3/3/19

This.  This morning.  This is for you.  This is yours.  You have the morning, day, week, month, everything you want by deciding so.  Candle going, at laptop’s side.  Meditation with latte.  Wife deciding on snow gear for kids, upcoming trip.  Me, with the candle, something never near me when writing, seeing more Newness.

Fire, tempting me to try new avenues and expressive streams.  Morning, a bit sluggish from last night going to bed late and after dinner and wine with wife.  Melissa on couch listing prices to me for their snow trip approaching.  Tahoe.  Morning telling me to write faster, morning telling me to write more in Germany Journal, map how you get There.

Kids should be home, soon.  More photos of them.  Their steps in life, my story, the story itself.  More thoughts and considerations this morning than I forecasted.  What do you want? I keep asking self.  Above everything, not citing health of me and all near and loved, travel.  It has to be travel.  Every continent.  As many cultures as I can see, feel.

What’s the plan, wife asks, for day.  Good question.  No plan.  And maybe that’s what needs to be.  Life isn’t excessive deliberation, but deciding more in what’s already present.  Yesterday, not in Field with sales squad, I replayed repeatedly the walks on all streets.  Blocks.  Districts and meta-districts.  Truly wanted to be out there with them but couldn’t as that would’ve been day 6 in a row.  Which I don’t at all mind, but is against Sonic’s stances.  No quarrel, only putting myself there with them, imaginarily.  People in San Francisco, the battle to find a parking spot and the daily inner-problem solve of where for lunch. The plan for today is today, to not plan but to live, talk to both babies, ask them questions, learn from them.  Being with them is the demand satisfied, wanting them to teach me, instruct me how to get to those travels.

 

They already have, but I need more.

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.

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.

12/10/18

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Downstairs after dinner and everyone in bed but me.  Long day, whole day in field and all I wanted was this.  Some Jazz, low-lit room, xmas tree providing most of my sight.  Walking up and down hills in SF makes me want there, the houses, I want just one of them… some impressive grander in my head bouncing forth and back and back to my senses which even I now question.  Outside, sky and air remind me of what time of year envelops my Now.

Music on me unexpectedly quits.  No mood to fight, quibble, scuffle.  So I leave it off.  Could turn it back on, with phone, but I’m composed in the composition of this room.  Could use another beer for session.  But I’ll wait a minute.  And the music comes back.  What is this devilish device doing to me?  To my writing.  Ignore it, I tell myself.  At lunch, which I told myself I wouldn’t do, dine out, I was in Harvey’s (think it was called) writing in the corner, before the omelet arrived and walked around Castro taking in everything— lights and cars, shops and the bars with their engaging names, street lights and the evidence of history.  Going back tomorrow, and making it more a point to write in “real time” as some say.  But I hate that utterance and word sequence.  “Real” “time”.  If you have to note that it’s “real”, or remind yourself or a reader or observer that it’s “real”, there’s an obvious incongruence.  To me, anyway.  So.. point, write in immediacy spree.  While people walk by, walking their dogs, as they answer the door to us knocking to tell them about what we’re doing for the community, put all to page.

Down here, in this room, family room while family upstairs swirls and swivels and swims in dream, I’m doing something, I think.  Missed class tonight, and I feel awful, but no choice was mine.  One of the sales leads out so I was the transporter man or whatever, taking team to and from between Noe Valley and Castro.  San Francisco, begging me for conversation the same way that Paris would let go of Hem.  I’m out there as a Field Sale Supervising, most presently and poignantly doing my job, but as well not letting the writing Me away gaze. 

This room, now, just what I need.  Tree luminous, piano notes and keys hit, and now me.  Thinking of how I want to be seen, read, this job I have at a tech company that’s making me more a writer than I ever would have forecasted.  Drive down with reps, talking about certain topics then re-focusing on what we were about to do with this new campaign, me the whole time thinking how with business if everything was this exciting, like in the wine world, businesses would more readily attain what they sought.  The room says more to me, like just enjoy the room, go get a beer and be Hemingway for a night.  Think about your city, SF, and how tomorrow will be definitively different than today.  This room, now, not so much what I need but what’s ME.  What I embody… composition, the page, me here on couch, in assembly.  Time, rather “real”.

Kerouac has

all interpretation and meditations leaning toward more. More exploration, more scenes, more looking around and acknowledging Now. Nothing behind, all ahead and in front of me asking to be experienced. What am I doing here, accepting any order, any regulatory, any institution. More, on that Road, the music, lights, cars, families traveling in winter or whenever. Sitting on unfamiliar boards, me…

11/27/18

Home from class.  Dinner had.  Now wine having.  My thoughts are still, and mobile and motile when they wish be.  Xmas tree, lit to right.  2 days and 6 months till I’m 40.  Today busy, back and forth from city.  Not sure exactly what neighborhood or district I was in.  Doesn’t matter as SF always does something to me.  Makes me think of owning a house there, driving kids to new house and showing them what all the work I do did.  Whenever I come home late, it’s for this.  But, a wish.  At this point.  Paired a Syrah, St. Francis of course, with a microwave burrito.  Funny but perfect in framing and station. 

On the drive back from the city I thought about driving, speaking, how I began the day with my notes and speaking to a co-worker about what I want from the day, the first day out in “the field” in over two weeks.  Driving, travel, seeing all the houses and the remodels, that one porta-potty by that remodeled house that I thought of using after all that coffee and not using the bathroom in Marin, Novato, at the gas station.  So much movement, so much said, activity and effort, again not to forget the 90-minute lecture I just gave.  And now, still.  Stop.  Pause.  Wine and its composition laws. 

Honestly, the wine isn’t saying much to me.  Again.  Again this happens.  Want to be back in class.  And I could.  Tonight we discussed narrative and the practice of narrative.  What is would entail, the perception of narrative… each of our narratives.  Telling a story from our own life.  Of course, some close to me want me to talk about something when I’d rather write about something else.  Right now.  This tree my son helped decorate, Syrah at day’s close.

My concentration wains and feigns, is strained by hours behind me.  Coughing a bit.  Do I have something?  A cold?  Shit.  Hoping the Syrah helps when I know it won’t.  I sit on the couch and look at the tree longer.  Lights.  Hanging pictures.  Decorations kids made at school, with pictures, glitter, meant to catch eye, eyes, and my eyes are certainly caught by anything these Madigan babies do.  Again the image of them reading this class, like a class I had in Stevenson Hall, 1999, with Bob Coleman.  Their professor trying not to call them out but he may let a remark slip.  “Mike Madigan was always knowing of his kids and what they would think… what does this suggest about his identity and consciousness and the conscious reality of his character, his identity, at the time?”

How did that, that time, me at SSU, pass so passively and swiftly as it did?  I become annoyed with time.  With me.  With me being here.  With the Syrah for not teaching me more.  This wine isn’t saying a thing.  I dump it out.  Into sink, down the drain.  Just kidding, she’s still here.  Sip… and still not much said.  That’s what she wants.  That’s what the story wants.  Have to deconstruct and decode, work harder, find something in the mindful myriad of the wine.  So, again I go…

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