coming back to myself after a long hiatus in the wilderness. the relationship changed what i am. i changed myself in it. consciously, always consciously. but not always aware of the consequences, or of the futility. on the other side i am no longer what i was going in. i am so much more. for ten thousand hard lessons learned. for becoming dad to beautiful girls. for facing down ten thousand demons. for building up ten thousand little edifices. and i am older. for better or worse. i am older. but now is a new day i never thought i would see. and slowly i am coming back to myself. and it's better now. the self i thought needed verification and approval is no longer so needful of that. the self that held so much fear and apprehension is more at peace. older, but more at peace. and this new chance is what i have now to work with. the hour is late and no big accomplishments are left in me. i have a simple plan. be dad. number one is be dad. be dad with all the energy i have left - and prey for the universe to help me. i won't make much, or change my circumstances much, but i will make this time as beautiful as it can possibly be. i am, after it all, despite it all, through it all, still a beautiful soul, and i will make a beautiful life. with a little help from the universe, and friends, my sister, my family, my girls, and kind people around me. so today, after the deed is done in court, a marker is passed, and our lives are reordered in separate houses, the sun will climb and the july air will swelter, and these older bones will labor for my living. and this mind will look forward at a new life at the end of one passed.