For class, reading. Writing. The journal. Open mic, but for something else. I want tonight to be reflective of my mood toward the academic institution, but with kindness. A dose of defiance. I have no class for Fall and I don’t know if I would take one were I offered one. After today’s talk on Kerouac, I feel more self-sufficient, -reliant. I don’t want to need them. Then don’t, I tell self. My thoughts on it all are non-thoughts. But one. It’s time to move on. It’s time to test self, teach independently, be free of the composition confines of a campus classroom.
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.
Start your story and day’s page!!
On campus. Took nap before coming here, after getting some takeout brunch for self from Piner. Was in a bit of a mood knot so I said “NOT” to self and went to get an omelette. Regret a bit the nap, but I feel enlivened. More than that, I feel snappy, with an unusual bit of comedic pep. Am I prepped for class? Not really. And who cares. How I’m dealing with these mood knots, now, going forward, my truest of true business plans if you would, just laughing at them. Laughing at myself. What do I have to be in a mood over. Really. Nothing…. Here over 90 minutes before class and plan on using every ounce of it for writing. For words. Oh, ‘nother nice thing, little treat for self was gift to book store. Bought copy of Castle and the David Sedaris Diaries that came out fairly recently think.
Devoting life to essay, essay writing, essay philosophy and practice, the habit of that practice and how I, we, maintain such as essay writers. Who cares, my approach to essay. Which sounds dismissive and perfunctory, but not so. Anything but the case. In writing essays as I urge us all to, we write them not convinced with convention and structure, construction and orthodox diction and thought prism. We write freely. We write unconcerned. While waiting for my Denver at Piner Café, I thought of all the essays I’ve written as a student, and all the essays I’ve had students write. Have I done them a disservice by instilling and advocating the structure and formalistic tap-dance the course outline says? I think a bit, yes, if you must know. But now, who care. Who cares. Or, who else cares… Or, who cares who else besides ourselves cares is what I SHOULD say.
I’m laughing at myself, writing this essay. If it’s an essay. Maybe just a free write that I could submit as an essay. Submit to who, my own blog? Is that where? I’m in the conference room, not the shared office with adjuncts where they have us cooped like chickens or ducks or pigs about to be slaughtered. Could write an essay on that, the shared office for adjuncts, or just an essay on adjunct-ing, or on students of the adjunct. Essays should be rooted in singularity and extend from it. After my nap, I’m a growling lion, or bear, hungry for more pages and more climates to feed the career of essays I’m about to paginate. I feel exacerbated by the time I’m in, the time in my life where there’s a decision to be made yes but just where I am and not necessarily solely to do with age. What exactly then I don’t know, though note there’s more vision. Not doing this, following through with this recent singular call to build a career on and from, and explore essay would prove mordant. So I follow through, and just follow.
Being on campus does something to me. Always has. Though I deplore adjunct-ing, and being an adjunct, I love the proximity to students and the act of learning, self-study, and of course the English Department where essay is the interminable nexus. Or at least it is in my vision. My proclamation today is that I finally have a proclamation to make. Finally. At nearly age 40. Ugh, I sigh to myself and I’m pretty sure I did so aloud. Cant tell with the music in my ears, but I know I did. I know someone in the department heard me. Essay… essay… essay… on daddy-ing, wine, reading, journal keeping and habit practice and maintenance, on ME. I am an essay, and argument maybe. What’s my argument. Keep learning, about you. Learn the outside but the inward is the apexing aim. To understand self. How is that vain? How is that egocentric? I offer it’s healthy. And what more optimal approach and averment that with words.
Reading through my journals and diaries today I see these lulls or stalls, funks surface every-so-often. And now, I forecast less of them, less occurrence and their beat which I loudly detest. I’m here, gathering thoughts for class, and for me, thinking ‘Who cares.’ With a smile, with eagerness to see more in this day and learn from everything. If not learn then gather, collect scenes, write them all as there’s singularity in all. Just a moment ago having quick chat with a full-time professor about beer. She told me years ago she was a beer fan so every time our presence eclipse, we talk beer. One of the only full-timers here, if not the only, I enjoy talking to. That I even have any interest in exchanging words. Note of our talk in journal. So what. Little revision, little concern, free in my thoughts. Could use one of the beers she just mentioned to celebrate. Do I finally now have a job, a dream job, any job— writing composition. Who else cares? I don’t care. I’m preoccupied with the essay form, and how so many in this department think they know what an essay is. How to write one. Where have they been published? Forget that question… have they even self-published any of their work? And if so, where is it? Did they only offer it once? Maybe some of them can write, but how far away from the course outline have they composed?
Sinew in this renewed page stride. Edit minimally. Delete nothing. Free. Freedom. If you’re to write an essay, you’re to surrender to yourself, perforce and ambivalently. Remembering my master’s thesis, other essays written at SSU, Foothill, even in high school like the one I wrote about Bubba our pet rabbit and how he would always lead me to chase. Any mood knots remaining are now carrion. I’m understanding self more in the last hour, since getting to campus than I have in the past ten or so years. What did that nap do? Was it the omelet?
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.
to microwave all my the way. Getting everything done that I can. Everything. Even tasks I haven’t been assigned. Making all this MINE. Deciding that this semester is already over and that I’m going to enjoy myself. Refusing to stress even in small specs. No. Not doing.
