8/27/18

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English 100— Week 2, Meeting 3.  

Not sure how I’m going to make it through the semester, possibly my last.  And I know so many people that, like the wine industry when I left, are saying, “But you’re so good at it… people love you when you…” Yeah, well, time to move on.  Being an adjunct over the past 12 years has only obstructed and interfered with other efforts and endeavors.  Tonight’s class went well, though.  Essentially lecturing from the heart and nearly no notes.  I didn’t wing it, I trusted my Self.  My ability to lecture and share/generate ideas.  I’m concerned, though, about when the semester really gets going, becomes a nonstop storm of papers.  But maybe it doesn’t have to be, I think.  Tomorrow will be easier, with me getting out of the office at 5, not having class till 7.  Can get some grading done, and that’s the key, stay on top of that paper-stacking foulness.  Have to stay in calm’s pose.  This is just Day 1 of such a day.  30 minutes to get from Sebastopol Road and whatever-street to SRJC.  I can do it.  I will do it.  Rewarding the writer with some Cabernet the sis gifted me the other day when I stopped by.  Need it.  And yes, NEED.  Poured self a soothing pour, needed and deserved stemless goblet full of the Bordeaux bull.

The English 100 class has me humbled, frankly, after tonight.  After the quickly compiled and accumulating prod of stress making it nearly difficult to focus on the drive from Roseland’s district to campus.  But I did it.  Today.  Rest of the days?  Well, I have to.  That simple.  I’ll wake early, hopefully, when wife does for her bootcamp whatever, make coffee tonight and start chugging right when I get up.  Grade a couple pieces, if I can.  And if not, then write—  This semester.  All projects not only on hold but pushed into a literary coma.  Will only think of waking when the last grade is submitted.  And that’s the key, to all of this.  The grading.  The thing that holds me up semester after semester and what always affects my mood in the most torrential and terrible way of ways.  Just put a fucking grade on it, I tell myself.  But do I?  No.  Procrastinate, instead.  Fool.

This semester, my last or no, will be my best, the most enjoyable for me and anyone registered, and the most self-educating.  The office new, today my first full day, will serve as my freeway for self-discovery and building not just a career but creative life and fold, dimension, self-sect.  This will work, and it will be challenging, demanding, painful… but like I told the students tonight, as I do every semester, “the main character has to hurt.  And guess who the main character is in your story…. YOU.” Beginning week two, I centralize in this project, logging the entire semester.  I, not failed.  Not in any aspect or tilt, pan, scene, theatre.  Today affirmed my elation in December’s end.

08:30.  At winery. 

More thoughts on a new step, a new direction and new knowledge, experiences, writings and whatever else the day has.  Can’t stop thinking about the call, yesterday.  Newness, what I’m looking for.  Heaping storms of Newness for the writer.  Should have taken the day off, honestly.  For sakes of, well, so much.  Short stories about the tasting room and wine and work, teaching… everything in my head circling.  At a pace I can more or less manage, but still the thoughts me provoke.  To think more.  This morning’s early wake affects me, presently.  Hard to think and write, but I do so anyway, poems speaking to me and me writing them down after this entry.  Mumbles, in head, new choruses and verses to recite.  Deciding that certain paths need end, and end when I order them ended.

Spoke yesterday with someone new to company, and we talked about traveling with our own wines, pouring them in other countries and states, and here in Sonoma County.  Dreams… the visions, thoughts becoming tangible and what surrounds you.  No more dreaming, no more simple envisioning and hoping, the wish-listing writing I feel like I’ve been doing for years.  Writing, like this, the healer, the purveyor, the deliver system in this solitude which can at any moment broken be.  Sure someone will walk in, sit at their little cubicle place, spot, and start their work day.  Writing… the cure.  This new possibility stemming from yesterday’s call, lights and lights, new illumination and education.  For me, the babies…

Need a day.  May leave early, today.  In fact I’m nearly assured I will.  When home, rest.  A bit of writing, obviously.  Poems, record them… songs, whatever else there is.  Alway something to compose, jot in the July Journal or somewhere else.  Festinating in this chair, on this page, language’s acolyte.  There’s always something new to write, always a new song, always more tracks to deliver.  Waiting for email… for something, but that’s the block that I don’t need.  Just keep writing, I tell myself.  Learning to nurture the nature of the forward, my books, my pages and stories, the creative of my moment.

