2/10/19

Morning following morning of marathon that was only a half for my, my thoughts are on and in literature, writing, teaching self and being taught from experience.  I don’t see yesterday as a victory or a defeat, but a prime lesson.  Instruction on everything.

Morning with family.  Kids on couch with their mama, my over here at kitchen island, writing, in Kerouac’s novel, wanting more of what Sal did, what Dean did and thought he did.  In travel, in wine, in music.  The wine I had last night, bought with son at store.  Jack telling me we need to buy some wine so can “do some business” as he put it.  Everything I need for my Road, for my travels, here.

 

Mike thinks about his day off, what he wants from it, how to approach it.  Thoughts, everything in thought, what’s in his thinking and the ideas that pass that he won’t remember, that he won’t write down.  Mike Madigan, analyzing himself and what he does.  Wanting to feel what Sal and Dean did in the car, at the jazz clubs, at all the unexpected locations with new people they’ve only known for so long.  The reason and reasoning, thought and philosophy to everything from people at a house to beer and tacos, to the sound of cars being parked in a lot, crazily.

Mike forgot about Sausalito, about the marathon, about running altogether.  He thought about wine, again about self-publishing and wine, what to do from there.  New ways of approaching wine and teaching, books… Sedaris’ essays, Plath’s poems, Kerouac’s novel, Hughes and all his pieces.  Mike would re-read Road, note every sentence, including the first where the narrator lets readers know this is about him, Dean, how he felt right when he met Dean then onward into his life.  Mike has a son, daughter, since knowing them he sees the world with more reverence and hesitation—How does he live every moment as deeply as he can?  Why does he spend so much time thinking and overthinking rather than writing, living?  He didn’t have an answer.  Not this morning.  He wouldn’t.  He didn’t need one.  All he needs is them.  Those two.  Their mother.  The house.  Writing father seeking more reason and reasoning in everything, all that he does and what’s around him in his current scene and current.

Thought—everything in the appreciation of Now.

Living is literature, he finds.  He’s always know this and Mike has always seen wine as more a literary presence than some chemical or agro result.  Mike returns to wine, for this thought.  Sitting at the kitchen counter and looking over at the bottle of Grgich Merlot, ’14, that last night he explored and let speak to him.  He refused to let wine leave him, or him leave wine.  He’d write each sip, even if twelve essays or pieces or sketches came from the same bottle.  Wasn’t that the point?  Each sip, different.  Each second there is more in the jazz of what you poured.  Maybe this is the business little Kerouac was talking about, yesterday in the Oliver’s wine isle.

Wine speaks to Mike in a way it hasn’t, ever.  She tells him to move, move quicker.  Edit nothing.  Just express.  Self and the Now, thought and reasoning in what you sip, the appreciation of the Now… no going back, now.  The story is set.  Now he writes.. Several books.  With wine.  A marathon of book output, then another, then a marathon of written treks in the vineyard rows.  He sees it.  All.  All sips and steps.

$0 for lunch.

So that’s a victory, I guess.  Eating cheese and crackers I brought to work, at my desk.  Will spend my 30 minutes walking the vineyard, taking pictures.  If I would have gone to lunch with Collyn, I would have dropped at least $8 on something, a burrito, or sandwich at Dry Creek General, or something from that Thai place.  But I stood firm, no dollars dropped.

What am I looking for in the vineyard?  What kind of pictures do I want to pocket?  Don’t know.  Don’t want to plan, don’t want to promise self or readers anything.  Just walked in from a quick visit to the tasting room, where I sipped the ’14 Syrah from the property.  It’s certain, I have to one day have my own label.  Something small, 5,000 cases or less.  No distribution to stores, only some local and out-of-state restaurants.  So what am I looking for out in those Rhone blocks?  Some ideas for my winery, which I want to take shape in the next couple years.  Have my sister as a consultant, maybe, if she can.

These crackers, the string cheese, definitely embody a certain financial and economic triumph for the writer.  Taking $10 from my pocket, what I would have spent had I gone out, probably more had we gone to the Thai place, and placing it in a part of my wallet I designate for business cash.  Need to have this stash far away from the writer, maybe at Mom and Dad’s house.  Somewhere in my own home, maybe, where I’ll be sure to never touch it.  Maybe even indefinitely forget about it.  Ugh, ‘maybe maybe maybe’…  Just bloody do it, already!  Out of sight, but not forever out of mind, right?  There I go seeking validation again.

Taking another handful of crackers into my mouth, looking out the window, the glass of that door at my 12, seeing where I’ll walk but not what I’ll think.  The vineyard will tell me that.

