Homage to our close enemies
I was speaking to my ex wife, M, and she told me her old boss at Goldman Sachs (mischief makers inc.) Ed N. had passed away at 68. M had done a lot of things as far as work goes, and for a time was a very good folk artist. At some point though she went to work for Ed at Goldman to bring in some steady money and for a few years worked doing Public Relations for this master manipulator. While Goldman organized the world and its leaders appeared lily-white, it was the likes of Ed N. that enabled the masquerade to continue and keep the hoards from knowing certain ugly truths. And for a few years M was his right hand woman.
He knew I was an artist and we needed M's job and he played on this vulnerability. In a sense he was competing for her loyalty and affections, as well as her time and energy. Not only was her own art and morals compromised by her not being able to pursue them, but what she saw and was exposed to turned her insides. Plus he was forceful and aggressive as well as guileful and cunning. Why not? Goldman only hired the best. Calls after dinner and even on weekends were stressful to her as well as our relationship. At some point I risked it all and confronted him. I had some victory but he indirectly made her pay. You don't win those battles really.
Anyhow, he was gone and when I heard this I felt sad. Why? He had been a bully in our life. He even made us make some wrong decisions. Why did I feel anything? Good people die all around us and I don't think twice. With Ed I did.
Then on another night M lit a yorzheit candle for her later older husband. Upon passing he somewhat 'screwed' part of M's inheritance by being negligent or just willfully mean. He had been a con man in his own way. Although an engineer and businessman, he had robbed from Peter to pay Paul for years and wasn't straight about it. In addition, his son was combative with M over the inheritance. All this did not help some of her health conditions.
But when he passed and M mentioned the candle I later mentioned to her I put him in a good light and somehow the glow made him seem innocent and I did not see his blemishes.
Ed had been a bully. The years M worked for him marked our lives in not a positive way. Yet, in a sense, we who serve some of these dominant beings or forces give them a strange honor. They, peculiarly, held power over us and defined us. In a sense they were our negative Gods, and we served them and were defined by them. To deny them is to deny part of ourselves and this world, They existed in this world and were a force in it and to some extent, like it or not, we have to honor that. In doing so, despite their cruelties and shortcomings, we are forced to enlarge our capacity to accept and reconcile all that is of life and there is some peace in that. As one must reconcile having had cruel parents, one must apparently do the same for dominant players in their lifes.
As for M's ex, we reached some calm when thinking that he was a person, not fully evil, who existed in this world, had many abilities and made some contributions and also made some things happen. He filled a slot, maybe not a pretty one, but it was there to be filled. He was part of this thing called life, and was part of M's life; and he marked time in this existence and hers, and therefore deserves some honor and respect. Somehow, in unknown ways, it all serves some good, even if beyond our grasp. And if one believes in a maker, we don't always have to like what goes down, but we have to have some faith in some kind of justice or balance that is beyond our scope.