TEARS IN A BOTTLE

My pillow at night and my bathroom are two such places where I let my tears shed. But when I am all alone at home I do shed tears freely without caring being conscious. Although when I break down I can weep loud in front of all others as well. It all depends on the situation I am in and the people around me. But that’s a rarest of case. And I really feel very good when someone count all my tears…I mean, when someone values my shedding of tears. That really feels great.

I remember a Bible verse which I want to quote:

You keep track of all my sorrows.
You have collected all my tears in your bottle.
You have recorded each one in your book.

When the Psalmist wrote this he was going through in deep distress and he cries out to the Lord. He lets God know what His character is and how He responds to his struggles.

I stopped there and thought about those two objects that have been used in the above verse, Bottle and Book. I took little time to understand about both the metaphors used here…

After understanding I thought of bringing out two very valuable applications from these metaphors – Book and Bottle for all of us to understand and apply it in our life. They are as under:

  1. Treat Tears as Facts (Book): We record facts and information in a Book/Notebook so that we read again or refer later about the same. So God records our sorrows, our tears for future reference which He will definitely going to use in some or other way for our good. I never respect those who laugh at me when I cry and weep in pain unless it’s a sibling jokes. Never say tears can be avoided. Tears explain some facts about the person who’s going through pain and we need to record them in our mind and use them for reference when we deal with a broken person. 
  1. Treat Tears Empathetically (Bottle): The idea behind the keeping of “tears in a bottle” is remembrance. We store essentials in bottles. And our tears are like those precious liquids for God who stores them in a bottle. Of course, the verse doesn’t explain bottle literally but just as metaphors for us to understand how He values other’s tears. Now, when it comes to the application part from our side then we need to know that we should value tears of others empathetically. Collecting tears in a bottle means whenever we see it in a bottle stored we will relate with it and be empathetic towards the broken hearted.

In last two occasions I shed my tears while talking to two of my very close friends over the phone. I shed tears when I heard them weeping in pain. And how am I telling you all these…? Because I had recorded and stored their tears in the book and the bottle of my heart. And I definitely know they must have done the same with my tears. And that way the bond became stronger; the confidence on each other strengthened and in future we can always help each other in the times of distress.

We had a wonderful week on the Word Prompt – TEAR and I take the privilege to conclude this topic with these two beautiful applications at our disposal.

Stay Blessed!

STRONG PEOPLE DON’T CRY?

Most people are uncomfortable around tears, the society tells us we’re weak for crying; in particular that “strong people don’t cry”. It is beyond my comprehension. Well, ‘people’-again a term beyond my comprehension. We have all had days when our tears just won’t stop flowing which lead to double breathing at that moment.

Kathy, a friend of mine, is a “crybaby” according to everyone. Honestly, yes she is sensitive but she is a human and she is allowed to feel. She has her own issues but her walls are so high and strong that no one can ever break through. I used to find her very intriguing and wanted to get past her walls. After repeated failed attempts, I finally got her to talking. One fine day, in the wee hours my phone rang. Sleepily, I answered. I could hear Kathy crying on the other line. I patiently waited. She asked in between her sobs, “Why didn’t you stop me from crying? Why didn’t you tell me to stay strong, like others?

I have dealt with many friends through their heartbreaks, be it an end of a relationship or work stress or even family issues. Usually everyone advises not to cry as it is not worth it, but I on the other hand always told them that if you want to cry then cry your heart out as I believe in the healing power of tears. Keeping everything inside for a long time leads to an explosion which is not healthy. Shedding tears doesn’t make one weak, it helps one to get up as a stronger person. Sometimes it’s about shedding the past and blooming anew.  It helps release stress as well as expressing emotions. For many people, it is the best mechanism to self-soothe.

I hope people realise the fact that when someone sheds tears, they are breaking from inside and wants to be saved; Calling a person crybaby or ignoring makes a situation worse. A reassuring hug or some kind words may definitely help a little. We need to realise that crying is normal and nothing to be ashamed of. It heals one physiologically as well as psychologically. But one should never forget to rise back from the ashes or that cry was not really worth it.

