A Good Cry

“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

The light streams through the blinds and tickles my eyelids. I am slowly pulled from a nasty dream brought on by last night’s wicked storm. The faint melody of birdsong rouses me to full consciousness. I waken refreshed and renewed. With a slow lumbering yawn and cat-like stretch I move closer to the window. The streets are still wet with last nights revelry. They glitter and shine in the morning’s surprise sun.

The world seems  fresh and new after a long rain. As the sun shines it graces everything with a wee bit of hopefulness. It’s as if the sky has had a good cry and is now sporting a beaming shiny bright smile.

I myself always feel good after a good cry. I suppose that is why it is called that: a good cry. I have always been the sensitive type; prone to cry easily and at times for what I will later deem silly reasons. I used to be ashamed of my sensitivity. I hid it well behind a veneer of fake indifference but now I am proud of my sensitive nature. I know I am far from the only one who feels the way I do.

Crying is basic. It is humbling and very human.  It puts us in touch with our very basic of needs. It makes us vulnerable. It is generally thought of an activity of one who is sad but sometimes the act of crying can denote joy.

Tears of Joy
Tears of Joy

I have cried at the birth of both of my children. The first time this took me by surprise as tears of pure joy often do. I have also shed tears for the normal reasons of loss and rejection….misfortune, unfairness and at times simple frustration. I have wept at the loss of loved ones and upon witnessing the death of a tiny bird on my front steps.

Music makes me cry, certain songs do it every time. These I generally avoid, except on certain rare occasions.

I always feel better after I do. Crying is good for you.

And this is not just in my imagination. Many scientists agree with the theory that emotional crying is the body’s way of ridding itself of toxins and waste products that build up in times of elevated stress. The phrase “having a good cry” suggesting that the act can make one feel better physically and emotionally better is not far off the mark.

Crying is a great way to release pent up emotions, frustrations and stress. It restores the mind to a quieter place. Holding your emotions in can be dangerous over the long-term. In fact, research indicates that stifling emotional tears can cause elevated risk of heart disease and hypertension.

tears boy in public domain

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The Three Types of Tears

“In fact, three types of tears exist, all with different purposes. Basal tears are omnipresent in our eyes. These constant tears are what keep our eyes from drying out completely.
The second type is reflex tears, which serve to protect the human eye from harsh irritants such as smoke, onions or even a very strong, dusty wind.
Reflex tears are generally found to be about 98 percent water, whereas several chemicals are commonly present in emotional tears [Source: The Daily Journal. First is a protein called prolactin, which is also known to control breast milk production. Adrenocorticotropic hormones are also common and indicate high stress levels. The other chemical found in emotional tears is leucine-enkephalin, an endorphin that reduces pain and works to improve mood.
The third type of tears is emotional tears. It all starts in the cerebrum where sadness is registered. The endocrine system is then triggered to release hormones to the ocular area, which then causes tears to form. Emotional tears are common among people who see Bambi’s mother die or who suffer personal losses.”
                                                                                               *Courtesy of HowStuffWorks.com

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Soldier Crying IraqColorLineNews (1)
Real men cry.

I think society treats males unfairly when it comes to the issue of crying and emotions in general. It is crazy, nonproductive and downright unrealistic to think that boys and men do not have feelings. Men may deny they have them to each other but we mothers and wives and sisters know better.

Having emotions are not exclusive to one gender  but showing and sharing them is. In most societies, tears in men are seldom acceptable.  Boys learn early on it’s not kosher to show emotion, as it is considered a weakness and thus they grow up to be men who are cut off from expressing emotions of grief that can help them heal from emotional wounds. Anger becomes the preferred emotion because it is considered to be more “male”. (I don’t need to tell anyone how that is all working out.)

We as a people are in constant change. We have evolved and adapted to our circumstances. I do think we as a species are on the road to enlightenment but is a long one. Despite the harshness of the state of the world and apparent accelerating violence everywhere, I do believe that on a one-to-one individual basis people are growing kinder, gentler and more tolerant. In my own experience living on this planet for 44 years I have noticed this trend and it is encouraging. The acceptance of the showing of emotion is just one aspect of this shift.

“Those who do not weep, do not see.”

Victor Hugo

Strawberryindigo.

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“Some people say, “Never let them see you cry.” I say, if you’re so mad you could just cry, then cry. It terrifies everyone.”
― Tina Fey 
 
 

“Those who do not weep, do not see.” ― Victor Hugo

 
 

Related YouTube.

Make You Feel My LOVE  by Adele

Wuthering Heights Lover’s Last Scene

The Sky is Crying  by Stevie Ray Vaughn

The Tracks of My Tears by Smokey Robinson 

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 References, Related Articles and Interesting Tidbits

Do animals cry?  (news.discovery.com)

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Why Cry? Evolutionary Biologists Show Crying Can Strengthen Relationships  (Sciencedaily.com)

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Why is it so hard for men to cry? (psychcentral.com)

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 How Crying Works _Hoyt, Alia.  “How Crying Works”  02 July 2008.  HowStuffWorks.com. <http://science.howstuffworks.com/life/crying.htm&gt;  17 February 2014.

