March 10, 2010
I was taking a walk earlier on one of those New York days when the weather is so uncharacteristically beautiful that all my friends who transplanted themselves to Los Angeles would consider coming back east. Yet, they are wise enough to know that a nice day in March is undoubtedly short lived. That’s why they fled to begin with. I assume we’ll have some record blizzard in the next few days and we’ll be left with our arms crossed and head shaking while saying, “Oh weather, you’re incorrigible.”
I decided to step into Starbucks for an overpriced caffeinated beverage. Why make it at home when I can spend too much money? I generally like to put soy milk in my coffee and Starbucks only allows you to use it from the bar. It doesn't sit out with the other dairy creamers. This is a shame because there is nothing I’d like to do more than take advantage of an endless supply of soy milk and pour it all over my body as I entice my senses in erotic soy goodness. I imagine a “Whitesnake” song would be playing.
As I was waiting for the soy, the KD Lang cover of Neil Young's "Helpless" was playing. I found it to be so gut wretchedly raw and beautiful. I noticed that I wasn’t the only one who was having a powerful reaction. A baby stopped crying, the baristas gave each other loving glances and I noticed an older woman started crying. She was with a gentleman and seemed to be embarrassed by her unexpected release of authentic emotion.
She shouldn’t have been ashamed. It was so real.
I’m still coming off the high of this huge family reunion that celebrated my grandmother’s 90th birthday. It was such a joyous occasion that most of my family found themselves slipping into that laugh/cry combo as we were coming to terms with how grateful we were to have such a pivotal experience that solidified our tight bond.
I feel pretty confident that laughing and crying come from the same source and should be treated and respected on equal footing. They both provide an honest release and according to Aristotle , a good cry “cleanses the mind.”
I’m no “tear specialist"...and I’m not going to pretend that I am… but They say that there are several reasons why crying is good for us. I’ve said it many times...and I’ll say it again, never, under any circumstances, question the wisdom of They. They are the shit.
1. Tears Kill Bacteria
Tears fight off germs in the fecal matter pretzel bowl at our favorite dive bar.
2. Tears Remove Toxins
Biochemists are saying that emotional tears contain toxic byproducts. I made a biochemist cry once. That wasn’t my best day.
3. Crying Can Elevate Mood
Crying is supposed to lower our manganese level which is a cause of anxiety, nervousness and irritability. I’m not really sure what manganese is exactly. But I’d like to learn the language.
4. Tears Build Community
An exchange of tears can be quite intimate. Such a connection can foster community. Volunteering helps build community too...but the crying group is sure to have more interesting people. And better food.
5. Tears Release Feelings
In his book "Home Coming,” John Bradshaw writes “All these feelings need to be felt. We need to stomp and storm; to sob and cry; to perspire and tremble." John Bradshaw. Big crier. Get a hold of yourself Bradshaw. Come on.