with her, now. What do I write, narrate. Rather than think about it, I just summon stories from the tasting room, and then think of all the vineyard walks I’ve taken self on. Then how I need a new wine to write, tonight. Not the same wines I’ve been drinking, lately. All the St. Francis bottles. Something new, something I’ve never known. That Howell Mountain Cabernet from Robert Craig. Maybe. Too early in the day to think about that. So I draw my tasting room, the one I own. My crush pad, the barrels, how I’ll narrate my story, how it all started with the idea of wine and literature and the literary, narrative qualities and reality of wine.
She’s a whole question, worldly inquiry that I can only blindly follow and chase. Wine. She always introduces something beyond what’s sipped. It’s so much beyond what you see, and what think of, what you want from wine. Abundance, thought, life, the reality reminded that you’ll be gone one day. Everything around you is temporary. You, are temporary. So the story need be lived wildly, madly.
Much why I woke as early as I did this morning, and why last night while having that last sip of Sauvignon Blanc all fear and anxiety I had from days recent just flew away from me like it was bored with me. I had nothing more to offer in terms of victim, victimhood. It was done, because I was done. She elevated me, again. Again. She always does. With her visual, with her movement and music, all of it. More than nuance, or some flavor suggestion, but helix of ideology and possibility, dreaming and the dream bowing to a created, composed reality.
I’m being taught again, all over again about wine and what she really means. She reminds me, again, that I am only to write her, to her and from her. I will. (6/5/19)
More peace, spiritual assembly, and meaningful movement.
On a day off. One lazy. Now with some time to self and some Sauvignon Blanc poured, I think of the week ahead of me even though I don’t want to. And the semester I won’t teach this summer. Or the semester I won’t teach at the JC. Choosing to write in complete silence, or to just kitchen sounds. And for what… don’t know. Just to write.
Told Alice earlier that I may be tiring of Sonoma County, of Santa Rosa. So then what. Don’t know. Want to follow wine to some other place and shape. Where. Of course this writer’s mind goes to Monterey. Teaching at the university, possibly, or one of the something like five community colleges down there. Just thinking of course, but this time aloud and to Alice. Mother of my little beats.
Again taking out Didion’s Magical Thinking ms and thinking of making it a reading assignment for me. Put self back in school. Learn how to do all this over, all over, again. Be a student, have a devoted collection and stack of pages. This day off I’ve been only twirled and twisted in thought, thoughts. 40…. Challenging self to challenge self more. My life changed on the 29th, and then the other night with everyone here “celebrating” my birthday. Why am I phrasing such in such a way, just where my mind is.
I re-focus and situate on the wine, this Sauvignon Blanc my sister made. At first a but herbal and grapefruit tilted but now with more harmony and love-yell. The wine reminds me to focus more on her, on all wines and songs that are said and singing to me in a moment. Quiet house, me and wine, we talking. Again, no music, just the ebb and pulse and poetry of our personalities, intermingling and interchanging the changing scenes of life and the Now. While Alice and I walked around Spring Lake earlier I saw me at some beach café in Monterey or Pacific Grove and working on some book on wine. On what. The tasting room, walking the vineyard as I always do, meeting people from wherever and they commenting on my “impassioned speech on terroir” as one guy put it yesterday. Everything wine. Everything wined in all days, down there, by Monterey. I see my writing spot, and I think SINGULARITY. And then, wake up earlier! Yelling to self before another sip, the SB now taking on more a vanilla or cream or soft silky melon-meant voice. Not sure how to explain it.. but the shift in narrative for the wine is there. And who knows if my sister meant for this to happen.
After 4 in this day, this day that’s by all frames and decisions mine and for what I want to do, but wine has other ideas. Taking last sip and putting plastic stemless bowl back to tile and me stopping. What do I want, what do I really want to do as that one tasting room manager urged me to consider and meditate as he dismissed me from duty. Something for which I was and am SO grateful. So what do I do. What does wine want? As Joan cited, life can change and stop in a blink, a breath, an instant, a turn. Turning to what, I don’t know. I just know I have to perpetuate some peregrination of self, of me, who I think I am or want to be.
From left eye’s left corner, I see some table cover, one thin and paper and screaming 40 YEARS or something flaps and moves up and down. I know, I know… I need move faster. Holy fuck, I’m forty. The SB calls me from the counter over there by the coffee maker. Another, think more about Monterey, extend days by waking earlier so when you walk into that office you have no “expectations” as everything you wanted to do with the day you’ve already done. Write.. Write MORE.
