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TITLE: Weeping and Strength
By Helen Murray
10/23/10
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This is about the function of emotion, its purpose, and what is not its purpose. "Man" can include women. Could be used on Fathers' Day.
Nonsense dictates that a man may not weep.
So what will he do when emotions rage?
Shall he suffocate sentience, gagging its leap
Till it stagger, and stumble, and fall off life’s stage?

A man’s not a man who cannot shed a tear
For a loved one who dies, or a child’s broken heart.
To abdicate powerful tenderness so
Directs his relationship birthright to go!

The man educating himself not to feel
Through the dictates of popular cultural zeal
Is no longer a man, for he might just as well
Be a eunuch as close his emotional well.

I wonder sometimes if our scientists, too,
Have taken the knife to their feelings and so
Cut off emotion and sensitive ways
In their quest for empirical proof all their days.

The feelings – they’re right - should not give the dictation
To jump into anger, in each situation,
Or fall into fear, or anxiety’s clutch,
Or give in to jealousy, even a touch,

Or lust for that woman who’s beauty turns heads,
Or greed, or desire for material beads,
Or wild excitement brought on by success
Nor yet greater misery wrought in distress.

But every one of these feelings are gifts.
As we feel, so we understand others in shifts
Of emotion on tidal waves surfing and riding
Or tumbling and drowning, and screaming for saving.

“I understand her because she is like me.”
So compassion is born. It’s essential, you see,
Because I’m not an island and can’t live alone.
I need people, and love, and to give love to some.

Emotion’s the gate to relationship’s world,
To deep understanding, to heartburn unfurled,
To laughter and joy, to pain and delight.
But wisdom must gatekeep, not lock out of sight.
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