When I am fully self-employed,

img_7859will I be scared?  I mean, will I totally just flip the fuck out, become some how manic, and maybe in a way that benefits me?  I hope so, ‘cause it’s been a struggle getting to that day, where I go to MY office for MY workday, talk to MY clients and just build MY brand.  And part of me feels like I’m already there, or just before that leap where I realize, “Okay, Mike, you’re on your own!” Great.  I think. Is it great?  If I dive into delirium like this so quick, there’s no way I’ll be “great”.

And, if I’m self-employed, like one of those one-man-band types, who’s HR?  If I have some kind of complaint, or am having a bad day and I think it’s task-related, to whom do I turn?  Know I’m overthinking everything at this stage and technically I haven’t really started.  Well, I’m trying with whole “word of mouth” and brand-building, jotting notes whenever an ideas lands in my head.  But, getting to that raving and rabid stage so soon… yeah, I need to calm down.

Somebody at one point told me running a business is always a farm— and there’s always tons of shit to shovel on a farm.  Not sure if I like the analogy, or am encouraged by it, but it tells me something.  That any preemptive angst or worry, or even the over-planning and overdose of thinking is understandable, just not needed.  Not helpful.  There is no textbook for this.  There is no template for this.  There’s no ‘thing’ for this, starting and running and later existing in self-sufficiency from your business, right?  And I’m seriously asking, ‘cause if you know I’d love it if you shared that book or pamphlet series with me.

I do want to know who HR is in my business.  I want to complain about the owner, how he’s always complaining, always whining that things aren’t happening fast enough for him.  Yeah, I’m confessing I’m impatient.  That stops with this article, okay?  So does any complaining.  Okay, so I AM HR…  Just build the story, take notes, be crazy with ideas, and I mean batshit creative-crazy with images and plans, the image you see the plans taking you.  I’m talking to myself, so you know, not trying to sound like some beetle-brained “guru” who only has such a title from self-knighting him or her self.

My office.  Well, I guess it’s right here, where I’m sitting at my current job, but in my head— yes, the office of this article’s sculptor is in his head.  He sees everything there.  The chalkboard is there, the war room is there, the steps that will get him to HIS workdays and HIS clients, HIS desk with HIS view, are all there.  That, I’m finding, is the solvent for attaining self-employment: knowing yourSELF, and that you decide to employ that SELF.  “Yeah,” I realize, “I AM already there.” It’s liberating, I’m finding.  No overthought required.  Just action.  Trusting your Self.  Now, no reason for complaints or doubt.  And, I’m not scared.  Not microscopically.

(10/21/16)

Like a challenge,

but not elementally.  What.. keeping self busy, dodging and scuffling with boredom at the desk.  Everything I had to do is done now I just sit here and think about my day off tomorrow, going to the raceway with Dad and my boy.  First time I’ve been, so I’m sure the inspiration will strangle me.  I’ll bring a notebook, and of course the phone, take pictures and videos.  This is just my usual blogger promissory note, wishlisting and imagining the day.  What I want, what I want…  What I’ll do, what I’ll do.  This is what happens at the desk, when you’re fatigued and nearing a bored creak.  So now what, back to looking at the clock–

Reader(s):  What do you do to get to 5?  Do you work at a desk?  Where do you find peace at work?  How do you deal with the stress of boredom?  (Did I mention the stress associated with boredom, above?  No… I should have.)  Boredom remedies, WHAT ARE YOURS?  I’m running out of mine…  HURRY!  Time is of florescent essence!!!

Dad a Day

Labor Day.  A day of no labor but lots, in the parental province.  Opened a bottle I technically shouldn’t have, I guess.  A Lancaster ’11, Nicole’s, but I’m utterly unconcerned as it was a day, with my son acting defiant as ever then sweet then separatist again, the to that apologetic and contrition-driven wee at whom we can’t be mad.  So I’m here on the floor as the writing father wondering what I could have done better or more efficient, or more parental to make the day go smoother.  No answer, poor yourself another glass.  It’s Labor Day, you should be relaxed, relaxing, not stressing or working but here you are writing your article after a day that’s divided your composition as a parent and writer.

The TV’s on and I’m for some reason watching those BRAVO Housewives shows.  Two locations, or casts.  I’m not this kind of parent, or as wild and divided as them.  And by divided I mean by what I say and what I actually enact in life.  This is Labor, watching this.  So why am I.  Good question.  More a statement than anything else, and that statement to myself is, again, don’t think as I do to a point of overthinking, to a point of depriving myself of enriching and encouraging gems.  To much labor bleeds out love.  And that’s not life, no life at all, but a dull stale crostini of an existence.  I turn off the TV, don’t even put any music on, and think more of the day.