Like I said, the time would by me fly in ways that I just can’t address understand. The only option or solution if it’s a solution is to keep writing. Learning from where I am, here in this company breakroom which is truly colorful and encouraging, just what I see having at my eventual office. I’m 40 though, now, so bring it closer. Be methodical…. Wrote a bit of a narrative plan yesterday while in the crepe place on Solano. Just keep writing, keep learning. And READ MORE. Started Alchemist but got distracted, shocker. Have a copy of Road in car. Should I read that again, but differently? React to everything? Be more a participatory reader as I say to students?
Party, or gathering, or something tonight to “celebrate” me being 40. Not sure how I feel about it. Alice planned it, and I appreciate, but celebrating me getting old…. Why. There’ll be wine there but I won’t let self have too much. Will set alarm again for early, 3am tomorrow, as I had it set this morning but just turned it off. Fuck, I said to myself when I woke this morning. Why’d I do that? I remember getting up and turning off the alarm, and then thinking I could stay up, run, write, do something. But I didn’t, goddamnit. I surrendered to the pull back to pillow and sheets.
Learning from this place, work, the office, this tech terrain, how to write better and more effectively… how to set precise or more precise aims, and how to realize them. Just looked at clock and should get to desk. Have some things that need be done immediately… Will do. Today’s a lesson, a lecture, all of it. Write it all down, post finding. You are not you, not Mike Madigan, but a student, and you speak to other students, share notes and realizations. Back in class.
Learning that there are not many places to take my teaching practice. The only option, truly, is to start a school or some writing and reading camp or cove of my own. This morning my meditation is curved, or cracked, something. Mood, off. Writing yesterday but only in Kerouac journal, at lunch. Today, cannot let self eat out. Need to work. Plan for this writing seminar or set of seminars I want to teach.
Putting everything into this new education project. And I’m not touting or boasting, advertising that I’m some writing and reading expert. But, I have taught for a bit now, and have ideas to share. Anymore that’s what teachers should incorporate into their classroom presence, that they’re sharing ideas and not telling students what to do. Self-discovery, yes, but just following thought pursuit, Human curiosity. Wondering why so many that are technically teachers want to be the one in charge, the one with all the answers rather than practice understatedness in their statements and lectures.
Made a couple more additions to document. My character evens, balances, rights itself. Educating self through this Now, this experience, this breath and intersection of intention and realization. Telling self that knowledge is where I am, where I’ll forever be. Remembering everything taught by Dad, Bob Coleman, and only a handful of instructors that contributed something true and truthful to my story.
Music in everything. Even the time, much I loathe it. 8:33…. Only aim for today, points of learning, education, where I learn and ideas I want to, WILL, share with students, anyone taking one of my online courses or seminars.
Journal writing… Wrote one point for class. Keep self in learning mode, more than teaching. Reject teacher moniker, embrace the book carrier, pen mover, class to class goer.
Office soon. Feeling repetitive, recycled in these thinkings and pages. So what do now…. Write about a character, or me, Mike, Mike Madigan. He owns a small label, started making wine when he vowed to forever quit the industry. How did he do it… he just did it. Really. Just threw his hands up and called himself a winemaker. How would he find the time, though, when harvest came around? He’d have to save money, for…. He doesn’t know. He sits, writes Cabernet. Looks at the word, name, story, all it infers. He’ll get closer to wine by studying more, and only seeing that vineyard, wherever he gets the fruit from. He always comes back to wine, so now what… wine. Making it. End of May, Cab should come in mid to late October. That gives him potentially 5 months to figure it out. He has a couple hundred in an envelope…. Build on that, he tells himself. Think of the grapes coming in, how the clouds will look above the crush pad, if there’re any. With this vintage, who knows. Just a couple weeks ago getting pounded with rain, in Sonoma County and over the mountain. Even in Santa Cruz when he ran the 13.1, Surfer’s Path.
Mike makes a note, that wine is more than about varietal, blend, vineyard or vintage, but the reminder of our time here, in this breath and beat. That life is not only short and singular, but ours. That we say the stray, the direction and stipulate our sentences as we do. Something in him, in his relationship with wine, changed. Now, at this table. He knows he has to act from and for wine, the ground, rocks and sudden plant growth.
5 months to get there, THERE, to the crush pad. Not that it’d be his full-time job, but it’d be something, he knew, knows. There’s a new story in the day. This wine book he’s writing… teaching self how to read and write, think critically, all over again, from wine. Making it, eventually, hopefully.
But will I.