Morning Winery Thinking….

After the morning thousand, I arrive to winery and feel odd.  Off.  And not sure why.  So, up to office, across the dark and spooky crush pad and production area, and here I am.  Writing that I’m not sure I should be writing, but then considering my attitude how to fix.  Find humor.  In all this.  “You work at a winery,” I say to myself, “how hard could it be?” I agree.  But the feeling stays, not able to shake it, I decide I don’t want to talk about the ‘I’ anymore.  Happiness is conceptual, but actual, and more actual and tangible if we want it to be, really.  You don’t have to see what’s around you the way you do, do you?  No.  See the day as a game, or a play, or some show evolving before your sight and you involve yourself however and wherever you elect.

Let the morning teach you.  Let it teach you everything you thought you already knew about the morning.  Let’s say you’ve already decided today’s going to be long, drawn-out, the usual humdrum doldrum.  Let the morning, the day following, show you it doesn’t have to be— that it won’t.  Take your mood and scrap it, trash it, dismiss it.  Don’t let it let itself stand up, develop or play its putrid song.  Actually, take it upon yourself to teach the morning what you’re not just capable of but what you WILL do.

More into my usual confident and loudly assured ride, stride.  Listening to music, sipping the hotel’s coffee, and wondering what’s going to be narrated from day.  What people will say in reaction to the wines, the property.  Onus…. What I every semester stress to students and now see I need more enact and actuate.  Re-writing… now.  ME.  The morning, day…. The wildest of wild yay-says.

12/16/17:  06:45. 

img_7652Up much earlier than I thought I’d be after last night’s work, and wine, and principle restlessness.  Made cup of coffee from that cheap, one-cup-maker they put in this room and I’m guess all the rooms.  Not sure why I’m up so early but the same creative and thought intent of last night shimmies and shakes and stomps in my head.  Questions like, “What am I doing?” And “What do I do next?” And, “Is this it?” Not depressed, sad, or ashamed of anything, just putting self in the Philosophy Major’s shoes, I guess.  Or with his “thinking cap” on, as Dad has always said.

39 next year.  So I guess now I begin the countdown I do every year, right?  Okay… 13 days, 5 months.  That’s my time to do something… something. To get on the Road, to travel, to speak.. if I don’t do it by that age, I’ll never bloody do it.  Don’t say that.  Put self in the student’s shoes… how about, don’t think about yourself.  There’s a challenge.  And that is a challenge for a writer like me…. All moments are standalone pieces, their own lessons and classroom, pulpits for reflection and meditation.  This morning teaching that I need ignore time, and think more inclusively— it’s your story, but not just you.  It’s not.  There’s so many around me, so many people that tell me things that shape my character and students I see shamefully only twice a week but teach me so much about my presence in the classroom and what ought transpire there.  This morning as well instructs that I be as little like anyone else as I can… to just be.  Me.  Wild and crEATive, and see every day like a classroom session.  There, here, to learn.

Approaching 07:00.  Still see my walk from last night, just to casino and back.  All the lights and sounds, the traffic and people honking at each other, not moving enough sped for the person behind or around them.  Not sure what that taught, but I much prefer collections like this where I wake so much earlier than I thought I would, and jab to writing, my work, where I feel safe and honest, supported and cognitive.  Coffee already losing its volcanic temp, a bit.  Wish I had the whole day, to move some of my life, our life, back into the Autumn Walk Studio.  Focus on the moment… right here, now, 4 minutes from 07:00.  What do I write, what am I writing about, why am I writing it, and what is the writer to do next?  Wine… of course not drinking any now, but I can still sense the Devil Proof on my Personhood and page, the dark, rich slightly caramelized wingspan of the fruit and oak’d music and jazz… like I noted last night, “inexplicable”.  Not sure what to say about her.  I’ll hopefully pen something today, make it I guess “official”, get myself closer to the Road and my office with that bottle from my old friend.  I like how “Malbec” isn’t on the label, or not that I can remember.  Wait… is it?

