in those faces. The little humans that look to me for lesson continue to show as my most rewarding instructors, ever.
Laptop not cooperating. Keyboard not responding. Tried using this computer in office, the word processing doc program, and its cooperation was shit. So I’m typing directly to blog. Which I never do. But, these blogs I’ve made my home and soon my sole career and composition, so I type here. I know where to find these words. And frankly, I like this bigger screen. Need a break from that laptop monster and this occurrence gives me just the warrant and excuse to use this actual computer. I’m using the office, the desk, the chair, the room, imagining it my eventual office in downtown SR or Healdsburg.
Kids play upstairs, agreeing to let me work. This is definitely a morning of a writing father, a jotting daddy who needs things to work when they don’t, and they continue to defy, so I find ways to write. I’m a writer and if I have to the pen and paper are my most reliable and ready ally in any tech scuffle.
Kids upstairs, playing. They don’t have these worries, or any. Jack asks projecting his voice what I’m doing down here. Think he’s up to something. I know he is after asking what he’s doing and he throws down the stairwell, “NOTHINGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG…..” I’ll trust him, or seem like I do even though I anything but do. Don’t hear any thumping or falling of any objects. Emma’s not crying so all much be composed, right?
Checked on laptop and it has no interest in cooperating, communicating, anything for me. I come back to actual computer, the blog, the only anything I can use. Day off but me self work. There’s no such thing as “a day off” for writers. I’ve forgotten about the laptop and now fixate on the day, later, a run I know I have to do but already dread, and if not dread than just want to think of anything to do so I don’t have to do THAT.
If I didn’t have this coffee, I’d be far more mentally disheveled and scattered, wrecked than I am now. Kids play quietly upstairs. The quiet is near unnerving– And there’s a funny noise. Like a toy breaking, falling then shattering. But I hear no vocal reaction. This desk, the laptop, the morning, teaching me. Lessons compounded and turned, around and in other directions for my story. This writing pops.
Voices outside. Neighbors starting their day. “What are you guys doing?” My voices flies up the stairs from my office seat. “Emma’s reading.” Jack says.
“What is she reading?”
“The puppy book.” Jack offers back, soft and in eased tone.
What are you reading, buddy?” I say.
“I’m reading the shark book then, um, I’m going…I’m going to read the dinosaur book.”
“Good! Enjoy your reading!” I say to him as I say to my students before they read each other’s work in a class essay workshop.
Sip coffee and look down, under chin and see post-it, with note. “Dear dad […] w e love yo u”. I smile then am interrupted in my enjoyment of a post-it with more life on it than I’ve ever seen by message from neighbor saying she needs her table back, the one she leant us for Thanksgiving. I say sure and open the garage door and let her take it, return inside and ask upstairs how the reading’s preceding. “We’re just doing a lot of reading, okay Dada?”
Back at desk, and the morning couldn’t be more for me if I had written it this way, or any way. Neighbors wheeling stuff around. Think there’s a collaborative garage sale sale going on. Something like that. What are they reading? I hear Emma explain something to Jack and then he clarify what she’s attempting to elucidate. Thinking I should go up there and read with them.
But, they come downstairs. Slowly. Emma saying, “Hey, Dada… what’s up?” I laugh and ask her same. She then say something I can’t understand and don’t need to. She says she needs to do something. “I need get dressed.” The morning and its story cooperate where tech doesn’t want to. And again, this shift in habit and writing practice teaches and reiterates dimensions to which I was already privy.
Writing my life, at this point in my life, to understand the story and my character and my writing, or anything, questions form. Inquiries that will not halt. I follow them, to more solutions then more puzzles to solve and codes to decode and deconstruct.
Jackie calls me up, I say I need five minutes. Which I do and don’t. I surrender the path that is the morning and day and just the sequence of songs in each set of numbers the clock reads play. We wish for a lot, we Humans. We focus on what’s absent rather than celebrating what’s present. This morning reminds me to celebrate, to forget about whatever the laptop’s doing and just move, be mobile, be writing, be loving. The babies upstairs losing their littleness and I age and we all age, so I capture everything. Jack singing some song I can’t understand or identify. Think it’s a Christmas song, I don’t know.
Jack again demands I come upstairs and I agree. Hear them playing and him trying to teach Emma about the functionality of some toy. “Emma, turn it off!” I ask him to please be nice to her, he rationalizes “She doesn’t follow my rules…” Smile, back to writing more. Love how they think, how they talk, argue and respond and in a micro-nanosecond turn their thoughts into something so convenient and obscure that only they can see connected dots. That amazes me, their language. Their thoughts and how they create and respond, occupy their time. They never obsess over what’s not, only what is. That, if anything this morning, more than that fucking laptop, teaches me. I’m a student and they’re the collective professor.
Wonder how I’m doing in class. My grade. Do they like my blog, this after-laptop piece?
He calls again, little Kerouac. This time, he doesn’t accept my excuse. Up…..
No nap, today, fought against pull and push to do so. Thanksgiving over, wife out shopping at one of those shopping special eve whatever’s. Me, home. Wine. Just finished glass of Claret. The night passed with such cruel progression. Indifference. Babies asleep upstairs. What movie do I watch, my dilemma. My life’s trouble. Think of how fortunate I am with my family and to have such family, to be sitting where I am, here on this we seek to shed, new one one the way… Day of giving thanks, I need to show more giving of thanks, being thankful.
Tonight, I do intend exploring more wine. No aim to wake at 4am or 4:10 like this day. No. I may actually just sleep in. I will. What do I mean, “may”? May have to punch out. Take the night as it approaches me, describe and translate it, or in such order reversed… then wake tomorrow with more thought. More story. More ME. Tired now, forgetting I’ve been up since 4-something. Think 4:10. Has it been that long? Yes. It has. Me, that writer. Now. Time to Self and I sip wine and be here, writing. A writer.
Does the writer want apple pie or Chardonnay? Both sound like they sound, their own precise appeal and connection. I’m not torn between both but urge to be curved by both, somehow. 9:08. Feel like bed but I won’t. I can’t. But more, I refuse. Why can’t I be a human, just have dessert or drink wine. Is it that complicated? Are my thoughts the hinderance, the block and or impediment? I think it may be just that. Not in any kind of a writing swoop, and I can’t figure anything of it out. How does pine figure. What type a figure be me, I, this writer.
I feel like I’m not doing a thing, while doing too much. A mess. Should have taken a nap.
My truest of pieces, and peaces.
with two moody and excessively hyper kids has this face.
And a beer.
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.
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.