I’ve Cried Enough Tears for Whales to Swim in
Crying is an involuntary action that doesn’t need to actually happen in order to be felt. Tears are the physical representation of crying, but it can also happen on the inside. There’s no other image for this except the knot you feel in your body when it happens. Both ways of crying imply some type of torment, and one of them can drown you.
Internal crying is usually the kind that’s more real. You don’t know exactly how it’s happened to you, but you feel imprisoned by thoughts and feelings that you can’t escape. Sometimes you can’t even see the difference between where you end and your thoughts and feelings begin. Normally you’re better than that, but it always gets the best of you.
“True pain is ineffable. If you can talk about what’s grieving you then you’re lucky, that means it’s not that important. Because when pain falls upon you relentlessly, the first thing to escape you is words. I’m talking about the kind of pain that’s so huge that it doesn’t even seem like it’s born inside of you, more like you’ve been stuffed into a lute.”
The value of tears
You’ve felt pain yourself, and you know how it feels when something has split your soul. Days feel like months, and months feel like years. The desire to live another day is evident only by its absence. The night is silent as you listen to yourself scream…
The moral of all of this anguish is found in the value of tears. It’s very likely that your tears have brought you closer to another person than your smiles have, and it’s quite possible that seeing the pain of another person has been a direct bridge towards getting to know them, and getting to know yourself.
“I know those tears that don’t fall, but rather are consumed by the eyes. I know that happy pain, that type of painful happiness, that way of being and not being, having and not having, wanting and not being able to.”
You can probably identify with the idea of being and not being, wanting and not being able to. So you fuse with the people who open up to you and let you know that they feel how you might have felt one day: the tears bring us back to the truth that we are humans with different ways of feeling, but that we have the same feelings.
You can do it, you can get out of the shipwreck
According to Lorca, like every bone that breaks and every fruit that ripens, we were born crying, and we gasped for air to take away the pain we were feeling. This is why I know you can do it. Little by little, that knot will make way for other things that you’ll have to learn from and overcome.
The knot will come undone and the pain will leave a permanent scar that will follow you through your life. But one day, it will be nothing more than something that was and isn’t anymore. You’ll have survived the shipwreck, and then you’ll realize the reality of these words from Paula Bonet: sometimes we cry enough tears for whales to swim in, but you can’t let yourself drown.
You won’t drown, even though the water is up to your neck. You might even remember that there is always fire, because there must be something to counteract the cold. Using all the effort that you have, you’ll find people who can add heat to your fire when you need it. You probably won’t even need to use that much effort, becase you’ll learn that your true friends will come without being asked when you need them the most.
“Don’t give up, you still have time
to achieve and start again,
accept your shadows, bury your fears,
release your burdens, and take flight again.
Don’t give up because this is life,
continue on the journey,
follow your dreams,
run through the ruins and uncover the sky […]
-Mario Benedetti, ‘Don’t Give Up’-
Don’t give up. Cry, but don’t give up. The world needs people like you to get up when they fall, to learn how to be at rock bottom and tell people how they got up again. The world needs people like you who are able to cry and also understand their tears.
Images courtesy of Amanda Cass