Just checked, looking at the bottle.  No.  No “Malbec” boast, anywhere.  Re-read the saying on the back, living well and drinking well makes you “devil proof”.  Then I think of definition, what consists of and in the wellness of such an idea.  Thinking too much, I know.  Just live.  Never exist.  Vowing that all movements and writings, be terpsichorean.  WE all should.  Like the person you see essentially skipping down the street and you don’t know why, and you wonder what they’re so happy about.  Just be.  BE.  In this hotel room there’s only me, the jazz, this cooled and cooling coffee and my vision for day.  What’s in it.  What’s the day to be about other than me at a winery, me writing about wine and thinking about my students and what they’re doing or not doing to their papers.  Should I keep the second blog or kill it?

Found a video I shot last night walking down the road, me reflecting on where I am and how I’m by myself, and how my daughter’s two, just how life continues without much regard for how we sometimes want it to slow.  But that’s what wine reminds me, just get out there and do what you want.  Don’t be a follower, don’t be a leader, be your own creator and actuator.  I made. Remark yesterday pertaining to Chardonnay, told a very nice couple that “I’m not in that audience”, referring to the consumers that love that angry tidal wave of a malolactic mummy… the buttery paradigm, or “butter slug” as I call it.  Forced a chuckle from the gentleman, lady as, but forced me into thought, pouring the reds after that Santa Rita Burgundy…. What audience AM I in?  What audience am I targeting?  Is it just those wanting to read, write.. is it students?  Other teachers?  Wine people?  “Wine lovers”?  Or, maybe it’s just for people in love with life and all in it… that they see all moments not just as standalone pieces for reflection and appreciation, but as times that will never again transpire, ever.  Maybe my writings are for people who just love life.. who love their own lives, and see all seconds and minutes and collective and individual times as invitations to see themselves better.  To love all around them et everything they have.

“Bonjour!” Just wrote self.  Not sure why.  Maybe to remind self that the day’s started.  Remind yourself of where you are, reader… look around you… all around you.  This will never happen plus jamais (again). So you need look further into it, its significance… do something with your moment, right now, before it away scurries and denies you a re-live.  Need get into shower.  See?  Just because I’m writing about how time passes doesn’t mean I’m immune.  Have to move quicker and with more measure and meditation.  Least I won’t hit traffic today.  I should stop by house on way home, I mean ‘to hotel’, drop some things off.  Would that be the best put of my time?  Is my time “mine”, even?

Coffee gone.  Get up.

inward jot

One of the last nights in hotel.  And as it happens, I’m alone… sipping 2015 Devil Proof.  My good buddy Jesse’s passion project, and that picture, of the Cuban woman laughing, telling me to relax in this room and not worry about the fading time, that I have to work tomorrow and set up for a tasting— don’t worry about what to do with the blog.  Life is something to be lived, in the moment, spontaneously and moments molded as they’re presented and sung to you, not excessively planned.

Dinner done.  Burger from downstairs diner, had beer in bar while dish was prepared— dish, more like bag, box—and listened to the conversations around me.  Hoping I wake earlier enough to type and write, sip coffee in this room, looking down at the parking lot and out at Rohnert Park.  Can’t believe the hotel story closes.  Don’t me wrong get, I’m more than more-than-happy to be back in the Autumn Walk Studio, but it’s over.  No more walks to Chili’s for last-minute dinn’… no more hurries to that Walmart for razors and baby wipes.  No more “Dada breakfast” as little Kerouac had it tagged.  Not sure why this registers with me as it does, and did I get enough of this segment, this installation in the fire-prone joust with my life.  Here I am… need another sip, casually, from a $100+ bottle that I sip to write to and I do as it’s pulse and hue, key and chords prove inexplicable, as I told Mom.

And I’m back at the question, what do I write about.  God-fucking-damnit.  Thought I resolved that.  “Wine”.  Was my answer.  But now I see it not.  Literature, Life, me, Parenting…. This is all a story that I have trouble decoding.  Glad I’m not too full from the downstairs order, as I need make progress tonight— jazz very much in its cue, and me relaxed, not with the usual equation of Jack and Emma having a bath then getting them into their pj’s, the Alice and I laying on bed while Emma so slowly goes to dreams in her hotel crib and Kerouac so easily fades right to this writing daddy’s side, right, and I think of what I have to do and if I have to iron clothes in the morning, will they have coffee in the lobby next morning, do I have any coffee left in this room… shit like that.  Realizing Time won’t stop for me even for a bit, even while I try to relax it hexes me, disrupts and disturbs, severs my relaxed flash.  I won’t resits but write within what I’m stuck.  Need more wine.  More of that Katz collusion.

