Ex-


"What was once done was never really finished with me."

The language of my culture allows permanent separation from my past, just as if an act, any act, might be undone by merely invoking a linguistic scalpel. A wife might become an 'ex-'. Ditto for a business partner, an employer, or a friend. Some infraction, a defection from the originating covenant, and the perpetrator might become an 'ex-'. Exes often carry a strongly negative, often derisive connotation, perhaps for the primary purpose of preserving the other party's self image. The ex- becomes the permanently losing party in the affair. They fell short or fouled out. The ex-er somehow holds himself blameless, at least stiff-arming culpability. Ex-s seem to become ditzes.

But no act can be undone. Each success and failure permanently echoes throughout time, recoveries sometimes more reaffirming than any success.
My ex-wife, the mother of our children, somehow remains my wife even after the difficult divorce for the effects of the association might well prove eternal, depending upon nothing less capricious than perspective. Re-associated around a wedding or a funeral, and the so-called past tendrils prove remarkably present. Once reasonable justification for vilification dissipates over time. Anger becomes acceptance and acceptance might well grow into appreciation, even gratitude.

Relationships continue even in absence for they anchor in more than simple proximity. We-s seem to have no reverse gear. Ever forward, together or alone, periods of close proximity, of overt mutual dependence, permanently and irrevocably changing both. These shared experiences cannot be undone, cannot be brought asunder by any known power or force on the earth. These permanences constitute more than shared memories and seem to exist outside even failing recall, for each was changed from what they would have been and changed, continue to replicate alone the resonance once forged together.

I think it one of the more magnificent blessings when I stumble into the recognition that some connection I'd previously convinced myself had been permanently transformed into an ex- was not. To experience just how powerless I always had been to negotiate any sort of permanent separation brings a flooding sensation of unanticipated power. However much I might have sought to distance myself, I failed. I had not successfully distanced myself because I could not. No such power exists and so could never have been wielded, no matter any desire. I might eventually choose to integrate without discarding or relegating and simply go on, continue with the adventure in perhaps greater earnest. What was once done was never really finished with me. Each temporarily offending hand inseparable from the remaining organism and destined for forgiveness and infinitely extending presence. I must be the sum of everything I've done and each thing done to me, no ex-s allowed.

©2019 by David A. Schmaltz - all rights reserved










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