Rendered Fat Content


Jan Harmensz. Muller:
Creation of the World: Day One,
separation of light from dark

"I might regret the radical act, but later."

I'd decided when I first reviewed the standard contract they'd sent in response to my query. I'd been dreaming of working with this publisher for over a year, yet when confronted with the details of what that might entail, I knew in that instant we'd never consummate a deal. I'm no lawyer, a declaration my Business Law professor insisted I memorize, but I didn't need to be an expert in contract law to recognize an embarrassingly amateurish piece of ‘work.’ I felt embarrassed and angry. Embarrassed for the representative offering this P.O.S. and angry that anyone would have ever thought it might pass muster under any condition. I thought it must show the state of desperation and innocence combined in aspiring authors that anyone would ever sign such a thing, and then I felt embarrassed all over again for my compatriots.

A part of me thought I might have been too picky.
Who was I to say what was proper? I recognized that I was raised to question my own expertise, a superpower capable of assisting my worst enemies in exploiting me. I get to say what works for me. This didn't. Yet still, I delayed declaring my decision. I stalled the representative, telling her I would take my sweet time deciding and not to get pushy. She responded by offering fifty percent off on one of their already questionable services. That proposal only further reinforced my initial gut reaction. If she offered to discount for what I knew amounted to a fixed-cost service—one with absolutely no profit margin to begin with—what else might she compromise? I shuddered at the thought. I did not want to find out.

I'd sought a partnership, a relationship, not a consummated transaction. The blind discount offer more resembled a sales tactic. I felt offended. Still, I contemplated. A few other options emerged when I finally reconnected with this one. Since I'd hoped and dreamed of this choice for a year, I decided to extend them the benefit of any doubt, except I had no doubt left except the suspicion that I would ever sign a contract to work with them. I extended the decision until not even my most placating inner self could find a reason not to cut that cord. Then I cut it in a terse and grateful note.

CuttingCords seems an essential skill. I remain eternally hesitant to ever engage in it. It seems more art form than mere action. It requires timing, but more often, tardy timing than early. Better that the meaning of the separation becomes well-incorporated into understanding. CuttingCords should not become a whim-based intervention, yet it remains essential. Some parts of every initial conceptualization must, at some point before realization, become untenable, even when sincere promises are made. Conditions change, and destiny must respond in kind. The alternatives usually become terrible in practice. What was supposed to resolve results in sustained irresolution. Fatal attractions produce divorces, never happily ever afters. It's best to acknowledge when the romance ends than to pretend it's not over.

File this act under Anything But That! and use it sparingly. CuttingCords mastery should only occasionally be demonstrated. It might be the rarest choice in the arsenal, the queen who regally stands unless her king gets seriously threatened. She never roams around looking for trouble but dispatches it after showing considerable patience. CuttingCords tends to be irreversible, and since none of us can foresee any future, it inevitably alters a course. No do-overs when it comes to CuttingCords. It's a statement of growing faith in a future yet undiscovered over a present proven unpromising at dreaming, a magic bean chosen over a disappointing cow. Still, CuttingCords clears the immediate horizon and always seems promising. I might regret the radical act, but later. The moment those cords separate, I feel free to be whomever I might become without that most recent constraint.

©2023 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved

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