This office is far more agreeable than the Napa office I worked in 2011 and just a touch into ’12.  Not sure why… maybe knowing there’s vineyard just on the other side of that wall, I don’t know.  But I’m not as unnerved.  In fact I’m not at all, with the crush pad crew just below me, racking whatever barrels they have to, or in the lab testing alcohols or acids, what be.  I’m at more than a winery, but temple, a place of instruction and learning, knowledge, what I think I write about anymore.  Knowledge.. learning from each moment, each sight and observation, each serving as a standalone piece.  I don’t need to dream or contribute items to any wish bay or list.  Everything’s here, where I am, where I’m being sent, to this new story, a new stage.  

Waiting.

One of those mornings where you know.  You just know. 

Photo on 6-13-17 at 8.00 AMWhat you’re to do, keep doing, and you see that you’ve been doing it, your IT, the whole time.  Now, just time to intensify.  In all directions.  That singular thing you are, what you do, now time to set yourself into a madly creative blaze and bravado— one unstoppable and tireless, one that attracts you even further into what you do.

The morning sings to you in all its corners and turns, with each minute changing on the clock.  Even ten seconds forward you feel more bold, more fearless and eager to do IT.  The IT to it all, your all.  If you encounter this sensation, ever, don’t pause.  Don’t think or deliberate excessively or even mildly.  Just act, react to the atmosphere of your voltage-folded and unfolding day.  It’s more than just a positive vibe, but a newly told thesis in your story, your character, getting closer to your there.  Move… move more… write more of your manuscript this morning.  Of course if you’re like this wild scribbler, you’re writing… but, whatever you do, whatever creative universe has you a leaping luminary this morrow, follow.  And yes, follow it blindly.  Keep with your keep, your current current.

The only mind you should accept in your life is one as this, where you know.  You know where you’re going, what you are— the who and the why.  Complimenting your composition and currency in the early hours.  Let it carry you till bed beckons, and even then resist sleep and fight to hold this new animation.  The day presents itself, offering new ideas and sight which you utilize and empty for this mission of yours.  You know what the end-call is.  It’s yours.  Your story, your life, your movement, manuscript and beat.  It, your IT, has landed again, this time with more gavel.  So… go.

(6/8/18)

0518

What to do with the day.

What do you want to do with your day.

What if I can only do so much.

There’s no such thing. No such reality. And no, this isn’t about to be a derivative of ‘where there’s a will there’s a way’. It’s a matter of changing everything in your story. And, in one day.

I need to get to a word count, and I know I’ve told students in the past that quantitative thinking is of a toxic call, but sometimes you need a number marker, especially if you’re a writer.

The day, needs to be used as its own material, and this continues wholly prominent with being a writing father, with two kids who are masters at introducing variables into a writer’s day. I’ve been writing quite a bit of late about health, and being healthy, living healthy and just being alive and with habits that inflict little to no harm on the character, the circuitry and and workings of your vessel.

Thought about going back to sleep but then said to self, “Don’t you even think about going back to sleep, got it?” Guess it worked as I’m here writing this entry on phone in dark on couch while both kids are upstairs dreaming about something and I dream about travel, what travels would do for and to my character, to my story. I can do whatever I want with today. Get further away from work regularity and predictable shifts and scripts, and other demonizing facets of a day to day which so many would argue are mature and professional but I would say are anything but healthy.

Hear a crow outside, calling at another crow then I hear smaller birds sing back and forth to one another. Outside, that blue shade that indicates the day’s about to take off. I hop onboard like one of those passengers that did everything late, from waking up to getting out the door, to starting the car to hitting every red light. But I made the flight. Today. This day. I shift narrative. I accelerate the body of this book, be a writing father but more a considerer of what’s happening right in front of me. That, if you want to be more healthy, is truly living in your scene, your present.

Eyes itch. Think allergies. I know I should take Claritin or something but I’m not leaving this couch. I’m more than in my moment. This is the only time I have for an extended session like this. And yes, much of that reality propels from being this, a father. Day 7, 7th full day, of being 39… and I’m of the careless mind. Just writing. Not looking for synonyms or any word of the day to have the prose appear more intellect-knitted, obscure and philosophical. Candor. Efficiency. Now. The Now, me… like I said to myself in the vineyard that one day, “Where I am, what I’m doing.”

