away with it.
Goals… I am in no way an authority to talk about goal attainment. Goals, I only just the other week developed a methodology which makes goal satisfaction more seamlessly embraceable. So I won’t even write about my “methods”, if they’re even “methods”, but I will say play with your own methods… see what works for you. Goals are great. They’re there to touch, to enjoy when you reach them. In fact, if you have some goal obtainment practice you want to share with me, believe me I’m all ears, eyes, senses and thinking. You teach me, you share with me, I’d be timelessly indebted!
‘On The Road’ taught me to just go. Don’t think, just go. Do. Overthought is writer-death I always share with students. And it is. It’s goal-death as well. Just bloody try. You won’t fail. In fact, what others so hastily tag as failure is really character assembly, and addition to Personhood and thought fortitude. Sal and Dean had destinations but more importantly they had a penchant for the journey, the travel, the Road. They were high on ‘The Road’. The Road was the pursuit, not some city. As with writing and being a creative, we do have our deadlines and projects, the manuscript and tangible we rush to complete, but it’s the process and practice that keeps us positive, keeps us mentally live and more immune to self-doubt and fear, those horrible pessimism anchors that love submission. Reminds me of this George Bernard Shaw quote for some reason, where he says, “You see things and say, WHY? But I dream things that never were and say, WHY NOT?” Just get up and go, right? No meditation or measurement, just act, just create, just run, just write, just live. Overthought in many realities is the offspring of self-doubt. So, no thank you.
Happiness is the path… I remember a friend in college, undergrad, fellow English major always used to say this. Think it was a quote from Buddha, I think. But, I’ve always remembered it, sometimes say it to self while driving Dry Creek Road to work. I’ll get out there and walk, let the day and the vineyards teach me more. I have more to learn if I’m to forward as a strong creative. When out there, I’ll take pictures of what the vineyards tell me. I’ll let the atmosphere and stage’s character instruct me. I have no reason to doubt the self if the vineyard’s promulgating me, supporting my curiosities and scholastic rhythms. I know graduation’s near. Where am I transferring? The world. The whole planet. Writing in spots you wouldn’t think to write… a bus stop in Zurich, a field in Norway, a café in Egypt. Travel isn’t a goal just to be a goal and to travel, just to tell people something trite like ‘oh I travel a lot for work’. Annoying when people say that, like they’re so burdened by the flights and the hotels when they know so many would love to experience what they are. I’m on a tangent, I feel… I’m just motivated for graduation, to my next campus, passing to next stage— out there.
After my walk in the vineyard with a co-worker, taking dozens of stills of clusters and the canes, the rows and soil, irrigation lines, I’m not just ‘moving’ upward, it’s become a sprint. And, I just realized, maybe this goes beyond instructional and matriculated containment, maybe it’s life, the life of a writer and style of life (not necessarily ‘lifestyle’) of a truer than true writer. Thinking and brainstorming on a separate sheet of paper from the Composition Book and I know that my first travel is close, that assurance and coated affirmation, coated in assurance from what I see around me in the vineyard and this very office, that what I want is right there. To live madly, having any self-doubt so far at my 6 that it dissipates, halts in any memory or semblance of existence. The walk was the topper, icing on cake, cherry atop, whatever cliché you insist be inserted. It’s there, here, now, with me. Like visual music and poetry. We can all have what we want, all of it, I’m just now learning.
You know who, or what, or more so who is the motivational speaker today? This vineyard. That one across the street from us. All the patches and stretches and blocks I saw driving to work. It’s more than motivating, or “inspirational” for me. It’s the Road, it’s the Roman candle, it’s a story that doesn’t stop. Happiness with exponents with exponents. Today’s been like that day in the semester where you know graduation is near and you want to conclude the term stronger than you have the others. You’re strong. The feeling is a cosmic intoxicant. you can’t get enough and you wouldn’t if you could. In fact, the thought of it leaving you or getting your fill frightens you, but emboldens you. You’re going to pass to the next campus and stage in your self-education and edification in ways that you’ll yourself want to study, repeat and repeat repeatedly. You’ve acknowledged that you’re alive, your life is being written, by you— Before you say anything, I’m not in motivational mode. Not at all. I’m in assurance mode, or affirmation morphology, speaking to myself and sharing what I’ve learned and what I’m realizing about myself and what I’m capable of, with you.
