I wondered what did it mean to let go. I have saved endless quotes about releasing, leaving alone, detaching and letting go of everything that weighs us. But still, I didn’t know how. The things I sought, the tense ache of togetherness and the shrugging shoulder of independence fought a cloudy war that had no truce.

To let go meant to do what, to let go of what? The hope of the battle being won, that the bait worked, the trophy displayed for my eyes only, eyes that kept looking away to the next thing to fight?

To let go of the end of the suffering string I had to wind my way back to the place I was holding it. And that wasn’t the same thing at all. Where I held it and where I saw it were so different, that’s why I couldn’t solve the riddle of how to let go of one end of it, the other end held shadowy taut in my small sticky hand.

We drove to the next house I lived, my mother, my siblings and I, just across town. Another place I was too young to remember, this time a bigger yard, a clean street, a moving up so evident and tidy.

I was born the last of the pack, the fifth child to parents that wanted four, the last evidence of unplanned things. Once I was there I was loved.

Love. The word I took with me when I left the place I was born led to releasing the dark end of the string of being unwanted.

Letting go, I learned, was going back to the first story I heard, to let go of the version of the people I kept there, puppet like and swaying in the strain of their sameness.

Letting go was going back to see they weren’t there anymore, and to see proof that the ghosts of them haunted me with my agreement and my attention.

Letting go meant to drive away without them, leaving the stone of who I was now, to replace the stone of who I used to be, when I believed a story so old the ash of it scattered in the wake of the car we drove away in, laughing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s