All I need to write, create, self-educate, meditate, grow as a character in my story.
Next day, the second where I feel like I’m on a rocket ship, just ascending and appreciating altitude. Third day of victory, of production, producing, feeling my life and creative tide just going and rising and taking me with it. On lunch now, peanuts and a ginger ale I bought from shop. Stomach still a bit uneasy from that vegetarian burrito, yesterday. Work today is more than enlivening and exhilarating. I did feel this a couple times in the wine industry, but with no consistency. Can’t remember the last time at Roth I had three consecutive days of pure life and topic ownership. My story becomes its own storm, now. Its own Now. In this large warehouse-like quarter with Sonic everything all around me and everything that Sonic embodies, from the communicative facet to people just visibly enjoying what they do. I’m definitely space-bound. My work is no longer work but something that’s redefined and redrawn and re-purposed my literary purpose.
Walking someone through the office and into this break arena earlier, I could see the amazement and disbelief in her facial shape. How the company encourages its people, how the “employees” are more so investors and partners, family members to the immediate and distant motions. All motions overlap and intermingle, creating a creative concurrency. Their own currency to be exchanged and interchanged… I notice my own face change shape, sitting here. Taking another sip, not needing any real lunch but just the snack I have and everything on either side— left and right, 12 and 6. All these corners and visuals decide on magnifying my manuscript’s physiology, writing new one for this writer who anymore writes about work as he’s embedded and invested in work that binds to his moral and ethic etch.
I’m horribly saddened, honestly, when I hear of people going to places they hate for work. Of course someone could ask, “Why would anyone do that to themselves?” Yes, an easy question to ask, but not so easy to answer or attach any formula. It’s not that they do anything to themselves, but haven’t found their pages, haven’t landed in their story. What I recognize, appreciate and further analyze in my sitting here is that only now do I see. Did I find not only a home, but a topic. A book, and another one. Me, a writer, literary guy, beatnik from the wine industry, now more fiery and eager and moved to words. AT A TECH COMPANY. But this isn’t some simple tech company, or start-up or wanna-be startup village. This, here, the creative is basal, inherent. Expected. Sonic, like a university hopping around in exponent climates. Here, you’ll hear people say how they write everything down. You see other writers here, other thinkers, people seeking to enjoy where they work— More than just “enjoy” it. Live it. Be it. The IT, to it all. What they do, yes, but more who they are. That’ how I see myself.
My story just arrived. At 39. Late? No. Lovely timing. If anything, it’s more than punctual and optimal, just before 40. This place has me forgetting I’m 39, if you should know, and you should know if I’m with your attention. I just fixate on the day, whatever project to which I tend. The company’s name, Sonic, denoting and connoting sound, and speed, something audible, and then I think of course of music and being a literary bloke hear Kerouac reminding me that the only truth is music. Here, in the break room and in the office proper, between enclaves and hamlets of encouragingly and electric and eclectically adorned cubes and desk, you hear it. See, feel, then a sixth and eighth sense. Someone you acknowledge or you think you do adequately but only know you’re there, in it all.
New writer, new vision. New understanding and embrace of purpose. I am writing a book, about this place. More than a place but a dimension, a warp of time, timing. Forgot about the ginger ale, peanuts. Hearing co-workers talk of their projects and ideas while on lunch. They don’t talk about any TV show, who’s dating who, where they’re going this weekend. But work. WORK. It’s not work. It’s more than passion. It’s creative escalation and an impassioned saddle of axioms and projects. Seeing each day as its own book, not just a chapter. This is not a new chapter in my life but a new life, a new armada of books I’m about to write. This day— what would it be about? Learning, something new. Spreadsheet. Yes, me doing spreadsheets. I was deathly afraid of them, before coming here, and up until yesterday still quite unnerved at the thought of toying with rows, columns, cells, formulae. No longer, though. My self-certain, assurance and general fortitude eclipse any anxiety. Moving at a speed I’d deem supersonic, frankly. And I don’t see myself working, I don’t. I see the growth and the metaphysical and ontological model re-write itself over and over, from this company’s thesis. New song, everyday. New chords. New opus offerings and new interpretations of everything around me. And, again, spreadsheets are part of this paragraph, part of this elasticized praise for where I now sit, in this lunching province.
