Joe Doe’s Task #45: Are You Man Enough to Cry?
“Eveything hurts”. Michelangelo Antonioni
What I am suggesting that you do this week may be the hardest task of the whole year–to cry. It is essential that you reach the bottom of your emotional/spiritual cave and when you’re there, do a little housecleaning.
Crying can be cathartic. Crying can be liberating.
I hadn’t cried in years. I never allowed myself to cry. I stifled the urge to cry. Then one evening I let loose.
What caused me to cry was a letter I wrote to my son. It was an assignment–I had to write something to my son who was spending a weekend at a retreat. It was supposed to be simple: tell your son why you love him, and why he makes you proud. I started by saying: MY SON. THOSE TWO WORDS MEAN SO MUCH…and I started to cry. To wail in fact. I was crying because I love him; I was crying because he was no longer my little boy; I was crying because deep in my soul I was worried that somehow I may have failed him…I don’t think I did, but even the chance that I may have made me sad.
And when I was done crying I was spent. Exhausted. But somehow satisfied…and calm.
Of course, I also cried when I last watched “Rudy”. But I wasn’t crying for Rudy, somehow his story touched a place deep in my soul– I thought about a girl I lost, a job I didn’t get, my mother’s death, and I cried for reasons that I didn’t even understand.
This week you cry. I might be easier if you’re alone. How? I don’t know. Everyone’s different. But it doesn’t have to be a movie. It can be a passage in a book, or a photograph, or a home movie, which are particularly effective because nothing triggers tears like family…
And once your crying, let yourself go. Shudder. Wail. Fall to the floor. Empty the well.
Photo by Roy Blumenthal