12/10/18

img_9420.jpg

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

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

A Meeting

Now home.  Today, sent me.  Somewhere.  Not sure where.  This is more than work.  This is more than a job, Sonic.  The place where people walk around smiling and talking with each other, where they smile and greet each other and fall into a joyous back and forth about everything.  I won’t get comparative, promised I wouldn’t do that in this sitting at day’s end.  But today, did something.  After my EOD meeting, on several worlds and ancillary topics, a conversation which I was more than merely invested in, I hurried on into the rest of the day and onto campus to give my most kaleidoscopic and axiomatic lecture yet, I think.

Sipping from a bottle Thomas gave me, and I direct further toward and into this meeting with self, me here having an inward conversation, hoping to come to some sort of useful singularity but maybe I won’t.  Maybe this is just for the sake of exploration, for setting sail into some new thought stream. Where I’ll land.  Not sure.  And why do so many focus on destination?  I know I do from time to time but even still sometimes we just need to relish and have internal dialogue and mediation on the trek itself… the voyage, the journey.

If I do manage to wake as early as I’ve drawn, tomorrow, I’ll work out while writing.  Down here, downstairs, living room, in dark.  And if one of the babies wake then I guess I’ll deal with it, I have to.  A 90 minute workout, all core-honed, what I’m hoping for.  I still feel Sonic’s office around my senses, all five, and the eighth, ninth.  This Italian red proposes something different, as it’s something different in my usual sip pattern.

So I keep with kaleidoscope’s shades and telling.  Don’t need to be yet privy to destination.  I’ll get there…. I will.

Sonic Jot

Next day, the second where I feel like I’m on a rocket ship, just ascending and appreciating altitude.  Third day of victory, of production, producing, feeling my life and creative tide just going and rising and taking me with it.  On lunch now, peanuts and a ginger ale I bought from shop.  Stomach still a bit uneasy from that vegetarian burrito, yesterday.  Work today is more than enlivening and exhilarating.  I did feel this a couple times in the wine industry, but with no consistency.  Can’t remember the last time at Roth I had three consecutive days of pure life and topic ownership.  My story becomes its own storm, now.   Its own Now.  In this large warehouse-like quarter with Sonic everything all around me and everything that Sonic embodies, from the communicative facet to people just visibly enjoying what they do.  I’m definitely space-bound.  My work is no longer work but something that’s redefined and redrawn and re-purposed my literary purpose.

Walking someone through the office and into this break arena earlier, I could see the amazement and disbelief in her facial shape.  How the company encourages its people, how the “employees” are more so investors and partners, family members to the immediate and distant motions.  All motions overlap and intermingle, creating a creative concurrency.  Their own currency to be exchanged and interchanged…  I notice my own face change shape, sitting here.  Taking another sip, not needing any real lunch but just the snack I have and everything on either side— left and right, 12 and 6.  All these corners and visuals decide on magnifying my manuscript’s physiology, writing new one for this writer who anymore writes about work as he’s embedded and invested in work that binds to his moral and ethic etch.

I’m horribly saddened, honestly, when I hear of people going to places they hate for work. Of course someone could ask, “Why would anyone do that to themselves?” Yes, an easy question to ask, but not so easy to answer or attach any formula.  It’s not that they do anything to themselves, but haven’t found their pages, haven’t landed in their story.  What I recognize, appreciate and further analyze in my sitting here is that only now do I see.  Did I find not only a home, but a topic.  A book, and another one.  Me, a writer, literary guy, beatnik from the wine industry, now more fiery and eager and moved to words.  AT A TECH COMPANY.  But this isn’t some simple tech company, or start-up or wanna-be startup village.  This, here, the creative is basal, inherent.  Expected.  Sonic, like a university hopping around in exponent climates.  Here, you’ll hear people say how they write everything down.  You see other writers here, other thinkers, people seeking to enjoy where they work—  More than just “enjoy” it.  Live it.  Be it.  The IT, to it all.  What they do, yes, but more who they are. That’ how I see myself.

My story just arrived.  At 39.  Late?  No.  Lovely timing.  If anything, it’s more than punctual and optimal, just before 40.  This place has me forgetting I’m 39, if you should know, and you should know if I’m with your attention.  I just fixate on the day, whatever project to which I tend. The company’s name, Sonic, denoting and connoting sound, and speed, something audible, and then I think of course of music and being a literary bloke hear Kerouac reminding me that the only truth is music.  Here, in the break room and in the office proper, between enclaves and hamlets of encouragingly and electric and eclectically adorned cubes and desk, you hear it.  See, feel, then a sixth and eighth sense.  Someone you acknowledge or you think you do adequately but only know you’re there, in it all.

New writer, new vision.  New understanding and embrace of purpose.  I am writing a book, about this place.  More than a place but a dimension, a warp of time, timing.  Forgot about the ginger ale, peanuts.  Hearing co-workers talk of their projects and ideas while on lunch.  They don’t talk about any TV show, who’s dating who, where they’re going this weekend. But work.  WORK.  It’s not work. It’s more than passion.  It’s creative escalation and an impassioned saddle of axioms and projects.  Seeing each day as its own book, not just a chapter.  This is not a new chapter in my life but a new life, a new armada of books I’m about to write.  This day— what would it be about?  Learning, something new.  Spreadsheet.  Yes, me doing spreadsheets.  I was deathly afraid of them, before coming here, and up until yesterday still quite unnerved at the thought of toying with rows, columns, cells, formulae.  No longer, though.  My self-certain, assurance and general fortitude eclipse any anxiety.  Moving at a speed I’d deem supersonic, frankly.  And I don’t see myself working, I don’t.  I see the growth and the metaphysical and ontological model re-write itself over and over, from this company’s thesis. New song, everyday.  New chords.  New opus offerings and new interpretations of everything around me.  And, again, spreadsheets are part of this paragraph, part of this elasticized praise for where I now sit, in this lunching province. 

Stomach, solved.  Today did so.  Cured me of whatever that restaurants plate did.  And I forget it, universally.  I’m made more healthy and assembled as a writer in tech’s clef and step.  Anything past workplaces instilled, left, far in days behind me. Today’s book, then tomorrow’s, where I’ll be at Month 6, and yes I have a specific aim and tangible destination for such.  Never did that with wine’s world. I didn’t need to, as no such thought was ever invited or encouraged. The culture of not only writing and taking notes here, but education both from self but colleagues makes me feel like I’ve discovered some cryptozoological wonder, asking myself What is THIS? and Where am I?  Imagine that, being not merely in love with where you are, what you do, where one works, but seeing yourself as healthier, happier, more composed as an immediate consequence. 
10/3/18