I'm really hooked on the Original Intent project, in case you haven't noticed. I once thought that when my thirty day self-commitment ended back in February, I'd post an O.I. pairing once a week. Twice if I was feeling adventurous. Ha! It seems that O.I. photos and earrings are the only things I post anymore. And while I'm having a ball with my little project, there is one very important person who gets a little antsy when O.I. pairings are the only things I post. My mom. "Where are the recipes?' she asks. "What have you been up to? Where have you been going? What have you been thinking about? Where's all the text?" So, to keep Momma happy, I offer her (and you, of course) a text-rich post on something that's been occupying my mind recently. Brace yourself. I don't think this is exactly what she was looking for, but I haven't cooked anything noteworthy all week, and my life has recently been filled with nothing but report cards, parent-teacher conferences, and school assembly practices. Bor-ring! (I even missed meeting a great blog friend in person due to work consuming my life this week. Ugh.) But I digress. At least this random little piece is more than two photos and an etsy link, right? So here goes, Ma.

What Makes Me Cry

I'm not one to get teary all that often. Not much moves me to cry, but when it does - watch out. Total waterworks. I've been thinking about crying this week not because I'm sad, but because I'm tired. Ridiculously tired. And aside from the usual depressing suspects, being tired is the one thing that can push me to tears. I haven't gotten there yet (and hopefully I won't since I can sleep in tomorrow morning), but I have been thinking about how fragile I feel when sleep-deprived. Which got me thinking... what else has the ability to bring me to this fragile point? Often, the answer is in music, print, and film. So I started to compile a list of various works of art in different genres that have taken me up to and over the gushing threshold at some point in my life. (This kind of list-making is the sort of thing that I do on the subway when I'm too tired to focus on whatever book I'm currently reading, but too paranoid to sleep.) Here it is... the severely edited list. Need a good cry? Check one of these out:
Photograhy Exhibit - Nan Goldin's I'll Be Your Mirror (which I saw while staying in the Red Light district in Amsterdam back in 1997... there were definitely other elements at play there that added to my fragility factor)
Art Installation - Janet Cardiff's 40-Part Motet, which I saw at P.S. 1 in Queens back in 2001 - it got me hooked on the haunting sounds of the choral piece Spem in Alium (the recording of which jerks the tears all by itself - no connected art installation necessary)
Books - Where the Red Fern Grows by Wilson Rawls (elementary school me); So Long, See you Tomorrow by William Maxwell (grown up me)
Movie - Breaking the Waves, directed by Lars von Trier
And since this is the short list, I can't get too deep into the list of albums that make me cry like a baby, but a few tracks on R.E.M.'s Green got me seriously boo-hooing back whe I was in high school. Pete Rock and CL Smooth's They Reminisce Over You (T.R.O.Y.) also hit me pretty hard back in my teenage days.
Okay, Ma, I hope my rambling satisfied you. Now, it's your turn. What works of art turn on your waterworks? (That question, by the way, is directed to all of you readers, not just my mom. I already know that a rousing version of How Great Thou Art gets her totally teary.)


Beth said...

On Eagle's Wings usually chokes me up because they sang it at my Grandpa's funeral.

Nadia said...

Oh yes, Where the Red Fern Grows. Also, that part in Little Women. Every time.

Hmmm... I'm having a hard time thinking about what makes me sad. My brother and I have a weirdness -- sad things make us happy.

Maryanne said...

"Til I Gain Control Again" by This Mortal Coil did (and still does) it to me every time. I remember way back when (in what seems like a previous life) playing it over and over again when I needed a good release.

And my 3 most precious little works of art made me cry recently when we were getting ready to go sledding. The "swish swish swish" of little running snowsuit legs is one of the greatest sounds, also one which bring back memories of times spent with dad when we were little. Got me to thinking how quickly time passes and how precious these fleeting moments are. The poor kids couldn't figure out why someone would be crying when they were going sledding...

Erin said...

Okay how sad is this. My wedding video brings me too tears. I can't watch it with out serious boo hooing. I guess it's just that I was so young and innocent and we were so full of love...12 years and two kids later...life has changed so much. All for the good but...life was so different back then.

Ava Maria and Amazing Grace make me cry (Funeral songs). And Dance with Wolves I was seriously sobbing during the movie.

