“The sorrow which has no vent in tears may make other organs weep.”
– Attributed to British Psychiatrist Henry Maudsley in “Why We Cry: The Truth About Tearing Up.”

Do we cry less as we age? Is it because we feel emotions less acutely? Or it is that we’ve learned to repress and suppress this outward sign of having any feelings at all – feelings that make us vulnerable to hurt, or shame, or impotent pity? Is there such a thing as a good cry, a cleansing cry? Have we robbed ourselves and others of this sweet release of pent-up emotion, stress, and energy that has no outlet? Does it really make us stronger, in the long run?


Marveling at the dusty plain…
I remember there being more tears.

My mother once told me that the rain was angels’ tears –
something about how they were bowling with God,
how they wept with joy at the thunderous noise from the heavens
whenever He rolled a strike.

I have never much liked bowling;
but I loved the rain.

As rainbows lit the air,
iridescent, I leaped, barefoot,
from one giant teardrop to another,
inhaling the cooling asphalt scent of a summer day.

That was then. A thousand tears ago.
In time, you learn:

Tears are the sweet flesh of gazelle
on the plains of the Serengeti.
Tears leak like motor oil
from cracks in the armor.

Weeping angels bare their fangs;
they don’t weep. Don’t blink.

Don’t blink! Because the sands of Mars
have invaded the arid landscape of invulnerability,
and there is nothing left but the screaming.
Yours? Mine?

Who knows. It’s dark –
and there are no gazelles left on the Serengeti.

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Holly Jahangiri is the author of Trockle; A Puppy, Not a Guppy; Innocents & Demons; and A New Leaf for Lyle. You can find her books on Amazon at For more information on her children's books, please visit
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4 thoughts on “Lacrima”

  1. Some of us can’t get that relief: the aftereffects of adrenaline are worse than what would have made us cry.

    I suppress most emotions, reasonably well, and plow them into my fiction.

    I long for the release of ‘a good cry’ – but have found, through bitter experience, it’s no longer worth it. One more thing to get you. I’m not cold – but I go quickly to the place of acceptance, even though it is artificial, because I cannot afford the pricetag.

    Have a good one for me.
    Alicia Butcher Ehrhardt recently posted…PTSD from medical trauma is REALMy Profile

  2. I find myself getting more sentimental and tearing up, frequently, in my old age. Or, maybe, it’s just the ‘dry eye syndrome’. 🙂 There haven’t been any circumstances recently that warranted a good cry, but yes, it can be cathartic.

    That’s a beautiful piece of writing, Holly.

    1. Thank you, Debbie! 🙂 I don’t know – I cry less and less and less… and do (supposedly) have somewhat dry eyes. (My current ophthalmologist and I don’t think I have “dry eye” – but using artificial tears at night helps stave off erosions.) Maybe I just sense a need to be somewhat “economical” in shedding the tears I do have.

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