Monday, September 20, 2010

Blood, Sweat and Tears- Part III

Alright, I think by now you know the drill. Let's begin, shall we?

Wiki (I love Wiki, in case that has not been noticed) says that tears are the liquid product of a process of crying to clean and lubricate the eyes. Best definition yet! I actually understand all those words! I don't know if I should be excited, embarrassed or deeply saddened by that fact. I would like to use the word 'tears' in a literary, but less than literal sense, meaning to cry. You might produce tears when you yawn or there is something in your eye, but this isn't crying.

(In the cases of blood and sweat, we had fun watching Anna stumble through her minimal knowledge of biology trying to explain the physical causes and ramifications of these things. In the case of tears, I'll spare you the entertainment. Because this one is different. While the other two were very physical, this one is primarily emotional. If you really want to go deeper with tear ducts and what tears are actually made of, knock yourself out. That's what the Wiki link is for.)

We cry for countless reasons. Reasons as vast and varied as people themselves. Most commonly, we cry when we are sad, hurt or upset. For some of us, beauty moves us to tears. Sometimes elation can cause us to cry. Any strong emotion, positive or negative that overwhelms or deeply touches us can make us cry. Experts say it really depends on the person and in this case, I just so happen to agree with these experts, though I am certainly not one myself.

We all have the capacity to cry, but some of us don't cry very often. Others cry at the drop of a hat. Women tend to cry more than men, which you've probably noticed, regardless of you own sex. This is probably partially do to the stigma that crying is a weak and feminine thing to do, rather than a human one.

You know the feeling. That horrible tightening in your chest, the lump in your throat and the warm sensation behind you eyes.

Swallowing hard, you try to push down the grief that bubbles over you, enveloping you in sorrow.

A part of you is determined to keep the tears pushed back, safely inside, safely hidden, but they are equally determined to pour out, regardless of where you are and what you're doing.

The first tear slides from the flooded well of your eye. There is no more point in trying to subdue them, they are here. Like it or not, ready or not, you are crying. Drawing a shaking breath, you surrender.

You cry. Tears in you eyes, an ache in your heart, your nose is running and these odd sounds are coming from you throat, unbidden as you breathe.

They hurt, they represent a pain that is hidden and invisible. Yet through that expression, they are made tangible. They soothe you by materializing your pain and pouring it out... drop... by drop.


Tears and crying are inextricably connected to emotions. Emotions are about the most human thing I can think of. While they do have some, we do not see the same range and response to emotions in animals or in plants. While they have life, they do not seem to feel as we do.

Why do we feel? What is the point of an experience so real, yet often outside of reality? How do we feel these things?

Our minds are amazing and powerful things. Linked with our hearts and our souls... they can do crazy and unbelievable things.

I do not understand. I cannot comprehend the way these things work.

And yet... I am one of those things.

I do not even understand the strange and complicated being that is me.


Do you cry very often? Do you sometimes enjoy crying? You know how sometimes we'll say we "had a good cry"? Crying alleviates something. It loosens and lessens the tight knots of feeling we wind ourselves into. We cry to express emotion and often, we find some consolation or closure in that expression.

Or are you like me? Do you not cry very often? Do you try not to cry? Does crying just embarrass you more than anything else? I think crying, while hard for those of us who hate it, is also good for us in a way. They say bottling things up is never good. When those of us who try to keep it all in cry, there is something uniquely vulnerable there. We let our guard down just a little, which is humiliating, but sometimes necessary. You can't carry the whole world on your shoulders. You can't always be strong.

Kids assume that adults never cry. It scares them to see their parents cry. I'll bet you remember the first time you saw your Dad cry. I do. I can't imagine lots of people I know crying. It's not the face, the side of them you normally see.

Our grief is often kept private. It's often connected to the things we are closest to. Only those things have the power to move us in extreme ways. As such, we can't and don't expect just anyone to understand our pain. Nor do we want them to see it. Who wants to be known as the lady who cries in the grocery store? Awkward. It'll get you some concerned looks and maybe a referral to a good psychologist.

Both sweat and tears are salty. Salt and humanity... oh the connections we could make here. I will make one. You can make one two and then we will have a pair. Salt flavors. Humanity 'flavors', if you will, the world. We make it. We get to choose, to an extent, the way things go down here.
Do you like the flavor?


A tear. A single tear. What is the weight of a tear? What is the worth of some one's pain?

The tear of someone I love?

The tear of the stranger?

The tear of someone whose pain I do not know?

The tear of someone whose pain I caused?

The tear of the one who cries for himself?

The tear of the one who cries for another?

The tear for the dead?

The tear for the living?

The tear for pain?

The tear of the one moved by beauty?

The tear of the hopeless?

The tear for sorrow?

The tear for joy?

What is the weight of a tear?

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