Creativity is life. My life. If you write or draw, take pictures, make music, make wine from the grapes out there, or express yourself with and/or through anything, then you’re lively with an alive liveliness for which you should compliment yourself. Keep creating. you’re far from that doubt, now. “Huh,” I just thought to myself, I may have a goal strategy now. And if not a rock-solid strategy then certainly a thought of one. That’s a start, right? I’m passed what was, forgetting it completely no, but moving past. It’s part of the writer’s past, which is essential otherwise I’d have no present nor future. We creatives ramble, which is precisely what I’m doing right now, a consequence of condensed inspiration, the atmospheric nudges from vineyards, views of vineyards. Always coming back to those grapes, the canopies, the leaves and extending canes. There’s life out there, self-life, self-education, my newest self sense.
At this point in the writer’s life. Home from another trying day at winery. I’m 37 and nothing’s different, I feel. Perhaps that’s the advantageous disposition to perpetuate, who knows. But the writing, running, fathering adjunct sits at this home office desk with a cup of decaf, after having some of the left over pulled pork from last night, a glass of sparkling rosé then a small shot of SB. Now to my glorious not-so-coffee coffee. Have all tomorrow off, and all Wednesday off. Plan tomorrow is to wake when I do and fly to the keys, write for blog, for the Summer, have Summer be completely written. Have Summer be the perfect semester, as I set Self to do with Spring. Came a bit close, but didn’t end with loudness and rile I wished for, that I envisioned. So I hope more, plan more, more acutely, sip my decaf. Want to wake early, early.. can’t say ‘4AM’— shit, I just did. Now I’m hexed, now I won’t. Why’d I do that? More thoughts, more storming brain, thinking of my own label, one themed literarily, around Kerouac and Dostoevsky, Hemingway, Plath. Making a to-do list for morrow, one I don’t in anyway see myself satisfying, but I’m writing everything down to, 1, see how much I can list, and, 2, see how many aims I can appease.
Don’t even notice the clutter on the writer’s desk. Then I do. Phone, pens, papers to grade (shocker), cords, a beanie I sometimes wear on runs, keys, the one-sentence-a-day journal… Already with 8 items on ‘2do’. Would love to fit in a wine tasting, somewhere, at some point. Where. Want it to be close. I think there’s small small wineries, or tasting rooms at the end of Piner, aren’t there? Investigate. Added to list.. “wine tasting”. And just one spot. Want to grow in my hobby state with wine. Have as little a job or anything serious as I can. Just enjoyment. Like with the Quivira Grenache from last night. We just drank it. Katie and I discussed a bit what we tasted, what notes and suggestions and what be, then we just drank. And drank to enjoy drinking wine with each other, a writer and a winemaker. IT was lovely. Dad, the Philosophy Major/traveled bloke/collector was also at the table, as well as Uncle Tim (“T”), just enjoying wine and the story of the moment. That’s what wine is, and that’s what I want my relationship with wine to be. Yeah, it’s a business. I get that. But I don’t, and won’t, ever think of it as a job, or work, or something I have to do. It’s a hobby, it’s love, it’s joy. It’s wine. That’s what IT should be. It’s a story.
I’m thinking anything but singularly right now, it might seem, but I am. Just to this blog, my business, BOTTLEDAUX— one bottle, one author, one story— the narrative of the writerfatherrunneradjunct. And sometimes the order of that severely compounded concept changes and self-manipulates. My life, here forward, is bottled. And me, the Ox, with one story. A story of stories. Now up to 11 items on morrow’s list. The last addition, “Read”. And I’m hoping to read something by Kerouac, thinking I’ll return to ‘Road’, read at my pace, for my journey, for the objective of having no objective, just the story itself, the addiction to momentum.