See one of daughter’s Lego pieces, right, and see I’m getting older— She’s 2.  TODAY.  Need be more into my work, need more wine, and I know what you’re thinking— What’s that have to do with getting more into your work?  —  You’re not a Beatnik, so I don’t need you answer.  Hear doors closing in halls, upstairs and this floor.  We’re leaving soon.  I need capture as much of this hotel as I can, maybe go downstairs at some absurd hour, drinking coffee at 03:00 or something and just account what I count, what I log and see, who walks past me.

pensée du vin

20:14. Hate that I can’t think. In hotel. Kids asleep… A little of the Corliss left. Will have that then bed. Can’t remember what day it is in the wine shop countdown, but I’m already significantly into its write. Going mad in this hotel room. Why can’t they paint our house faster– I mean, it’s painting. I’m rude, and speaking from no experience which just makes me an asshole, and idiot. Not sure which of, more. Have to taste more wines, study more vin businesses. MAKE MORE MONEY.

Ah…. and after a slow, meaningful wave of my love, that Carliss Malbec… I’m back to my maniscript’d nuit. Quiet… but not the same as in the Autumn Walk Studio. Wife waking early tomorrow for her workout class. Hope I wake with, if anything to just write the wildest jots and maniacal lines on wine, SHE pushing me to write this way.. this tempo and rhythm and compliment to second, day, dream, hour ever.

Defining her.. I’m not concerned with if it’s possible. The possibility/plausibility, any likelihood of cementing a definition isn’t true concern to this writer. More an exploration– but that sounds too familiar.. then what am I doing with wine, purposing so much of my life to her– writing, time in the tasting room, social moments, photography, family, and whatever else. What is the intention, whether conscious or un-? Before I can “define” her, I have to know ‘why me’, first. Why am I sipping her now in this hotel room? Why did I spend over 8 hours at a winery, today? Why am I not putting more into education, teaching at the JC? Can I define me? Or, am I mostly connotative composition?

She’s the ignition behind this inquiry. The lights to a contemplative Road. Think the Malbec’s gone… what am I feeling. Not lachrymose but… I don’t know. What– Could I describe it? Will I? No… keep writing, like Brian told me. I will. And I don’t really hope at all I find anything. Especially not an answer. And all forbid a bloody definition.


img_7577Sitting in kitchen, seeing how none of the winery’s wines provoke any kind of reaction after the Carliss Malbec.  Barely sold a thing over phone, just a bit in TR… but you can’t hit it out of the park everyday, as Mom once told me.  Much as I’d like to and as much sense as it makes on paper to just call people and tell them we have these amazing bottles at some special offering, you just can’t kill it everyday.  Today’s additional lesson, I guess.  Can only think of the Corliss Malbec.  Do I open something else tonight?  Or… keep with the Malbec.  I don’t want wine to go to any kind of waste, and frankly I can’t afford such wasteful habits as other wine bloggers, writer, self-anointed “critics” or “experts”, or even my somm’ amis.

Hear someone in the tasting room.  Not sure how many.  Not in the mood to get up, peek out the winging kitchen door with the circular see-through.  Wonder if production has any more coffee.  Could use another shot.  Probably cold, though.  I’m fading…. This happens, yes even at a winery.  There must be at least three people out there.  Want to look but don’t want to.  Have had just enough to eat, so I’m not slowing from anything other than slight boredom, and if not boredom then activity… have to get creative, converse with self— what now.  What now, indeed… talk.. words, wine descriptions and personifications.  Poured the two Merlots, one-to-one, and every elects a different winner, if you will.  Couple that just came in said the ’14 was easily the most interesting while the other coulee was split, and I stood with my ’13.

Want to taste some whites, now.  We have a Pinot Gris and Chard open.  Hmmm…..

