from a journal

On a day off.  One lazy.  Now with some time to self and some Sauvignon Blanc poured, I think of the week ahead of me even though I don’t want to.  And the semester I won’t teach this summer.  Or the semester I won’t teach at the JC.  Choosing to write in complete silence, or to just kitchen sounds.  And for what… don’t know.  Just to write.

Told Alice earlier that I may be tiring of Sonoma County, of Santa Rosa.  So then what.  Don’t know.  Want to follow wine to some other place and shape.  Where.  Of course this writer’s mind goes to Monterey.  Teaching at the university, possibly, or one of the something like five community colleges down there.  Just thinking of course, but this time aloud and to Alice.  Mother of my little beats.

Again taking out Didion’s Magical Thinking ms and thinking of making it a reading assignment for me.  Put self back in school.  Learn how to do all this over, all over, again.  Be a student, have a devoted collection and stack of pages.  This day off I’ve been only twirled and twisted in thought, thoughts.  40…. Challenging self to challenge self more.  My life changed on the 29th, and then the other night with everyone here “celebrating” my birthday.  Why am I phrasing such in such a way, just where my mind is.

I re-focus and situate on the wine, this Sauvignon Blanc my sister made.  At first a but herbal and grapefruit tilted but now with more harmony and love-yell.  The wine reminds me to focus more on her, on all wines and songs that are said and singing to me in a moment.  Quiet house, me and wine, we talking.  Again, no music, just the ebb and pulse and poetry of our personalities, intermingling and interchanging the changing scenes of life and the Now.  While Alice and I walked around Spring Lake earlier I saw me at some beach café in Monterey or Pacific Grove and working on some book on wine.  On what.  The tasting room, walking the vineyard as I always do, meeting people from wherever and they commenting on my “impassioned speech on terroir” as one guy put it yesterday.  Everything wine.  Everything wined in all days, down there, by Monterey.  I see my writing spot, and I think SINGULARITY.  And then, wake up earlier!  Yelling to self before another sip, the SB now taking on more a vanilla or cream or soft silky melon-meant voice.  Not sure how to explain it.. but the shift in narrative for the wine is there. And who knows if my sister meant for this to happen.

After 4 in this day, this day that’s by all frames and decisions mine and for what I want to do, but wine has other ideas.  Taking last sip and putting plastic stemless bowl back to tile and me stopping.  What do I want, what do I really want to do as that one tasting room manager urged me to consider and meditate as he dismissed me from duty.  Something for which I was and am SO grateful.  So what do I do.  What does wine want?  As Joan cited, life can change and stop in a blink, a breath, an instant, a turn.  Turning to what, I don’t know.  I just know I have to perpetuate some peregrination of self, of me, who I think I am or want to be.

From left eye’s left corner, I see some table cover, one thin and paper and screaming 40 YEARS or something flaps and moves up and down.  I know, I know… I need move faster.  Holy fuck, I’m forty.  The SB calls me from the counter over there by the coffee maker.  Another, think more about Monterey, extend days by waking earlier so when you walk into that office you have no “expectations” as everything you wanted to do with the day you’ve already done.  Write.. Write MORE.

6/3/19

 

5/31/19

Learning that there are not many places to take my teaching practice.  The only option, truly, is to start a school or some writing and reading camp or cove of my own.  This morning my meditation is curved, or cracked, something.  Mood, off.  Writing yesterday but only in Kerouac journal, at lunch.  Today, cannot let self eat out.  Need to work.  Plan for this writing seminar or set of seminars I want to teach.

Putting everything into this new education project.  And I’m not touting or boasting, advertising that I’m some writing and reading expert.  But, I have taught for a bit now, and have ideas to share.  Anymore that’s what teachers should incorporate into their classroom presence, that they’re sharing ideas and not telling students what to do.  Self-discovery, yes, but just following thought pursuit, Human curiosity.  Wondering why so many that are technically teachers want to be the one in charge, the one with all the answers rather than practice understatedness in their statements and lectures.

