The Tempest

Angry skies and pounding seas fade into yesterday. The sun rises in a bold blast of gold and crimson over recently calmed waters. The horizon is peaceful. My authentic self dawns. Right on time. I remain a work in progress, of course. We all do, from cradle to grave if you’re paying attention to the details and not just the detritus. I wasn’t sure what this post would bring when I sat down to write it. My first draft wasn’t at all productive, as cathartic and cleansing as it might have been a few weeks ago. I tossed it in the trash and started fresh.

I considered editing out the desperate naivete in several JEM’s Guide installments prior to this one, but left every word as originally written and painfully rewritten. Perhaps they can help other men and women going through similar trials. Given recent events, I’ll never be sure what was real and what wasn’t. What was sublime and what was sublimation. What was genuine emotion and what was pure manipulation. The best I can hope for is uncertainty. I thought I met the “love of my life” in 2005 at the ripe old age of thirty-five, but that turned out not to be the case. I thought there was a chance to “rekindle those flames” today in solidarity with our son and earlier musings, but that also turned out to be a fantasy construct of epic instability. Oh well.

The father, son, brother, friend and coworker who emerged from that maelstrom is someone I like now. Someone I love. Evolving and emerging past my ego in such a rapid fashion required levels of emotional honesty I never contemplated before now, which is why I never made the final leap previous to November 3, 2019. My rebirthday. That glorious Sunday when my illusions finally ripped away from the masts in rotted tatters of bloodied canvas, frayed ropes and an ocean of salt. My ship stalled dead-in-the-water until I found long-forgotten rigging and sails packed deep in the holds to run up the sturdy pillars that kept me on an even keel in the roughest seas for most of my life.

Now that my son is with me half the time, we can start to envision what our many tomorrows might look like with proper attention paid to the countless blessings of today. I’m becoming the best daddy I can be, for kid and canine alike. I suspect a special woman will soon join the party and stay for however long fate and circumstance might allow. The possibilities of an unknown future are infinite. This turn or that. A relationship discovered without looking and another lost to time or turmoil. A chaotic tapestry of what might have been crashing against the hard reality of what is while retaining an optimistic enthusiasm for whatever comes next. Disappointing at times but always exhilarating, unexpected and welcome.

Ending this particular post seems like an impossible task. There’s one important legal detail left outstanding to feel truly settled in my new life with my son and our puppy. That “fight” is coming to an end soon, though, in the only way the law will allow. Securing my parental rights provides plenty of momentum for the new year. My fiftieth on Earth. Halfway through this particular journey. Ready as I’ve ever been to live up to my full potential. Not sure what I was waiting for, but O will get innumerable benefits from having this Jason as his daddy rather than one who was here when he arrived.

That guy had some serious shit to deal with. That’s over now. Hallelujah.

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