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Willow Weep for Me

An article in the news today made me laugh.  Here's the lead:  In a shocking and very important poll, it is revealed that the average woman will cry for an equivalent of 16 months of her entire life.

This phrase, particularly, is funny:  "In a shocking and very important poll."

I wasn't shocked, and this news isn't important.  But after I was done laughing, I pondered women's tears.  Further down, the "shocking poll" states:  Teenage girls cry for two hours and 13 minutes a week, and by their mid-20's women will weep about 2.24 hours a week.

When I look back to those years of my life--the teens and twenties--yep, that's probably accurate.

I asked my husband Kenneth about his tears, his crying-time, and why he didn't cry much.  "Because I don't give a shit," he said.  Then he went back to work, making fresh vegetable juice.  This is Kenneth's new daily concoction, and it's delicious.  Maybe a little too much ginger, but nothing to cry about. 

Well, I suppose all that crying has something to do with hormones.  This doesn't take rocket science to figure out.  But I was amazed at the amount of time spent weeping.  16 months! No wonder I didn't finish building the Space Needle.

As I've gotten older, I cry less.  However, that might be caused by the dehydration in my body; everything is either falling down or shriveling up.

Getting older is becoming more attractive to me.  Good that I feel that way, because it's happening!  Might as well ride the horse in the direction it's going.  Off the mortal cliff?

I find I don't give a shit as much.  Or I do, but it's all passing too quickly.  The next thing to cry about is here before I cried about the last thing.  And the main thing: I don't have a lot of time left to cry when I could be writing or playing tennis or drinking my vegetable juice with Kenneth.

Speaking of tennis, when Roger Federer won Wimbledon this year, he cried.  I think he cried after winning the French Open, too.  While watching Roger cry, I cried.  But those were tears of joy.  I wonder how many tears of joy we cry in our lives?  Thinking about that: I've cried many a happy tear.  Maybe at least six months' worth in my entire life. 

I'm working on a poem right now for my nephew's wedding in October.  One line is still not right, but I have a few more months to work on it.  I"ll be reciting this poem in the church in Carmel, in front of about 250 people, all my family members and many close friends.  Even when I recite the poem by myself in a parking lot, I cry.  I wish there was a tear-faucet, and I could turn it off during my recitation at the wedding. 

Lucretius, the Roman philosopher and poet, born 98 BC, wrote about "the tears of things."  Tears are part of our deepest humanity.  He also said:  

"Death is the dissipation of a being's material mind. Lucretius uses the analogy of a vessel, stating that the physical body is the vessel that holds both the mind and spirit of a human being. Neither the mind nor spirit can survive independent of the body. Thus Lucretius states that once the vessel (the body) shatters (dies) its contents (mind and spirit) can, logically, no longer exist. So, as a simple ceasing-to-be, death can be neither good nor bad for this being. Being completely devoid of sensation and thought, a dead person cannot miss being alive. According to Lucretius, fear of death is a projection of terrors experienced in life, of pain that only a living (intact) mind can feel. Lucretius also puts forward the 'symmetry argument' against the fear of death. In it, he says that people who fear the prospect of eternal non-existence after death should think back to the eternity of non-existence before their birth, which they probably do not fear."

This could make me cry.  But it's time to play tennis.

12 Comment count
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Cry me a river - or at least

Cry me a river - or at least livestream.

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Hi Dale

Funny pun!

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There is no way in hell I

There is no way in hell I cry, on average, about 20 minutes a day. I probably don't even average that in a month, and then only if I'm really, really frustrated or accidentally poke myself in the eye with my mascara wand or some such. Someone is doing my crying for me. It's not that there isn't plenty to be upset about, though. . .

Count me in with you and Kenneth. . .the older I get, the less I really give a $hit what others think. It's quite liberating.

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Hi Ellen

Getting older has some marvelous gifts. I'm so much more in the present than I used to be. And I take my time; I take long walks and forget the time, just enjoy and bless.

W.B. Yeats said:


My fiftieth year had come and gone,
I sat, a solitary man,
In a crowded London shop,
An open book and empty cup
On the marble table-top.
While on the shop and street I gazed
My body of a sudden blazed;
And twenty minutes more or less
It seemed, so great my happiness,
That I was blessed and could bless.


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Can't stop laughing over

Can't stop laughing over your husbands line, Susan. The, I don't give a shit." Think he's got it right. The older I get, the less I care what others think. I do my thing. If people don't like me it's really none of my business. I ditto Ellen's comment that it's quite liberating! I'm crying much less than I used to. Laughing more.

Might as well embrace getting older like you said. We are still here. Still plugging along, and getting more comfortable in our older skin. The alternative is not spectacular. Thanks for adding a laugh to my day!

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Dear Dorraine

Thanks for the comment, and your laughter. I agree, let's laugh till the last sun sets.

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No way I ever cried that much.

It takes a sad movie or a nostalgic song to make my eyes tear up. I learned very early that crying was pointless. Who's out there shedding all these tears? And do they feel better for them?

I prefer Kenneth's approach. Or, in my own parlance, the bitch factor. I won't cry because I just don't care enough.

I have to be careful of having too many characters who never shed tears, though. Clearly, it's a natural state for human beings.

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Hi Louise

Reading about characters crying: What is a good crying scene in a book? I honestly can't recall one.

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Interesting question.

We see all the time in films, of course. Books? Maybe crying just doesn't work well on the page. It just seems like characters--other people's characters, that is--are always having "tears slip down their cheeks", or whatever. And I have to watch myself always wanting female characters who never, ever shed tears.

Ah, well. I don't have a real answer. But it's always good to examine these things.

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Hi Louise

You're right.  Crying doesn't work on the page.

To give the emotion to your reader, Chekhov said, "Write it colder."

Yeah, maybe body fluids in general don't work on the page.

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my new hero

All hail, Kenneth, our new hero. Thanks, Susan, for the great observation and for inspiring so many funny comments!

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Hello Chris

Thanks for reading!