I didn’t know why I was going to cry, but I knew that if anybody spoke to me or looked at me too closely the tears would fly out of my eyes and the sobs would fly out of my throat and I’d cry for a week. I could feel the tears brimming and sloshing in me like water in a glass that is unsteady and too full.
Sometimes you do have to laugh to keep from crying. And sometimes the world feels all right and good and kind of like it’s becoming nice again around you. And you realize it, and realize how happy you are in it, and you just gotta laugh.
There is a difference between saying goodbye and letting go. Goodbye is not permanent. You can meet years later and share what happened in your life. You can smile and laugh about all the nonsense that you both went through. However, letting go is being okay with never seeing this person ever again…being okay with never knowing how their life turned out…being okay with fifty or more years of silence…being okay with running into that person at a grocery store and having them not acknowledge your presence. This is the part of life that doesn't sit well with me and never will. It tears my heart in pieces, robs me of gratitude, drains me of anything positive and eats at the faith that holds on.
Tenderness contains an element of sadness. It is not the sadness of feeling sorry for yourself or feeling deprived, but it is a natural situation of fullness. You feel so full and rich, as if you were about to shed tears. Your eyes are full of tears, and the moment you blink, the tears will spill out of your eyes and roll down your cheeks. In order to be a good warrior, one has to feel this sad and tender heart.
Am I the person who used to wake in the middle of the night and laugh with the joy of living? Who worried about the existence of God, and danced with young ladies till long after daybreak? Who sang "Auld Lang Syne" and howled with sentiment, and more than once gazed at the full moon through a blur of great, romantic tears?