Photo credits

The Embalse de Riano in northern Spain. The picture was taken by .... me!

Friday, March 7

Why do I cry about weird things?

So my wife is at her nadir, as expressed in my previous post.  Her situation makes me angry (she turned me away from ideas of burning the church down), but even though I feel very sad for her it has not been a tearful sadness.

Yet just now as part of my work I have to read someones doctorate thesis about a design for a sewer drop.  Tears ran freely!

Why do I not cry about my wife, but do cry about a thesis about sewers?

These are actually tears of joy.  Yet even this is a bit bizarre.  It is a very technical subject, and relates to sewage.  Not the normal subject for joy.

Even more, I hadn't even got into the meat of it, I was just reading her acknowledgments.

But this is the key.  I was reading about relationships: someone giving thanks to friends for encouragement and support.  And somehow the energy of all that love, all of those conversations and shared moments, joys and tears, was all packed and stored in the words on the page, much as electricity is stored in a capacitor or water in a reservoir.  As I read the words it discharged the capacitor straight into the part of me that responds to relationship.  As I read the words the floodgate of the dam was opened and I was overwhelmed in the flow.

I find I am sensitised to this kind of thing.  I can cry watching a group of friends (strangers to me) walking to a formal match.  I cry watching other parents enjoy their kids ballet or drama show.  I always cry when a baby is born, nothing unusual there.  But crying over the credits in a doctorate thesis is, I think, unusual.

I believe that this is a divine gift.  I believe that God has opened my eyes to the joy that He gains from the world: an almost physical joy, a nourishing joy, almost as if this voyeuristic enjoyment of other people's pleasure is like God-food, if that is not a blasphemous thought.  And just as his joy is infinite, I feel a small but overwhelming fragment of that divine joy.

So when I have dried my eyes and checked no one saw me, I thank Gods and worship.

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