Stomach, solved. Today did so. Cured me of whatever that restaurants plate did. And I forget it, universally. I’m made more healthy and assembled as a writer in tech’s clef and step. Anything past workplaces instilled, left, far in days behind me. Today’s book, then tomorrow’s, where I’ll be at Month 6, and yes I have a specific aim and tangible destination for such. Never did that with wine’s world. I didn’t need to, as no such thought was ever invited or encouraged. The culture of not only writing and taking notes here, but education both from self but colleagues makes me feel like I’ve discovered some cryptozoological wonder, asking myself What is THIS? and Where am I? Imagine that, being not merely in love with where you are, what you do, where one works, but seeing yourself as healthier, happier, more composed as an immediate consequence.
Storms of it.
In your own pages.
Wine when home. Day in field. Cognitive throws clearing their way to my vision, my understanding and general concept and estimation of everything around me. This Sophia’s Cuvée, Lancaster, 2015 I think has my thinking with not a single chain pain. I’m on the floor of the lowest floor of the Autumn Walk Studio, going over conversations with T in car and at lunch, about wine and business, business… everything now I see as invitation and opportunity, a catalyst for amplification. And I know I keep repaying that word or some form pro phylum thereof and, or, in. But this is where the writer is, presently. In business bliss and thought tryst. Made coffee for morrow, waking at 04:00 with no diffuse. My life on it much depends and hopefully soon eventually ascends. I feel and see it, for my babies and family and all those around me. Sonic’s altered favorably, and with etching speed, my scope on work, on business and workplace forwards.
This Cab-honed set of sense tells me to take the night’s remainder off after this entry. She understands I’m a writer, that I have something to maybe say, no delay, positive stray and fray in lyric-laden say. Part of me didn’t want to leave SF, feeling like a Beatnik in my hometown, where I belong, where I only wanted to read poetry on street corners and in cafés, where T and I had lunch, but I studied. Know, I know more now. The wine professes to show only what mysteries and enigmas need be shows and set before in present’s block, lot.
Letting wine “open” in stemless plastic bowl on table. Little Beats and wife upstairs done for day, away to dream plains and me just here being to be, in a state or irrevocable poetic pulse and session, sitting. Tomorrow in office, learning more, feeding knowledge addiction, prophetic affliction. Nothing thinking and just writing, must, my own trust and philosophy bus. See self paling now on floor in typed stream and surf but only from long day. I don’t aim for any attention as some do, as I sometimes do, right now I’m just a candid compositional bandit, only unhurt for attention and potential ideas bartered, commuted. Something like such. The house quiet, wine opened and more expository, telling me to keep writing and stop with any distracting dote, even if it’s to find some synonym. That’s not genuine, that’s in no way truth. Polishing your prose is the same as excess oak or using some additive or “add” to make the wine more ‘something’. Got it, I say back to the red in cup. And about my night go.
Still feel that fog on face, smell the sidewalk of 30-something and Balboa, Anza, Clement. SF has not just my heart and mind but functionally and make and a situational duality, dueling with any nay-say and self-doubt, and moment-to-moment hell cloud. So now, ending day, night, readying for next day. 4am, challenging anyone who thinks they work “harder” or with more cored and ordered force than THIS writer.
Son tells me this morning that he wants to be an author— “I want to write books when I grow up, Daddy. Like my workbook [that he was yesterday working on], I love writing.” I smiled and thought more about writing and how I write, or try, blog it all and while last night sipping the last of that Napa blend, now dead, I thought off the meta of writing, of writing about writing. Why we write, why right now instead of taking a shower or doing budgetary shit, or driving up to Healdsburg early to do whatever, or doing anything around the house like most “real men” would on their day off, I write. Think in poetic pulses, or try. Listen to the dishwasher that I just put on, and think about notes, what I tell students about writing. Or not tell, but share.
Harvest starting, or in some spots well into its due, friends of mine waking at 0400, then I wonder if I did the same what I could get done. I can’t think about it or write it anymore, what I’d write and how I’d reach 3000 or more words if I just set my alarm and did it. It’s not setting the alarm that’s the issue. That’s more than easy, it’s effortless. What if I rolled out of, from sheets and pillow and dove into prose. This morning, a mocha. 4 shots which I haven’t in some time done, and saying to self, “Amplify, amplify… teaching, writing, the classroom, tech…” What do I want, what do you want, what do you want to amplify? It’s literally that simple, as I see it. Whatever you want, attainable. You choose to subscribe to antithetical mind, if you’re not moving. “Why don’t I have what I want?” or “…what I’m after?” Draw all thoughts. Be more than AT the drawing board. BE the drawing board. Be moving. Be in constant actuation and deliberation, forward and with your creative fire.
