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Posts Tagged ‘letting go’




She remembers how at the orchard
the wind would sometimes
rip the ripening fruit from the trees.
Not because it was cruel.
It was wind doing what wind does.
And life does what life does.
It takes. It gives. It takes. It gives.
Not because life is cruel or generous,
but because it is life.
Look how the word why forms on her lips—
look how saying the word
requires a small pucker like a kiss.
She doesn’t seem to expect an answer.
Perhaps she is practicing
how to lean into the silence that always follows
when she asks the unanswerable.
Perhaps she is practicing how to kiss the unknown.
If she could have stopped the wind from blowing,
she would have. If she could have stopped
her son from dying, her father from dying,
her friend from dying, she would have.
Instead, she is learning this:
no matter how much she does,
no matter how good, how quick,
how noble, how loving, how well-intentioned,
life will do what life does.
And still the invitation
to bring to every moment her best,
which is to say whatever
the moment asks of her.
See her hair blow in the wind.
The only thing she can do
is choose to notice the place within
that remains still no matter
how hard the wind blows.
Perhaps she will learn how this stillness, too,
is life doing what life does.

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Preparation




Not the butcher knife and not the axe—
those instruments that whack and slash.
Oh life, give me the paring knife that fits easily
in the hand. I am wounded from the larger blades,
scarred by all they’ve cut away. Am I the wielder
of the knife? Or the one that’s being carved?
If I had my way, I’d shape my days with purpose
and precision—cut away what’s rotten,
peel and trim what doesn’t serve and still
preserve the whole. I want to be dexterous,
agile, deft. I want to be careful with what is left.
And what is left—it’s become more precious
knowing how quickly it might be sliced away.
Oh, let’s be real. If it were my hand,
I’d be hard pressed to use a blade at all,
no matter how slim, no matter how small.
For each time it moves, I hear the blade sing,
when this work is done, you’ll lose everything.
And it catches the light as it shaves and pares.
And less is here. And less is here.




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It was a dream, but I tell you
everything was on fire in the house—
I knew the whole island would burn,
and I had to choose what to take
and I ran past the old records
and thought, I have those songs in me,
and I ran past the books
and thought, I have those stories,
and I ran past the photos
and thought, those memories
are already with me,
so I ran, chased by flames,
toward the ocean
with the only thing
I can really carry, this buoyant love,
and I dove in, hands empty,
able to cup the water
and pull through the tide.
The salt water lifted me,
whispered in waves: letting go
is what keeps you alive

*

Hi friends, sorry the poem is late! We had no internet last night. Happy almost solstice–I have never been so ready for the light. 
Love, Rosemerry

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Erosion



We are being given the chance to become who we are supposed to be.
            —Judith Jordan Kalush, in conversation


I didn’t know I’d found a thin ledge
where I could rest, I didn’t know
I had come to feel settled there
until the ledge crumbled.
I clung to the ground as it fell.

It’s not just the ledge
coming apart, it’s me
being dismantled, undone by loss,
and it hurts, and I’m sad, and it’s hard,
but I notice no impulse to fix it.

Today there is a spaciousness in grief
I could not have known was here—
Ungrounded, I expand in every direction.
I let go of what I thought was solid.
I kiss the letting go.  

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I wish you the peace of sleep,
your breath a canoe
that carries you
toward the next moment
without any need
for you to touch the oars.
How easily you arrive.

Oh, to trust the world like that—
trust you will be carried,
not just in sleep,
but in waking dreams,
trust no matter how high the waves,
the skiff of grace
has a seat for you.
And oh, to let go of the oars—
there is no steering
toward what comes next.

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not reading the book
on letting go—
she opens her hand

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Porous

with thanks to Joi Sharp


Yesterday I widened to hold it all—
made room in the heart
for every pain, every joy,
a vase infinitely large
to hold an infinite bouquet of feelings

Today, all it took
was two beautiful questions—
Why do you think you must
hold it all? What if you let
it all pass through?

In that moment,
the vase didn’t shatter,
it simply disappeared
and the infinite feelings
I’d been stretching to hold
I felt them, I felt them all,
then felt them move through me
the way water runs
through a colander, the way
oxygen moves through
the thin walls of alveoli,
the way sand moves through
the center of the hourglass.

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Teach me
to trust
the hope
that blooms
inside
the loss,
the love
that’s at
the heart
of fear—
teach me
to molt,
to slough,
to shed,
to doff,
to meet
the first light
and then
let even that
go.

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After holding something tight for just minutes,
it takes ten more for the fist to unhold,
to let what it has been grasping
simply balance there in the palm.

I have heard the story of how they trap monkeys
by putting a treat through a hole just big enough
that the monkey’s hand can slip in, but
when clasped around the sweet,
cannot slip out.

I have been one of the rare monkeys
who knows that to be free, it must let go.
It takes time, but eventually the fingers unfurl
the way a leaf unfolds out of its bud—
not all at once, but in spurts, little jerks
of the knuckles, until at last the hand is open
and the fingers remember
what they can do besides clench,
besides clutch, besides clamp.

Today I wonder if the head might learn
what the hand knows, might to slacken and relax
to release a dream.
It never knew holding a dream
could become a problem—
it was a dream, for heaven’s sakes.
Something good. Something wonderful.
Something sweet.

When did the dream become a trap?
A tightening, a snare?
Oh dream, can I let you go
the way a hand might release a piece of paper?
Such a beautiful dream—
that those around me might truly be happy
if only I am good enough, if only I hang on.

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The swirling ash

doesn’t try

to be become

log again.

The flying leaves

don’t attempt

to return

to the tree.

The girl

can’t untwist

her genome

back into

separate strands.

The flour

in the bread

can’t return

to the sack,

can’t undo

the kneading

of hands.

In all things

lives a memory

of letting go

and the chance

to transform

into what

it can’t know.

What do you say

to that, heart?

Good self,

what do you say

to that?

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