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


Vallejo, California, USA

July 15, 2018

"Storms make trees take deeper roots." ... Dolly Parton

This essay, Rescued!, was conceived and written at the same time as I am indebted to Hailey Warchut who contributed material for this conversation.

Long before she got married, we had known each other for well over twenty years. She was someone I could walk with, someone with whom I could have those long, meandering conversations which were really much more than small talk that swapped opinions (and interpretations) about whatever filled the morning papers. They were high quality, deep inquiries which always produced valuable insights. There was also a certain physical attraction which sometimes got in the way (at least for me, anyway) but was mostly manageable, kind of like a gift in the space which both of us appreciated, yet preferred to just notice, and leave wrapped up, unopened.

After she got married (to someone else, not me) our conversations continued. I thought it was admirable that the ground rules and boundaries of her marriage allowed her to continue her relationship with me, a single pre-marriage guy-friend. I respected that, predicated as it no doubt was on my total respect for the sanctity of her marriage. I wouldn't have done anything to get in its way. It allowed our friendship to thrive even as she was married to someone else. Whatever they had, seemed idyllic, and I wanted her to have that. They eventually had children, planned and built their dream home, and by all accounts, became very successful in business too.

And then one day he announced he didn't want to be married to her anymore ... just ... like ... that. She was totally blindsided, did not  see it coming. He went on to other things, other ventures, another relationship, all of which (like ominous dominoes) inexorably failed. He had become King Midas in reverse:  everything he touched after he left her and their children, turned into a disaster. And here she and I were again, two single people again, two good friends again, talking about things again.

Even given the passing of time, I could tell her disappointment and emotional pain persisted. They remained, more than clearly visible, etched into her forehead, the lines raw and deep. She said, slowly and pensively, "It's like I was ... robbed.". I listened what she was saying, then didn't respond for such a long time that the look on her face told me she thought I wasn't going to say anything at all. Eventually I said "No, you weren't robbed.". "No?" she asked plaintively. "No" I said, "you were rescued!". "Rescued?  By whom?"  (it was quite the obvious question to ask actually). "By Life itself" I said - then I added (to make it more getable) "... maybe  ...".

We have it pretty much pegged that a relationship begins if we put out something into starting it, and that it fails if we stop putting out into it. That's really not a bad paradigm. It's certainly one that fuels the relationship and marriage counseling industry. But what if (just what if  ...) a relationship starts when it starts, goes on for as long as it goes on, and then ends when it ends, and has nothing whatsoever  to do with what or even when we put out into it or stop putting out into it? ... maybe ...

Now, is that the truth, or not? It may  be. And it may not be. I didn't intend to pontificate about relationships. What I wanted to do was bring forth a context from which she could look at hers. And in this context, her relationship started, it went on for a while, and then it ended. And when it ended, all the post-morteming, all the Monday morning quarterbacking, all the armchair psychologyzing were just elaborate stories. Now I assert there's a great deal of power in recognizing that, then simply setting all those unworkable  stories aside, and then carefully crafting a much more workable  story which truly serves you. Mine was that Life itself rescued her from imminent disaster. Look: I don't know if that's the truth or not (it may be). What I do know is that looking from that perspective brings clarity and relief and peace.

"I was rescued"  she mused, like she was savoring its subtle nuances, "Hmmm ..." she smiled, "by Life itself, my new knight in shining armor!". "There you go" I said.

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