from a journal


Feeling the 4am wake. Or, actually, 3:45. But I made it to run, to the treadmill even though I stopped just a tick over the five mile marker, then went to weights. But, the primary success of it all is waking at 4am or a bit before and doing something. Have about two hours to self here at the Stony Point spot to write, to start day the way I wish. Last night not having much wine but rather going to bed at a somewhat decent hour. Sipping 4-shot latte and typing as best I can with as much concentrated movement and left-to-right as I can. Morning One of new habit, of course it’ll be hard I tell myself. Not letting self stop. Keep writing what’s around you, everything around you. Was going to write at tavern on way home, over a beer but then ran into old friend, Jerry, a vineyard manager with something like 30 years experience I want to say. We talked about the vintage so far, what wines we’d been drinking of late, how one of his friends loves Pinot and Jerry always making remarks about it, that the friend needs to start drinking really wine. I had to laugh and limit my commentary as I love Pinot and drink it often. Not my favorite wine type, but I do more than regularly sip from its sentence.

Jerry and I went on to talk about his new job, at a new wine company managing however many lots and acres they have. We discussed more the industry and all the motives for some, how some sects and factions clash and people around the belligerents get caught in the scuffle and vengeful shuffle. We asked each other somewhat seriously but with more satire and smirk why it need be that way. No conclusion, of course, as one is essentially impossible with wine’s razor road of a business, but we addressed it anyway.

After the second beer, I left for the five or so, probably less, drive home. I’m in the wine industry, still. I have somewhat a second opportunity where I can create my own writing and blogging and whatever opportunities that I want. Writing wine, exploring wine, everything wine is and has done to my story. How it’s shown me new music, new identities within my identity. She has me going away and retuning, tirelessly. I see what I see in her scape, and in the ways she tells and sings from day to day. Last Sunday at Lancaster with that group from all over California, one where a guy also named Mike knew Pam Starr, one of my favorite winemakers, quite well. Then I thought about making wine, having my own label, writing about it. Taking some of the business lessons and approaches and “models” if you’d call them that and put some business stride in new stride. Only write wine, I thought in that last sip and as Jerry wrapped a story on the winery where we met, how the family owned property long ago in Hopland. I need to go to Hopland, I thought. Do some tasting. Some exploring. Some writing.

I think over a year ago, a Master Somm friend of mine told me to keep writing after he gave me an address, email address, where I should send my vino letter a jour, that I used to do. Need to start that again. Need get closer to wine, write it more, do what my sis-in-law so long ago promoted and endorsed, taunted of me — Start a blog about wine. A blog, I thought, what the fuck. She was right. Still is. Only writing wine and what I learn from it. And one gem recently delivered — Control temperament of character. Mood, attitude. You want to live your story in slouch, in some fucking sulk? No. Hunter S. did what he did regardless of approval. Kerouac and pretty much every writer I study and lecture on as well. So now, something new starts. Some new wine rile, new wine decisions, new opportunities but it’s more than that.

What wine writes is life, life to me. Some new vision and wandering spell that I can only follow and devote all of self to, acquiring more SELF, more identity, more sturdiness of Self, and knowledge of the Now. Knowing Now in ways I only not at fucking forty truly see, connect to. Wine has composed my life in major degrees then asks me what next. Now what, as I asked my students in one of our last in-class writing activities.

Feeling 4am again, then it fades. I decided the day I’m to have. All wine-honed. All for the rows I’ll walk on Sunday. Should walk in a new spot, where. Aim to be more malapert in my manuscripts, articles, posts, everything. And where I am when in lot, some Alexander Valley Cabernet block, will assure such. It has to. It will. Even with this exhaustion that now again wraps itself around me like some chasing Chicago winter chill, I look everywhere in my notes for more wine reality. A wine I didn’t write about adequately, or enough rather. Well yes, I think, again yawning, sipping latte — The DuMol. Now I wake, feel the voltage-told cherry and earth chimes and erratic beats. New music in her walk, jazz, notes and wild narrative from a new character. Too late in this piece to write more, but I have something. Wine showed me, showed me again, that I need to… yes. Follow the story.

While driving to the gym, the eventual belt on which I’d run, I thought of Jerry and all the harvests he must have worked, and will work. How many days he’d already been up for hours, when 4am appeared. The earliest of early hours is where wine sees us, where we see her at harvest and the earliest tells of her bottled character.

Ironically, or maybe not I don’t know I’m so tired, Pinot will be the writing assignment tonight. But, which producer. Where do I go to acquire. Too much thought for this hour, for this state post-run.