Made a couple more additions to document.  My character evens, balances, rights itself.  Educating self through this Now, this experience, this breath and intersection of intention and realization.  Telling self that knowledge is where I am, where I’ll forever be.  Remembering everything taught by Dad, Bob Coleman, and only a handful of instructors that contributed something true and truthful to my story.

Music in everything.  Even the time, much I loathe it.  8:33…. Only aim for today, points of learning, education, where I learn and ideas I want to, WILL, share with students, anyone taking one of my online courses or seminars.

Journal writing… Wrote one point for class.  Keep self in learning mode, more than teaching.  Reject teacher moniker, embrace the book carrier, pen mover, class to class goer.

 

Breaking from work for a bit.  Need cereal. Need more coffee.  And, notes.  More notes.  Studying what I do here as a Field Sales Supervisor.  I’ll be honest, I detest the word, supervisor.  I’m proud of my position, I guess, but more so proud of being a part of this.  Everything here.  All the facets and dimensions, atmosphere and narrative nuances of this building, this business.

This morning has been especially meditative for me.  More than others.  Maybe more than any other since working here, I’m pretty sure.

I don’t deconstruct it, or analysis it at all, very much, no not at all. I just keep self moving, keep studying where I am, this building, the idea of speaking in “the Field” about what we have here.

One segment of erudition in this, is THIS.  The idea, the fact that all this precipitates from an idea.

Today I examine all ideas, write them all, no matter how silly or unrelated to anything here or with me… written.

More than a supervisor, today, I am a STUDENT.

2/21/19

Santa Rosa, Ca.  East Wind Bakery.

Feeling the ten miles.  Already finished a 4-shot latte so no caffeine ordered here.  Surprised I made myself actually do it, order a bottle of water.  Going into work later, close to 11.  Brentwood again, and again tomorrow, day next, and next week.  Which I don’t mind, at all really.  Love the quiet, and frankly it’s a transition welcoming and welcomed, easing and eased after so much time in the city.

Not my first time writing here, but my first morning typed sitting like this, first time when I’ve had to go in late and decided to locate here.  Can smell the pastries, croissants, muffins and cakes, espresso and coffee, and I’m tempted but won’t answer.

Last night’s talk with 100 class throwing new momentum at me and me the same with and at it.  Talked about narrative, closed my section on Sedaris and began speaking on Hemingway, how he narrates.  Shit, looked in bag for my copy of Feast but not there.  Think I took it out last night or this morning, put on desk in home “office”.

Studying how I made this morning happen, how I woke at four and drove to gym incredibly and surprisingly awake and ready to run.  Bed early, last night.  Ate lite dinner on campus—ham sandwich on whole wheat, no cheese, bottled water and plain Sun Chips.  And at work, light snacks throughout day and leftover quesadilla pieces.  Planning on waking tomorrow to write, 4am… want to write the book on waking early, at my time at 4am but I understand and wholly, perceptively appreciate that not everyone has such as their time.  Be it 5 or 6, or even 7, it’s attainable, more than attainable, with the proper preceding practice and habit. Then, maintain the habit and practice.  What writing is, or what Hem’ has me seeing I need do, with discipline and general written way, principles.

 

1/6/19

Been writing in more than one place for the ’19 story.  Oh well I say to myself with another glass of sparkling, Jackie over there playing on the tablet my mom and dad bought him this past xmas.  Nothing I’m writing lately I’m liking.  Certainly not loving.  So what’s the bandage for that?  One part of me says just write free, with less shackle and inner-hassle.  What’s that mean I don’t know so I re-focus on Jack.  The day he and I have had, his sister too.  She now off with wife and wife’s friend and wife’s friend’s daughter to Target to get who knows what.  Kerouac has some inner dialogue with himself regarding the game, if it’s a game or some scholastic, learning program…. “Jack, what are you doing?  What are you playing with?” He gives a bit of a mumble but I’m not convinced that was directed at me.  He goes back to doing that, whatever that is.  He rests the right side of his face in his right palm, right elbow on right inner-thigh as he sits on floor, legs crossed and lightly locked.  We just spent the past couple hours watching football.  Playoffs.  Or postseason.  Chicago versus Eagles, in Chicago.  Eagles pulled it by a point.  Just one.  I of course was on CHI’s side for various reasons—none of which I’ve told you so I guess I shouldn’t write “of course”—and so was Jack.  Both us disappointed in the result.  But we move on.  He with his game, or learning program, me with words and this morning before our together time, and time with his sister, a 7-mile run which I now feel.

