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  • Writer's pictureeschaden

Falling Waters...

Sometimes the beauty of a landscape is so beautiful the only response I can manage is tears.  Tears do not come easy for me.  Even after all the healing and therapy, tears exist in the remotest part of me.  And I am only able to access every once in awhile.

I cannot count how many times I have felt like crying about something going on in my life and I am denied access, like some stray puppy outside a warm, food filled kitchen.  I want to come in but the access is not mine to grant.  It is like someone else holds the key and they are decidedly against inviting me in.

But that doesn’t change the need to cry.  It doesn’t change my need to break down and sob.  For the past, for the current circumstances, for the pain I feel.  And I am pretty sure my life would be better if I cried more often.

Cryking is something I invented one day while alone on a hillside, hiking my brains out because I couldn’t be still with the pain I was experiencing at the loss of him.  The beauty of the landscape was just what I needed to pierce this no so thin veneer of my solemnity.

And so it goes the places I can cry:  in nature, my shower, and very rarely my bed.  And those are the only places.  Oh and the gym, I have been known to cry at the gym.  I am not sure anyone notices...I am of an age where no one really looks at me anymore at the gym.  I have become an afterthought...just another aging woman that is taking up time and space the young people would prefer to have to themselves.

But sometimes I think the pushing of my body past its previous limits grants me access to places within myself that are off limits otherwise.  I didn’t cry at the gym yesterday, but I wanted to.  And I didn’t cry in the shower either.  But I did cry on a rock sitting next to a lovely river watching my dog frolic in the flowing stream.  No sobbing, just tears running down my face as I processed yet another love story gone awry.

For years I felt that my ability to not cry was some sort of superpower I was granted.  And I relished my resilience and resolve.  But I have come, over the intervening years, to see that it is not a strength but a powerful weakness which refuses to grant me access to a fuller, richer life.  It takes a great amount of vulnerability to cry, alone or around others.  It is hard and difficult but the rewards are profound and life altering.

Sometimes I feel like I am trying to outrun life.  To stay in motion so much that life cannot keep up with me and the tears are similarly left in the rearview.  But as I age, I slow my current pace is not really all that slow to some, keep in mind I am manage 500 horsepower over here, so slow is a very relative term.  But for me, I am slowing down, not so hard driving all the fucking time.  And it is in this slowness that I am finding space for tears to rain down and pool in the ravishes of my heart and soul.

I have complicated relationships with many things, and people, most especially men.  And my life is wonderfully hard, often.  And while I do wish at times I could be more normal in my functioning and thinking.  I have learned that so long as I reside in my head, the tears will always be difficult to access because tears are only born of access to an open heart.  A hardened closed off heart bears no softness or permeability.  It is only with an open heart and mind that tears are granted passage and expression.

I live in my head.  Still terrified of the journey to my heart.  Not sure what I am so sure I will find there that beckons all this fear, but nevertheless, I fear to go there.  I fear it with so much of my being.

But sometimes when the pain is great and the defenses are lowered, I can sit by a river’s edge and offer up my paltry tithe of watery trickles.  I can share my pain, in liquid form, merging mine with this larger, less salty vestige.  And it is my addition, my contribution to the larger human cause that allows the migration of my feelings, liquified and rolling to fall unblocked and unbidden into the viscosity of a racing stream.

I did this yesterday as I watched the sun go down.  I sat on a rock in a river and cried.  For me.  For him.  For all the people who love and lose.  For my understanding, for the impossibility of it all.  For not being strong enough to change the tide.  For all the spirit I lack, and for all that I have that will never, ever be enough.

The world did not change...but I did.  In some small way, the crying helped and being allowed to share it with God’s moveable expression of grace made me feel that even though it hurts and pains me now, it will not always.  Like the swiftly moving current, life is always changing and so must I.   

And this newer tears laden version of myself requires a reckoning, a review perhaps.  For all that I have gained and loss and gained again.  Making my restless, calloused heart some new surface that is porous and tender.  And sometimes the only place safe enough is on rock, in a river with the expansive sky ready to receive all I am willing to release.  Sometimes this is my only way to heal.



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