Showering the Soul

“Heaven knows we need never be ashamed of our tears, for they are rain upon the blinding dust of earth, overlying our hard hearts.” ~Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

I don’t cry. Well, I do … but not a lot. I cry when I am intensely angry or extremely frustrated. Media outlets can make me teary-eyed: songs, movies – even TV commercials. I don’t really know why I am this way. I guess I have just had WAY too much practice at being the stoic one … having the stiff upper lift … feigning courage and strength during highly charged emotional situations … whatever.

“Tears are the safety valve of the heart when too much pressure is laid on it.” ~Albert Smith

Imagine my surprise, while on the verge of sleep and happily horizontal in my bed last night, a valve suddenly burst and I found myself drowning in tears. This was no small sniffle. I bawled. I wailed. I sobbed. For five minutes I lay in my bed and just blubbered like I haven’t cried in … well, I don’t remember the last time I cried so heavily. The strange thing is that I don’t even know WHY I was crying. Once my weeping spell was complete and I had washed away whatever it was that must have been bothering me, I got up and turned down the air conditioner just a bit, wiped my eyes, and went back to bed where I did eventually manage to find slumber amidst my puzzlement about what had just occurred.

“I discovered early that crying makes my nose red, and the knowledge has helped me through several painful episodes.” ~Edith Wharton, The House of Mirth

Of course, this morning I had black circles under my eyes courtesy of my crying fit. Lovely. I also feel as though I had been hit by a truck while mysteriously sleepwalking down the interstate at some point during the night and the poor soul who smacked into me returned me to my bed instead of taking my ass to a hospital. I don’t look quite that bad. At least, I hope I don’t look quite that bad. Still, it is enough for me to not want a repeat performance. I don't like crying to begin with, but seeing and feeling the results of a midnight breakdown on this body is enough for me to despise the practice even more … especially since I am still unable to determine why the whole thing took place.

“Tears are Summer showers to the soul.” ~Alfred Austin, Savonarola

“Let your tears come. Let them water your soul.” ~Eileen Mayhew


  1. When you got to work, did they tell you that the shelter was two doors to the left?

    Excuse me, I'm trying this new 'joke' thing I hear about.



    Getting it all out in that manner is incredibly cathartic. I never admit this (the last time someone saw me cry must have been six years ago) but once in a while, I'll be seated by myself and something sets off that avalanche and, afterwards, I walk around feeling 'cleansed' for days.

  2. Dry wit! I love it and I actually did chuckle aloud. I do feel a bit cleansed. I would feel better if I didn't have the crying hangover. :o)

  3. Good for you, so I believe, and the hangover is not that negative one so often experienced by some, but a positive one, growth taking place in the most real levels of being, little known outwardly by appearances, but more real. When water moves from the soul, God listens and knows directly.

  4. I so do this same thing..I don't cry often except for at those Hallmark commercials, movies, etc..
    I do it when no ones around because red swollen noses and bawling is not pretty.
    I do have the crying spells that you discribed here, at the wierdest times..and mostly about nothing.
    And it's NOT due to PMS. It just happens..pent up waters that just need to flood sometimes. ;)

  5. I'm quite an avid weeper. It doesn't take much to get me teary-eyed. Music does it, news stories I hear on NPR, just about anything my daughter says or does, a good book, a bad memory, my list is really endless. And I am certainly no stranger to the blubbering, sobbing, hiccuping fit.

    This doesn't mean I'm no fun to hang out with, though. I swear.

    **Splashing your face multiple times with very cold water immediately following the crying binge can mitigate some of the visible effects of your hangover.

    By the way, I *love* your blog and plan to visit often. I also fully support your dealing of Shakespeare, your commitment to complete your degree (I finished my final semester of my Theater degree at age 30) and your affinity for "The Lost Boys."


  6. @ jennifer ~ ALWAYS at the strangest times ... too weird.

    @meaghan ~ Welcome! Sometimes I wish I were and avid weeper. Other times I am grateful for my stoicism. Perhaps I need to find a place in the middle.


"Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?" ~Walt Whitman


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