from a journal

12/3/18

So this morning my devilish laptop decides to work.  Part of me incensed and the other joyous.  I’ll take the joyous.  Going to take it in, anyhow.  Then to bank, then, by THEN, I should be run-ready.  Not sure where I am in the marathon countdown, but I’m sure close enough to frighten me or at least get me a bit edgy.  Jazz on, music the whole way here from Starbucks, getting a 4-shot mocha (that kind of morrow) and blueberry scone which they were slow to give me and when I brought it up to the ponytailed barista after she asked me a bit drained and feigned what my name was and what I was waiting for, was told there are a lot of food items that were ordered and had to be heated.  “That’s why.” She made a point to say.  I nodded.  When the scone was handed to me, unheated.  I left, not so much laughing on my way back to the over-mileage’d Prius but thinking I need intensify what I’m putting into this day, this Monday.  Music, much of what I do and how I see things.  “They Can’t Take That Away From Me”, a track featuring Coltrane and shoving me this way, then that, and I’m present, very much present at this counter, 08:50.  Should get going to the laptop repair joint.  So if he, Phil, nice guy whom I always seek when it comes to fixing this goddamn thing for whatever reason, takes the monster from me, how will I type?  Oh… use the office computer as I did yester’.  Sometimes when life changes the Road’s contour, you have to follow and drive as it instructs, implementing your own creative code and composition while along.

Bite of scone.  Tempted to heat it, but why.  Surprised the laptop cooperates this morning.  Last night Jackie grabbing my phone and pushing the blog shortcut on the home screen, trying to read what he could, saying “Daddy you’re a really good writer.” How he sees me.  Intensify, amplify, self-codify in this blogger way and practice, habit, maintains the habit and practice, my Craft each morning.  Day young, crumbling scone, mocha not losing a significant level of its temperature level.

Yesterday wine tasting on Olivet Road, looking at the vineyards and in the tasting room tasting through what I did, wine speaking to me.  Take a closer more analytical lean and approach, approach then lean to life and the wines in front of you that ONLY speak life’s language.  Thought in what’s present, what’s caught, what is not what’s not. 

I’m writing for my life, just before 40.  I’m going into 40 with more thought than I ever have, certainly more urgency but more command of Day, this day and the ones in succession.  Wine has always done that, even when I had no idea what the hell I was sipping in my San Ramon apartment.  Just buying that Merlot, 2000 from Blackstone, California AVA tag, and feeling something.  Not a buzz.  In fact that first night with the friend over I think I only had a glass and a half, if I remember right.  IT was the form of the wine, the voices inside, the music.  It was all music.  I wasn’t into jazz then as I am now, but there was immediate jazz in the introduction to the light Bordeaux’s vocals.

Scone nearly gone and continues to crumble to that little paper bag they put it.  I’m not a breakfast bloke.  At all.  But this morning it just sounded good.  I’m operating madly today, on whim more than pragmatics or forecasting, any prediction or plan for the day.  I’m more mad in this paragraph stray, wanting adventure of some latitude in this way, day.  This day, mine, in all its chords and chimes.  Telling Self this is my only job.  Writing.  Capturing where I am and what I’m doing, here in kitchen with a finally-quiet house, writing daddy enjoying his caffeine and dreams.  Models presented in head, of our next house, runs on coast, flight to Germany or Austria to taste wines and write about the towns I visit.  How to do….  There is no “how to”.  There’s just the DO.  As I see it now, this morning.  I’m quiet frankly tired of dreaming and thinking, envisioning, seeing, painting some illustration or convenient scene in cognition.  Now, actuation’s my only deliberation.  And I don’t deliberate excessively.  I’m moving, moving is the opiate.  Should go soon, to Phil, find out why this goddamn device keeps giving me that keyboard warning, or stall, saying it can’t find a keyboard through the bluetooth function but there’s a fucking keyboard RIGHT HERE.  Attached to the bloody device.  Can’t you see that, monster?  Feel like yelling that here in the ditch but what would that do.

Wife texts me “Hi”.  Should reply.  But I can’t stop typing.  Feels more than good.  Writing for me isn’t writing, it’s not fucking “therapy” as some say, and I hate when people just pin writing as a therapeutic act, like that’s all it is….  It’s something, something.  I don’t know what.  Wine again speaking to me… those DeLoach Pinots, and the two Chardonnays.  I need to travel, I need write about, out, everywhere to understand wine and Self, this, life, why I’m here and where and what the writer’s meant to do with where he is.