Hoping to get some reading in, tonight.  Hemingway, Coelho, Plath, Hughes….  Not sure I’ll touch all four books, but one of them I’m rather confident.  Need to write more poetry, read Hughes more, and other poets like Cummings, Plath of course, Yeats, and from that collection of several poets I was gifted years ago.  Today teaches me to not work against existing momentum, ever.  What you want to do with the day is one matter, what you’re able to do and what you can do with what is present is quite another write.

Writing everything down….  Jack, quite poised and careful how he touches that screen. Face Ibn right palm, again.  He says nothing to me on his own, and I don’t want to break his connection to his current action so I just push these buttons while I look at him.  My little boy who daily loses his littleness to time— Time, that fucking animal, devouring all of us as a matter of duty and functionality, normalcy.  Why I deplore normalcy, the patterns.  The expected.  The unavoidable tumult of the clock.  I look at reflection, mine, and can see changes in my face, around the mouth and eyes.  Forty this year— fuck.  Have I lost some of my awareness and writing ability?  Am I starting to fade?  Looking over at little Kerouac, my little beat.  He’ll keep me young.  His sister, too.

Three days left in year.  Today counted.  Coffee in nook at work.  Break before work, or work before work depending on how it’s looked at.  As I noted yesterday, again I caved, having lunch at a nice spot actually on I believe 4th and Balboa— sorry, 5th and Balboa.  Don’t regret the chicken sandwich and fries I had with co-workers, friends.  But I should have gone to café.  Of course today I set out for same, but I dismiss the dilemma and set self in now where I’m set in this nook, at this new table and chair, writing spot for a writer going into a new year, on his second cup, made in the back office where you proceed down a somewhat sizable hall with glass offices on either side, then that one magical room with the coffee.

Phone, journal on desk, or table, right now it’s my desk or that’s what I have self convinced of.  Writing meditation, the morning, Saturday, next three days off with the new year cartwheeling toward my pages.  Not only learning, I always say that— but instructed by the intersection of one year, then another.  Me growing in story and character… we all grow, or don’t.  That’s a decision.  Yesterday at California and 7th, “Not everyday’s a treasure chest but work feverishly to get what you get.” Jotted before crossing street to next block where reps were speaking to people at their doors, remembering Plath’s words in Bell Jar chanting ‘I am I am I am’ in every street pavement square and at every stoplight. 

Music in everything.  If we don’t see IT that way, then we’re only living, going to work then coming home and sleeping.  The worker shouldn’t see work as work— they shouldn’t work, they should be passion explorers, and if they don’t like their job, their “work”, make it something’s that not only liked but layered in love, loved.

12/16/18

Semester ending this week.  English 100 tomorrow.  End of weekend, and so what it doesn’t matter I’ve been working at, away at, some project Friday and yesterday anyway.  Now, before bed, I’m seeing my office as more than mandated and decreed now, since today on an errand with little Kerouac telling him that one day I’ll have—one day soon—my own office and he can come play video games and help daddy tell stories.  This is all a story, I’ve always known but today spending as much time with little Kerouac and Ms. Austen as I did I see my narrative in more fixed amenity.  Being taught by them and by the day.

On new couch, writing for first time, jazz, one more beer….  4am again targeted.  If I do rise and fly when alarm cries, go straight to the coffee I made… that’ll help the writer be brighter.

