Friday, January 9, 2009

Meme of Tears

Linda Richards tagged me for this Meme of Tears.

Linda asks (after Sandra Ruttan asked her), "What's hit you on an emotional level and made you cry?"

Sometimes when we're tagged in one of these memes, its tempting to ignore it and you're certainly welcome to do that!!! - Really! I, however, want very much to respond to this one, and Meanderings and Muses is the perfect spot for me to do that. But this is also going to be one I need time to think on before I start scribbling away.

Linda writes about walking down to the Inner Harbor in Baltimore on the final day of Bouchercon and having a good cry. She writes about it quite elegantly and I'm betting it will touch you and probably make you cry too. The woman writes like an angel. I, like Linda, tend to cry a lot, and for a lot of the same reasons she does (more on all that later), the irony is that I spent a bit of time having a huge boo hoo at the Inner Harbor during Bouchercon also. Not on the last day, which is probably a good thing - she and I might have met up and cried such buckets of tears together the water level in the harbor might have risen to flood level, and destroyed the City of Baltimore. And then what would Laura Lippman do?? She might have to move to a different city! Oh NO! And what would become of Tess??

enough of that. I'm getting goofy (imagine that).

When I get off on one of these tangents, Donald jumps in with "You really have read too many books." For shame! We all know that can never ever happen, but you see where he's coming from with all that, I'm sure.

Meandering back to the point . . .

please take a minute to read what Linda has written about what's hit her on an emotional level and made her cry. You'll love it. And in a few days, I'll maybe be able to write about it for myself. And maybe even be able to do it without crying.

In the meantime - y'all consider yourselves tagged. What has hit you on an emotional level and made you cry. An event, a book, a movie, a TV show - any or all of these?

Don't forget - this coming Monday Pat Browning will be here to kick off the Meanderings and Muses 2009 Dream Team. Pat is the author of ABSINTHE OF MALICE, a reissue of FULL CIRCLE (published in 2001), and introduces the Penny Mackenzie mystery series. Pat is currently at work on the second book in the series.


Vicki Lane said...

I don't cry often. A childhood spent trying to be a stoic Indian type still lingers. But there are times -- "Little Drummer Boy " can do it to me, as can that story they play on the radio about the poor Southern family sharing Christmas with black neighbors.

I cried years ago when my husband put a big satellite dish in our front yard. (He had it moved the next day) and I once had a major crying meltdown in the laundramat, trying to juggle a brand new baby and umpteen loads of laundry when all the washers were full. (We got a washing machine the next day.)

There's something to be said for not crying often -- when you do, it by god makes others take notice.

Auntie Knickers said...

Vicki, the story is "John Henry Faulk's Christmas Story" and can be listened to any time at Makes me cry too. For more weeping, see my blog tomorrow since I've been tagged!

Anonymous said...

I am a big crybaby. I cry at TV commercials, good news, sad news, when people win on game shows, and weddings. Anyone's wedding, even people I don't know. My lldest friend tells me when anyone looks at her wedding album, they always ask who that unhappy woman is. I cried through the whole thing. My daughter thinks it's hilarious, and she will just look at me and say "WEDDING!" to try and get me to cry. I cry when babies are born. I cry watching the news. I cried for a week when Obama won. Okay, more than a week. I don't cry much while reading though, makes it too hard to see!

Anonymous said...

Church music. After a rather harrowing illness last summe and feeling particularly mortal,along with my wife, we began a search for a local church. It just so happened that we attended a funeral at a small local Lutheran church last Saturday, immeditely oved how warm and inviting the Sanctuary felt, and went back the next morning for an early service. As soon as the organ cranked up, my throat seized and I could feel my eyes begin filling. I made a complete fool of myself at both daughter's weddings as I stumbled down the aisle, and here I was years later, still getting choked up. Such an old emotional wreck am I. . .

Anonymous said...

Like Vicki, I don't cry often either. BUT, I would well up on cue whenever those Kodak commercials would come on TV. Remember the 'Kodak moment' campaign? That would get me every time. Haven't seen a commercial that has that effect in a long time.

Otherwise, moments of piercing sweetness will do it to me. The same effect, I guess, as those Kodak commercials.

Linda L. Richards said...

Kaye wrote: "The woman writes like an angel."

Hey! Made me cry again!

