Why I Cry

I cry.

A lot.

Sometimes it’s audible

Obvious

Sometimes it’s barely a whisper

The background song, the volume set to 1

The white noise machine that acts as a consistent hum

To living.

I learnt to cry from my parents.

My mother cries. Usually, when she’s sad. Always when she’s happy.

My Dad cries when he watches sappy commercials. Or watching Football. Or hugging us hard.

Or when he talks about his parents who died long ago.

Tears are cathartic. They keep us alive, soft and malleable. They keep us real– though sometimes I wish they would dry up, even for a bit.

Last week I went to a shiur on the parshah. An alternative understanding to Rochel and Leah.

Leah’s eyes were soft, weary, weak from so many tears.

She cried, too.

Yet she wasn’t sad. Her tears were an expression of possibility- the pain of entering a reality that is complex, multi-faceted and hard. The road less traveled. The option less preferred. The aspect of Truth we need to work for, layers of reality we must strip off to truly see.

From this vision, her eyes became weary.

My life is full of Leah.

There is no simple path. Rachel was not invited to my party.

To be a parent is to rumble with Leah.

To be a wife is to rumble with Leah.

To be a daughter, sister, friend, woman

Is to rumble with Leah and all that complexity

All day long.

So I cry

A lot

For what I believe is possible

For what hurts so bad along the way

For my deep wish that maybe, sometimes, some things could be simpler

Easier

More direct

Though it’s not.

I am crying now

And through my tears I pray

That our tears form some sort of path

Some sort of destiny

Toward life

Toward meaning

Toward acceptance

And understanding.