The art of letting go

Everything I’ve ever let go of has claw marks on it.
— David Foster Wallace

I cannot say that is true for me.

Most of the things I have let go, I have simply opened my hands and let it slide out, like the string of a balloon. I have let water slide through my fingers, not even trying to cup my hands to capture it. I have released people and places and things, released them into memory, but in many cases, released them into un-memory, a deliberate desire to not hold on to the scent or taste, to the idea or the feeling, of them.

Nearly everything I have ever let go, I have just let go.

That is a form of self-protection, if you must know. When you hold onto things, they have the ability to hurt you. When you hold onto people, they have the ability to hate you. I neither desire hurt nor hate and so it is best to just release, to step back, and to float away.

The worse thing about not letting go is that you betray a desire in yourself, you betray a want, and there is no worse feeling, I think, than reaching out for something and being unsure if you will be able to grasp it, if you will be able to keep it.

So, it is better to briefly touch, to experience it at the height, to where it is just a taste, an idea… and then to let it go before that desire morphs into a need, and that need into a place and space for weakness.

I like letting go. Life is easier that way.

(I wish I knew how to hold on harder; I wish I could leave claw marks; I wish it weren’t all so easy)

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