I was tired this morning on my way too work, and when I’m tired I find I’m more emotional (read: I cry a whole lot easier) than when I’m fully rested.
That’s right, I cry. I have no problem admitting that.
We aren’t talking full on sob sessions (and so what if we were), but my eyes will water up and spill over the edges on occasion while watching movies, reading books, listening to music, telling stories… It happens.
This morning, listening to Bruce Springsteen sing “This Hard Land,” I had to wipe my eyes:
Hey frank won’t ya pack your bags
And meet me tonight down at liberty hall
Just one kiss from you my brother
And we’ll ride until we fall
We’ll sleep in the fields
We’ll sleep by the rivers and in the morning
We’ll make a plan
Well if you can’t make it
Stay hard, stay hungry, stay alive
If you can
And meet me in a dream of this hard land
There are a couple things going on here:
First, he is calling out “Frank,” which always brings to mind “Jessie.” (You know, Frank and Jessie James.) So, there’s history, and family, and life and death, and all the romance I ascribe to the old west all rolled into that one word. Who among us hasn’t made believe at one time in our lives that we were these notorious outlaws robbing a bank or train, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor, watching each other’s backs, protected by family and friends and tradition? So, with all that now running through my head, we proceed into the rest of the stanza.
The second hit comes from: “Just one kiss from you my brother, and we’ll ride until we fall.” I haven’t always been close with my brother, there were a couple years where we didn’t talk much at all. But, since then, we have become much closer. This line resonates with me. I know, either way, if one of us needed the other, we’d be there to whatever end. Without question. Without complaint. Guns blazing if needed. At this point I can already feel the pressure behind my eyes as my tear ducts are starting to do there thing.
Then it all comes together with the third and final stressor on my (fragile?) emotional state with the final lines: “stay alive, if you can, and meet me in a dream of this hard land.” If you can? If you can! That’s it, I’m done, I can’t stop the tears from coming. Life is a struggle, there are always going to be challenges, but there is hope, there is something wonderful about meeting those adventures head on with someone by your side, there is more going on in those lines than I have the words to capture.
From there, on my drive, I moved on to thinking about the other lines from my life that I can’t help but cry when I hear them (see them):
For Love of the Game – written on the baseball – “Tell them I’m through, ‘for love of the game’, Billy Chapel”
Schindler’s List – Oskar Schindler (Liam Neeson) – “I could have got more out. I could have got more. I don’t know. If I’d just… I could have got more.”
The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers – Aragorn (Viggo Mortensen) – “Ride out with me. Ride out and meet them.”
The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance – Jason Tully (Willis Bouchey) – “Nothing’s too good for the man who shot Liberty Valance.”
Zulu – Adendorff (Gert van den Bergh) – “They’re… they’re saluting you. They’re saluting fellow braves. They’re saluting you.”
Five seems like enough for today. And now, of course, I want to watch each of these films again. If you haven’t seen them, add them to your must watch lists. That’s an official kingdom proclamation.