Seriously: I'm very much looking forward to your meme of tears, Kaye. I'll keep the Kleenex handy.

Thanks for the tip of your lovely hat.

cathy said...

I don't cry often, but in retrospect, do wish I'd cried more in front of my children (during the divorce) so they could see it's okay to cry.

This is a great blog, by the way!
Cathy (Lee Carper)

Anonymous said...

I also don't cry often. But every day, I give gratitude for what I have. During moments of clear spirituality, I feel as if I touch the divine, and I have been moved to tears by that. Stories about the abuse of animals can do it to me, too.

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Mornin' Everyone!! I'm enjoying reading what you all have to say.

Vicki - your tears flow with honesty, and it must break your dear husband's heart to see them. Knowing that you hurt badly enough to show that hurt with tears.

I cannot abide a person who will manipulate with tears. Using tears to get what you want is, in my mind, the worst form of passive aggressiveness and moves me not a whit. Whereas, tears of honesty breaks my heart and next thing you know I'm sobbing right along with you. BIG noisy sobs.

Nikki, I'm going to scoot to your blog today and read what you have to say! I know it'll be another piece I'm going to enjoy. Folks? If you're not familiar with our Auntie Knickers, you can find her here:

Stacy - how's the new kitty, Loki? I have laughed and laughed at this story. And I'm going to be very careful about not using the "w" word around you!! Yep - they make me cry too. Its just, maybe, the whole idea of two people standing before family, friends, and God stating their belief in a future together. Oh Laws, here we go . . .

Anonymous. I'm glad you stopped by to share this story. Being an emotional wreck, is not at all what you are. Sounds to me as though you're just a person who feels deeply. And oh my - if a person can get through their childrens' weddings and not get choked up, they're the epitome of stoic. Maybe you and Stacy can start the "Weddings Anonymous" support group. Sign me up!!!!

Deborah! I do remember those commercials! And I remember thinking how could ANYONE watch and not cry?! For real!!! And I'm even going to admit to boo hooing through a few McDonald's commercials. I've brought this movie up before - "Imitation of Life." Have you seen it? Do you just sob out loud? Please tell me yes! I can make SO much noise when I cry. awful.

Cathy - hey! I have been missing you, girl! glad you're here. You know, you probably did just what you needed to do during the divorce with the show of strength you put up for the kids. don't you think? They also needed to learn about being strong durig that time also. And, they've probably seen or heard you cry more than you realize. You're a great mom - don't beat yourself up about that.

Suzanne, hey there! This is so beautiful. My very clearest moments of "clear spirituality" (LOVE that phrase!), come in the mornings on the way to work with Donald and we witness a breathtaking sunrise over these beautiful mountains. We both recognize the spectacular beauty of it, and will share a moment to say a silent "thank you."

Reading what you all have had to say, and writing this, has me about ready to do my meme, Linda! If I can do it without dripping salty little tears into my laptop keyboard, I'm going to write it today. working on it as we speak.

Msmstry said...

Like Vicki, I rarely cry. I think the last time was several years ago when I had to put down my darling Old English Sheepdog, Peaches. I realized she was sick on Friday morning and had to lose her on Sunday morning. I've had a lot of great dogs in my life, but Peaches was something special. She even sent letters to an OES list-serv and got replies and gifts!

Anonymous said...

Cried last night watching an old movie, Mr. Skeffington, with Bette Davis, because something reminded me of my dearly departed grandmother, whom I still love to distraction, so tears came rolling out. Then I hit myself with a hammer in the chest and became manly again.

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Molly, I'm lifting my glass in a toast to your Peaches. Our pets can wrap themselves around our hearts and live there forever, can't they? If I'm walking down a street and see someone with a West Highland Terrier I immediately burst into tears. That's for my Pax, who has been gone for 23 years. He stuck by me for about 15 years.

Shane Gericke. You kill me. Honey, don't hit yourself with that hammer again, O.K.? Life can give us quite enough punches in the chest without us doing that to ourselves. for real! Oh my - Bette Davis. The woman was a treasure!! Makes me cry buckets.


I think maybe I can do my little meme now.

I have pondered and pondered how to write about what makes me cry.

I tend to cry a lot. BUT. Not (I hope) in that tacky way we know some people do to get what they want. Man - I hate that. truly. By the way - honest question here - does it even work??