Peeked head out.  One guy.  Think a member here or at a sister property, talking about the fires.  I couldn’t listen, hurried back to my chair, right here in front of the island, silver counter in this odd and not in any way organized or thought-out kitchen.  Need some Chard…. At a winery, you taste wine.  Don’t really drink it, unless you day is barbarically putrid either from sales or customers or both, or you’re just not into it.  But you work through it.  I, am working through it.  Writing about the wines and everyone that comes in here to taste, so eager to share their opinions and disagree with me on the Merlot issue.  Most of them, I assure self in head, don’t know what they’re talking about.  Or, they do— Of course they do.  They know what they like, they what tastes better to them so who am I to think I’m.. anybody.  Either way, some with the all-too-eager vocality and impatience to just slap me with direct disagreement unnerves me.  But I deal with it.  After all, I’m a “wine professional”.  Whatever that is.

Only minutes left.  Okay… Chardonnay… inspire me.  Make the day more… more…….. something.  I need story, stories.  I don’t want to talk about the fucking fires.  I’m a winery, so are you.. how ‘bout we talk about wine.


inward jot

img_7573Colder than yesterday morning, just saw on temperature reader in car.  This morning, walking downstairs, elevators out of service, I walked into the well at the same time as this man dressed in a suit, with his sleek leather bag over shoulder, hair done, ready for something.  “Good morning…” he said.  I returned, as we walked downstairs awkwardly but not too much so together.  When on first floor, he saw another man who appeared to have just finished a workout, one demanding and putting him at breath’s loss.  “Are you ready?” Suit man asked.  Could hear what the other guy said but he said he needed a workout before whatever’s set to go down today.  Wish I would have slowed, listened in a little, but I went to get my coffee and head to car.  Now here at winery, thinking about the wine I sipped last night, that Corliss Malbec, listening to this track not sure who and don’t have time to look.  Have easily over an hour to write this morning, collect self and have time with my musings and thoughts, words, this feeling this morning carrying over from yesterday morning ordering me to be more wild with all writings.  And sell every fucking one of them.  Walking into this building, I saw John, the winemaker, asked him how he was and he said still trying to wake up, told him I’ve BEEN awake, and I’m just getting started— that today is MINE.

Walked into winemaking break room and saw coffee being made.  Today… something’s set to transpire, something en ma faveur.  Coffee, jazz, a quiet, well-warmed office for this yay-saying yodel of a writer.  Noted earlier that the Malbec Cara sent me is just the kind of wine I want to make.  Why not do it… why not.  And not to make money, but write about, of course, have more intimacy with wine and my understanding of it than any somm’, or even winemaker, wine “critic” or “expert”.  Can still feel the cold from outside and for some reason it pairs with how I remember the Malbec, how its notes slowly suggested themselves to me, as if to acclimate to me as I to her.  HER… have to stop calling wine, ever, an ‘it’.  She encourages my poems, my wandering lines and pages that will afford me the ’18 vintage… next year, going to do it.

Made new list of projects just now.  Have to sleep less, work more, write more.  Today, and for no other reason than to test self and work ethic, a 5,000-word day.  Wonder if coffee’s downstairs, ready for the writer, ready for the day’s education and being integral in it.  An orphic morning… divine and otherworldly with its multiplying spells, again like the Malbec she sent me.  I’m lost in my fervor, my thoughts being like multicolored webs and equations I have no interest in solving. Once they’re “solved”, something’s done.. something’s gone, dead.  I want the endless, the infinite, the indefinite.  Reading the sounds and colors, lightings around me… keep writing, they tell me.

First thought…

The Malbec from last night, just the wine I’d want to make. 06:30 now, coffee made, and I’m thinking of wine. Tempted to take it to work and share, but I don’t want to share even a droplet from that bottle. Will come home, or ‘hotel’, and see how she’s speaking. I don’t want much to change, if anything– texture, song, fruit-scape, that leathery light at sip’s start to non-end… can still taste her now. All shapes and geometries of her way–

My first thought, before anything in day ignites, is her.. wine. Art. A bottled gallery of emotion and effort, task and memory.