I loved reading your post today...while I enjoy your Original Intent...It's also neat to learn some things about you.
Hope you aren't too snowed in this weekend.

meg said...

oh, good post. and i've stated that i'm not very sentimental...but here's a few...

a tree grows in brooklyn
bridge to terabithia

martha/tom waits
america/simon + garfunkle

brokeback mountain
deer hunter
terms of endearment

wow. maybe i AM a sap!

erin said...

these days i get teary (in the best way, with a smile on my face) just watching my kids grow up. other things: pictures of my grandmother and appalachian spring by aaron copland (which also makes fatty cry when he hears it).

i liked this post...it'll have me thinking all day.

Connie said...

i have been moved by many works [what a great topic Susan!] but there is one thing that always always always makes me tear up. So its in Apollo 13 when they are reentering the atmosphere and they take longer than expected and the whole world doesn't know if they're dead or alive and everyone is watching and all there is is static. oh my, the music is just amazing. i feel lame that its just this movie that moves me so, but its true.

KSV said...

I get teary when I am tired, too!! It is very much like a fragile state and vulnerable, as well. I definitely get teary eyed when I hear Elton John's "Tiny Dancer". It's not sad tears, but happy tears. I used to listen to that song with my college friends and we would dance to it and laugh. It reminds me of that happy time, which I miss, but am glad I have in my bundle of happy memories. A lot of art gets me teary eyed, but I went to an exhibit at the Center for Creative Photography at the University of Arizona, and there were photographs of illegal immigrants, mothers, grandmothers, it was sad. The truth of the matter is that these are people suffering through desperation to try and make it in this world. Trying to give their children a brighter future. I could see the years in between the wrinkles on peoples' faces, it brought me to tears.

Rachel said...

I love the catharsis of a good cry. I sometimes get on a "going, going, going" mode that somewhere, something at sometime will break that.

Mine happened around 2 weeks ago. At church during a worship song. The words just touched and convicted me. I started crying and couldn't stop. It felt good and honest and humbling. The stresses and worries of day to day was released.

Just before this happened, I was thinking to myself "when is the last time you cried? You need a good cry." Most of the crying done here are by the four year old [very dramatically] and the 22 month old [who cannot be out done by big sis]. The 34 year old cannot cry. Apparently, I can and should. "It's my party and I can cry if I want to..." Right?

Oh...back to the question... "The Color Purple" is the first to come to mind. Bawled...during that one. Should have gotten a box of tissue with the popcorn. "Field of Dreams" too, at the end when he's playing catch.

Wende said...

I like your mom. . . How Great Thou Art gets me every time.

kat said...

well, I'm a big baby. I cry quite easily. Not talking huge tears here... but I'll get misty eyed over something sentimental or sweet. It may be the book I'm reading, a show I'm watching, or yes, a sappy commercial :)

Can't remember the last time I had a good cry over something that was personal. For something like that i buck up + think "chin up"
Weird huh?

Robyn said...

I cry a lot. Well, not really, but guaranteed I'll cry at something you probably wouldn't.
Movies: Schindler's List, Rabbit-proof Fence, anything by Nicholas Sparks (why I think I won't cry this time is truly beyond me), I cried in Bridget Jones: The Edge of reason when Mark Darcy comes to help get her out of jail and he acts so cold towards her, there's more I know. Oh, Hallmark commercials, there was this really special Disney commercial that brings tears to my eyes just thinking about it.
Music: the score from The Diary of Anne Frank, The Eyes of All Wait Upon Thee, Crossroads by Bone Thugs n Harmony, Water Runs Dry Boyz 2 Men, One Sweet Day Mariah Carey, When You Believe and I Will Get There from the Prince of Egypt soundtrack, Unforgiven by Metallica, I Will Remember You Sarah McLachlan, Silent Sunlight by Cat Stevens
Art - there's been some I know, just can't think right now
Books - Woman Hollering Creek by Sandra Cisneros, Nicholas Sparks books, more
I hope you get some sleep this weekend. No tears, spring break is near. :0)

Chickenbells said...

Oh heavens...I've been crying because of the strangest things for the past 2 years, things that don't normally tear me up, but I realize they may not be sad to anyone else (more part of whatever my personal journey happens to be right now)I really went for it in a big fetal-postion-for-a-half hour-at-a-time about a a month ago...it was really healing.

The songs:
Throw Me a Rope-KT Tunstall
Like Bird Stealing Bread Out From Under My Nose-Iron and Wine

The Movies:
Somewhere in Time
Mrs. Soffel

And a small passage about a miscarrage in the book: Another Roadside Attraction-Tom Robbins

Vanessa said...

