Letting Go

Letting go is purple. Letting go is paint, layered, full of grey. A whole lot of grey. Letting go is a canvas of pines and the smell of smoke and the trail that you can barely see. Letting go is uncertainty of what will come. Because letting go is not running. And, It is not holding on. It is not pushing away. And, so it can feel paralyzing, as if you’ve lost all feeling in your limbs.

We are connected in more ways that we have ever been. It is so seemingly easy to find or be found, to follow the screen of faces my finger scrolls down. We are the helicopter kids, now all grown up with longer limbs that still don’t touch the sky. We have lost our backyards and the woods to fear and scripted programming when life is anything but predictable. These carefully constructed cardboard lives we lead are two dimensional. There is no breath here. It is terrifying to notice the air in our lungs, the bodies we have and their fragility.

“What are you reading right now?”

Well, that’s hard to say. “To be honest, I’m not sure. I have a few stacks of books. Most of them haven’t been finished. They are unresolved. I think a lot of my life feels unresolved.”

I have been piling up books, across the squeaking hardwood floor, on top of that scratched sidewalk-found chair, and covering the bright red table. They’re under my bed, squeezed between the pallet frames. A few are hidden beneath the nightstand, keeping company with dust bunnies. Some have been opened; others never even cracked. Many though, have at least a few chapters read, earmarks lovingly folded to a place I’ll come back.

I promised I’d come back. Right now, I’m having a hard time sticking though, so I spread them out, trying to string together the meaning in phrases and sentences, hoping that maybe the story will begin to make some sort of sense. There has to be a bigger narrative here if I could just get my hands on it.

Letting go feels like broken promises, as if we just found out we don’t have some cosmic control of the universe. It feels unsafe. It is embracing the unknown without trying to grab hold of it. Destiny, vocation, purpose cannot be clutched; it slips through your fingers. Trust me, I’ve tried.

I thought that letting go meant starting over, throwing it all out. It was loose and open and careless.

Maybe it doesn’t. Maybe when we’re frozen and numb, it’s the only way to get back to the slow, painful process of moving. Of rebuilding. Even when the resolution isn’t clear. Maybe letting go is saying what you mean. It is the space between breaths. Maybe it’s this distance that creates the possibility of something beautiful if we give it room for the oxygen to rush in.


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