Since I started fiddling with writing, I’ve found it to be an exploration of my own thinking, how I generate thoughts and what I want from the act of writing. Again, I could be doing anything right now, anything. I chose to come here, to the island counter, sit, sip mocha, get to page. My son telling me he wants to write, I need to write faster. When he’s in middle school, or high school at the latest, I need be touring with these words. Officially clocked into Day 3 of this challenge, or sprint. A measure for when I’m forty. Jazz in the room with me, and my thoughts go everywhere while still contained in looking at my son and high bright eager motioned expression when telling me of his book-borne ambitions. Writing, seeing the association you have with words, and what they will do for you, to you, what story you want to tell. I think. Of this. Everyday. Me, writing father, adjunct for over 12 years, finally freed from wine’s industry to extend my written and poetic identity in tech. Can’t say that’s ever been done, has it? Just have to see, where all this will take me. What knowledge I’ll pocket. Quiet house, not used tot his so early on a Sunday. Not even 0845. Will be in 1 minute. I feel rush, a rush in me to get things done, to finish a book, to put it out there— about journaling, writing everything down, blogging, seeing everything as material. Even this plastic baggie of change that I’ve collected over the past couple months. What do I do with it?
Setting budget for day, week. For the first time in a while, since leaving the wine world, I’m quite comfortable. Thank the craft. Setting up the other blog so readers won’t see adds or other garbage to the sides. I’m revolving and cartwheeling in thought and thorough thoroughness of my Personhood. The Healdsburg Square will see me today. WILL. I’ll precipitate with my written will in whatever room I write. The bakery? The grocery? Can’t stand those flies, though, at Oakville’s patio zone. Every time I try to write through them, I am shoed away, like I were the fly in their annex. Where else in HB is there to write, I think. Flying Goat, I guess. Find a spot there, though, is time arduous. So I think somewhere else, possibly. SHED? Yes. It’s indoors. And their espresso is some sexy fuel-quake love I’ve never tasted, or haven’t since Paris. And, if feeling well into my Beatnik notes, the beers on tap are all those that speak to a Madigan, one like me who writes.
Back hurts from run yesterday, the 10 miles which was a war to do. So I stretch while sitting and writing, breath in this kitchen air, look left and see crumbs from the little breakfast treat I took for the baby Beats. So much around me, so much to tell me, tell me where to whim, where and how to write. This semester, possibly and more than likely my last conventional term, I invest every cell. All tables and chairs, with this poem I just started writing, new Newness and pages, streams of collection and meditation.
Yesterday I wrote, “Enjoy and use your scene.” Mine, now, in this kitchen next to the bag of coins and my depleting mocha, the poetry journal, my wallet and the cash I was counting to my left, reminds me I’m alive, so alive and into this year, summer ending, that amplification is the only remaining route. Winemaker friend of mine, yesterday, saying how he was at a wine tasting and the wines spoke to him newly, in some different or hip way, calling them hipster wines. Didn’t ask for elaboration, but was put in assertion, asseveration in my wined story. I always come back to wine and what she says to me, what my fictive figure, Kelly, does her first week in a tasting room. This scene, room, page, more than fanciful and enjoyable. Back to poem…
Telling the kids we have to go up and get dressed, brush teeth, get ready for day, but I give in and let them have more time. And I could use more time on the day’s story, this second day of a thirty-day measurer. What will I be at the end. Who cares. Have some time to self today, and I’m thinking after the run go somewhere, to some coffee shop, locally, and write. I do want to take some vineyard pics as well if I can. But Saturdays are busy, no matter where you are in the season, so that could prove problematic. Maybe just down the road, to Hook & Ladder, or De Loach. Don’t want to do too much driving. So remain close to this writing studio… needing to take a break, now, go cuddle with my babies, there on the couch and before they’re so grown they’ll avoid writing-daddy at whatever turn they see. I laugh to self, looking at them. I’m a dad. ME. 40 next year. So now I see the inner-shove for this 30-day project. Get self as close to what I want for self at 40 as possible. My office… travel… more wine notes and tastings, blogging and… yes, I need to go tasting today, somewhere just down the road. I’m thinking De Loach is my spot. Little Pinot, or Chard, think they make a Syrah of some shape. But, after a run. After a run, no buts. How far will I go.. how far can I go, what distance I can produce, better question. Haven’t been running as much as the running writer’d like.