New track.  JM’s Dream Doll by Mal Waldron.  Moody, slow, atmospheric and curiously haunting.  I’m in its notes and in line with the track’s progression.  I need produce a track a day, I said to myself while on San Miguel.  Will record when this note’s done.  Is it done, now?  Maybe this is the track, my track for the morning and the day, Monday, the week and for whatever I need.  Taking a break from the mocha as this writer already feels its gnarl and snarl.  Slowing with the sips.  Where’s my copy of Road?  Wanted to re-read it, on my own onus and timeline.  Just me on my Road, what I observe in Kerouac’s work and others.  Make time for reading today, I order Self.  Done.  Decreed.  Now, I for errands flee.

Technology not cooperating.

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…..

12/2/18

10:45

Getting a bit tired.  Sore from yesterday’s run, but I’d better get over it if I plan on that marathon in February.  “Plan”?  No planning.  No more.  Already registered so it’s going down, do note.  Cold in house, and I write on.  What else can I do to get closer to my office?  Again my head goes into drive mode, go photograph vineyard but then I ask for what, what project will it contribute to?

Breakfast?  Maybe some eggs, hash browns or something from Piner?  Have to keep moving… no deliberation, no more meditation, no thinking.  Just movement.  Razor thin budget for week.  Living from the change I have gathered.  Less coffee buys from JC cafeteria.  So, gas then… sorry for the money mumbles, but I’m going a mile or more a minute.

Timelines in place.  Feeling ahead of schedule.  Or at very least a bit accomplished.  Take a breath.  As Mom sometimes advises, “Put the pen down.” What if I can’t, I wonder.  What if I need to keep working?  What if you’re addicted to words, Mike?  Stirring upheaval in my senses and character, but I can use this.  I know I can.  How.  Just keep producing, moving, actuating.

10:39 and I’m still on couch, using this new table that we just bought at Ashely’s, and writing.  Words.  The proliferation of my Personhood, my story.  I do need a drive.  I need coffee or a, better, bottled water some some random spot.  Everything’s writable, everything contributes to story.

I’m going to amplify my ideas and offering of ideas that I know are healthy and of some avail and advantage.  That will be ME, for the rest of my working life.  Going into 40.  Fuck… oh well.  No stopping it.  I have to fight by not fighting and embracing, the simplicity in the richness of simplicity.  Don’t overcomplicated, as then you only oscillate.

Didn’t get to writing the essay I wanted to over lunch, but not a big concern.  Didn’t go out to eat, which was a larger forward step.  And now, in one of the writing pods, points and spots of collection for me.  Too cold and uncomfortable in the break room for any reasonable or useful writing.

Sonic teaches me to monitor my progress, to self-educate more and self-teach, or even as much I don’t particularly like the word, coach self.  Didn’t get to write 1,000 word essay on the Kerouac climbing mountain quote, but I use the time I can after eating those two microwave burritos.  Not an exciting lunch by anyone’s standards, think it’s safe to say.  Track goals, coaching of self, education and lectures, repeat repeat repeat.

Little over 30 minutes.  All to self.   In this chair.  And I’m collected and composed, in my aims.  Not so much goals.  Not a fan of that word, either.  Aims.  Visions I’m convinced will become material and real.  Comfortable in this chair.  May need more coffee when back at desk.  Not focusing on time anymore, or what I should write.  I know this all returns and re-connects in some sort of audibility to wine.  Last night’s Pinot made by parents’ neighbor, can’t recount his name, but I remember not caring for him too much so when I saw the unlabeled bottle on their counter last night before dinner, that simply read “2015 PN”, I asked what it was.  They told me, his Pinot.  I poured some, not wanting to like it but I did and Dad let me take the rest home.  Once home and after kids were put to bed a little too late, I poured a full glass.  More expression and lesson in her laps.  The wine wanted me to pay attention to the Now and not think about the work week ahead.  To stand there, sipping, thinking of music, jazz or that slow chill ambient station, the one I associate with a play list you’d hear in a wine bar.  My wine bar.  Now in this chair, taste it again.  The wine, the kitchen, the outside air horrid as it might hang.

I repeat my wine words and thoughts and wishes, yesterday in the vineyard and my new wine column ‘vino dharma’, my visit the other day to Stonestreet.  Adhered to wine, thoughts and dream about full glasses and bottles on racks, travels to any country where I can taste and write about what’s sipped or spit.  Conversations with winemakers and farmers, owners and those that just know the history of where they work to some unusual and admirably obsessive condition.

Aim, writing, till I leave at 4:30— Wine sentences.  Not so much descriptive ones, but a wine sentence, of any kind or core.  Any wine sentence, of any kind.  For what, I don’t know.  I have enough to finish my book, or any number of books as I wish with all my observations, in and out of the wine world, or its industry.  But I want to focus on wine, what people say and what I say, people I meet for the first time in a tasting room like yesterday that guy from Boston.

