There’s always gonna be another mountain, I’m always gonna wanna make it move.
Crying refers to a secretomotor phenomenon characterized by the extrusion of a salty substance, tears, from our lachrymal apparatus. Nerves like to be typical middlemen, always alert and gossipy. They offer a communication channel between our lachrymal gland and the areas of the brain involved with our emotions. When we are overwhelmed by emotion, stress levels in our bodies go up and consequently ‘stress chemicals’ like prolactin, adrenocorticotropic, leu-enkephalin, potassium and manganese increase. Emotional tears are then produced from our tear ducts, which are situated under the eye-lids, as a sort of negative feedback mechanism to expel these excess chemicals. The medical term for this is to lacrimate, but this also refers to non-emotional shedding of tears.
Crying is the grandest emblem of heightened emotion. They say (or rather Tech told me) some physicists have been so overwhelmed upon beholding Einstein’s ‘E=mc2’ equation, tears of awe escaped them. The priest in my high school would spend a significant amount of effort unsuccessfully hiding his own pearly (and shameless) darlings behind his spectacles during the transubstantiation at every mass (that’s the part in a Catholic mass where bread and wine are transformed into the body and blood of Jesus). And remember Najib Balala in 2007 when he forfeited his bid for the O.D.M. party presidential candidature to support Raila? Well, I bet you remember his grand-daughter that looked like a million dollars neatly wrapped up in a beautiful Arab girl’s body reciting a poem, but that’s beside the point; more acutely, I remember Najib’s tears.
It sounds quite unmanly, doesn’t it? To me, it even sounds absurd. However, I admire them. I admire the fact that these people have found something they love so much, it makes them lose themselves. One day I want to have tears well up in my eyes because of the objects of my passion. To take but one example- stories. One day I want to find a story online, or tucked away in an old book, or in the intimacies of my friend’s notebook, or in a book I picked up impulsively or otherwise at my book-store. I want to find a story and break down. Not necessarily because it is sad, but because it is so beautifully crafted it summons my tears.
Better still, one day I want to craft a story so splendidly reading it myself makes me cry. Now I write like… well, let’s not grade me at the moment. Perhaps I will spruce it up with Bikozulu’s easy humor. I’ll even dare to dream that with enough effort I’ll pull off cultivating Chimamanda’s notoriety for weaving out a captivating story. Then I’ll complement these with Jodi Picoult’s knack for building fabulous creative fiction from a careful research of fact- crown it all with Alex Smith’s enviable mastery of literary technique.
For stories, I want to cry, or, to die trying.