The Gift of Tears

bird of paradise plant










On a stormy night, rain drums on the giant bird of paradise outside my bedroom window, but it stands steady in the gale, for evolution designed ribs in its broad leaves: wind will split them rather than topple the plant. Before I knew this, the rips and fraying in the leaves seemed to mar the beauty of the garden, but now I understand them as its salvation.

So too do I understand the gift of tears. The sorrowing speak of heartbreak because that is how much loss hurts and how shocking the face of evil is to the good person, but red eyes and a salt-streaked face mean that the heart opened instead of breaking.

So take off your armor and lay down your sword, let the grief blow through you, for whether you be tender or hard of heart, the gift of tears will save you.

Published by

Mary Camille Thomas

Mary Camille Thomas is a native of Santa Cruz, California who considers herself lucky to have returned after living internationally and on the road. She is a librarian by profession, and her poetry has appeared in The Moving Force Journal, Porter Gulch Review, and Sisters Singing. She is currently working on a novel called What Lies Buried and a collection of poems of the spirit.

2 thoughts on “The Gift of Tears”

  1. Mary :

    Thank you very this. A very nice and well pointed meditation. But I have some issue with you on your fleeting distinction between good and evil (people). Or, maybe, what I mean is the implication that there is such a category as good people (who are shocked by evil). Frankly, I doubt there is any such category as good people. The Bible says as much, , but I’m not counting on that. I think we all live our lives by our own lights, moment by moment by moment. One second or minute leads to the next according to what seems like the best choice of options at that instant. Some of us have more or less of a code of conduct that we try to follow, even if it’s no more than our “conscience” bugging us….. AND providing we happen to remember it at the time. Some of us do a better job than others, but the idea that there some folks living among us who are gooder than others is, I think, a dangerous illusion. Just my opinion.

    Cheers, Jerry


  2. People are defined by their actions. Some actions are good, others bad. Thus, some people are “gooder” than others. It really is that simple.


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