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Writing Resources from Fifteen Minutes of Fiction

The following is a piece of writing submitted by Janee on February 29, 2008


I simply don't understand humanity. The mind of the human race completely mystifies and perplexes me.

Humanity continually bemoans the troubles of life: the loss of innocence, the destruction of happiness, the emptiness and hopelessness of life, followed at last by the eventual and unavoidable collapse that ends with death and decay.

And yet, when surrounded by such grief, you proceed to seek additional reasons for crying and sorrow. You curl up in a comfortable chair, covered with a soft, cozy blanket, and read a silly and sappy romance novel, or watch a bittersweet, tragic movie - and for what reason? Simply so you can shed a few more tears.

As if there aren't enough of them in the world already.

Perhaps the human race is genetically programmed to feel the need for grief; perhaps you cannot have a satisfying existence without it.

Or perhaps the tears shed at someone else's story are an emotional release and escape from your own story. Perhaps these second-hand tears, removed at a distance from your own personal sorrows, bring you comfort. You weep, and in weeping, feel better about yourself.

Maybe it has nothing to do with grief at all; maybe God has programmed you with the need to shed tears from time to time, sort of like a pressure release valve that exists merely to prevent an eventual explosion. Maybe those tears are simply the expulsion of excess emotional baggage, exiting the body through the tear ducts.

And now that I think about it, I'm sure that must be so, for you also weep when you are laughing, and there is no grief in that.

I can't help but wonder, though: if you didn't have this overwhelming need to cleanse yourself through the tear ducts, maybe you would have left me out in the garden instead of chopping me into little pieces and dropping me in the chili.

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