I can see my first travel, right now. I can see the people that want to hear me say the ideas that I put to page, see me say the words, all of them. I can see the hotel room, the people in the lobby both when I check in, come back from my talk, at the bar to get a sparkling water and cranberry (taking healthy break from wine for a bit, again, or trying), the check-out. Ride back to the airport and back home to be with family before another trip. Starting today, starting with today, a morning I was woke by a dry mouth and going to the fridge to get water– pour into son’s Spider-Man mug that I bought him at that candy/toy store in Windsor next to KIN one of those nights I got takeout there– sat back in couch with coffee I last night brewed into mug, and on couch. Much healthier that just scrolling through some social feed or watching TV, which I could never do with these kids as even a slight sound like outside birds could cut and compromise this peace and sitting.

What to do with the day– write. Read. Study. I’m not teaching over Summer so I shove self into the student stride. Revisiting The Alchemist, first. Then, see where that takes me. I need to be more mentally alive today than I ever have been. More than just being healthy, but being ME– you, being yourself, doing what you want and following inner orders and not some societal expectation of whatever or whomever.

05:47… and I can’t get enough time from this morning. I can’t have enough of this dark room and the blue sneaking through the shades, a small bird timidly speaking on the staircase’s other side, outside. I’m here, on couch, writing, or thumbing, my thoughts and Now, my reality, my day. This day is MINE. And today ignited new light, new sight, reason and rationale. This could be seen as another promissory jot, but I won’t let it be that. Not even partially, microscopically. No. Not today. Not with what I want today to do. Write everything, everyone, what they’re doing. That’s the story. The lesson. Every breath being a stand-alone knowledge park.

More imagining my travels… writing early like this but in some distant city like Helsinki, or Dublin, Venice or New York. Anything can happen, and everything I want to happen WILL happen. And it’s more than a matter of just happening, it’s you studying you as you shepherd your self there. Having those inward conversations and writing them down, putting them to page and into the world, composing their own world from which others can learn and grown, cultivate a more enriching existence, more happiness. Health.

The crow, again. He wants the world to know he’s awake, and he does with songs, little riffs that he then shares with other crows that just arrived in the neighborhood. I keep writing… studying. Not fighting anything around me but using and working with its momentum.

(6/5/18)

Today at winery….

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Slow start, take lunch at 11:44-abouts, to collect here in writing, look through pictures taken on vineyard walk this morning.  Today’s teaching me about my wine story, what I’m to do with and in wine… making the day my own in all ways I can.  Had an idea from a writing friend, to do something with my meek photography efforts, and another business friend of mine, woman photographer building her photog shop in Headlsburg and recently self-publishing a book her mother wrote.  Love the tasting room, and all the magic in its walls, but seeing more magic outside, in the vineyards and with the people tasting wine on the patio, while they snack on what they brought and overhearing what they talk about.  The writer need be mobile, and look at past entries, think about past winery jobs— from Dry Creek to Sonoma Valley, “the box” in Napa, to helping a friend out in his tasting room in Kenwood just down the road from St. Francis.  The tasting room itself encourages me to find more poetry and purpose, principles, out the door.

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In the office, so quiet and easing with my beats, listening to drum hits and high-hats… just want to travel.  How do I get there.  I’m already there, here.  Working and living, writing where people from all over this globe visit, save for years to see what I can on a lunchtime walk, or getting away from the tasting room for some air.

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Tasted through a couple of the red… Pinot, Cab and another Cab.  Nothing saying anything new to me, today, at the winery, which is more than fine.  I situate in my realized and wined singularity, looking for new notes and beats in what I’m so used to sipping.  The 2015 Alexander Valley Cabernet… talking in more spoken word narrative, having me bob my head and explore inward with jot and hurried notes, profuse chocolate terrain and oak-prone tones that not at all muffle or mute fruit but teach it to be more connecting, communicated, more eager to recite.  Thinking of tomorrow, teaching, but I can’t stray too far with too much fray.  Stay here, at winery, listen to what people say in response to wines and what my brains speaks right after a red lands on tongue.  Wine holds… recites, wants to work with me, write a book with me… me and vino composing what we chose, from that first blog entry years ago to the conversation with my sister-in-law that ignited this whole forward.