After kids are dressed and with teeth cleaned, they draw. I’m back standing and typing. Wife on way home from workout and I need to put self in runner’s head. Will do normal route, then something added.— Jack harasses Emma by drawing on her sheet, Emma growls and I laugh which doesn’t help. Ready to run…. Between 5 and 10 miles. That’d be lovely. Lovely. Get some healthy mile count and come home and shower and head out to write more. Make as much use of the day, this “day off”, as writer and new techie can. Am I a techie? I’ve learned more new worlds and specifics, more Newness, at the office new than I ever did in the wine industry’s joke of an industry and business. I’m a wanna-be techie, I think. I have a blog, but that doesn’t make me a techie, tech, technically savvy strut.
Hours after run, 10 miles, then nearly 3 miles of walking, I’m tired. Kids back from pool and I write as I did this morning. Jack continues to contribute to his math workbook that he created and designed himself, this morning. Emma, little Ms. Austen herself on the couch with her laptop. Would be outside but too hot. And I don’t object. Walking around Bottle Barn I imagined my eventual wines, that I’ll make with sister, there. Just one bottle. Not too many. I’m very anti-inventory, since leaving Roth. Too many SKUs, too many blues. And, the counting is just a pain. More than a pain, like a relentless sickness. That just returns and returns. Tomorrow helping friend at Idlewild off the square. Don’t have to be there till noon. Wife heads out to Train Town with friend and her daughter, so I’m heading to my day and creative missions early. Take pictures of vineyards and walk around blocks, catch views of harvest if I can. Definitely heading to Roth, maybe Foley Sonoma, or something outside the Foley book. Just want to be in wine’s world and valley to do just that. BE there. Not working, just being, creating, writing. I’ll be Kerouac as well tomorrow, but a Madigan model and chronicle. Writing everything down…
Daughter slides off couch and walks around, dazed. Can tell she’s tired. “Emma, you wanna play with Dada?” She doesn’t answer, and I head back to these keys, hear train passing outside, Jack still very much in his authoring actuation. I ask Emma again, she lazily and with extended annunciation, “No.” Okay, so I don’t feel too bad about typing as I am. Again feel the depletion from the ten mile run. Wanted 13.1, but the heat stopped me. Surprised I got as far as I did. While walking around Spring Lake, I thought to myself about stress and how so often it coms from trying to control something and not being able to. So my new resolve, resolution and trenchant view involves just dong what I want and if something blocks me or impedes then loudly amplify ( a word I much prefer to “scale”) demiurgic movements. All of them. I watch both babies, Emma now visibly drained, trying to fall asleep on the couch. I offered to take her upstairs to nap with her mother, and then she revives with no notice.
Just told Emma she’s cute and she took such as an insult. “ I not cute, Dada… I big guuu’!” I laughed and went back to these keys. Like I’m in college, writing something just before deadline. Not editing a thing jus typing and using everything around me to get to demanded word or page tally.. Or a wine journalist and blogger, notetaker, feverish jotter, scribbling more on the wines I last night had, the Italian white then red blend, not Italian like other character, providing contrast valuable. Both said something to me about my relationship with wine, and how wine’s provided a platform for everything, everything, even getting into tech… the office new. Wine and I, together out of the tasting room. And what now… write something. Wine, writing, running in Sonoma County in view of vineyards, sometimes. Not today unfortunately. Just wasn’t in the story for day. 15:39, and I still have a lot to do. Stating and staying busy, working on this writer’s projects and everything in his writing ways. Just charged camera for tomorrow. Not sure why I’m so set on doing photography, tomorrow. Why not. See what happens. One of my secret aspirations is to be somewhat, I guess, a photog. Never sacrificing the prose, but more pictures.
Kids unusually calm, and me getting tired. Hope they don’t get frenzied and decide to confederate against the running writing daddy. Or, I hope they do. There’s more story and AMPLIFICATION in that.
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.
Windsor and Healdsburg, today. Observing, everything. Using photos as journal entire, points for thought.
Each stop, a story, a lesson, education.
Kids dressed and breakfast’d, relax and calm. Another rhythmic morning. Badge in car so not to have even option or possibility to forget. Waiting for mother-in-law, ‘ML’, to show. Get moving, I tell myself. But in a lovely pause, holding pattern for now, for now’s talk. Learning from them, their faces, how they eat what I put out for them. Bagel. Just… watching. Fascinated. Them. Them…. my babies.