I'm not necessarily one of those folks who believe in fate to the fullest extent, but I think there must be something to it...something in the tapestry of life that makes us fall into the patterns of people that we sometimes do - or go after those that we feel we need to be connected to. There has to be, otherwise how could you explain it? God? Maybe. Reincarnation? Sure, why not? "Fate" as an entity? That makes sense, actually. Maybe I believe more than I let on...that's entirely possible.
I have a lot of "exes" and I have a lot of "acquaintances" - some of my exes are acquaintances and some of my acquaintances used to be friends. I can also say that some of my friends are my exes and we are friends for the better, and I'm very happy with that. AO is someone that I'm grateful to have in my life as a friend, and I don't take that word "friend" lightly. She came down all the way from Washington two years ago to help us move 2.5 hours north. Now THAT is friendship to the umpteenth degree. Of course, this was also a vacation of sorts for her - but, seriously, I can't ever remember jumping on a plane to go and help a friend move! I don't know that I ever told her just how much her trip meant to us, but she saved us, literally. This gets me to my point...if I hadn't dated her over 20 years ago, and we hadn't stayed in contact (fallen out, gotten back in) over the years, obviously she wouldn't have been here helping us in our time of need, correct? Is it fate that had this pre-planned? Or, is it just simply determination on my part that got us back into contact? If so, WHY? I guess it doesn't really matter in the long run, and I feel blessed to be able to call her my good friend of 20+ years, even though there's been big spots of time where we didn't know each other or where we were at - but, it didn't matter. We came back together like puzzle pieces that were needed to fill in that field of flowers, just like in the picture on the box; 2 of 1,000. Impressive, isn't it? I think so.
I think about my friends, and people who used to be good friends but are now more or less stuck in the back of the closet behind the shoe boxes of old pictures...I know I can dig them out if I need them, if I think about them, and maybe we'll reconnect, maybe we won't and those pictures will go into storage. I think about my exes...people that I got involved with on a weekly, monthly or even yearly basis. I think about the ones that I know where they are but they want to have nothing to do with me - and I'm okay with that, too. If you don't feel like I fit into your life, so be it. No harm, no foul. I don't want you in my life if I'm not a fit for you, because obviously it wouldn't work.
My previous ex, of 9.5 years, (my previous ex...as opposed to my current ex? No, she's my current ex, LOL), my EX, we met when she was a mere 17...and I hate to admit it but I was 26. We were together for a good chunk of time, but things changed. I'll also freely tell you that I know things were changing, and not for the better. Things in my current relationship, by the way, are changing on a regular basis, but this is for the better - we are growing together, but my ex and I were not. We didn't see it until more time had passed as I think we both wanted it to work in some respect - we were, after all, the perfect lesbian couple. We were that couple. The one everyone looked up to, thought was amazing, etc., etc. Ya, not so amazing. Don't get me wrong, we didn't fight all the time or do anything wrong - we just didn't have much more going for us than the artificial front. Sad, but true. But, I digress...my ex and I got together, and we learned some things about each other - and it makes me wonder if Fate had a hand in that one, too. Or, reincarnation, maybe? Let me explain further...
