I seldom cry. Yes, okay, friends who know me well will tell you otherwise and you may have noticed that I admit frequently to tears. But that’s different. I seldom cry when I’m unhappy. It seems such a pointless exercise. Only when the pain goes very deep do I weep and they are usually silent tears that fall unheeded.
Nor am I one of those who use tears for effect. After all, if someone cares so little that they can’t see when they have hurt you, what difference will tears make?
I do not remember weeping when my son was stabbed until he came out of surgery, hours and a hundred miles later. But I wept when he took that first unaided breath. I wept when he gripped my hand and when he took those first steps. He makes me weep a lot.
I remember the tears in the courtroom, shredded tissue on a black dress as we relived the nightmare and heard the full story for the first time.
But I don’t cry often in pain. It has to cut to the heart.
Beauty, kindness, care and joy, though, they get me every time.
And it won’t matter where I am, who I’m with or what I’m doing.
There was, of course, the unforgettable final moment of the ritual drama at the workshop in Derbyshire last year… many could tell you of that… when the sheer power and beauty of what was witnessed had me sobbing like some kind of small fountain and drying my tears on the robe. I will be carrying tissues this year… being so intimately involved with this workshop, after all, I may need them.
I cried at the sheer beauty of the world the first time I stood on top of a snow covered peak. I can weep for music… the first bars of the overture in a theatre always gets me. I cry at books, and weep for the small sacrifices made in silence for love.
But when it is aimed at me personally, we get to a whole new level of leakage. It can be as simple as a well-timed hug. Rare as they are, they matter. Every time. A simple hug can speak all the things for which the heart has no words. It can be a jar or three of coffee (you know who you are) and the care that goes into that gift, words on a card in the post or an small act of kindness.
It can be a few lines written out of the blue that catch me completely unawares, that creep into the heart, moving me so deeply that tears are the only answer I have to give. I went to bed with those tears last night.
It can be a story told with humour, hiding the depth of emotion.
There was one such this morning, posted by a friend. That friendship itself can move me to tears (but don’t tell him, he has a twisted sense of humour and I’d never hear the last of it!). We met some years ago online. Running Elk, affectionately known as H and another young woman, continents apart, became close friends online. We did some meditative work together. Only a year or so later did I find out they were related. The support they and Mrs H gave me through some very rough times and also later, when my son was attacked, is beyond words or price.
I had the pleasure of spending a few days wandering the landscape with all of them last year…the first time we had met after a friendship so deep and so long.
I wandered off again, didn’t I? No.. there was a point to that particular digression. I was going to say that while not everything we read online is true, especially the apparently lovely things, I know this writer and know that if he is sharing this story it is a true one. And so I had tears before breakfast, because it moved me so much. Don’t be fooled by the light touch of his writing either. I don’t for a minute think he got through it dry eyed either.