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At the winery, not so much an employee or even a writer but just one in admiration of all transactions here.  And I’m not talking about bottle purchases…. I mean the lives, the reactions, the way the light hits the little clusters in the Sauvignon Blanc lot— this beat gets more than just gently lost in thought, but enveloped in Newness and his own beat-time.  One minute before noon, not wanting to do anything but have these wine syllables and letters dance about my growls and questions, looking to sky out window knowing a vineyard is under it, somewhere close and distant.  In the building while throwing thoughts out of it then back to this page… my own collective bay, say.

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inward jot

img_0822Just wrote another essay.  That’s two in this I-think-collection I’m gathering.  Not sure how many I want to collect, but each piece is an essay, standing alone.  Gave a wildly poetic and energized lecture on Plath and her poetic radiance, this morning.  I keep thinking of the fig tree mentioned in Bell Jar, how the narrator cites starving to death in her inability to pick one.  Then, while walking back here to the conference room I though of a singular title on a business card— my sister’s, “Winemaker”.  What the fuck is mine?

What do I want it to be?

WRITER

No punctuation.  Just the word.  I’ll keep writing, through this whole day, and inventory every effort as I did the other day.  Thinking of an essay on Plath, that part of the novel and its universality.  Everyone feels that way, at one point, having to choose one thing, or at least something, to be.  That’s what they are, that’s what they do.  And you live once!  Which, of course, makes it even more stressful.  “…choosing one meant losing all the rest…”, Plath wrote, but I wonder— Does it have to be that way?  What if you limit yourself to a small number of figs?  No, you have to choose one.  You want to have to only choose and have one.  You’ll be stronger that way.  I can write, run a business, be a winemaker, be a marathoner, be a tutor, be a copywriter…. One thing, one ME, one story—  WRITER

I don’t want any punctuation touching that word, or at least in this context.  One author for my study concentration.  Yes, her… my darling Ms. Plath.  And she’s right, the figs do eventually wrinkle and blacken, so I have to move quick, and I have to choose and never look back.  So, changing my mind, I’m a “WRITER.” Why the sudden punctuation, now?

‘Cause I’m a Writer.  Period.

inward jot

img_07583 pages a day.  Needed for my sanity.  So many directions– I always shun patterns and routine but maybe that’s just what this writer needs.  Having a collective pause after some outreach for a winery owner friend of mine, then getting son’s birthday gift.  Five.  He’ll five.  How.  Why.  That alone has me ablaze with urgency.  I need every objective accomplished immediately.  The company… my books… traveling… indie teaching.  My wine shop and own label.  Everything.  Have writing to do for a client tonight so I escape to this Whole Foods tap room to sip an IPA, slowly, and write with just as much discretion.  Or, writing with less discretion and more sped sweeps than I sip.  Actually, I just forgot the glass was even there…

Day after he turned five and I’m in the office on campus, promising an “epic” day.  So many use that word, “epic”… ‘This is going to be epic’, or ‘awww, that’s epic!’ Today, there will be immediate and materialized progress.  Make yourself do something.  If you’re tired of something or some state, then stop it.  Stop doing what you’ve been doing, completely.  7:24 presently and I have the whole day.  Have writing to do for a client… should jump on that now, right?

Just did.  Now back to MY work.  Me as a brand… You as a brand, reader…. How do we as creatives want to be seen?  In the 3 pages for this day, I need results.  At the end of the day I need to feel forwarded.  On a path—  Well, I am on a path, just on another path, or the same path but with some additionally cosmic promise.

One thing I realize I’ve been doing all my life is not thinking big enough.  Of course I dream, and pulse ‘oh wouldn’t it be nice to…’, but today, drawing, at the drawing board, with coffee always on right, I’m seeing more.  My Dharma is nearer than near.  Why, I’m thinking bigger than I ever have…. 13 days, 3 months, I’ll be 38.  Two from 40.. so, READER: we need to move QUICKER, think so much BIGGER.  My advice, to you and I:  JUST GO.  You already are what you’ve always wanted to be, so keep thinking that way, and thinking bigger.