Jackie must be merely testing, seeing what kind of voice he can have.  He’s smarter than us, I see now, testing his actions and internally graphing and tracking our reactions.  Pouring myself another glass after grasping my wife and I have been taken, duped, been puppets.  Oh, but we’ll learn from this, more than likely more her than I.  She’s much more efficient an internal educator, in this house, than her husband who can’t help but chuckle and bend over in giggle whenever he mocks us or does something clownish.  I need to work on that, I know.  More labor from me needed in the parental patch.  But, I can’t overthink it some tell me while others say I need to be more serious and think more about my presence in his, and his sister’s.

Wasn’t at either “work” today but I was on the clock from before seven this morrow all the way till about 90 minutes ago (just after 9PM).  With this quiet, I enjoy a vacation, but I’m thinking of what I can do to be more a steadfast and studious dad.  Overthinking?  Maybe.  But I don’t know what else to do.  I have to keep moving, and with another sip from this bottle I think I maybe shouldn’t have opened but “aged” a bit longer.  Who cares.  I’m being dramatic like those BRAVO twits.  So I stop.  Remind myself I’m Human, and thank this penner and the day for the day.  Have another abyssal englut, and stop thinking so much.

(9/5/16)

me:  5/13/16

“Invitation”

Realizing we’re the visible ripple of our decisions’ collective puddle.  That is, what we do and all decisions we make constitute our character.  Was just in line at Starbucks, feeling impatient and internally cursing the place and myself for it taking so long, “Why am I wasting my morning like this?” And all mirroring sentiments.  But then I saw, I chose to be there, in that line, spending my money on an overpriced drink when I could have just made coffee at home, blended in some chocolate, milk, whip, whatever.  This morning’s been that meditation I’ve needed all week, valuing what I elect, yes, but being careful with WHAT I elect.

At the end of the semester, time is a dish, a cake.  It has to be proportioned optimally, so we need to premeditate.  Time is sweet, complex and variable, and beautiful, but cruelly candid.  We have to measure, how big a piece to devote to one act, or another.  And, this is something I’m very much still learning.  If we’re to love every last drop of our lives we need to be in a position to do so.  The love won’t just precipitate.  We can’t expect.  We have to demand.  From ourselves.  It will take a while to perfect some pattern or practice, believe me I’m very much still working on mine, but it needs to start, somewhere.  We need to start somewhere if we’re to be seen as a collective body of thought and not just some haphazard ripple-set.

Okay, so simply:  THINK FIRST.  And take your time.  You only have one leap that’s a first leap.  All around me in this Starbucks, people are doing something.  Who knows if it’s something significant or story-shifting they’re engaged in, but it’s something.  I advise to myself, “Make all efforts story-changing.” Why not try?  Why not test ourselves, truly write our own stories and live just the way we want?  I see so many people dread the mornings, Mondays, Sunday evenings just embittered with the coming week.  What if we stop that, entirely and definitively?  Doesn’t even have to be a what-if…  It can just be.

Mistakes are likely, in fact they’re guaranteed.  But I believe they can be minimized greatly if we put ourselves in a role of aptitude, where we feel not just comfortable but illustratively confident.  Moving forward, only, as backward no longer exists in word nor concept.  Things have to be done differently, allow yourself to be addicted to the Newness.  What I elect, is adventure, the crazed and creative days, the madness that so many envy in others but can’t bring themselves to enact.  So here I go, into these final weeks of the semester.  Where are you?

Cruising through my Composition Book, notes from the past 17 weeks, and I’m reminded that time has no interest in waiting for me.  In fact, it appears to shine in its vindictive momentum, curt and cruel.  Aging us all, taking away time to work on writings, our projects for other classes.  Time is time, and it refuses.  It gifts little.  That’s why we should dart at the chance to gift ourselves.  With what?  New starts.  Newness itself.  Reminding ourselves we can have whatever we want, be it an ‘A’ in a class, a finished book, a trip to a distant part on the globe, to run a marathon, ANYTHING.  You have to elect it.  ELECT IT.  It’s more than possible, and if for some reason you think it’s not, try anyway!  Tell yourself it is, ‘cause time doesn’t give a shit.  It will just keep moving, that’s what these pages are telling me.  I find the first day of the semester:  “DAY 1 – SYLLABUS, INTRO THOUGHTS, QUESTIONS”.  That’s all.  Wish I had days that easy now, but here I am, here we are.  Closing the story that’s the semester.  What are you going to do in these final weeks to surprise yourself, gift yourself, to taste some pose of Newness you never thought you would?