More stories, on their way.  20 minutes left on this “lunch”, and I’m an eager storm of saying, observations, wanting to have all wine anythings bound.  Don’t even need to sell them, just give them away.  Wait, is that a smart marketing plan?  Do I need a marketing plan, or some sort of sales map?  Another aim, perhaps.  That.

11/19/18

A Cytological

img_8622
35th Avenue, San Francisco

A beer, and some quiet.  After today, which wasn’t bad, or a blah-day, just odd, I need this.  I need this time for ME.  I need collection, thinking about what I was thinking about this morning.  All that “thinking”, definitely overthought.  Has to stop.  Wasn’t going to take bag to work today but of course I did.

I literally can’t decide what to write about.  I hate this feeling.  Catch self…. Not liking reading ways, or writing, so I re-instruct the one now penning.  What I just wrote in journal.  And that’s another thing, no more ‘I’.  Starting to loathe that letter and word.  So, over again.  Back to school.  More education.  Exploring language and how it’s on pages composed.  That’s another thing, no more ‘me’ or ‘my’ or ‘mine’.  Wanting these pages to be about readers, YOU right now reading if anyone’s reading.  Taking writing away from author and with more consideration of reader, seeing now here in kitchen.  Quiet, just jazz… Mr. Coltrane speaking in octaves perfect in pairing with this beer.  Wine next, the Cab last night popped.

Free in the moment, in present education.  Hoping to wake early and jump to gym for running on belt, but feeling’s though this could be a night for writing.  A night for assembling new curriculum, new sights and ideas for education, ideas offered, building not so much a brand but a story, a new identity and if not one new then one re-written.

Knowing just what to write.  Taking ‘I’ away.  Not even so much about you, reader, all respect meant, sent.  This page and all following about the idea itself.  Thinking… decisions that turn your vehicle, that shift and shape your voyage and trek.  In traveling from page to page, writing to writing, observations and rooms, new instruction and curriculum if you will, need to travel light intensifies.  More than before in before-pages.  Learning from today, to plan ahead and not pressure character if something doesn’t align with the envisioned.  Life is a circle, then a triangle, then something of square-semblance, and after undefined.  Present at this counter, going over day, from the morning meeting with T, to the drive to SF, to the hike south on 35th, to my meditation on 35th and Vicente, to the drive back battling traffic and seeing all those faces in the lane left and right, and in 6-facing mirror, wondering what their day said to them, where they’re going. 

Taking focus away from he in this seat, and seeing all around me.  My neighbors, the people with whom I work, Mom Dad, winemaking sister, this beer bottle, kids cups just behind this laptop, journal and pen.. scene, scenes, interpretations, days, weeks, year ending.  Just remembered, a 30-day project or challenge still progressed.  Day 19, just learned.  What’s wanted?  Hmmm…. Not sure.  Read with more strength and excavating traits.  Writing, same.  In class.  Only one.  All this still, music, time to seat, self.  Something repaired, cured.  Now, new advance, or forward, instruction, induction… not-so-subtle deduction.

(11/7/18)

11/6/18

Coffey Park, Santa Rosa

Day’s end.  Wine of course.  A Cab I bought the other day at Bottle Barn, and feeling scattered, like not like a writer at all.  This feeling more loathed by me than I think anything.  Called in English 1A tonight, stuck in traffic on way back from city.  Traffic of course in Novato, the “narrows”, and then on Stony Point in Rohnert Park/Santa Rosa, which was a bit of a shock.  I cam home feeling deflated and defeated.

Waking tomorrow morning early.  Not for gym, not to run like a weirdo on the treadmill for 9 miles or a bit more, less, or something around the 9 I always shoot for.  But to write. And, honestly, not even to write.  To be with ME.  To have time for me, which IS what I hold and profess now on the floor of this Autumn Walk Studio, but perfecting my writing self. Tonight and tomorrow.

Anymore I’m finding these moods I get in quite funny.  I’m laughing at myself.  Like I said in class last night, that’s healthy.  It’s certainly more healthy and elevating than the person unable to laugh at themselves from time to time.  I refocus on the wine.  AV Cab, one I’ve never had before.  Honestly I’m not moved.  I’m not taught.  I’m not caught.  I’m not anything after sipping it.  Been a while since I’ve had a wine that’s contributed to my story, my character, my There, then. 

Night ending, and I want blood… other writers to battle.  Like Hemingway with gloves on, or off.  It doesn’t matter.  This sport, not a sport, but a profession, lifelong night-song lesson.  Day teaching me about sentences, how they present on page, and the wine orders me to listen, with more careful cursor and fervor.  Tomorrow morning, writing about 4am, what it does and how it feels, what I have to say in that hour— Have I made my coffee, yet?