Monday, May 18, 2009

In the Time of the Rain

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.


Assrot said...

The Shirley that will emerge will be the one you feed.

Don't forget to feed your head. I'm not talking about the way Grace Slick feeds her head either.


Old NFO said...

Take your time John, and you may go through two or three "Shirleys" to find the correct one for the coming time. Remember, take time to smell the roses (or the cigar). Good luck with the new pursuit!

Home on the Range said...

There will be bright and lovely moments. You will find your core, and its flame will draw someone who, with you, will raise another generation of well-loved literate warriors.


Tam said...

And, dude, visit if you get a chance.

Jenny said...

It can be melancholy watching those old phases slide into the past, especially when high hopes lost go with them.

I've faith in you John. You're a uniquely honorable, good man. You'll find what you're looking for, I'm sure.

Blessings to you.

Matt G said...

You can only see yourself in a mirror. I see you from outside.

The facets touch each other to form the whole that is you, and is not incongruous.

On a Wing and a Whim said...

Looking back on my life, as I explain who I am and where I'm coming from to a friend from another culture, lends interesting perspective. I remember Chicago of warm summer nights, working the theaters, dancing in the goth clubs, staying up way too late and having conversations with friends. But in order to explain context, there was also the malnutrition, the constant gunfire, the culture at the school where each semester we started by trying to figure out who committed suicide and who just left - but what stayed with me were the kitten tracks preserved in a concrete sidewalk, how to run a thirty-channel sound board and program lighting, the friendships I made, and the ways I grew in body and soul.

I hope that wherever you go, you take the best with you, and find new adventures as you fulfill old and new dreams. Each experience shapes us into something new, something more - and right now can always be the best time yet of our life.