Injustice makes me cry. I've been known to sob uncontrollably over an injustice done. I don't give a fig if it involves someone I don't know or will never know - that does not make it less painful. Maybe more so, 'cause I know there's not a thing I can do to help. Not a thing. And that feeling of helplessness adds to the flow of the tears.

Beauty will most definitely set me off. It can be those sunrises that I so dearly love. It can be a perfectly executed dance number. A single beautifully turned phrase, or a piece of music so exquisite it wrenches your heart. Or it can be watching a replay of a pass from Pittsburgh Steeler Terry Bradshaw caught by Lynn Swann in the 70s. No one in football will ever be the poetry in motion Lynn Swann was.

The most memorable crying jag I have belongs to an Eric Clapton concert. Unbelievable, huh? It wasn't the typical Clapton concert - he wasn't doing all those songs he's known for - no "I Shot the Sheriff," or "You Look Wondeful Tonight." This was Clapton doing "Just the Blues." At the end of a fantastic program he walked on stage all alone to do his encore and sang "Ain't Nobody's Business" a capello. Cry. oh my God. I could not get a grip. Looking back, I know I love this song, and I know I loved Clapton's version, but I think, just like Linda said about feeling overwhelmed by the whole Baltimore experience the day she cried so at the harbor, I was just filled with the beauty of the evening. Filled with the simple exquisite power of his voice singing those beautiful old blues numbers as if in prayer.

Almost any Bette Davis or Susan Hayward movie is going to make me cry. And as I mentioned in an earlier post, no one wants to be around me while I'm watching "Imitation of Life."

A book I cry through often as I reread it (often) is a book I'm going to be doing for Patty Abbott's Friday's Forgotten Books sometime next month - Ann Fairbairn's "Five Smooth Stones."

So. Those are a few of the things that move me to tears.

and I wrote this without crying one tear - ha! how 'bout that?!

Sandra Ruttan said...

I asked this question on my blog to myself, and a few others, after Brian and I had a discussion about it. It's actually interesting how often the two of us tear up at things, so I tried to narrow it down to the ultimate tear-jerker scenes/books for me.

If you want to follow all the threads, the original meme starts here: and Brian has video clips that made me reach for tissues.

Neil Plakcy said...

How about Burl Ives? He bring anyone else to tears?

When I was first dating my partner, I stayed over at his house during the Christmas holidays. One night, he woke me around 3 am because he couldn't sleep and wanted to watch TV. (There was only one, in the bedroom.)

We ended up watching "With Six You Get Eggroll," one of my very favorite movies. Halfway through, a commercial came on for Burl Ives' recordings, including "Have a Holly Jolly Christmas."

I burst into tears, and Marc looked at me like I was nuts. But in his later years, my late father looked like Burl Ives, and his birthday was Christmas day, and it was the middle of the night...

And Marc stuck with me, even after that strange interlude.

Oh, and those coffee commercials make me cry, too, when the soldier comes home on leave real early in the morning and starts brewing the coffee, and his family wakes up to discover he's there.

Jonathan E. Quist said...

...and the mother walks down the stairs and exclaims, "Peter!"

You're in good company, Neil.

Well, at least you're not alone. That one hits me every time.

But Burl Ives? I'm not sure. I have probably gotten nostalgic on a couple viewings of Rudolf the Red-Nosed Reindeer.

My kids often give me cautionary glances, to see if I'm misting up. They're 15 and 17 now, and for cripes sake, I've earned the right to cry when they do something amazing.

Books mostly don't hit me that way. I will be moved, but it generally doesn't leak out. I guess I don't want to get the pages wet. But I can listen to the same book on CD, and I have had to pull over while driving.

Film? Oh, heck. Always "It's a Wonderful Life". Many versions of "A Christmas Carol" will do it - but the most reliable of these is "The Muppet Christmas Carol". Parodic comedy works best when it is a faithful representation of the original work, with little twists. Remove the comedy from this film, and you have as solid an adaptation of Dickens' little ghost story as any. Michael Caine was a convincing Scrooge, and his duet with Belle, singing her farewell song to his younger self, is one of the most moving scenes in cinema history.

And yeah, I always find a few minutes to get misty over Robin Williams and Shelly Duval in "Popeye". (Their first kiss is one of the greats. Fooey!)