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Crying  (wikipedia.org)

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Why do People Cry? (wisegeek.com)

 

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Waves of Sound

“Music melts all the separate parts of our bodies together.” 
― Anaïs Nin

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Darkness comes early now. I watch from my window as the light gradually fades.  I light a rose-scented candle and select the perfect sound to accompany this very moment.

The sound comes at me slow…then seizes me fast like a high tide. Waves of pure sound like the green sea surround and engulf me….I am taken to a place of exquisite color and fantastic landscapes that seem to go on forever.  I am alive in this one moment in time–suspended in sound.

Oh how it moves me. I feel each note resonate deep within like amber brown honey; smooth and sweet. I lie back and take it all in. The candle flutters in the breeze from the crack in the window. The shadows dance in time to the music like the beat of a heart…

red-heart-with-starry-background

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I think we first experience music hearing our mother’s heartbeat. This strong yet fragile piece of mortal human keeps our blood pumping, the very same organ that lets us love like crazy…it keeps a beat and a comforting predictable sound.  It is the rhythmic song of life and oh how beautiful!

Music is heartfelt as it should be. As in all great art it is infused with a tiny piece of its creator.  Music is sound….and sounds are basically waves made up of vibrations that move through a medium, usually air.  Sound is not tangible.  It can be recorded onto something tangible but what it is…the essence of it lies not in something to be held in the hand….the power that music has lies in the human heart and soul.

It never ceases to amaze me; this power of music. It can elicit such an emotional response in people.  The right melody can strike a chord and touch you in a way nothing else can.  To me it can be akin to stepping inside a pool of pure emotion.

It is unique and it can touch us in many intricate ways.

music dance tango-51631_640

Music is an art that, in one guise or another, permeates every aspect of human society. It is used for such varied social purposes as ritual, worship, coordination of movement, communication, and entertainment. We attach so much significance to music. It plays such a big role in many of our lives. It provides the backdrop to everyday…slowly coiling itself like a snake around our memories. It attaches significance to places, events and people and imprints itself on our perceptions of time and reality.

It has certainly made an impression on me. I listen to music every day, I can’t imagine not doing this and I can’t imagine life without it.

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“To stop the flow of music would be like the stopping of time itself, incredible and inconceivable.” 
― Aaron Copland

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I listen to a wide variety, I have my favorites, I like to visit…again and again, like old friends.

 There have been times when a certain song or artist was my only companion…


billie holiday
Billie Holiday

Music can be quite an intimate experience. There is a winsome loneliness, a crying out–an outpouring of emotion that I hear in some songs. I can feel the ache. It is these songs that I hold most dear.

363watercolor sky black
Credit: SBI

Take a listen to a song by a friend of mine. What do you hear?  What colorful landscapes does this beautiful music paint in your mind?

~The Mines of Moria  by Marc C. Miller~

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Strawberryindigo.

dove flying

One of These Days by Pink Floyd (Trippy Video)  I highly recommend this!

The Man I Love by Billie Holiday

 What Causes Musical Experiences? (anthonyramirez13.wordpress.com)

Poetry: Music for the Brain (johnbalaya.com)

How Music Can Be Better For You Than Sex and Cheesecake (youtube.com)

Musical landscapes

MUSICAL LANDSCAPES

Oh what a gift is music. It is but a simple thing, these sounds we call music.

Music is color.  It paints pictures in my mind, sweeping vistas and tragic landscapes, rolling hills of green.  Tender dewdrops on a petal soft rose, the rush of a thousand rivers to the silent sparkle of newly fallen snow.

Lush, electric and alive. Intoxicating,  liberating and primal.  It is emotion. Raw and simple, plain and beautiful.

Music wraps itself in fond memory and instantly transports me back in time. Music can stimulate. It forces yet gently prods to emotional highs and bittersweet lows.

Music is powerful. It is bold and commanding yet subtle with soft whispers and gentle kisses promising the foreverness of love and the joy of life. It is uplifting. It is strong, brave and true.

It is a necessity and my life would be hollow without it.

Strawberryindigo.

What landscapes do these songs create in your mind?

Vivaldi‘s “Storm”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N00XKtROddc&feature=related

The Venture’sSleepwalk”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iZHBg6Y3vyc

Pink Floyd’sOne of these days”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gewiBN5kdls

Beethoven’s  “Moonlight Sonata”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nT7_IZPHHb0

Led Zeppelin‘s “The Rain Song”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4v-_p5dU34

Money is a harsh mistress.

Lincoln memorial cent, with the S mintmark of ...
Image via Wikipedia

MONEY.  Songs are written about it.  Lives and reputations lost because of it.  Some say the love of money is the root of all evil, but is it?

