Wednesday, July 30, 2008

The Elusive Tear of Catharsis

It sounds like a caped crusader from an exotic land or an ancient lost treasure, doesn't it?

Last week, some old girl friends were talking about the need for a good cry, not as an expression of sadness per se but as a release of emotional energy. A good run has the same effect, as can breaking significant objects. On Thursday, I decided I was due for such a release, but it is too hot to run (I prefer to run in snow or pouring rain) and there was nothing in particular I wanted to break. So I watched Little Women and bawled at the usual parts--when Amy throws Jo's manuscript into the fire (maybe this is only emotional for we writers), when Jo cuts her hair to pay for Marmee's train ticket to see Father in the hospital, when Mr. Lawrence gives Beth the piano, when Jo refuses Laurie's proposal, when Beth dies, when Jo falls in love with the professor--okay, so pretty much the entire movie/book makes me cry for joy and pain. But I still didn't feel better. What a waste of tears for no relief! Sunday night I couldn't sleep, so I took a walk and thought about sad things, which made me cry but not long enough or hard enough, I thought. I felt lonely and sang myself to sleep, which usually works, but not this time. Then this morning, I thought about how much power I have to make my future children happier and healthier than I am, and I felt all that pent up emotional energy run down my cheek in one sticky tear.

In other news, I have developed a twitch in my left shoulder. It is only slightly less annoying than the twitch in my left eye. The muscles in the right side of my body are much more agreeable.

Current song: "New York State of Mind," Billy Joel

No comments: