Feelings, Poetry

the tracks of my tears


Some people say I cry easily. I guess it’s true.

I feel things deeply. And I have no problem letting those deep feelings overflow in the form of big, fat, salty tears that roll gently, slowly, and sweetly down my cheeks.

I am at peace with crying. I’ve learned to be totally OK with it, because I know it washes away poison and creates a river in which happiness can flow.

I have never quite fit in. I was painfully shy in my youth and had few friends. I longed to be part of the group, but  never seemed to be included. Somehow I didn’t quite belong. That brand of being alone was difficult. It still is. I still feel like I don’t belong.

I have learned not to be afraid to immerse myself in the rainbow of emotions — sadness, despair, loneliness, joy, love, and wonder — that manifests itself in the tracks of my tears.

Those feelings are evoked by many things: saying goodbye, achieving something I thought I couldn’t, being the voice of dissent, witnessing others suffer, experiencing my own suffering, gazing on a beautiful valley from a clifftop in Yemen, being hurt by a friend, making up, making love, hearing music, watching movies, being a crazy one… the list is virtually endless.

Life and humanity – in all their brilliance – bring tears to my eyes. I’m thankful for that.

My friend and colleague Lynn posted a tribute to me in which she included a beautiful poem. It’s the first poem anyone has ever written for me (at least that I know of!), and of course I cried when I read it.

Here it is:


© 2008 Lynn Hamam

Her soul sees the pain and joy of this world,
Through the windows of her eyes,
While the wonder of a new day unfolds,
So the child weak with hunger cries,

As the mothers’ hearts are torn in two,
For their young sons lost to war,
She watches them with a heavy load,
What is all of the fighting for?

While another tortured soul is abused,
She hears their pitiful call,
The flowers bloom, the birds sing,
Softly, quietly, endlessly they fall,

And the world is in need of a love like this,
Of the purest, unselfish kind,
As we continue to search for fortune and fame,
Just what is it we’re hoping to find?

For we need to see that we need each other,
We are connected through our fears,
And the need for hatred, pain and suffering,
Will be cleansed with Susan’s tears.

One More Thing

I couldn’t think of a better accompaniment to this poem than the great tune Tracks of My Tears, originally performed by Smokey Robinson, then later by Linda Ronstadt and a host of others.

This version, performed Gavin Degraw (Live at Last Call 08-12-04), is… well… listen for yourself…

(This post was first published in 2008)

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