Today meeting a girl, ‘E’, who’s soon to leave her job to drive all about the country, just like Sal and Dean, find her finds and grow in her narrated growth. And again I’m reminded of my apexing aim: Travel. What I’ll write about on Road, I don’t know, but I know I need to see, move, see while moving, write while looking out the window of a plan like I did in ’06 on the way to Virginia to my now-sister-in-law’s wedding. Remember looking down at the clouds, flying ‘cross a country to an event while the whole time looking at the clouds and knowing that no one has seen what my father has seen and in the multitude he’s seen it. Other pilots, yes, maybe— OR, no! Not with his vision, his Philosophy palate of the visuals. I felt like my father, for a second, with that job satisfaction, with that elevation (yes a pun, but not planned). If I could do what ‘E’ is about to do, I’d have notes beyond inventorying, too multitudinous to quantify.
Have eaten horrendously today, so I calculated and deduced, “Why not have some M&Ms with decaf, why not have another decaf?” Tomorrow, more stringent with my intake, and my run has to be ten miles, early, no treadmill. Thinking I’ll launch from here, run out to Southern Fulton, which would be southern Santa Rosa. IF that’s possible. And, I need register for a ‘half’ tomorrow. Added to list… More I wonder, why’s it so challenging for me to wake at 4? If I did, could get 3 items scratched. Maybe even 4. Up to 13 items now, Alice reminding me I need to get little Kerouac some allergy medicine. Have to remember to take mine, as I was dying this afternoon while talking to ‘E’ on that lovely outstretch of lawn above the Chardonnay and SB blocks.
Alice goes upstairs and I indulge in the singularity of this desk, my empty coffee cup, this laptop….. That sneeze. 10:07, have ‘nough time for one more decaf lap. Or not. Sleep appeals currently. And my rest if plenty will make 4AM more a rational target. 4AM, so early, but so helpful… not motioning, this studio at that hour. No cries, no calls, no demands, just me and the dark, the quiet and quiet’s acumen. It’s an addictive level of singularity. I can only be more in need of it, the more I do it. Then it becomes habit.
-Kerouac thesis, his own language with no “end” in mind.
Words were his travel…
-PhD writings, scout programs… Davis… Santa Cruz… Berkeley….. On act a day… On check mark a day… Something done, everyday.
-Poetics, a prime parcel of his communication.
-His intended audience, himself. Unintended: everyone! His language, universal, and what modern readers regard as confusing is actually JK rejoicing in finding his own language. This is where he feels alive, this is where he is truly himself, establishing and acting in the truest of Personhoods.
-One page a day, for PhD paper/writing sample for app.
There is no going back, now.
This will be done.
This will be my only pursuit.
off the wine I had last night with Mom and Dad, all the discussions on family, and life— Mama gifting me a little bag which I will use for all the pens I have meandering around the inside of my backpack like frightened ants, with a Kerouac quote on the outside of it, the ‘Enjoy your life, every minute of it.” one. So thankful for my family, my babies, wife, where we live. My co-worker, losing his mother so unexpectedly. Why him? Why am I so prosperous, and even I’ll say ‘blessed’? Don’t know. But I am. Writing through this hangover and sipping the coffee like it’s the only elixir on earth, thinking of class tomorrow, the coming week, 16 I think. Lecturing from where I started, beginning with an HST quote, the Kerouac utterances— forgot my friend Anne-Marie’s visiting, to watch my Kerouac lecture as she’s been saying she’d love to do for a while. Happy she’ll finally be in the classroom with me, one of the few full-timers I respect, that I visible feel respects me.
