Monday, December 04, 2006


I was thinking about the move and how I cope well in emergencies and that means I'll probably manage, and then I thought about my parents' funerals and how I organised them. I was glad to. It meant I had to be busy. No time to worry about why I wasn't crying.

I cry sometimes but not at the things I feel I ought to, and when other people do. Far too caught up in the adrenalin rush and the drama of the ceremony or the event, mentally ticking off the items on the to do list. And afterwards? Not really. I remember and get the lump in the throat, my eyes fill and my heart aches. That's where it stops. The physical sensations subside and diffuse and the feeling stays lodged or untapped.

I cry at the end of love affairs.

I cry when I'm frightened. I have never cried tears of happiness, don't understand that at all. I don't cry for other people. I want to help them, comfort them, put my arms around them and hold them, make it better. But I can't cry for them.

And yet I quite often want to cry. A storm of hot, salt tears. Shuddering sobs. They wash me clean. I feel reborn. Released. I wish I could cry more.


Blogger Susan said...

I cry at the drop of a hat. It can be really embarrasing. I cant talk about anything that upsets be without the water works kicking in. At parent teacher meetings, at movies, picking out greeting cards!

8:09 am  
Blogger Darkmind said...

I surfed here from LJ's blog and have been reading through. Interesting post. I never cried, not even at funerals, until my mental breakdown. Now it seems I have no control over when I cry. It still happends fairly rarely, but not on purpose.

8:23 am  
Blogger Jean said...

When and why each of us cries is a deep mystery that goes to the heart of our life's experience, I think. It's rarely when we feel sanctioned to cry - perhaps in a way that sanction removes the need. Everyone is so different. It's unaccountably painful, I find, to watch someone else cry for something that doesn't make me cry. An endlessly interesting and endlessly uncomfortable subject. So reading this was fascinating and moving for me. It moved me, perhaps, even more, coming after your lovely piece about water - moving from your beautiful photos to the thought of the deep pools within us.

10:08 am  
Blogger zhoen said...

I cry for no reason at all, when I am angry, when I have to have a meeting with a supervisor. I have no control over them at all, and if I could stop the tears, even if I never cried again, I would. I was punished for 'turning on the waterworks' as a child, shaming and frustrating, and I often cry in fury.

We are who we are. Don't wish to be otherwise.

10:53 am  
Blogger Tamar said...

These past couple of years I have been crying so much. Remembering and regretting, forgiving and moving on. And have even been crying when I have felt joy. It seems like the heaven opened up in me and rained and rained. Lately it has been a little less so I think that the storm is finally passing.
I wonder what has made you think about your crying or not, lately?

10:53 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fascinating post and comments; I agree with what Jean said. I come from a non-crying family and have always been the [weeping] black sheep.

But I'm sure you'll cope just fine with the move, and whether you cry for joy when it's achieved is up to you.


11:38 am  
Blogger Pauline said...

Your story reminds me of one I read as a child about a little princess that could not cry. The king offered gold to anyone who could cure his daughter of this affliction. Nothing worked until another child brought some onions to the palace and encouraged the princess to peel them. Perhaps you, too, just need a nudge to let go, giving yourself permission to sob when you feel the urge. Tears are a natural reaction. Swallowing them back is a social thing. I hope you cry more often (meant in the nicest way possible).

11:50 am  
Blogger Tarakuanyin said...

I wish I could swallow my tears, hold them back. They come at the worst time. My family hated them when I was growing up; they called me melodramatic. We're not supposed to cry; any sign of emotion is a sign of instability. That's how I was raised. When my mum was diagnosed with breast cancer, she was upset because I cried. "You have to be strong," she said. I want to know why. Why is it wrong to cry when your mother is dying? But still, tears shame me. I guess we're all different.

This was a moving topic, and the comments were interesting. Thanks.

8:07 pm  
Blogger Endment said...

Very insightful as well as an invitation for the rest of us to take a look at our own needs for Tears in our lives. Thanks so much for sharing.

2:47 am  
Anonymous Becca said...

Two wonderful posts, Mary. Our hearts store up so many memories, thoughts, unresolved issues, worries & concerns, fear of the future or unknown, or sometimes just too too too much everyday stuff ... so every once in a while the dam breaks so we can breathe again. Wish we were in the same neighborhood to share coffee!

3:17 am  
Blogger rdl said...

(o) Wish I had something smart to add here but all i think is i wish i could give you a hug.

