10.25.2011

the beauty of crying in public

after i read this article about crying in public in new york, i felt really moved by it---

not only do i love the way it is written, but the subject matter is something that has been on my mind for the past few weeks.
being alone. privacy. how to handle it all in new york city.

melissa febos starts by saying "I’ve done it on the subway and at the Museum of Modern Art, in Prospect Park, Tompkins Square Park and leaning against the locked gate of Gramercy Park."

she then says, "If you live in New York, you’re bound to end up crying in public eventually; there just aren’t enough private places."

and i thought this was a little funny... ha, i'd never cry in public. but i kept seeing people crying everywhere on the street, in the subway, et cetera ---
and thought it was strange.

and the thought of crying in public was still funny until the other day--- and then again the other other day i found myself, crying in public.

first was at the abc home store near union square when my friend was late to meet me (like 45 minutes late) and when she finally arrived, she came over to hug me and started crying. so of course, i started to cry. she had had the worst day which greatly contributed to her tardiness--- and there we were: hugging and crying in the middle of the hippest homestore on the planet (while her toddler wandered off).

second was in the subway station at 42nd street/times square, late on a friday night with ben -when my tears caught me by surprise- as they sometimes do when i talk about feeling undervalued by the world (that silly, cruel world).


before we even moved here i observed that the BEST and WORST thing about new york is you are so surrounded and enveloped by people all the time, but on the other hand you are so very alone and isolated.

BUT you grow accustomed to this.

those two times i was crying in public? it was if i was alone with my friend, or alone with ben - and not at a homestore surrounded by fancy people or in a crowded, noisy subway station.

it's as if you are always at home in the city- and so you are always at liberty to show your true emotions.
the article says, "public criers ask nothing; they don't need anyone to take care of them."
just like sometimes when you cry at home or in private.

i loved the article. read it. it's not just about crying :)


p.s. photo is of the "hopes and dreams" wall at the times square visitors center.
p.p.s. my mom said the first time she visited the museum of modern art (moma)--- she cried because it was so beautiful. ... i love that.

11 comments:

hanner said...

i liked that article too. it's kind of funny, i will be listening to a song on my ipod and my eyes will suddenly well up and my heart beats a little faster. or if i hear an ambulance siren? i guess i cry in public more than i thought i did, haha.

laden backpack said...

The mountains make me weep for joy for embodied in them is the height, breadth, depth and grandeur of all creation. The peaks challenge and their valleys provide haven and rest, all that is joyful in the outdoors is contained in the moutains. They filter the light and give depth and perspective to our views, they reach beyond our imagination
And provoke thoughts of wonderment. Far reaching thoughts that draw from our deepest emotions and our most imaginative and creative thoughts. From the city come to the mountains and weep with me.

communikate. said...

great post emily! as a kid my mom would tear up over EVERYTHING. it's just so touching she'd say. we'd always give her a hard time with the roll of the eyes and the "moooom!psh."

i totally am that way now. little things that touch me have me tearing up, cruelties on the street with homeless people, getting lost in the city, you name i'm a big cry baby.

i think it shows emotional maturity. that's what i'm calling it. :)

kELLO! said...

now this is a great post.
so special to remember those vulnerable times
and your mom! such a sweet memory!

i'm glad you have close friends there to cry in public with.

Emily said...

I've always thought the public crying was so strange too. It seemed like something so personal, like you walked in on someone naked, and what did they think they were doing displaying that to everyone?
But, I'm totally guilty of the public cry. The public bawl even. There is something liberating and frightening at the same time about being that exposed, that raw, for all the world to see.
I have even public cried in NYC, remember? When I left you at the subway in Chinatown...and all the way down the steps.

nomadic gnome said...

i cried a few times in public in NYC and it was always SO cathartic.

the time i remember most is i think mark and I had just got into a fight over the phone(and everything was SO life or death in our long distance relationship) and i ran outside into the rain and just ran around the block in my jeans and tshirt, crying in the rain. i was such a drama queen.

Mandy said...

Such a cool article (thanks for linking to it!) and thought. I have never cried in NYC, but I used to cry all the time on BYU campus. Sometimes you can't help it, and there's no shame in that.

sienna said...

i've totally cried in public in new york. i was a teenager and i was lost trying to meet my brother some where. it was raining (how fitting) and some nice lady stopped to help me figure out where in the world i was going. it was embarrassing to me at the time, but i like this perspective you have. thanks for posting.

shayna said...

This was a nice post. Great article. I love the visual of the mask. I remember when I cried in public in New York.

naomi megan. said...

i don't think i can even count how many times i have cried in public in new york city. for good, sad, terrible, happy, incredible, disappointing and magical reasons.

loved that article.

rubi said...

i think we were in the same ward in harlem for a little bit!

i'm going to read that article right now. i remember crying in public once while watching a grown man hold back tears on the subway once.