Posted by: guinness222 | October 13, 2010

“A few tears are never a bad thing.”

           I’m a 66 (almost) year old guy, not anywhere close to “touchy feely”, honed by years in business and even been backstabbed enough times, to not let “feelings” really show. We all know “drama queens” , who live to be emotional, and “people people” who believe a hug will solve everything on earth,….but I’m not one of them, yet there are a number of things that will, have, and repeatedly DO touch me to tears, and I thought this might be apropos with the news of the extraction of the Chilean miners today after 69 days stuck below the earth almost a half a mile down. After all I guess we all have feelings and we all are different enough that we really do live by the axiom, “different strokes for different folks”.

         To this very day I still don’t know what triggers my tears in certain circumstances, and even when I am crying, (sometimes like a baby, other times doing the old “just a stuffy nose” trick), I am always aware of my “rational voice” saying, ” Ok so what brought this on, why are you crying at,(insert item here)…….., nothing really unusual about it if you think about it,so why are you crying?” 

          Perhaps one of the first times I ever cried as an adult (12 years old + by definition) was watching the Olympic women’s figure skating on early Black and White Television. To this day I still tear up every time I watch figure skating. Maybe it’s the grace, or the extraordinary strength and sheer ability to move that way and literally “feel” the music happening as they skate,….alas it is still one of those things for me.

         Another trigger is to just see pure, raw, emotion, of the good kind, like joy, success, accomplishment, freedom, etc just flow. That’s the best way I can describe it,….flowing. It’s liquid, it’s pure, it’s the height of the best that one can be in unabashed open display. Particularly daunting achievements and accomplishments. That brings me to the past week and the book I’ve been reading. It’s called “True Spirit” by a 16 year old Australian young woman, named Jessia Watson who decided to sail single-handedly, unassisted around the world and left Sydney in October of 2009 and arrived back in Sydney in May of 2010, only five months ago! She wrote a blog during the trip, and unlike Joshua Slocum who did it in 1894 and it took him three years, she had modern electronic advancements, satellite phones, several heavy duty radios, etc. etc. BUT.

         It’s still you, a boat, the seas, the wind, and the weather. Virtually all that mother nature has to throw at you,…..and only little you to handle it all. I have a hard time imagining sailing just one leg of 4591 nautical miles at 6 or 8 knots a day average. Sleeping, eating, staying healthy it’s tough but being your own “Master and Commander” is HUGE. Now with a book you can put it down if you begin to feel “teary” and go wash dishes, change the oil in the car, or something else to snap you back into your little life and times, but this one threw me a hook. As the book went on it periodically referenced a video clip, and an audio “blog” on you tube. Naturally I flipped in to check them out and after reading the first 150 pages of the book first, then actually seeing this young lady, hearing her voice, listening to a very aware, focused, and anything but the “giggly” little teeny boppers we are so accustomed to everyday,….well I sat there for almost an hour, watching her various “blogs”, and looking at the media coverage of her setting off in October, and the hundreds of thousands of people who stopped their lives to come to Sydney Harbor and welcome her back, including Prime Ministers and Governors, and as the tears were streaming down my face watching it the Little voice was at it again, “What’s the big deal, she made it. Surely with all the modern conveniences she was not deprived of anything much.” But the tears still flowed. I’ve been out to sea, albeit on an Aircraft Carrier for several months, and it IS a big deal.  The oceans and seas of the world are not very forgiving, and as I’ve said before if you ever doubted in a God just go to sea for a month or two and see how small and totally insignificant we are and how easily we can simply be crushed. (I had the same teary feelings watching the movie “The Perfect Storm”)

        Then there are joyous outbreaks, like the Chilean Miners being brought out of their tomb after 2 and a half months of being trapped.

        Now there are times when the world says you should cry, death of a loved one, birth of a child, all the momentous things of life,…..and yet I don’t. It’s not that I am “immune” or “callous” but I think my “trigger” if you will is that of the human spirit, breaking free, soaring, arching over everything, bigger than itself and all around it. That breakthrough is not as frequently beheld by anyone. I am sure there are “private” triumphs as well, but they are just that, ….private and known to the individual’s spirit alone. Those are his/her “Gold Medals” , his/her crossing the finish line after 8 months and 21,000 nautical miles at sea, his/her capsule breaking the surface of the earth and flooding light and warmth from the sun again,……even opening your eyes after heart surgery and thinking, “I’m still her,….YEA!!!!!”

          Short but sweet, this blog is for thinking and asking yourself,….what  makes me cry? What is the trigger to my soul?


“The happiness of one’s own heart alone cannot satisfy the soul; one must try to include, as necessary to one’s own happiness, the happiness of others.

      – Paramahansa Yogananda


  1. I am one of those people that gets teary-eyed over Hallmark commercials, but I totally agree with you about figure skating and the Chilean miners.

    Re: figure skating – mostly just Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov (RIP Sergei) from back in the day. They were perfection.

    – M

  2. Reblogged this on tommyirish.

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