Yet another phase of my life is drawing to a close.
I've had some very stressful times during this past year. Teaching at an extremely tough high school, combined with the dissolution of my marriage, has not been a joyride. At the same time, for the past couple of months, I've lived in an extremely nice townhouse, with a jillion cable channels, and- best of all- a screened-in back porch.
I've greatly enjoyed being able to spend some relaxing hours out there, with Byron or Davis and sometimes other friends, smoking cigars and enjoying the night air and good music or the soft whisper of the rain. I have to laugh at myself, but I like to light candles to provide some gentle atmospheric lighting. I switched out one of the kitchen lights with an amber LED, so I can leave a light on so things can be found in the kitchen, without a lot of harsh light bleeding out onto the porch. But change is coming.
Soon I'll be moving again. I don't know which Shirley will emerge, but it may be time yet again for the ascetic warrior, the driven John Shirley who spends hours every week training his body and mind. The guy who needs almost nothing material, sits on the floor, and readily sleeps there, too. I have become soft, too soft and self-indulgent, and despite my sometimes fervent yearning for certain things- a hearth and home, a soft and willowy-strong partner, a little brood to love fervently and protect fiercely- it may not be time for these things.
I just don't know what time it is. But there have been bright and lovely moments in these nights.