Home from Katie’s, only having a sip of a wine I’ve never had… not telling me much but the thoughts go everywhere with its everything.  Notes and random chord changes, like this track, “Big Paul” by Burrell and Coltrane.  Everything explained…

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

Again catching self in an overthinking maelstrom

I leave the house.  Come to downtown Santa Rosa, to Beer Baron.  A place I’ve only been once.  Ordered a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, one I’ve never had before and don’t think beyond that.  Just enjoying this whim, this sudden cruise downtown.  Not sure where the direction of the writing’s going, and I don’t need know.  To the characters I was thinking of in the tasting room.  Yes…. The two that are behind the bar and want to get out of the industry, starting their own wine gallery.  That’s what they call it at first…. I came here just for this, for new ideas and brainstorming, not be at the drawing board but to draw a board of ideas.

All this before class.  All of it, of this, my new stories and wine thoughts, wines I’ve tasted recently, yesterday with the St. Francis Chardonnay then some Kobler Viognier when home.  Everything in the pages, on them, constituting them.

This place, a serious bar more than a restaurant or any wine bar I could see myself opening.  Earlier thinking of self as failed in some wine aims and dreams.  As the waitress just now puts down the glass, I find I’m not in any way “failed”.  Have I even really started?  What if this could be my office, everyday, I think.  Come here and work from noon to whenever.  Why not.

I stare at the Sauvignon Blanc for a bit before smelling it, and much before tasting.  I let it be a symbol, a reminder of wine’s life in my life, its presence and my past and present, all futures.  I won’t let self take a sip just yet, but rather draw my characters at their winery, at day’s end, having a glass of Pinot on the patio. They talk about just going for it.  Saving whatever they have saved and putting it into some wine business.  A brokerage, they think.

But then I as the writer put the idea on hold and think of how I’ll approach them, this story.  Their stories.  The wine story coupled with their stories and mine.  I stop everything and focus on them, Jane and Elly.  Jane out from somewhere in the midwest, always wanting to work in the wine industry, years ago and now here and tired of being tasting room locked.  Elly, from San Francisco leaving her corporate corner to be in wine’s everything.  She’s worked two harvests, then to tasting room as production for some reason just wasn’t her thing.  She knew why, and didn’t know why.  She loves the winemaking process of course and everything that goes into harvesting and fermentation, barreling-down lots and pressing, even the shoveling of tanks.  But the people in the tasting room and the words they’d say, the interactions with people, called to her and wouldn’t let her ignore.

I take my first sip of the SB and focus on me writing, what brought me here.  Then the two characters.  What we all have in common.  They of course, or maybe not so obviously younger than me.  I keep writing.  Till this is the ONLY thing I do.  Writing about writing and people and what they do for work. How work and our jobs, labor, determines so much of our character and how we estimate the world around us.

Think today is the day I finally killed overthought.  I’m not editing, or measuring, forecasting or worrying about how anything I write, type, is perceived.  I’m just moving and not allowing any stationary sets for this writer or any of his characters.  The two girls start a website, for anyone coming to wine country.  They see themselves as fashionable intel, something to make people more pleased with their choice to come to Sonoma County much the way I’m please with my election to come here and write.  Relax before class.  See me in business with son and daughter, eventually.  I quit the wine industry but am very much back in it on my own accord and set of terms, rules, and I guess some regulatory rattle.

Second sip.  Such real and truthful tropical body and bravado.  Nothing invasive or excessively aggressive.  This is a character that has me more into my characters and these new characters I’m writing.  I return to them and what they want, what would make them happy, what in wine they want to grow toward.  What do I want to be, grow toward.  Wine, travel, speaking on wine both metaphorically and immediately.  Tonight, open something new.  Study it. Let wine dictate my own fate, give me direction and more introspection.  Tempted to take the night off from class.  No.  Use it as speaking practice.  Not practice at all, the second sip says, and I sipped minutes ago.  Can still feel that tropical shock and rush, set of steps. 

