a small spell for letting go

you had plans
but maybe
the kids were sick
your partner was sick
there was a snowstorm
the water heater died
in the middle
of the snowstorm
while everyone was sick
and maybe
has had your number
since februarys began
and maybe
some months
you just have to let go

light a candle
any candle
the stub of an old one
is perfect

take a piece of string
any string
something that won’t reek when burned
is best

think of all the things
that are tying you in knots–
the things you didn’t do
the things you couldn’t do
the things you won’t do
(let’s be honest)

for each thing
each unrealized intention
each unfulfilled plan
each seed that withered
on barren soil
tie a knot
in the string
(don’t tie too tight
the point is to let go)

speak their names
(there is power in names)
and release them–

the story you didn’t write
the project you didn’t finish
the project you didn’t start
the call you didn’t make
the hard conversation you weren’t ready for
the room you didn’t clean
the house you didn’t clean
(let’s be honest)
the best-laid plans
the half-laid plans
the failure to plan

untie each knot
one by one
and speak to the listening air
(there is power in words)

release them
all of them
let them go
they have been tying you in knots
but now you release them
and by doing so
you free yourself

hold the unknotted string
in the palm of your hand
though your knots were loose
they have left their marks
sit with this knowledge
until you can accept it
can accept the marks
that undone things
leave on the soul

hold the end of the string
in the flame of the candle
until it kindles
set it down
watch it burn
(don’t burn down the house
that is pretty hard
to let go of later
so let’s just not go there)

watch the string
snake to ash
red fire tracing its length
consuming it
feel your soul
burn clean

flush the ashes
down the toilet
down the drain
let them wash away
fire to a watery grave
this is the place
for the ashes
of lost things

4 thoughts on “a small spell for letting go

  1. Wow. Just wow. I can’t be any more articulate than this, Brenna. I read this out loud to myself and was moved almost to tears.

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