Letting Go and Holding On is a four-part short memoir essay, which is part of a larger creative non-fiction project that I am working on…
“What was it,” I asked myself, “that kept me hanging on to a faint hope that barely had a glimmer of light on the surface?” Was it the darkness in his soul that reminded me of my own darkness? He was a complex man, and I a complex woman. The danger signs had always been there. But it was never intentional. Like two schooners passing in the bay, we each tossed out a lifeline and we became entangled. Entangled and then trapped in some all-encompassing soul drama of unfulfilled emotion and passion.
It wrenched at my sensibilities with all of the weight of the dozens of boxes of books I carried with me each time I moved. There were words in those boxes of books. Words I could not express, but someone else did. There were words in those boxes. Words of love, words of wisdom, words of pain, words of self-discovery, words of social significance. Those were all the words I struggled to share and I clung to them like a lover waiting for her romance to blossom and grow as a rose grows in warm sun.
How does one find the strength to let go of something that one does not possess but holds dear? How does one stop memories that flood the mind like a tidal wave each day, rolling in and out of the heart like thunder across the plain? This existence seems barren and cold without the desired one… Yet there is no basis, is there, for the desire? Is it love or is it the illusion of love that is so attractive? Is it the man or the illusion of the man that is so attractive? These are the questions I ask myself daily and I have as yet to find an answer for them.
And still, I hold on, clinging to the vine of desire as though it were a lifeline tossed over the edge of the precipice while I dangle like a fish on a hook, waiting, waiting, waiting for he who may never return. I covet that which I cannot have and I covet that which I do not need. It is a paradox is it not. The paradox of holding on to things that one may no longer need or want. The paradox of life at any age in which you realize you have unfilled connections, desires and emotions. These are the things that haunt me.
These are the things that I pack in my boxes and haul about with me. They are not my baggage, they are my stuff and they are my dreams. These are the things I allow myself to wallow in, wishing for something more than I have. Understanding that connections made on the map of the universe, must be played out, despite the pain. From these things, I learn every day. And so, I keep them close. All the stuffs and the man. For now. Because I am learning from them. “When the learning stops, I will let them go,” I say to myself. Until then I hold on; I pack them up again in boxes again and again, hauling the weight of boxes of books and rocks and unrequited love with me wherever I go.
The End… Maybe.
Stay tuned for Nesting on the River.