4:01 am  
Blogger herhimnbryn said...

Your post is so timely Mary! I have found myself twice recently howling and tears flowing and then the need to do so departs. No reason to do this, but hell's teeth I felt better afterwards!
I put it down to menopause. The man in my life ( The Bear), looks so perplexed, but knows it's best to leave me alone.

I now understand when you talk about feeling washed clean after sobbing.

Great post. Thankyou.

7:24 am  
Blogger Dave said...

When and Why the tears fall are truly unique to the individual. We cry for all kinds of reasons and sometimes for no reasons at all. I guess we let the tears fall and stay in the now.
Just my take on tears.

1:14 pm  
Blogger Brenda said...

This is a poignant and beautiful post! I love crying, but do it too rarely. And, oh, deep sobbing always feels so good... really! But I make light of the way the water cleanses us, the storms pass through us, leaving us somehow at peace, somehow renewed. Our elemental natures... :)

4:39 pm  
Anonymous arevik said...

A wonderful post. I never heard so many different people talking about so many different ways to cry.
I think about this fairy tale where tears are changed into pearls as soon as they touch the ground. A symbol of their precious virtues.
(But cannot remember anything else from the story).

9:02 pm  
Blogger Sky said...

Your post gave me so much to think about. Good to see you again, by the way. When tears come out of the core of me, from a deeply primitive place that feels like an untapped well, I feel remarkably cleansed. After a deep sleep I am refreshed and empty of tension and rage. That place of open circuit and connected snapses renders me whole once again, inner life flowing smoothly without obstruction and/or fragmentation.

I have gone through phases in my life where I have found tears easily available and other periods where I did not cry at all. I believe I am my healthiest when my inner feelings are available to my conscious self and the tears flow easily. I feel blocked from myself when I am unable to reach my tears. I believe the pent up feelings which have not been "felt" take up valuable space inside me where joy could live, so I am always glad when I can "feel" the pain housed deep inside me, accept it and become it, then release myself from it. When I have been unable to do this it has been because I have been too afraid to let go of the control I have maintained, a control that seemed to be keeping me intact and whole. Letting go is a difficult process when we are afraid. Yet, sometimes it is the true panacea - the true healer which insures our safety as a whole being.

11:49 am  
Blogger MB said...


4:42 pm  
Blogger Mary said...

What wonderful comments!!

Susan: Welcome! I know the other extreme has its drawback too ...

Darkmind: Good to have you visit. When I do cry I don't have any control over it either.

Jean: What a beautiful comment ...

Zhoen: I empathise. I omitted to mention inthe post that frustration can trigger tears.

Tamar: Some tears a few weeks ago made me realise how long it had been ... I think that's why it's on my mind.

Jan: I hope you're right!

Pauline: I know, I feel the lack of tears as a loss. But whatever stops me from letting go seems beyond my reach at the moment.

Taraky: Thank you so much for sharing that. We were the other way round. My mother was more outwardly emotional than I am. I take after my father in this area.

Endment: Thank you and everyone for responding ... it was not easy to post but the comments have been such a gift.

Becca: Too much everyday stuff can sometimes do it for me too .... and the dam is a good analogy.

Rdl: Hugs gratefully accepted and returned :-)

HHB: ... and a hug for you too.

Dave: Stay in the now, let it happen. Indeed.

Brenda: Good to see you. You describe the cleansing so well.
Thank you.

Arevik: The comments are wonderful, and thank you for adding to them.

Sky: And I am so pleased to seeyou. And thank you for reminding me that ease of accessing feelings does go in phases with me too. And like you I feel healthier when I can tap into them ... You describe the process so clearly and beautifully here. Thank you for this and for your comment below.

MB: (o) :-)

7:42 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

close your eyes and dream.... dream of a large, gentle woman who takes you in her arms and holds you close... saying....

all will be OK. you're OK. let go. it is safe. so very safe. it is OK.

she rocks you and you begin to melt into her softness. slowly, the emotions rise... your grief... your sadness... your disappointments... your childhood longings that you still wait for today... lost loves... hopes that still linger... all rises to the surface and with a huge sigh of sadness your eyes sting with the salty tears that come from deep within.

all the grief of a lifetime flows from your body. and the soft, gentle woman rocks you saying... it is OK. you're going be OK. it's OK...

the tears flow and it is OK. Just let go. Dream of this gentle woman, let her rock you to sleep. You're OK... You're OK.

All is OK.

6:44 am  

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