LIFE. What life is and what we do with it… How I evaluate essays, work submitted by students, also addressed in how I address Kerouac in ‘Bums’.. wait, maybe the characters are performing some sort of self-assessment in the hikes and saunters, journeys and jaunts. I’ll ask the “students”…
The wine’s ripples fade, finally, with cup 2. Going to blend everything into tomorrow’s lecture— life, death and those around you experiencing death and how it forces us to appreciate life, my coffee, wine, the winery, commuting.. everything.
In Dharma’s definition, is locked the word ‘duty’. We all need know what ours is.
Mine is to write.
Teach— NO, to generate ideas, discuss them, help students with their writing and encourage them in the cementing of their own visions and ideas. Everything starts with the idea, I’m finding at my old age— that’s what brings us to Truth, our own Truths, confidences, Wellnesses— You know what, going to test myself. No more of the cosmically enrapturing and convincing wine I represent, at Dutcher or anywhere. How will my character be affected? Want to have the same energy and joy as Jackie and Emma in the morning, wine prevents that. Think I sipped a bit last night as I haven’t seen Mom and Dad in a while, and one of our exchanges became a bit fiery, which is my fault. Opened a bottle of the ’12 Lancaster Nicole’s to bury any simmering and quaking hatchets. Which was a great idea and a horrible one.
This second cup tells me to relax, enjoy your morning with little Kerouac, don’t be so hard on yourself, enjoy, enjoy, enjoy….. I breathe, forcefully and with self-instructing intent, smell the waffles I just heated for my little writer, and now me here back at the keys hoping for 500 words or so but then tell myself to not focus on word count. Forget everything, be Bum of your own Dharma.
Jackie with allergies, me too, one of my co-workers, everyone, the earth reminding us of Spring’s landing and that everything around us is about rebirth right now, a purposeful and affluent re-start of the story. That too need be inoculated into the morrow’s talk.
Nearing 37. 28 days. Today starts May. Why is time moving with such reckless vigor, and dismissive shapeliness? Reminded of how curt life is… Think of my co-worker, my mother… Don’t stop moving my fingers on these keys, jotting in my little notebooks… in love with my life, every blink and breath contained. 3000 words will be a daily requisite— sipping my second cup and meditating deeper into the morrow’s ebb and order, or disorder, me a bum in my Dharma.. look to my book, books—
mood, it’s this night. After this day. Which is strange as the 12th started rough but then later softened and smoothed to my favor, then again plunged. Reminding me of my age and what I’ve done, my decisions and vocational directions. My self-estimation and calculation this evening is low. So how to fix— maybe I can’t. I just need quiet, which I now not have. Looking forward to office hour tomorrow, where I can just write, my time, some semblance of a weekend, then home to run, I will force myself.
This morning I woke at 4, all by unknown cosmic circumstance, but I back to bed went. Setting alarm for 4 again, and WILL wake at rise at the hour to write, stretch, meditate (both in writing and in physical/mental). Free Self from whatever I’ve done to myself and my attitude. Needing travel, but I’m still, and if I were to take another job, be it a contracted assignment or something else, anything other than writing, I’d really be damned. And I can’t have that. I promised myself no more mistakes, and I think of the ‘perfect world’ conversation Dad and I had at the Monti’s dinner. Any more “work” would just be death to my travels, my writing and books, memoiring… One more glass of the Cab before the writer to bed goes. Maybe a 7UP, some thoughts, reading.
He knew he had to change something, and he always wrote about that, but what— what exactly. Earlier in the day, at the winery he read about other adjuncts, and what they went through, and how horrible their lives were, and how everyone was out to get them, and how it’s not fair, not fair, not— He didn’t want to be like that. To short, life, for that. So, another sip. He could hear his wife moaning, crying, tired in the other room— “You need some help, Meliss?” he asked.
“No, we’re good,” she said. Little Emma went back to more playful-sounding sounds, hands in mouth, teething he didn’t know, neither did Melissa, but there was something with her tonight, and it only pushed Mike more to something. What, who knew. He didn’t. And how could he. Teaching at the JC wasn’t even his ‘bread-n-butter’ anymore. The winery was, which wasn’t his passion but it paid decent, provided hours, benefits. So why did he care? His position, positions, but him in a mood. And he always had these moods. He was tired of the goddamn moods. What did he do to himself?
