Three days in a row I’ve been moved to tears by literature or a musical. I started reading, The Hate U Give, by Angie Thomas, on the drive to see family. Before the third chapter, I had tears cresting and falling down my face with no end in sight. I stopped reading in time to pull myself together to laugh and goof off with babies.
Then I watched Hamilton with my granddaughter and daughter-in-law. My granddaughter had fallen asleep on the sofa before the truly heartbreaking part of the show. But my daughter-in-law and I sat with tears streaming. We stopped wiping them away because there was no point. There were so many more falling into place behind them. Might as well just let them be a river of tears.
Now I’m back to the drive home and back to reading, and back to blurred vision through tears, and I have to stop for a few minutes because I can’t see the page.
I sit forward and stare out the front window as Mt Shasta looms in all its snow-covered glory on the horizon. We are driving toward it and it will eventually be so breathtakingly huge and beautiful that I’ll cry for the awe and rapture of it.
So, tears come easily perhaps. And the pain others put into story form, to allow others to see into their world, see what their challenges and struggles were, see what they rose up from, what brought them to their knees – I feel these things deeply. I experience along with every character I have ever encountered, their highs and lows, their strengths and their breaking points.
And when the world is too much, and I can’t take on the emotions of others anymore, I bury my face into the baby soft hair of a grand baby and smell her sweet baby scent of the gentlest shampoo ever and something sticky to round it all out in baby perfection. Or I look up to the mountains, which, from where we live, or heading home from being away, are always beautiful and majestic. And I sigh, and sometimes tears well up in my eyes.
I don’t see crying as a bad thing. I see it as a natural human expression, and something necessary for keeping the heart and soul well lubricated and functioning. It is good to be moved by someone else’s joy or pain, to allow their heart’s cry to call out to us. For our hearts to leap or dance in response, or sob along with them as they shatter to pieces before us.
(Photo by Vlah Dumitru on Unsplash)