"I rolled over on my face and tucked my arm under my head and started crying like a child. I was perishing from exhaustion. I was worn and miserable and I loved crying. I couldn’t do anything else. I gave into it fully. I felt that profound release of the utterly grief-stricken. I didn’t give a damn who saw or heard. I cried and cried.

Do you know what I think about crying? I think some people have to learn to do it. But once you learn, once you know how to really cry, there’s nothing quite like it. I feel sorry for those who don’t know the trick. It’s like whistling or singing."

Ann Rice

Memnoch the Devil


"There is a certain joy in weeping, for by tears grief is sated and relieved."



"Why do people cry? Recent evidence suggests that the tears produced by emotional crying may be a way that the body disposes of toxic substances. It may seem strange to think of crying as beneficial, yet many people say that ‘a good cry’ makes them feel better.

The belief that crying has positive effects is of ancient origin. More than two thousand years ago, Aristotle theorized that crying at a drama ‘cleanses the mind’ of suppressed emotions by a process called catharsis-the reduction of distress by releasing the emotions. Many people attend movies and plays that they know beforehand are, shall we say, ‘elicitors of psychogenic lacrimation’, or tearjerkers. Such people cry freely in movies and may delight in the experience."

Robert Ornstein and David Sobel

The Healing Brain


"The pleasure of tears, can be found throughout Western history. The pleasure of tears was often religious in origin, and often only tangentially related to pain, sadness, or suffering. …..



"John of Fecamp prayed to God: "Give me the pleasantness of tears….give me the gift of tears."


"Were it not for their tears, saintliness would not interest us any more than a medieval political intrigue in some little provincial town."

.E. M. Cioran


"I wept not, so to stone within I grew."



"Waste not fresh tears over old briefs."




"The earliest written record of tears is found on Canaanite clay tablets dating from the fourteenth century B.C. "


"A pedant who beheld Solon weeping for the death of his son said to him, ‘Why do you weep thus, if weeping avails nothing?" And the sage answered him, "Precisely for that reason-because it does not avail"…..And I am convinced that we should solve many things if we all went out into the streets and uncovered our grief’s, and joined together in beweeping them and crying aloud to the heavens and calling upon God. And this, even though God should hear us not; but He would hear us. The chiefest sanctity of a temple is that it is a place to which men go to weep in common. A misere sung in common by a multitude tormented by destiny has as much value as a philosophy. It is not enough to cure the plague: we must learn to weep for it. Yes, we must learn to weep? Perhaps that is the supreme wisdom. Why? Ask Solon."

Miguel de Unamuno

The Tragic Sense of Life


"Let tears flow of their own accord: their flowing is not inconsistent with inward peace and harmony."




Book: "Crying" …The Natural & Cultural History of Tears"by Tom Lutz

Book: "A Tear is an Intellectual Thing" Jerome Neu



© 2001




Back to Chrestomathy           Next Page