Class tomorrow at 7:30. Advanced Comp’, his favorite section of the term. Did he want to leave teaching, no. But he didn’t want to chase anymore. Start his own school? Or writing workshops? Something. Something else. Something wild and different. An old manager at some past job, which he was fired from, said “Channel your mood…”. Okay, but how? Sipped again. Wine… “Wine…” the reverberant echo oscillated about his cognition like a famished dingo.
The mood’s evaporated, or at least asleep, for now dormant. I’ll defy physical shifts and revolutions in my entries, readings. But I’m bound by certain actualities. But aflutter in dream— so, wait till 4. Rise and write. 7UP in fridge and I need just pause, meditate, but then not pause when it comes to these types. Emma still making her sounds. Maybe she’s reading something she in her head wrote. Sounds like verse, with the pacing and breaks between bursts and octaves— Some order to this, there has to be, the writer coming down from handing the little beat to her mama for feed. The mood encroaches a return but I deny. Still thought, my scope and measure of my world, fuliginous. Only prompting self-ossification. Necessitated, at my age, and with my adjunct reality. Reading those blogs earlier… why would I continue with this? Why would I stand in front of the students (my whole reason for even doing wha tI do at that campus) and just pretend like all’s well? Like I’m that content with what I do, where I am— Like that’s ME. What I scribble, these collective compositions advancing upon their order, what they want from me— these devils don’t know what this adjunct can do— the adjunct ring has to be penalized. And with, by, OUR voices. All these blogs and adjunct bloggers sound miserable cuz they let themselves BE that way. I’m tempered, yes a bit incensed, but measured in my meter, mode, mood now. “Ha ha,” I think, “this is all just catalyzing.”
12 hours from now, I should be running. I’ll shoot for 10 miles, or more. Changing my yardage, pushing through cosmic blockades, seeing the peripatetic promise told in moments arduous. Tired as time wears, on, out, stretched from my patience. I breathe like I will when woken by alarm, 4 or earlier. Told Meliss that if I wake in night’s equator I’ll descend downstairs to the office, to my laptop, to words. Final drafts, no abbozzos. I haven’t the time for excess revision, or even slight obsession over perfection. What will get me to the Road is my rawness and my lack, or void, of excuses. I close in on a thousand for day but for what? Well, to know I wrote. And with my delicate time delicacy, a thousand a day’s noble and humble, and relatable, goal.
The Autumn Walk Studio, so now silent. The Dharma tells me this is my guerdon. I accept, I guess. The wine’s ripples and aftershocks, fled. Life, shortening for me. Age… Age….. fuck “age”. What about me and what this writer quips? I can only see myself aging with sights of the calendar and all days that by me speed, the writeradjunctfatherwhatever knows only what he wants to see and what he may not see should he not intensify his reads.
The Kerouac book.. phone… wallet.. pen… keys….. bag. Am I ready for morrow or not? Who can be sure. “Mañana,” I think, “mañana.” Tonight, I’m writing, not working, not worrying. Not warped in responsibility or maturity. I’m just writing.
ENGLISH 5— 4/6/15
Thank you for an energized meeting this morning. Coming back to definitions and the importance thereof, what in your life do you feel needs more defining. How do you plan on building and expanding this definition? How do you define yourself at this moment in your life? Like I said, definitions are always a facet to our reality that I’ve found provocative and intriguingly variable. Sticking to a definition in an argument only compliments its declarative nature and authority. So, then back to you, how do you define YOURSELF (rather than society and what’s out there being marketed telling you how to self-define).
What did you walk away with this morning? If nothing, then: Back to the book title, is everything really an argument? Also, please value the idea, your idea or ideas, from which an argument burgeons.