In many ways, today is like a birthday for me.  New me, new measures, strides, only assured to accent new results.  Urgent, ablaze…

Morning This, again…

Realize that sometimes we wish.  Why wish?  We have everything we need right here.  When I wish I had new material, or something new off which to spring for writing, or some blog post, or something creative… I now realize, ‘WHY?’ I have everything I need.  Right here.  In what I do at the winery, in wine’s world with my business, at the JC.  Everything’s right here.  And this could be the coffee talking, but I need get even more reactive and radical in my creativity.  The coffee is very much onboard with this mentality, this morning.  Life is too short to over-measure or strew, wish for something that’s not currently a fixture in and of you.  Should have gone for a run this morning but I didn’t so I’m refusing to sulk or feel shamed… I’m going to embrace where I am on this floor, my own thoughts and reality explored and re-explored.

Woman yesterday coming into the winery after running 8 miles, she said, somewhat boast but not as I could tell she was drained from her intervals around Lake Sonoma.  ME this morning, well, I could get out there, right?  I’m wishing I had two hours to run but I don’t… no, just keep writing.  Run tomorrow.  OR, use the weights off to the left there, but the fireplace.  No wishing.. use what you have.

Have to email students this morning, or I should.  That will take time, so no.. ‘no’, what?  I don’t know.  I’m just keeping myself moving on the keyboard here with the day in sight.  Possibilities revolving around me like giggling sprites.  An otherworldly cheering section.  “I appreciate that,” I say.  Tireless writer, writing father, a morning of meditation before a stretched day at work.  Let’s see what happens, and what happens will me more, more material I could and can and will use.  Don’t wish, just pull from existing inventory.

Wine and a Night to Think

img_0679Home after dinner out with Ms. Alice.  Sipping what’s meant to be night’s cap.  But my wine writing on this Chris Donatiello project won’t purpose as much wheeled acclaim as something from a winemaker.  Whatever a winemaker says is sacrosanct, where the writers are always suspect.  Any I’m not talking those branded circuits and magazine wine sages, I mean us, we who are writers, actual writers, writers of not only wine but other others.  Not sure where I’m sent to send self with this message but my motive is ascertained in this immediate atmosphere—  Made coffee for morrow, and I have every telling of a writer who intends to run, but I’m full from dinner, and still swimming in this wine like a beatnik meant to climb some mountain.  I’m at the point in my life where I know I someday won’t be able to acknowledge the points, so I point to the sky and say ‘I’m going there!’

Here, home, think… think…. I’m writing, I’m being a writer or so I’m telling myself and I know other wine journalists or “critics” or “”experts”” don’t do this, actually think before they let their tips race across buttons, but the wild wine writer-me is unchained and with no complaints.  It’s just a thought, but the writer knows he’s doing the “right” thing with wine— getting tired of using marks so I just jazz across my page with a racer’s pace.  Chris’ wine insists my rebellion, my literary separatism.  “Who can stop me?” I think…. The writer is riled with a lion’s pulse.  Watch what I do, I think, I say to myself like I’m my own coach, which is a kept danger.

Know I have work to do, deadlines to meet, but the writer doesn’t care.  The Monterey Merlot has the penner more puissant than he’s been in years.  Is this a rebirth?  Is this 10th of the 2nd month telling me to maneuverer with differentiated acuity?  Who knows…. I know that the ride is now, here, I already have a ticket.  The more of this wine I sip the more I know where I’m supposed to be— I need the vineyard, I need the wine to write about it and the winemakers are only, well, I don’t know what they are.  I don’t want to denigrate them, but they’re not writers.  I love them for the wine they make but we, the reactors, are always looked down upon, as someone reacting— not that we take the time to write our reactions.  I think.. think… think I’m overthinking.  Just what I tell those enrolled in class not to do.

Home.   Vino…  Tomorrow in thought.  I have to run, babies not here but with their grandmother… my attitude becomes rattlesnake-esque…  Did I speak that right?  I’’m making not sense right now.  Merlot, thanks… but I’m writing.  Not up the street at some bar, or downtown, or at some friend’s house doing nothing but socializing and drinking some shitty wine or thinking about how we should all go to some club.  I’m old.  I’m one of the old’s.  Should just start hitting that coffee, now.  What to learn from this?  LIVE.  Time only wants to boast its swiftness, but if we show we don’t care, that we keep our motions motioned, we win.  Feel myself getting closer to 40 and just getting into that angry middle-aged angle.  “Why me?” I think.  How did I get this old?  I’m old.  I mean, I have to worry about the age, or this age, or at any time, where if I die my kids will be left with no dad.  Not sure what I’m saying, but I’m still writing— thinking of my babies.