On Crying

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I’m pretty soppy most of the time.

I cry over films, books, television programmes, music, art.  The lot.  If something’s even remotely sentimental, I’m likely to tear up.

Why?

“Tragedy … through pity and fear, … effects relief to … similar emotions.” – Aristotle, Poetics

Aristotle argues that the very form of tragedy allows us to experience pity, fear, jealous etc for ourselves.  We are able to align ourselves with the characters and to experience devastating emotions, without having to deal with real life consequences.

Catharsis can also be purging.  Sometimes we need to cry, need to allow ourselves to fall apart over something removed from our own lives, in order to let tensions go.  In those moments, often I’ll watch something that I know will make me do so.  (The Notebook jumps to mind).

200406-the-notebookBut this isn’t a bad thing.

For me, crying over Happy Endings, or the HEA that just will never be, allows me to feel connected.  When I have been at my lowest, I was completely unable to connect with the emotions of what I was watching, and my ability to cry – however capricious – reminds me of the links between us all.

So yes, I shall continue to soak my fiance’s shoulder whenever someone dies in Sons of Anarchy, or quietly hide tears on the train, when a book I’m reading on the way to work makes me feel.

And I shall embrace it.  Because feeling deeply is part of who I am.

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