“It is a relief to weep; grief is satisfied and carried off by tears.” -Ovid

AN ODE TO MY TEARS

My heart turns numb at times

sealing my lips, with the jumbled emotions

where my eyes convey all my emotions

with the tears in it.

like the mini-waterfalls soothing the rocks beneath

tears soothe my pain underneath my skin

calming my raging heart, like the coolest drizzle on a hot day

reclaiming my part, in a battling talk

like a dollop of ice on the skin, to share the joy

diamonds, on the cheeks, when your happiness knows no bounds

tears bring me a mixture of emotions

where words betray, but the eyes speak. 

 

TEARS

“There must be something strangely sacred in salt. It is in our tears and in the sea.”

― Kahlil Gibran

You fall incessantly 

from my eyes

covering my face 

and 

drawing a veil on 

my emotions

my secret keeper

my promise bearer


You roll down my cheeks 

as a reminder of the

promise unkept

as a reminder 

of my heart 

broken

and the shards piercing

and all the bridges 

I have been trying 

to keep in place

you roll down gleefully

as 

wishes and dreams 

are burnt alive

 
I can't cup or hold you

you are just bits of salty water 

you know

a reminder of my heart

as it fails to contain the 

insatiable joy inside

the welling up of eyes

when I can't hide 

the love inside

I hide you behind 

all the curtains of the 

curved lip and cursed heart

when I don't want you to

see that 

I'm being burnt alive

 
I'm your creator

you are born

out of me 

you every iota of existence

is compensated

by the blood running 

through my veins

I create you

but you still manage

to defy me.

My tears, defy me.

​VALIANT TEARS

I hear the waves crashing inside me

as they push me to the edge,

amidst the thunderstorms raging in my mind

and aroma of sea salt and moonlit lilies

a doorway opens to the chasm of quiescence

that I was not meant to confront;

And as I wonder what lies beneath

those shining blue sapphires,

the string of ocean flows out of the ravines

caressing my cheeks with the salty brine

soothing and rocking my demons to sleep,

as the sailing anguish on the high seas

meanders it’s way towards the shore;

Those tiny shaking fingers cup the moonlit pearls

slowly waning through the night

into the hushed up dawn.

Just a moment of tranquility

and an aura of accedence,

a silver lining on those hovering clouds

as the ocean of no-thingness

replenishes its unfathomed abyss

with intolerable ocean of dolour again.

TUNES FROM HOME

*In a city*

Roshan Toppo stared at his phone which rang for the 3rd time within 10 minutes.

He couldn’t have ignored the call for ever. But he wanted to avoid it, having a feeling if he picked up it wouldn’t be the words he would want to hear.

Hello!

Mr.Toppo, why are you not picking my call?

Roshan hated that tone.

Sorry, sir. The phone was on silent.

Ok, listen”, the voice softened a bit. “I have bad news for you.

There was a pause.

I can’t grant you the leave. I am sorry.

Roshan sulked. He wanted to shout back but he controlled himself.

But sir I applied early. I have to go sir.

The stern voice continued, “I am sorry Roshan. Vijay has had an emergency. I need a stand-in. I can’t let you go.

*In a Village*

An old woman pours out a grey-coloured liquid from an earthen-pot into the steel glasses. Her forehead is creased and she has a tattoo of a cross on it. It’s a plain tattoo, two small dark lines at a right-angle. With the help of another woman she distributes the glasses to the men and women who are seated on the floor in the open space outside the house. She greets each of them as she hands them a glass.

The men and women converse with each other. They share a laugh. And then a man asks this old woman if her son is going to come home.

The old woman’s eyes go full, but she stops her tears. She says, “Dharmes hi ondrna raee hole emaan eraage baros jun” (If God willing he will come to see us).

