Meme of Tears

Sandra Ruttan tagged me for this Meme of Tears.

Sandra asks: “What’s hit you on an emotional level and made you cry?”

This one was more difficult for me than the last one. There’s just so much that makes me cry. Seriously: I’ve never sat through an Obama speech completely dry eyed, and there are even certain commercials I find touching. People who know me well find this funny, because the part of myself I most often show the world is quite cynical. (You will have seen that part here on this blog.) But I cry pretty easily and -- if you asked David, he’d back this up -- I cry pretty well.

Because many things do move me, I find it difficult to tell you what things made me cry. There are so many! I have cried at political commercials (yes!), at all the sadness in the world, at all the joy in the world… I cry at stuff frequently and without apology. What the hell: the world moves me. And life is short. It seems to me it’s good to feel things deeply, in either direction.

Here’s a for instance: on the last day of Bouchercon in Baltimore last October, I made my way down to the waterfront, on foot and alone. (No, no: that’s not the crying part!)

When I got to the inner harbor, it was as though I’d been dropped at Granville Island in Vancouver. Elements of what I was seeing were so familiar. I’d never been to Maryland before, but it sort of felt like coming home.

It was Sunday afternoon and families were out together, eating ice cream, strolling on the seawall. All sorts of watercraft were busy with their various watercrafty business. All of these things were familiar. Yet it was entirely different. I’m a West Coast girl -- Vancouver, Los Angeles -- and so for me, the ocean was on the wrong side. More: the air was different. Softer somehow. It was pleasantly warm out -- the very low 80s -- and I could feel the unfamiliar softness of the air touch my skin. And the smell was familiar -- an ocean smell, but it was different, as well. A different ocean. And I was, quite simply and quite suddenly, just overwhelmed.

I found a place to sit, with the crowds at my back and the sea at my feet, and I wept. I just wept. At the beauty and the differences and the samenesses and just the joy of being there and seeing and feeling all the things that I was seeing and feeling. Seeing me sitting there, you might have thought I was sad. But I wasn’t. I was just so filled with it all, I guess it had to come out somehow. And it did. Recounting it to you now, it’s filling me again. A quarter hour I’ll just never forget.

None of this is what the meme demands, which, as near as I can figure, is what book, television show and movie most made you cry. So…

Loads and loads of books have pulled tears outta me at various points. But there was one when, after I turned the last page, I just put my head down and wept. That was Leaving Julia by Jonathan Hull. What a lovely book. I almost wanna cry just thinking about it. And read it again. Mostly read it again.

There’s something about Casablanca, right? It doesn’t seem to matter how many times I see it or even if I steel myself for the ending that I know is coming right-over-there, but Casablanca just slays me, every time. I know better now, though: I always have a box of Kleenex standing by before it starts rolling. Here’s lookin’ at you, kid.

Television Show:
I find myself very moved by Life with Damian Lewis. Something about the combination of the production values, the music they choose, the situations and the way in which they invite pathos, but the show has quite often called a strong emotional response from me. And I answer that call. I have no problem answering it.

So I tag Sandra back, since she tagged me. And I also tag Kaye Barley, Kelli Stanley, Barbara Fister, Tara Hanks and Clea Simon, ‘cause I’m almost memed out and I figure that even though those guys are as well, they’ll probably play, plus they’ll know some more to play with, as well.

If I didn’t tag you, but you wanna play anyway, please do. As far as I know, the meme police are still on hiatus.


Kaye Barley said…
Linda, This piece made me cry! It beautiful,and honestly? There are many parts that describe me to a "T," 'cause I cry a lot. I want to think about this for awhile before I write it up at my blog, but this is one tag I very much want to respond to. But I have to tell you something - the boo hoo you had in Baltimore? me too. We were just there (possibly in the very same spot) on different days. Its a spot that fills my senses, but also there's a huge amount of homesickness on my part whenever I'm there. I wasn't raised in Baltimore, but not too far from there, and on the water. Being on the water like that just touches my soul so deeply I can't do anything BUT cry.

Great piece, Linda, i love it.
Gosh, Kaye: it sounds like it's a very lucky thing we weren't there on the same day! They'd have been finding us a rubber room!

And, honestly: now you really need to get to the West Coast to see what I'm talking about. I've a hunch it would break your heart... in a good way.

Thanks for the lovely note!
bparker said…
I read your comments about the Baltimore waterfront, and I got it. I understand. I was raised in the Smoky Mountains, and saw the ocean(Atlantic) for the first time when I was 21-years old. I arrived at the coast around around one am on a moonless night. I sat totally blown away, by something I could not see, but its sound told me it was a living, breathing creature. I sat on the beach until dawn to see what it looked like.
Bo Parker

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