Not hungover, but affirmatively and encouragingly tired. Slept between 3 and 4 hours. After going out with Jesse and bowling, talking about work and the fires, life and our ultimate of ultimate, apexing aims. My business philosophy for day— Visual. And, VISUALIZE. Seeing self here in my office the Windsor Starbucks at which I always park and work. Me, a student in the wine industry, of her language and tones, tone and dominant octave.
Not allowing self to think about how tired I am, nor how long the day is. I have this book and all the wine meander in it. Last night, Jesse bringing over a Pinot I’ve never tasted, nor heard of, but precisely the musical shape and poetic posture I look for in Pinot Noir. Atmospheric and Gothically romanced from first pulse and touch to last.
Visualizing me out of the tasting room and in Burgundy with little Kerouac, and Ms. Austen, wife, and other family presences tasting wine and sitting in that café we visited in ’09. I’m back in Paris, in my head, in my eyes which have all but lost their pinkeye redness and rose petal tincture. I see it, all of it. The time… this morning, meaningless, if you must know. Know exactly which wine will be my focus today…. I’ll recite her words and intentions from when we open to the last set of silly questions are asked. Wine making herself more visual to me, this morning, this exhaustion unusually galvanizing— Thinking about other wine writers that barely write at all but more have panache for outfits, taking selfies with other wine people and wine “celebrities”, or that they have some sommelier cert’. They don’t write, and that’s fine, but when I see themselves self-anoint as a wine writer or wine journalist, I have to laugh. I scratch my head, and here point to flaws, to the convenient contortion and pagination of the word “writer”. I see self, different. A contrast. More honed on the act of writing, here in the ‘bucks with my journal open and revolving and circulating, meditating in the visual of wine and my story, my wined Road and sittings, days in the tasting room and, or, just walking the vineyard at day’s start.
Not sure how I landed on the wine writer and somm’ topic. Hardly a topic at all, especially remembering the multi-purposed and pulsed character and sense, the novel of that Pinot last night. Jesse was exceptionally kind in sharing such with his writing brother. I think it may have tiled and slightly re-written my wine philosophy, why I love wine and why I spend so much time writing about it, why I took sister-in-law Jenn’s counsel so many years ago to have wine be my topic, to blog about it. Wine is for words… my words. The only words I want to speak, frankly. So thankful I’m not hungover, and that all I did last night was stay awake too late and not have too much. Can’t say same for my brother…
Visualizing, see and feeling, sensing and breathing the vineyard before I’m even there.. my office in downtown Windsor or Healdsburg, helping wineries tell their story, tell my story while telling theirs. Wine is for association and intersections, character blends and time, making time our own. My channeling and blending and re-blending thoughts on wine and how I “sell” it even though I don’t see myself a sales chap at all. At all.
Today… a standalone piece. Short story, maybe, but a story. Me, wine. You.
Trying to wake. Coffee, cold and dipped in and out of a few sips already. Busy day ahead of a writer but I welcome all of it, the idea from yesterday haunting and taunting me every time I yawn. I can’t afford to be tired or focus on anything other than action, moving, getting done what I need to. A storm of appointments today, there’ll be no time to write so everything in this wined chapter and direction, for over 8 hours, cut and pasted to thinking, my character’s most intrinsic and functional form.
No kids in studio, so I have time. I have time for this, this sitting, wine thoughts all over my character’s perception and placement on this couch…. I think about the winery and the wine business and me in it a writer and blogger, honing more on the wine than the business and maybe that’s my business, what for the rest of my life should keep a writer busy.
I’ll get in the shower soon, iron clothes and be in character and get to writing spot before having to be at morning meeting which solves nothing and then my winery, the tasting room for the show. The bottled ox this morning, meditative and decisive, thanking the morning itself for this quiet, for this, THIS, me sitting on the couch with legs extended the later crossed and set on ottoman, blanket over stems. I can hear the sounds of the winery now, here in the studio with wife sleeping upstairs and me down here with this new conception and election, like I’m staring down at a crowd from a before unattainable mezzanine. A dream but not. New plot, clock, nonstop.
06:31. Giving self a bit more for this, the me here on couch and needing another sip from this mug that a friend and past co-worker at a past winery bought me while in Mexico with his girlfriend. I need travel, I realize, if I’m to know wine and define her and if not have some denotative then some abstraction in which I jot and sketch, note and quake in paragraph or verse form.
What Mike Madigan is, I think now a visual tells. Finally, right before 39. Now as wine and I have the dialogue of my life, why she’s here to begin with and what she wants me to do, how many books am I supposed to write, and what does today mean for the story. Right now, what I’m doing when in that tasting room, bottled ox or no, I’m there with wine and people speaking from what they sip and I note, trap and record everything, no try.
06:36. Now I’m ‘wake, functioning in my happy scribed turns. Need to wake earlier, as I do many times have in this journal my intentions to be writing at 04:00. I’m up now, though. Seeing everything in a vino and oeno scape before it’s poured. Right when I walk through the door, brandish an ink sword, record.
gets me in character.
And 39 just treks and trudges toward me. I have the wrong attitude about it, age 39 and it being mine, I know. At least I’m up now, gathering whatever thoughts are left from yesterday’s close of the semester. Now into Summer where I don’t teach but have only the wine and its industry to write about. Last night, a Chardonnay and Syrah. Think the Chard spoke more to me than the funky Rhône. Or maybe not spoke to me but showed me more of the language and a side of Chardonnay I haven’t seen before. The wine keeps me motioned, keeps my writing, young. That’s what I tell myself. It’s not the wine, it’s the writing I’m after. Truthfully, I only see so much in wine, can speak about it in verse for so long and have something to post on this blog. Last night’s offerings had a way about them, I’ll say…. the Syrah with its unfettered jumps and locomotive-like presentation and palate pummel, then the Chard with its instruction. A new induction, for me, wine… write more freely, as I told my students yesterday. Care less, be fearless, be free… wine’s distant inquiries and immediacies are for me, this summer and beyond that. If I seek to leave the tasting room and write more about wine and travel and speak wherever about my missions, then I need study my essays on wine, my notes, consider the meta of meta’s meta. 39 is nothing, I see now. Just a number and I would dispute even that. It’s a lose concept of quasi-reality.
Thinking of that Chardonnay, again. More than the Syrah. I remember going to Burgundy in ’09 with family, tasting more Chardonnay than I thought I could ever handle. Same with Pinot. The trip showed me I need more trips. Longer ones. Writing escapes where I don’t escape but self-station in new stages and scenes, thought mazes.
06:21. The winery…. the winery…. Have to find something new, there. Either in the cellar or out in the vineyard. Something about wine’s place and character, sense and way. Why have I been blogging about wine since ’09, at someone else’s suggestion. I got away from it, wine as a singular address, here and there, but would always come back to her and lean on her for ideas and a pulpit for me to speak my verses and translate and deconstruct her as a metaphor. I’m a bottled ox as my prowess and visible formidability generate in and from and for wine. People ask what I write about, what I blog about, a question as you might know used to send me through all roofs. Now I answer. WINE. That’s it. That me. That’s my best. Age 39 or whatever. Wherever. Typing next to some varietal, some glass, to a vineyard visual, the thoughts that from there compose. Wine as a symbol, an image to interpret and explore, defines and redefines composition in so many ways. So many that I don’t have time to catalogue and calculate, narrate. But, going over student essays yesterday and speaking on composition, the essay and what it does, structure and support, introductions and summations, I see wine as a foremost expository piece.
More later, I promise my aging self. But here I am, my thinking, at 06:29, 12 days before 39.