Opened one of my favorite bottles from Roth, guess I had one more, had no idea. The ’15 single-vineyard Cabernet, Alexander Valley. So then of course I think of the wine industry and all the years I spent in it, all the people I met and the wines fro Roth. Where I am now in my relationship with wine, now in tech, sipping wine just to sip it and occasionally write about it. The bottle tonight speaking to me in a way it never has. Tell me to find my freedom, shed any anxiety or suppression, oppression, any muffle or mute. I’ll have another glass in a minute, but first I’m set on starting this sitting… getting my thoughts in some revolution, some momentum. Technology, the internet, where I am. With this bottle and the last glass celebrating my first couple days of this second week. A wine guy in tech, teaching his last semest— Different approach. I need quiet, after today. First day teaching after a long weekend. I need stillness, peace, no sound. Need me, these keys, an early rise if I can but more than likely won’t. Today though, waking at 06:00 on the dot, after hearing son upstairs walking around, to and from our room, saying how he’s going to get dressed so the writer accepted the challenge and shot from under the sheets, got in the shower and made the day start itself. I thought of what I’m to do right when I walk through the doors after scanning my badge. What I’ll say, what I want accomplished, what I want from coworkers, what I want to say to them. This office new has me riled and antagonized in a way the wine industry was definitely unable to do. So I don’t know if it’s irony or paradox that I’m celebrating with the Roth bottle, but I am. I’m sipping to sip. Not overanalyzing, seeing more in how I interact and intersect with wine, what she wants to say to me in this occasion and what I’m to do with the next glass poured when wife goes upstairs, finally.
Sorry. Just need time to self. No one around me. The day took a toll. Not one terminal, or damaging by any means, but I certainly seek solitude this nuit. No one around me. May put on some Coltrane. Or not. Maybe just write to the sound of the dryer upstairs. Breathing, thinking about tomorrow in the office, already ideas quake and bubble like eager thought lava. I calm it. Mediate and meditate in everything in my reality, 39, now. What will I think in a few years. What should I care. I’m here now. And I need to put more into this project, this blog, this story, the wine/literary/techie. I’m a techie? OR, a literary wine guy in the tech world. Why do I need a title? Why do I need anything but a page? I don’t…. Wie upstairs, finally, time for another glass of the Meola. She waits, that red, for my reaction and my reasoning in response to her tide and vibe.
Coltrane on. Couldn’t resist. As I wrote earlier the bottle shows more aggression than the last time I saw her. Less restraint, a principle-driven grace to her setting and postmodern dialogue. I let her sit a while, next to me in the stemless bowl. I look at the color, more than depth-void, like an opaque rhythm and beat which I only associate with the unknowns in human consistencies. When you don’t know something, you should feel encouragement and intrigues. Push to explore and wander. That’s what she does, tonight. She has in past, but the Now contrasts. With intensity and new rhythm. Her voice is familiar but with a new bewitching beat. I’m the one in the corner listening to her sing, wanting to write down some reaction, some emotion from what I see and taste, experience, but she’s away orbited. And I collapse in my speak-lapse. I can’t write a thing, but only experience and not react or live or to page anything give. What I am is a sheet with only lines unoccupied, ashes, but then in next sip I’m new tint, new chromatic habit, sporadic, a her-fanatic.
Before getting too fustian in my sentences, of her, this wine, I think of the Roth tasting room. Sitting there at that table, the long polished wood surface either intentionally or by-chance in California’s shape. Never got an answer on that. But how I’d show early, on weekends, to write, in the quiet of that room, the tasting room, doing more for me and my writing than the others did, for sure. I wait for my next sip, think of literature, tech, wine, me, Sonoma County. Not sure why, but here I am. There I am. I’m everywhere in this ride of thinking, this paragraph to paragraph jab and meditative lab, here on the floor of my living room with wife and babies upstairs. I’m closer to 40, when I’m to write a thorough, loud and ostensible self-assessment of where I am in this story, my story. Where do I want to be? Well, There. My, THERE. I know what that is, but anymore I’m fearful of paginating it. I wont. I see it. You’ll see it, my There. Readers all, will. The wine, she massages the worry and any self-doubt from my cloud, my Now.
One shoe on the wood part of this floor, feet from where I situate. My daughter’s, the left. I think about the last step she took in that shoe, what she thought while taking it, where I was when she stepped that step. Don’t think she wore that pari today, so it must have been yesterday. The Cabernet reminds, time, it doesn’t care. I have to keep writing, wherever I am and whatever I’m doing, like when in the field the other day and sneaking a couple minutes to write some short poetic impressions. One foot, literarily, in front of the other. Situate, meditate, on the words and my Now fixate. Wth wine’s loving shove.
Ten days left employed by the wine industry, its supposed business and in that infernal tasting room. Just back from getting wife and I coffees. I tell the kids to be good and watch their cartoon, “Ben 10”, little Kerouac responding ‘we will’, and me back to typing. May drive to Healdsburg with Kerouac, to drop off some paperwork for a tasting room I partnered with on an event, and maybe get lunch even though that’s not exactly in my budget at the moment but right now I’m saying to myself, “Who cares.” Really, I don’t care. My aim for today is to enjoy time with Jack and the day, relax and observe this as a day off of sorts. Again, of sorts.
Classes start in one week. Haven’t touched either syllabus. Typical of me, I know. But I’m going to make the syllabus for each section minimal at most. The rest of the writing on paper will be MY words and thoughts which I am convinced and always have been will help them in their college composition and general endeavors.
Yesterday at prescription pickup for wife, sitting and thinking how that time can’t be wasted, or just let to scroll through some feed on my phone. And, how I have to read more, read the rest of the short fiction book Mom bought me, revisit Road, and Bell Jar…. No more wishing, or saying, promissory jot-types in these entries on the blog, just actuating.
Kids, quiet. Enjoying their morning, and me mine. Keep typing, seeing my travels, to New York and speaking at colleges and meeting students, me remembering when I was there, their age and at that point. Being young, just wanting to go, take off, gather experiences and learn from the world, and my Self in that world, others’ worlds.