Sunday, November 16, 2008

Tears of Joy

Tears are a little gift that God has given us, which I am oftentimes too embarrassed to use, publicly or even privately. They stream from the same place but for different reasons, yet, with the same purpose, which, in my opinion, is to cleanse the soul. My tear ducts welled up and overflowed with unbelievable joy the night Obama won the presidency. The world doubled over in tears of ecstasy, all at the same moment, which made me happy to add mine to the mix, without any embarrassment at all - however, in the privacy of my own home.

There are those tears that joyfully accompany such glorious events as weddings and prideful moments, that seem to punctuate our feelings, like icing on a cake. Or the tears of sentimentality that allows us to connect to the memories of that which preceded us and begs us to join in the bliss of it.

We all know the tears that trickle down our cheeks because of the loss of someone or something that was dear to us. They wet our sleeves and our pillows in those most private of moments, oftentimes, when we are sure others cannot see the hurt that consumes us. They purposefully seem to wash the pain that is so deep that it knows no end or resolution and act like a God given salve, to bridge the emotional gap that is cleaved from our inability to accept a loss we do not want.

Then there are the tears that erupts suddenly from something that is so uproariously funny that laughter is not enough to contain one's reaction to it. These are the rare moments that are impossible to predict or create because spontaneity is a required precondition for it to occur. One's inner soul is racked to the core by the silly implausibility of a circumstance or situation so that it's cleansing is so complete as to leave nothing there for the moments that follow.

Tears can also flow as a mixture of joy and sadness simultaneously, as they did yesterday for me at the memorial of our dear friend, Philip Reed. Someone who had touched my life so deeply, in such a funny and loving way, could also be felt as he reverberated throughout the hall, in the tears of others. The joy of his existence in our lives as a friend, brother, leader, giver, instigator, fighter, activist and lover, were happily expressed by these emotionally encompassing tears that soothed our souls and carried his touch.


Anonymous said...

Good Morning! I love the caption over your painting - 'Harvest in full bloom.' Just stunning, so beautiful. Sorry to hear about the death of your friend. As I get older, I cry and it's so liberating and healthy for me. My father didn't cry, so I didn't cry. Amazing! Wishing you all the best.

Anonymous said...

Glenn we all have lots to be proud of and tearful of too! Looking forward to a brighetr future !

tunstullstudio said...

I was moved to tears by the subject of your blog. God when anyone recounts Nov 4th, it brings me to tears of joy and the memory of a great moment when I forget my worries and knew everything would be ok from now, even if it got worse. It made everything bearable. Hope was back. We watched it on tv from London wishing we could be in Chicago. I want to always remember there was such a moment.

We are sorry to hear of the loss of your friend and you have our deepest condolence.
xx Karen and Martin

Anonymous said...

Glenn, what a wonderful poet you are. I am so sorry to read of Philip's passing.

Stay strong!

Love you,

Anonymous said...

Hi Glenn, Every time that I read your blog I learn more about you!  Phillip was a very dear firend. We enjoyed a wonderful time together in Sept on the Vinetard. I have known him since I was a little girl, growing up in the house two doors from him. Phil was a valient fighter and we shall truly miss him. I am still in Turks and Caicos so as I look at the turquoise water I can find peace and happiness. xxooAmy

Anonymous said...

i'm so sorry to read about your friend's passing.

I love your blog and this entry, as with the others,
hits a note i think so many of us are feeling. it's very
affirming or comforting or instructive even to read your thoughts
and find myself thinking, yes, yes, yes. i don't know if you're
hitting a zeitgeist sentiment or if i just happen to be attuned to the
same observations you are but you keep coming out with nuanced
passages that i find voice my thoughts as well.

i was watching vernon jordan on book tv today and he spoke of the moment
obama's election was announced. he quoted a prayer his mother began each day with and
i found myself suddenly tearing up. is it our age you think? lately things seem so much more touching...for want of a better word.

anyway, i'm really sorry for your loss. this part sucks. i think we both believe that spirit is eternal but it's a drag to lose that physical contact with others we love. hang in there. i suspect that this whole growing older thing can be traumatic or powerfully instructive. we have to keep opting for the positive, for the instruction.

love you guys.
safe travels to bahia.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing, I hope you have a great week and peace to you and the coming weeks!

Anonymous said...

Hi Glen,

Thanks so much for the lovely newsletter - I always enjoy hearing from you! Yes - we have so much to celebrate in the Obama victory - indeed it was a victory for righteouness. I was so fortunate to be able to experience election night with my soon to be 90 year old mother at my side. So sorry to hear about the loss of your friend Philip. It reminds me of Gibran's words on joy and sorrow -

"Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed. "
Regards to Joe. Take care.