Quotations about:
    let go

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It’s hard to let go of anything we love. We live in a world that teaches us to clutch. But when we clutch we’re left with a fist full of ashes.

LEngle - fist full of ashes - wist_info quote

Madeleine L'Engle (1918-2007) American writer
A Ring of Endless Light, ch. 4 [Adam] (1980)
Added on 11-Jun-16 | Last updated 11-Jun-16
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How many people have died because they could not abandon their baggage?

Robert A. Heinlein (1907-1988) American writer
Friday [Friday Jones] (1982)
Added on 3-Nov-15 | Last updated 3-Nov-15
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Remember, though we struggle against things because we are afraid of them, it is often the other way round — we get afraid because we struggle. Are you struggling, resisting? Don’t you think Our Lord says to you ‘Peace, child, peace. Relax. Let go. Underneath are the everlasting arms. Let go, I will catch you. Do you trust me so little?’ Of course, this may not be the end. Then make it a good rehearsal.

C. S. Lewis (1898-1963) English writer, literary scholar, lay theologian [Clive Staples Lewis]
Letter to Mary Willis Shelburne (17 Jun 1963)

Discussing the closeness of death.
Added on 23-Sep-15 | Last updated 23-Sep-15
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[I]t was followed by a long scream of rage mixed with a roar of complaint: “AAaargwannawannaaaagongongonaargggaaaaBLOON!” which is the traditional sound of a very small child learning that with balloons, as with life itself, it is important to know when not to let go of the string. The whole point of balloons is to teach small children this.

Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) English author
A Hat Full of Sky, ch. 11 “Arthur” (2004)

This is apparently the origin of the much more frequently found paraphrase:

There are times in life when people must know when not to let go. Balloons are designed to teach small children this.

This shorter form has been used, among other places, in a Change.org petition to Death to reinstate Pratchett after the author's passing. It is possible Pratchett may have used it somewhere else, but I am unable to find it (it does not show up in the alt.fan.pratchett board in any message from him).

See also Cox.
Added on 15-Jul-15 | Last updated 29-Dec-23
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YOKE: Things past redress are now with me past care.

William Shakespeare (1564-1616) English dramatist and poet
Richard II, Act 2, sc. 3, l. 175 (2.3.175) (1595)
Added on 24-Nov-14 | Last updated 8-Feb-24
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If you ever drop your keys into a river of molten lava, let ’em go, because man, they’re gone.

Jack Handey (b. 1949) American humorist
Deeper Thoughts (1993)
Added on 11-Sep-14 | Last updated 11-Sep-14
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Any real change implies the breakup of the world as one has always known it, the loss of all that gave one an identity, the end of safety. And at such a moment, unable to see and not daring to imagine what the future will now bring forth, one clings to what one knew, or dreamed that one possessed. Yet, it is only when a man is able, without bitterness or self-pity, to surrender a dream he has long cherished or a privilege he has long possessed that he is set free — he has set himself free — for higher dreams, for greater privileges.

Baldwin - surrender a dream - wist_info quote

James Baldwin (1924-1987) American novelist, playwright, activist
“Faulkner and Desegregation,” Partisan Review (Fall 1956)
Added on 3-Dec-10 | Last updated 3-Dec-15
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Finish every day and be done with it. For manners and for wise living it is a vice to remember. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it well and serenely, and with too high a spirit to be cumbered with your old nonsense.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
Letter to one of his daughters
Added on 18-Jul-07 | Last updated 31-Aug-20
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