Cry me a river

I've become something of a weeper of late. I've always cried fairly easily, but since my divorce, it takes almost nothing to set me off. A sentimental commercial, an emotional story, the slightest hint of unkindness, and I'm tearing up, if not sobbing uncontrollably. I'm sure it makes me a joy to live with/love, but I can't help it.

However weepy I get over everyday occurrences, though, it still takes a lot for me to get emotional over art. Oh, I cry in movies, pretty much every time someone on the screen is crying, and sometimes even if they aren't, but I tend to experience music and visual art and even opera more academically, from a distance. I have my soft spots, of course. Elgar's cello concerto gets me every time, and no matter how many times I hear the end of Bohème Act IV, I tear up the minute before Rodolfo realizes that Mimì is dead. I'm tearing up now just thinking about it, wouldn't you know. But I honestly cannot think of a painting or sculpture that has affected me that way. I love museums, and I have my favorites, but I've never been really moved by them.

And then, in the midst of two jam-packed museum days here in Paris, I walked into the Musée de l'Orangerie and was completely wrecked by Monet's Water Lilies, of all things. The museum has eight of them, and they've built two white oval rooms to house them. The setting is beautiful, but there was something else, and I can't even put my finger on it, so I probably have no business even writing about it, but I had to sit down and pull myself together. I've seen Monets before, I've even seen some of the Water Lilies before, but for some reason this was different. And it changed my whole day. I went from there to the Musée d'Orsay, and it seemed like every room I entered, every painting I came across, was fraught with meaning that somehow applied to my own life. I was on the edge of tears the whole time, and I can't even blame it on hormones this time.

While I often wish that I was better able to keep my emotions in check, that I could control my reactions more reliably (recently I almost broke my no crying at work rule, almost), I suddenly realized today...maybe wearing my emotions on my sleeve (or my face) could actually make my life better.

Signing off so I can have a good cry about it, obvs.


  1. I love your essay on crying.......
    And especially when you are surprised at unexpected tears! Getting to know Louisa.......
    Thank you for sharing.
    Love, Grandma

  2. Cry away, my dear. It's healthy. I'm one to hide my crying from others, but its so therapeutic.

  3. I remember when a big art exhibit came through Houston and they had a ballerina Degas. Now I had seen paintings by Degas before, but none of them were of the so well known ballerina motif.

    I am not one to normally cry at art either, but I came around the corner and it just hit me. I was finally seeing one there in front of my own eyes. I teared up. It was such a surprise. I didn't expect to have that reaction.


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