Andi Cumbo - Writer, Editor, Online Writing Courses, Classes & Lessons

Wild, Quiet Lessons In Non-Attachment

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Let go completely. Let yourself totally be a writer from now on. – Natalie Goldberg

It clenches tight around my clavicles, this refusal to let go, this grasping, this belief that if I say it, do it, believe it better, it won’t go. They won’t go. It will be better, perfect even. 3473826108

But holding onto everything is heavy, not so heavy at first, like a folktale about starting at the bottom of a hill and picking up one rock at a time along the way. By the time you’re at the top, your bucket is heavy, but you have carried it.

The problem is that life isn’t just one hill.

I want to explain, to defend, to force understanding. Each word I write a rock in the bucket.

So, so heavy.


In Middle English, letten meant “to hinder” or as a noun “an obstruction.”

In Middle English, leten meant “to permit.”

Both and yes.

Let go. To keep myself from grasping. From clenching. From clutching.

Let go. To permit things to travel from me and to me unhindered.  Free.


I am being taught wild, quiet lessons in non-attachment these days. About the need to disconnect myself from outcomes, from tomorrows. About the need to let and to go.

A pepper plant withered because its tender stalk is broken.

Pages sent again and again across the universe of 0s and 1s, never to be seen again.

Brand new gravel washed down the hillside into grass.

To let the petals from the dogwood drift against my hands and through. To let them kiss the web of my fingers. To let them fall, ungrasped is to let them fall unbruised.

I will not pick up all that gravel and carry it back up the mountain.

What are you working to let go at this moment?

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Author: Andi

I am a writer, editor, and writing teacher whose most recent book, The Slaves Have Names, tells the story of the people who were enslaved on the plantation where I was raised. When I'm not working, my husband and I are working to make our small farm - God's Whisper Farm - a retreat here at the edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains.

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