The Lupe song I played today… What else did you hear in his words, aside from the expected prompt of definition and ‘what could he be defining?’ What did you hear, see, feel in his work? And again, through poetry! Art, especially the literary arts, and even more especially poetry, can demonstrate ferocious and entrapping argumentative qualities.
Feel free to type what you wrote in this morning’s freewrite, below…
I’m looking forward to a day of sun— going for a run, disregarding the obligations trailing me, which is more than a ton. Today I focus on re-defining my aims, visions, collective Story. YOU?
Before getting into Kerouac, and even before researching him, think about how much of a difference there may or may not be between fiction and non, again. Like with Hunter, Kerouac feeds on the Now, and is always looking for new understanding— of Life, himself, the people around him, what he’s writing, where he’s going.. all of it. He’s one who needs the journey and the Newness in order to live, write, see, sense.
Enjoy your weekend, and today’s beaming envelopment, and I will see you all Monday!
Yours— Loyally— Always—
After the day’s length and intensity, I’m drained and very much surrendered. The mood has landed on my shoulder and has its tail around my neck, vengeful little tail around my neck. But then gone after a glass of port, then another. Never, and I mean NEVER, do I drink port. But I feel like Kerouac sitting in that chair looking out the window, having his friends visit. Won’t reach 3000 words today, or by 12AM tonight and I’m more than eased with that. The barrels, just sitting there, seeming to do nothing but so much doing internally— makes the writer think about, well, everything.
Alice telling me she wanted it quiet in the room upstairs while feeding Emma after I asked her if she wanted me to look for the remote. So downstairs, here with this port, me the same— quiet and thinking, reading and envisioning, and making sure this is my last glass of this Dutcher port. The writer need wake early, 4AM, or 5, for the 3000. What if I hit my number before the Dry Creek drive? MY book nears, I know, and I feel the first flight, my first travel to a show, a talk or booked lecture on writing and blogging, SELF-PUBLISHING.. budgeting for pages and publication of Self… I have to thank the port for this. But I can feel the effects pattering about my shoulders, forearms and fingers, disrupting the session. So I space my sips.. think of Dad on the Road, landing a plane then going to his hotel room. Why didn’t he write? Or maybe he did. He does write, Mr. Madigan, and quite finely, but never pushing it anywhere, though he very much could like with the short story about his last flight on the 737 with the shrinking time surplus. I remember reading it years ago, when we still lived in Bayview, and thinking how believable it felt, the story imposing its feel on me the reader, like I was the pilot stressing over time.
This Autumn Walk studio is expansively different at night. No Jackie imposing his reign down here, throwing whatever and playing with his toys, demanding more time watching cartoons. And with Alice and Emma upstairs for their feeding session, leaving me down here, to write, for the first time today at actual keys, not typing on my fucking phone, which I hate, and don’t even consider real typing, more pushing, that teeny frantic thumb aerobics— so annoying. Much Capote had his comments on typing, what would he throw at these phone-addicted barnacles? I feel like the old man at Dutcher, and I hate it. Not that the others make remarks or make me feel that way, just the volatile writer has himself in such column. Need another sip of port. Hate thinking about or talking about and especially writing about my aging. How the fuck did I get this old? Port sipped, and sipped angrily. Done for night. Coffee at ready for morrow, last of the k-cups I was gifted for xmas. In the morning I’ll write a thousand, do pushups, then another 1k, then duplicate. This moment euphoric, morsel madness. I’m closer to IT.
Whose Road are We On?
Kerouac’s or Sal’s? And the characters that Kerouac so very much depends on for his writings… how are they impacting him? Positively? Negatively? How is it influencing your read of his story?
Teaching….. And if not, then showing. What is Kerouac teaching or showing you as a reader? The lost nature of his prose, I argue, is just the point. The point being to enjoy life, every minute of it, as he said.
And, what kind of a teacher is he? What are some of the lessons aside from an embrace of life?
Let’s see what we have so far…..