She continues her chit-chat cheerfully and then all of them break into a folk-song. It talks about a bird which has flown away and the keeper wonders if he will ever see it again.

In the village akhra (dancing ground) the boys beat the mandars and the nagadas with great vigor and enthusiasm. The Karam tree is at the center. The village girls, married women and elderly women hold each other’s hands forming a chain and sing along and dance rhythmically to the beats around the Karam tree. The steps are simple, well-synchronized and the whole group moves in such cohesion. They keep singing even after their throats strain.

*In a city*

Roshan sat in the cafe sipping a glass of cold coffee.

He felt guilty. He thought he should have tried harder to get leave. Not only this time but before too. How could he not visit his home, his mother for such a long time.  He was fed-up playing the nice guy trying to work harder and harder all the time. Promotion, which wasn’t guaranteed, would mean more work but what was the point of working if one could not even see his family.

I think you should go home,” His friend broke his thought handing him a paper-bag of French-fries .

Yeah I want to. But my boss never lets me go. And that nasty Vijay always does this.

His friend chuckled, “You should speak like that more often.

What? Curse more?

No, no. I meant you should let your feelings be heard.

Roshan nodded munching the fries.

You really should visit home. It’s been long. And it’s an important festival of your community and it would be a great time to be at home.

 *In a Village*

Roshan stepped down from the bus. The smell of the soil freshened him up.  The beating of the drums and the vibrant tunes of the songs thrilled his ears.  But a familiar sound jarred and spoiled the moment. Just for a while. Roshan saw the number. He switched off the phone.

The old woman with the wrinkled face and the cross tattoo on her forehead lighted up. Her eyes were watery and this time she couldn’t stop them.  She embraced Roshan.

TEARS:THE GRACE OF GOD

Tears of sorrow, tears of joy, tears of pain, tears of relief or of ecstasy, compassion or whatever.

Weeping must mean something, isn’t it?

But I wonder is it something to be called a healthy behaviour? Is it something to be deprived or ashamed of? May be yes or may be not so let’s find out what our philosophy and science say about human tears.

Since ancient times weeping is explained as a part of shared human language of emotional expression. But don’t you think if weeping were a gesture with a single meaning, part of a universal language of feeling, then it would depict the grief and pain out of the anxiety, depression, emotional breakdown and etc. That’s how it has been most frequently connected. Yet there are countless tears of joy too.

As far as the science is concerned, tear is a universal sign not in the sense that it has the same meaning in all times and at all places but because it can signify just about anything. While for a student who desperately needs to pass an exam it would be tears of relief, for a class topper it would be tears of joy and while for some other it would be tears of guilt for not being attentive and sincere towards studies and academics or for someone else it would be tears out of jealousy and rivalry. That’s how it is.

While it stimulates our empathetic response of care and sympathy, it can be a reflection of one’s inability to cope up with a situation. Crying not only allows people to release their feelings and hopefully achieve satisfaction and relief but it also stimulates others to the individual’s emotional condition and encourages their support. It even improves our mood and reflects normal psychological functioning.

What a soap is for a baby, tears are for a soul. Perhaps, Pope Francis said at his best: “A flow of tears indicates that the person’s heart is involved not just his or her mind. Certain realities of life are seen only with eyes that are cleansed by tears. After all you see, sometimes in our lives, the glasses we need to see Jesus are tears.” For people who are safe, comfortable and loved he said, “learning how to weep for others is a part of following Jesus who wept at the death of Lazarus and has moved with compassion at the suffering of countless others.”

And yet today, tears are commonly seen as a form of weakness as being ‘childish’ or in the negative sense.

I remember the time, I cried my eyes out and with those tears when I met my parents after months, I let go of so much of the pain I had been holding unto my heart for so long. And what I felt was better, lighter, freer  like so much of weight had been released off my shoulders.

That’s why what I like to conclude is, “Let go off whatever has been holding you. Cry me a river, build a bridge and get rid of it and that’s all.”

Stay happy, stay connected!!!