Have to be at work at 10, need to stop by bank, which means I only have ten or twelve minutes left here.  See?  Time is tireless.  Just a bastard.  So we need to be tireless, just as relentless with it as it is always with us!  And, AGAIN, I’m not trying to come off as some wise writer or teacher, I’m still learning.  So in many ways this is just a morning meditation/affirmation I wanted to share.  Mind the clock, but ignore it at the same time.  New chapter, new role, new YOU.  Still looking through the ‘Comp’, notes to myself, to do things.  Wound up not fulfilling whatever I promised I do, with most of the margin jots.  That stops today, with this sitting, in this crowded and SLOW Starbucks.  I put myself here with intention, direction, solvent.

And now, questions for YOU:  What are you doing right now?  IS it getting you closer to what you want?  What is one new thing you want to try today?  Write it down.  Write it all down.  Keep a record of your progress, and be better about following-through (unlike me, but I’m trying alongside you).  What are your goals, ones that you know will be challenging and that you somewhat are skeptical you can attain?  And, what is the story you want to write and live?

Running out of time in this place, at this larger table that is usually always taken, that I never get to work at.  But today I do.  Just heard some lady say, “It’s Friday the 13th, and you know what that means…” I was like, to myself, ‘No, what does that mean?’ To me, it’s the first of the month, a new beginning, a new first page.  It’s Christmas, it’s my birthday, it’s New Year’s Eve, it’s Mardi Gras…  I’m not paying attention to the calendar or the clock. It, time, is whatever I want it to be.  This is my meditative morning and day, and I see more.  The Onus is mine, all mine, and I’m expecting nothing.  I DEMAND everything.

(5/13/16)

me:  4/25/16, continuation to conclusion

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Sipping a glass of the ’12 Taylor in my Passport glass.  Pain in right knee, and I’m pretty sure it’s from the long hours of the weekend, dashing back, forth, to bottles then to people sticking their glasses in the writer’s face.. me pouring, looking at the clock with everyone; R, C, M, D, all…  This Cabernet is telling me to let go, stop overthinking, stop thinking, and just write.  Don’t worry about the “theme” of your blog, the layout, any of that shit.  You’re a writer, not a web designer.. just write.  People will read—

And today I’ve decided, I need to sell Mon Petit Mise.  I need the money, and I’m tired of not making money, with as much as I write, type, sip and scribble, everything in effort.  Too quiet in this A-Walk Studio, making the writer uncomfortable.  Don’t want little Emma to wake, nor little Kerouac.  Been quite a night, I have to say, with Emma nearly inconsolable from exhaustion and Jackie sad and a bit dismissed from me having to help Alice with the weeping petit…  I deserve this glass.  And possibly one more after.

The quiet I experience now, and feel around me— this Zen, more depth and direction than the adjunct cell.

Going to kitchen to pour one more Taylor, then return here to desk and just enjoy the quiet, I may not even write.  I may not read, nor finish this post— I might NOT read.  But just meditate with Cabernet.  Feel like she and I haven’t had a conversation in some time, a meaningful one—  Back, and already sip one from glass last.  This morning in English 5, students read crEATive work.. one, ’N’, read a poem which was witty, cheery but critical and deconstructive, while another just read a collection of sayings and dialogues she’s captured over the semester.  I’ve this before noted, but:  I NEED TO BE MORE A STUDENT THAN PROF’!  With my eagerness and assignments, deadlines, printed pages, experimentation with words and scenes, the pathos formed in a page’s progression and contribution to larger work.  I’m a student.  Not an instructor.  Listening to the full-timers talk in the halls and talk to each other, their know-everything octave.. makes me sick.  I’m open about my dominant desire to learn, and my tiny-ing urge to “teach”.

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This desk, my island, inlet, enclave, reflective farm, my most known Road.  The wine now laps me with concentration, tells me to hurry up but I yell back at it from my inaudible roar, “I can’t!  I’m talking with [meaning ‘drinking’] you!”  Wine still fascinates me with what it does and how it grows and expands and tells me in my writing to move certain ways; ow we skirmish and collaborate, collude then collide.  Wine will be nothing more than fun, a fractionally serious saunter.

READERS:  Do you drink wine?  And if you do.. what does it say to you?  Try to personify it, give it a voice, a tonality and disposition.