Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More


A Knock At The Door

Cowboy Cottage, East Napa, California, USA

January 24, 2009



This essay, A Knock At The Door, was written at the same time as

A miracle happened.

My friend Nelson and I were relaxing in the amazing Cowboy Cottage, he involved in an art project, I shirtless with a towel draped round my neck shaving in the mirror. It was late at night, dark outside.

There was a knock at the door.

Not expecting any visitors, wondering who it might be, I called out to Nelson "Open it!" while surveying my work in the mirror, rinsing my razor under the tap. He put down his yarn, got up and opened the door.

"Who is it?" I called out, not hearing anything for a moment or two. "Who is it, Nelson?" I called out again. After another long moment, Nelson said "It's Franklin. He wants to know if he can come in.".

The razor fell from my open, startled fingers clattering into the sink. Something had just happened that couldn't have just happened. Something had just happened that wasn't going to happen. In the split second even before I turned around to greet him with open arms, I knew five years had just reached a sudden completion, a new era had begun. In that split second even before I turned around, a deep sense of gratitude and relief was already settling in.

It goes with the territory of being human to move and to grow. The people whom we love, the people whom we befriend early in life may not be around us later in life. We (or they) may have moved to another city, to another country even. We (or they) may have moved mentally and socially. Our interests may no longer be the same.

Sometimes I've ended relationships. Sometimes I've been the one to disengage. Sometimes people have ended relationships with me. Sometimes they've been the one to disengage. Relationships have ended in my life sometimes because I've moved on to other interests, sometimes because my partners have moved on to other interests or even to other relationships. And I'm certainly not the one to lay any blame on relationships ending because my partners have moved to another city or to another country. I've been around the block a few times myself.

Friendships may end for various reasons. Relationships may end for various reasons. But love never ends. Even when friendships end, even when relationships end, even when marriages end, love never ends. When a friendship ends in your life, when a relationship ends in your life, even if your marriage ends, ask yourself if you still love the person. If your answer is "no" then you never did love them.

I've always loved Franklin. I always will. For reasons best known to himself, Franklin was the one to disengage from our relationship. I've got a pretty good idea why he did, but I'll never be certain. My take  on what drives people to do what they do is exactly that: just my take, just my assessment, just my interpretation, just my opinion  anyway, not worth the paper it's typed on. No matter which way I explain why Franklin disengaged, it doesn't change anything one iota. Franklin disappeared from my life almost as suddenly as he entered into it, and I was left loving him, with no relationship (other than the Zen of a relationship which is "no  relationship"), and a rapidly fading memory of a close friendship that once was. Not only that, but I was also resigned to there being a good chance it could be this way between Franklin and me for the rest of our lives.

And now, suddenly, with just a knock at the door, without fanfare, without explanation, without a story to tell, without an excuse to make, without requesting an invitation, after five years Franklin was back ... just ... like  ... that.
Werner Erhard says "A miracle is something that validates who you are rather than diminishes who you are.".

Nothing needs to be added. That to which Werner refers is plain. But what if I were  to venture something to add to this definition of a miracle, specifically in the context of this conversation about Franklin coming back? If I were to add anything at all to Werner's definition of a miracle, I would extend what Werner says to this: "A miracle is something that validates who you are rather than diminishes who you are ... AND  ... who you are doesn't need to validate the miracle.".

Franklin's return is a miracle. Neither he nor I require validation.



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