When I met my ex, she refused to talk about WWII or the Holocaust or anything related to it - it freaked her out. Now, for most this wouldn't be an issue, but I, my darlings, I am one of those folks that is in love with Germanic Sociology from the WWII (mainly Hitler) era. I have a whole bookshelf (tall, Ikea bookshelf) of WWII books on these subjects (and some Genocide reading scattered in for good measure), I even have the entire Nuremberg Trials in paper form, including the books of evidence (which are just as big as the trials). **Side note, for anyone interested in this, a good chunk of the trials can be found here: Nuremberg Trials (Harvard Law)
One day, the Ex and I were sitting in a park downtown and talking about things...and I asked her, what was it about the whole WWII thing that freaked her out? She told me about something she'd always envisioned, and that freaked me out a little bit. For back story, I had always had this odd "vision", if you will, of a Nazi soldier talking to a young woman in a cell of some sort...that was about it - but it was more the feeling I got from it that always resonated with me. I don't recall if it came to me as a dream eons ago or what, but it had always been with me, and I just let that be, as well. I never talked to anyone about that, as it never seemed like something that people would "get" or understand...and I didn't want to come off like I was a "Nazi Sympathizer" from that time period, as that's far from the truth. That night, the Ex told me that she had this vision of a young woman who was in the throws of the Third Reich, she was in a prison cell, and a young Guard was being very sweet to her - making sure that she was okay...before he was called away. That's all she really could remember about it. Okay...freaky. I ask you, is this "reincarnation" at it's best? Is it her reading my mind? My reading hers (before we ever met), or simply Fate? Who knows...but, honestly I think from that moment on we both understood, somehow, that while we were together and seemingly happy, there was something underlying that shouldn't have kept us together - something wasn't quite right, and I know that I never really shook that feeling. It's like I was getting a second chance at fixing something - and, maybe I was. Maybe in a previous life I was that Nazi Guard...maybe she was that young woman? Who knows...I really don't, and can't say that I do, but I do know that we were thrown together in some way, shape or form as to connect, and we connected on another level - one that makes us interconnected even though now we rarely talk and we had a pretty rough breakup (I'm not surprised if you counter in this story, but it never really came up again).
This stuff just makes me think...and, the ex before "The Ex", who was my first long term relationship, that's another story but I'll say this...when we were "dating" or "courting" or whatever you'll call it, and I still lived in Oregon (I moved to Florida for this ex I speak of, as I didn't want her to have to move to Portland - she was young as well and it just didn't seem right to me to displace her, especially with such an amazing family), I was writing pieces at that time about a man named Mark, who lived in the Vietnam War. I almost felt possessed when writing these small pieces - I'd get them at random times and just be compelled to write them down...these thoughts. My ex was on the phone with me a few times these came to me, and being a writer herself she didn't think this was strange at all. I got a last name towards the end of these pieces. Mark is another story, and one I might share more in depth in the future, but suffice it to say, it was a huge piece of my writing history and a good year of my life. I met a Vietnam Vet at a job I was working once, who did a couple of tours and lived to tell about it, and I mentioned this writing to him - he said he'd love to see it so I brought him a copy. He told me the next day that he'd never read such compelling, and accurate, writing about the war in the sense that this was written. THAT was not only a compliment, but a truth - I never read Nam stuff, I was never that interested in it - sure, I'd seen Apocalypse Now, but I was only around 23, I didn't know enough about that part of history to really understand it...Mark was writing through me. Mark...I got his name, as I mentioned. One day, about a year after moving to FL, I came home and my ex had told me she found something for me on the Internet. It was a website with The Wall names and information on them. She found Mark, his full name. He was born/raised in Wisconsin, and in my story pieces Mark was from Illinois. He died in the War approximately a year before I was born. I wondered...could it be some past, or some piece from a past that my soul had hung onto before being brought into this world? Was reincarnation even possible? Is it selfish to think that we are our only true selves and that we don't re-process? I think there's got to be something to it...and, this brings me full circle to people in our lives. If dead people can touch you, then there's got to be something to people in the present day coming in and out of your life and having some sort of "fate" interacting with us...maybe Fate with a capital F is the best way to look at it. Some would call it God. Concrete Blonde would call it Love.
I'll leave this entry with a piece from Mark from 1999. Over the years I got a few more tidbits here and there - this was one of them, and I think probably the last:
"and if anyone shall ever forget what it meant to send their men to war, if anyone shall ever forget what it meant to leave their mothers, wives, children and parents alone, waiting by the phone, by the t.v. for some glimpse of possible returned death - for some hollow face to wave back at the cameras...wondering if your son would come back in a body bag...if anyone shall ever forget these erroneous ways of the world, these horrid manslaughter ideas that spouted upon the refuge of idealism that we turned upon ourselves with loaded guns - bullets flying - death mounting...if anyone shall ever forget let it be me, let it be my sacrificed ghost that walks upon the graveyards...like so many others, let it be me, please let it be me who forgets, the one who died, the one who's gone...the one who's writing."