No Holding On, No Holding Back

Leanna Glenn Markham

“No one can really hold a Feeling
Even if it feels like someone can
They know it themselves
No one can hold a Feeling
Yet it seems so palpable
So perfect
So real
That sometimes you can convince the mind
Of what it really wants
You can try and hold that sweetness in your palm
But the moment you realize it’s there
It’s already drifted away
Like the sand shifting through your fingers on a decaying beach” – Charlotte Thomas

No Holding On, No Holding Back

Fiction. Based on a true clinging.

By Leanna Glenn Markham

This journal entry is inspired by true events. Some of the characters, names, businesses, incidents, and certain locations and events have been fictionalized for dramatic purposes. Any similarity to the name, character or history of any person is entirely coincidental and unintentional.

Trigger Warning: our program often motivates people to discuss their trauma. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, please, take a step back to address emotional flashbacks and trauma before continuing to push yourself. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, call 911 or the National Suicide Hotline at (1-800) 273-8255.

We can’t hold golden moments
any more than we can hold a sunrise
and keep that glow
just peeping over the hillsides
and spilling a measure of daylight
into the valley.
We cannot push back
the full sun of noon,
the heat of the afternoon,
the downward sliding of light
into night.

Stay with us Jesus,
for it’s nearly evening
and night is coming.

We cannot hold laughter,
that true bubbling of
the soul surprised,
It cannot stay.
For we would not love it
if it did not leave,
to take us again sometime
unaware of its approach.
And truly it grabs me
to the point of tears,
to the point of sobbing
when I’ve needed
both natural therapies.
There, the body takes over
when the mind would hold on,
hold on to composure,
to the illusion of calmness,
of not minding
what most blackens my gut.

The whole story–
okay, not the whole story,
but the flip sides of this story–
show me that
I cannot hold a feeling.
We hold
only pictures, memories, words
encapsulating it.
And–the big AND–
is that we also cannot
rid ourselves of feelings
simply at will.
They nest in our gut,
grow, hatch, and reproduce
a new generation
if we do not
haul them up,
teeming bucketful by bucketful,
behold them
in their slimy magnificence,
smell them, and even taste them anew.

I did not invent this system.
I just know that it is.

The golden moments,
the sweet feelings
also stay,
along with the ugly ones.
That is why we sense
joy at their recollection,
why a dream of an old
friend can leave you waking,
as if he were in the same room,
making you laugh,
laughing with you.
But we cannot force them into the present.
Instead, they also mingle
with the waters of the soul’s deep well
and seem to spring into consciousness
as volunteers on their own time.

Stay with us Jesus,
for it’s nearly evening
and night is coming.

We need the sunrise
and the night.
The full blaze of noon.
The sorrow and the joy.
To feel and to rest.

Stay with us.

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