 Can anyone truly love money and is that truly evil? It’s dirty, that I know. My mom wouldn’t let me put it in my mouth as a child..”It’s dirty”, she said.  Damn right, it’s dirty and it gets around. Your average quarter, or nickel or dime probably travels through quite a few pockets and grubby unwashed hands before ending up neglected sitting alone in a change jar on someone’s dresser top or in your average toddlers mouth. How can you love that? Or those colorful but mostly green pieces of paper that spew out of the ATM? Those things with the pictures of dead presidents and the like with the phrase

 In God We Trust 

I can tell you one thing for sure; no matter how I personally feel about it, money certainly does not love me…

..And can anyone truly love it? And if so, is that evil?

Money
Money (Photo credit: 401K)

Definitely money can buy things. Stuff. Mostly crap we pretend we need because we just want to buy something new…shiny.. and expensive, but  it’s difficult to have regal tastes on a paupers budget and these days more and more people are finding themselves with a cash flow problem…meaning it doesn’t…flow.

Our heads get crammed full of things they say we need.  China makes it. The media sells it.  The banks provide credit, or at least they once did. And people suck it up like crazy.  Very few invest or save.  It’s nearly impossible not to be in debt these days.

 The youth are our future

It falls heavy on the children of those with fewer resources. Too often the only way to higher education is for these young people just starting out in life, to take out  student loans on the promise and the hope, really, that a future career with a good salary will be worth the large amount of debt they will accrue.  I don’t have to tell anyone how well  many new grads are fairing. Jobs are scarce these days.  It’s  no wonder why so many younger adults are so angry and so full of extra time to express their frustrations.

Money is a great cause of worry to many, myself included.   Money buys security and so it stands to reason that a lack of money buys insecurity  Money affords safety.  A roof over one’s head, electricity and a full refrigerator.  A current income increases your likelihood of not being thrown out into the street and forced to live under the bridge.  Money means comfort and ease and nice things.  Money means your child will be able to go to a good school and you will have a nice car.  Enough money means anything you want.  Want to travel the world? Wear designer clothes and have all the bright new shiny things and big kid toys you can find?  Want to be looked up to?  Admired? Listened to? After all, money does buy influence and power. Sufficient funds can put your name on a sports stadium or hospital wing. How about public office?  Money certainly buys that.

Money can buy anything. It can buy friends or at least the semblance of them.  It can buy what some may proclaim as love or some sort of affection.   It can buy hangers-on and toadies and users.

English: Imitation paper money (issued by &quo...
Image via Wikipedia

The 99%

Money can buy power and privilege. Money can insulate if one allows it  and money does buy exclusiveness. The chosen few ride first class while most of us ride in coach with the rest of the 99%.  Money makes the world go round but it can also make one lose touch with what is important. Sometimes people see money as an indicator of the worth of a person; the measure of a man so to speak. It’s a widely held misconception among the rich that poor people somehow deserve their plight and that poverty is the result of bad breeding and idleness.

 Oscar Wilde once said: “There is only one class in the community that thinks more about money than the rich, and that is the poor. The poor can think of nothing else.”  How true.  If the credit hounds are at your back door or the balance of your bank account doesn’t remind you, the hard edge of the sidewalk will.

People are emotional about money.  This I have seen many times in my work in the financial industry. People make rash and important money decisions based solely on emotion.  That is never good. Numbers are not emotional. Interest is not emotional. Life is not fair and you better read the fine print.

Money is a harsh mistress…

Money can change people and our perceptions of them.   People fight over it, they lie, cheat and steal.   It can ruin friendships, relationships, marriages too.  I guess one could say that some sell their very souls for money. But does it buy happiness?

Can it buy love, real love?  Or real friends? Or real anything?  Can money really buy anything but things? Can money buy appreciation? Or humbleness? Or the depth of intelligence? Can money buy good taste or good sense? Or creativity, innovation or ideas?

Can riches buy respect?  Can the possession of things make one person better than another? More worthy?

Or does a measure of a man, or a woman lie not in monetary worth but in human worth?  In decency and respect for life.  In love for one’s fellow human. That’s the love affair that should be going on and the one we should be talking about.  For it’s not the money; it’s the person behind the money.  It’s the heart and the soul of that person.

  In the right hands money is a powerful tool that can be used for the benefit of us all.

Being wealthy doesn’t automatically make one evil or an uncaring, unsympathetic selfish jerk and wallowing in poverty doesn’t make anyone a saint either. It’s easy to judge and it’s easy to expect those who can most afford to pay for those who can’t.   It is also easy to see why the rich might not see it that way. Nothing is all black and white.

So what am I trying to say with all this? I suppose it would be that perhaps we should be aware about what we teach our youth about money, about the value of money and the value of a human life and which holds the most worth. No one is born with a love for money and we as a people, I hope, can progress to a point where we can get over this bad love affair with money. There is a good reason why it goes by the alias.

Cold hard cash.


We are all connected

We humans of the planet Earth are all in this together. What affects one of us affects us all. How we treat each other and what we value shows what kind of people we are.  It’s a small world and it gets smaller everyday.  We are all connected,  rich and poor alike. And all of us will have to do our part if we are to ensure a better world for all.

The Earth seen from Apollo 17.

Strawberryindigo.

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