Onions on a string

Do things just happen? Or are the things that happen tied together like onions on a string? How do you pull one thing away and leave the other there? How do you unravel one thing from another? The foam from the wave. The wave from the tide. The tide from the current. The current from the water. How do you separate what happens from what has happened and what will happen? Do you think that such a thing can be done?