Welcome to Michael’s ‘Intimate With Strangers’ Page 8
Breathing facilitates crying, and people cry a lot in this work. They cry not only for the
sake of catharsis; they cry for joy, from having made connection with more of themselves.
Crying expresses the full range of human emotion from anguish to ecstasy. Even
laughter is a derivative of crying. If you watch someone cry, in pain or for joy, you see
that the whole person is convulsing rhythmically. It’s interesting, because crying, unlike
other forms of expression, almost always brings about the basic involuntary, pulsatory
movements. Anger generally does not. A person capable of expressing anger is not
necessarily willing to cry. It’s the person unwilling to cry who is unwilling to practice his
own freedom. It’s the person who won’t cry who does not fully share.
Anyone who has been around children has noticed that their every emotion is expressed
by some form of outcry. Their cry is the voice of their bodily freshness. And in this
respect adults are no different from children. As we become able to cry, our bodies
become more capable of expressing our selves. As we learn once again to cry, we grow
more and more willing and able to make joyful love.
We enter the world with a cry, and from that time on, our crying or our not-crying is part
and parcel of our forming. He who never cries out is never heard. The warrior’s roar,
the lover’s shout, the victim’s scream evoke human response and are heard by the
gods as well.
The cry is the mother of all emotional expression: howls of anger, moans of sadness,
sighs of tenderness, bellows of hunger, shouts of joy. We who do not cry ensure that
our rigidities never soften, that we never become impressionable enough to form again.