I love crying. It is such a release. My boyfriend and I sit and I tell him a really sad story and he cries and so do I. It is such a great release...Sometimes, not even a sad story, but a moving story. I was at a thrift shop and bought that movie, hope floats. So not my kinda movie, but I enjoyed it and sobbed like a baby when the little girl realizes her dad really did leave them, she cries for him as he drives off, she begging to go with him...Then she realizes her mom is the good one...I love the bonding of mother and daughter in that.....I love to cry. xxo,Vanessa

Bitterbetty said...

Great Post!

The Outsiders (book not movie) had me sobbing as a kid.

The Birthday by Marc Chagall made me teary in the museum.

Huge movie crier.. and every time I go to a school performance/graduation/ right of passage, as my son grows I get weepy. He doesn't know. I act real cool when he can see me.

julieree said...

I hope you are having a wonderfully restful and soul-restoring weekend. sounds like you deserve it.

I'm not much of a crier either--though like you fatigue and stress are usually the things that drive me to it. That and dealing with belligerant/demanding people.

as far as books and movies--mmm. little women, of course (beth will go and die every single time won't she?) The book Mrs. Mike. wonderful, if wrenching, novel.

btw, my earrings came yesterday!! (damn that usps can be efficient on occasion.) I am wearing them now and they are perfect. I feel so pretty. :)

Shona said...

"The Color Purple" I don't remember crying while I was reading the book, but the movie- Oy! When the sister leaves + when the sister returns. I don't even have to watch the movie, just those scenes, more so when the sister returns. Also the scene in "Schindler's List" when the boy is in the toilet + he looks up to the light. EVERY SINGLE TIME- uncontrollable boo hoo city!

ambika said...

I swear it must have been a full moon last week because *everyone* I know has really been struggling with work--either being incredibly busy or dealing with major projects.

Sleep deprivation also brings me to tears. I simply cannot handle being tired on a long term basis. It just drains me. And I actually *did* cry at the vet this week b/c the boyfriend and I have been trying to figure out what to do with an abandoned cat. Full moon, I swear.

(and I like the O.I. posts, even if they're brief.)

Anonymous said...

Ok , you will figure out who I am by this but I had to hold back tears in Paris seeing the Monet Waterlillies for the first time at the newly re-opened MuseeL'Orangerie

Anonymous said...

Ok , you will figure out who I am by this but I had to hold back tears in Paris seeing the Monet Waterlillies for the first time at the newly re-opened Musee L'Orangerie. [Oh, and that sad part of "The Guns of Navarone".]

Holly said...

I was so glad to read this blog and know i am not the only one feeling like this these days.
My guaranteed bawl sessions:
Breaking the Waves (also) and Lars' other movie "Dancer in the Dark"
"Terms of Endearment"
"Life is Beautiful"
And I am not a musical fan typically, but "Les Miserable" gets me every single time.

I notice a running theme in my picks - all show altruistic love. If it's a love of mother/daughter, father/daughter, father loving daughter's love, father/son - gets me every time. Unselfish love is the most beautiful thing on earth.... oh, and i am making myself tear up now thinking about these movies.
Can't wait for spring - i think that will help!

Anonymous said...

Ah, Suzy, you read me like a book! Just writing "How Great Thou Art" makes me teary-eyed! I think that is why Assisi means so much to me because I still vividly recall standing on top of the hill at the Basilica of St. Francis with you and Dad and looking out and seeing the forest and rolling hills and could hear people singing that song as they did at Grandma's funeral along with On Eagle's Wings, Amazing Grace and Make Me a Channel of Your Piece. Andrea Boccelli's singing also gets to me.

And for the books that make me cry, The Runaway Bunny, The Giving Tree, Charlotte's Web and I'll Love You Forever. (Movies - Vita e Bella and Cinema Paradiso)

And then of course, when I first held Nicholas, Martin and Mariana right after they were born, this is making me tear up now as I type this, and sometimes when I am with them and see their sweet faces and listen to what they are saying that too makes me so happy and also teary. Since I am at work before I start bawling out loud I will end for now!

Have a wonderful trip, Love, Mom

amandajean said...

I get teary eyed by my son's artwork-my all time favorite is one titled "I can help my mom cook." (he's in kindergarten)

oh, and the sentence he wrote "I luv mi mom" all on his own.

I also get teary eyed thinking about the possiblity of my family relocating again. this time maybe to florida.

and seeing the first robin of the season. (the first sign of spring- according to my grandma) she passed away last november. she was 101. she helped raise me.

I also cried at where the red fern grows. I think I need to go back and read it again.

loved this post, and I loved reading the comments, too.