It’s no secret that I am intimate with my tears.
I move and breathe and some days, the tear drops fall.
Sometimes, I don’t move at all, and my eyes well up, threatening to show my vulnerability to the world.
The other night, after a quiet few days in which I settled into a certain kind of hibernation, it was time to unroll my mat again and move.
And so I started—a few rolling waves of sun salutations and then something in my said, Let’s play with working towards a drop back. I took myself to the wall and breathed into my fear, engaged my core—the sworn protector of my lower back—and worked on lifting from the root of my spine.
I leaned back, my heart reaching through my chest, as my fingers found the wall behind me—I did this a couple of times, and returned to my mat.
Just as I started to move again, I could feel a warm rush fill me and then—an explosion of tears.
More to add to the sea already collected in the make up of my mat.
It was the messy kind of cry—loud and unsexy and definitely not sweet—I crumpled to the ground and in a nanosecond was surrounded by my fur family of three.
And I cried. And cried.
I cried until it was time to move, slowly, a little, again.
It was a wave I sat through, in the midst of, present to everything as it rolled back out to the middle of the ocean, leaving me a tired and astounded by my body.
Our tears have the power to heal us—they are made of memories, trauma, joy and laughter. When we allow ourselves to be as we are in the very moment that we are in it, we give ourselves the opportunity to create space and become more of who we are.
(He knows me well.)
If you’ve wondered what tears looks like close up, what kind of life they lead or if one set of tears looks different from another, then you too may delight in these images.
From her artist statement:
“The Topography of Tears is a study of 100 tears photographed through a standard light microscope. The project began in a period of personal change, loss, and copious tears. One day I wondered if my tears of grief would look any different from my tears of happiness—and I set out to explore them up close. Years later, this series comprises a wide range of my own and others’ tears, from elation to onions, as well as sorrow, frustration, rejection, resolution, laughing, yawning, birth and rebirth, and many more, each a tiny history.”
To learn more about the artist and see the rest of this work, click here.
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