I pick up the glass and nose what remains, which is a good two sips I’m guessing.  40 next year.  That’s where my head is.  And then what.  Maybe I’ve overthinking that as well.  Sure I am.  Look at the wine, focus on it… wine writer and journalist, one who actually writes and journals and doesn’t just take a blare of ridiculous shots of himself and other wine “experts” or “writers”.  Glass up again, sip….  Follow the stories, MY story.  Don’t think at all.  Just write.  What I tell the students, every semester.

Talking about writing, tonight. That’s it.  Beyond simple argument, or any attempt to persuade which was the chapter they had to read in that “Prose Reader”.  Or maybe that’s singularly what I should discuss.  I think about taking notes, but the wine says no.  Be in the moment.  Or be above the moment, flying and hovering above simple time and whatever that clock reads, dictates.

Finding that when you write down ideas, they speak back.  They instruct you on possibility and presence.  They talk back, love back, write back.  Thank fun to the Story, and everything, LIFE, for today.  For the embrace and blind subscription to whim.  To not sink into overthink.  To blog and jot against any overthought.

With he glass done, I slow.  Thank of the walk yesterday with my son in the vineyard and showing him the remaining clusters on the canes.  I had him taste a couple….  I thought of us, in business, how our visions of our company will differ and will be surprisingly in some places identical.  All this from wine.  Thinking of wine, living wine, writing wine.  Wine writing me, since my first day in the St. Francis tasting room, 2006.

10/22/18

As someone who obsesses over work,

and what work he has to do, what I have planned the next day and the remaining hours of this day, I am honestly with nothing.  But I make myself write.  One student tonight saying one of her goals is, was, is to wake at 2am to get ahead in her studies and I assume write a little as she does write poetry and write in short lines, short stanzas, pieces that span only a page.  And I say ‘only’ out of awe, that she does so much to a page in only a page’s pulse.

Was nearly too lazy to write anything tonight.  Told self, “Just a hundred words, per blog.” But I can’t hold self to that.  Should I do what this student plans on doing?  Should I set alarm for 2?  Isn’t that the time of the artist, the writer and poet?  Didn’t I read that somewhere?  On my lunch today grading papers and writing in the Sonic journal as this goddamn laptop didn’t want to let me use it.  Of course, now, I do push the buttons and have a note in my writing normalcy.

Finish the fucking book, I tell myself.  Like my son said tonight as I poised to make his bed with new sheets, “GET TO WORK.” I am.  I say the same to self.  

Sip the Barbera I popped last night. It, she, more calm.  Me the opposite of anything tranquil at the moment.  Working in the home office which isn’t as common as I’d love to tell you it is.  But, WORK.  Work.  What I write about.  Force self to write when I don’t want to.  I do write about wine, but that’s not my only onus and thought light.

Now, I’m like a train with this, these writing thoughts.  I, not failed.  Not failing in my aims.  I won’t allow that.  No one should.  Why would you.  You are here, once.  And I’m not addressing the fact one only lives once…. I’m speaking to myself and you, that where you are, right now, the opportunity and life invitation to bring a project to completion is singular.  You see it once.

You are a train, if you wish be.  Some unknown animal of fruition, bringing works to an offering stage.  There are only stops that persist acknowledged.  So acknowledge none of them.  I see so many of these speakers and motivational-who-be’s profess all this counsel but don’t consider the most apparent reality… the audience member has to decide.  They only elect to act if they bring themselves to movement.  Tonight I could have just as easily poured this red from El Dorado, sat on the floor of this home study, went on phone and scrolled through some photo pour.  No.  We decide to draw, paint new plausible for our Personhood.  Decide to move, be alive, mentally, alive, wildly alive in all movements of your steps and actuating saunter. 

What work does for and to the character is animated in divinely lucrative chant.  Dodge the task, never.  Distractions and suitable sanctions to project-dodge are terminal.  The panacea, always, is preemptive production.  Never, labor deduction. 

10/15/18