Yes, sometimes it's inconvenient to get emotional. When I find myself in one of those situations, I get out a claw hammer, and hit Shane Gericke in the chest and get manly again.

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Sandra Honey - Welcome!!! Thanks for giving us the place to go to see the start of all this! Hey to Brian!

Neil - i just love this story. First of all, even though I don't watch much TV - this struck me as being a perfect TV scene. Funny, in a very poignant way - and it made me get a bit teary. I will never see Burl Ives' face without thinking of you and Marc. And as I write this it strikes me that if you have made me forever attach this story to Burl Ives - dang, that's some pretty powerful writing, my friend!

Jonathan. Oh, Jonathan. I always love reading whatever you have to tell us. And I always know its going to have your very own, very unique voice - but this time you took me completely by surprise and started my morning off with a very loud yelp. Did NOT see that last line coming! I love starting my day with a laugh, truly. Thank you. And by the way - you have indeed earned the right to mist up over all the many accomplishments of those two girls of yours. They're incredible.

Another dear friend, Bo Parker, has accepted my tag and written about this subject at his blog - -
but from a totally different perspective. He writes about why "Unexplainable Outbursts of Crying is Unsettling Among the General Public When the Tears are Shed by Men." Its another beautiful piece penned by my favorite Old Cobbler.

Anonymous said...

This message is for Shane Gericke: Shane, will you be my girlfriend? Then we can hit each other in the chest with hammers and have a REALLY good cry together. Oh. Wait a minute. Isn't this still the girlfriend - giggles post?

Anonymous said...

Maybe the follow-up post should ask the question - what makes us laugh out loud? For me, Shane Gericke and Jonathan Quist pretty much do it every time.

And to answer your question, Kaye, no, sorry I sob very quietly, but I make up for that by getting swollen eyelids and a red nose. Maybe that's why I don't cry very often! :)

Jonathan E. Quist said...

Deborah, I'm flattered.

But Shane is flatterer, thanks to the claw hammer.


Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Ken Lewis? Or is it Kendra?? You two confuse me!!!!!!!!! anyway - you are a mess. a bunch of mess, actually! Try to keep up, O.K.?!

Deborah - That is a GREAT idea!!! Sob quietly?! DO you? How do you do that???? I would choke to death!
And Quist and Gericke?! Aren't they a hoot?! SO glad the money I paid them to be comic relief wasn't wasted! : >

Anonymous said...

Dang. I wondered why my chest hurt so &^*%^ much this morning....

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...


Unknown said...

Kaye, I was reading thru the comments -- Five Smooth Stones -- oh yes! I wanted so much to be able to live up to that book!
I accepted your challenge; my response is on my Blackwater Tales blog. I hope you think it works. And while at first I felt daunted by your tag, I'm glad you did it!
I want to jump on the Jonathan Quist bandwagon while I'm here. That man is delightful! Uh-oh, my husband's looking over my shoulder again. 'ta.

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Robin, hey there! I've been thinking of you - how's your niece??

Five Smooth Stones. oh my. Was that the loveliest book ever???!

To those of you who want to visit Robin's blog - here's the address:

And Robin? That Jonathan person? Isn't he the best?? AND - He writes beautifully - check out his blog:

I'm so glad you dropped by. Now let me scoot to your place and see what you have to say . . .

Anonymous said...

I do cry reading certain books, at some movies or even TV shows. I can cry when I'm happy or sad. I often cry listening to Amazing Grace & don't know why.

Anonymous said...

Kaye, I don't know. Next time I have a really good cry, I'll try to figure it out and hopefully will end up laughing myself out of it before the swollen eyelid/red nose stage! :)

Jody (and everyone else), check out the youtube of IL Divo singing Amazing Grace. I think it's from their Promise album. I don't know how to link youtube videos, but if there's a search function search for Il Divo and Amazing Grace. That's some very fine singing and even finer scenery. :)

Kaye Wilkinson Barley - Meanderings and Muses said...

Amazing Grace.

OMG, you guys. Cry?! Buckets! And Jody - I never really thought about this, but I guess I don't know why either. But there you have it. It just touches something deep inside. I'll have to check out the YouTube Deborah mentioned. And while I'm there I think I need to watch Eric Clapton and Pavarotti do their duet - "Holy Mother." Have you see it? Heard it? WHERE is that box of Kleenex??