Lubricating/moistening fluid to keep your eyes from dessicating. Humans build up an excessive amount of tears when we have allergies or are depressed enough to cry.

From Leaves of Grass, by Walt Whitman:

Tears! tears! tears!
In the night, in solitude, tears,
On the white shore dripping, dripping, suck'd in by the sand,
Tears, not a star shining, all dark and desolate,
Moist tears from the eyes of a muffled head;
O who is that ghost? that form in the dark, with tears?
What shapeless lump is that, bent, crouch'd there on the sand?
Streaming tears, sobbing tears, throes, choked with wild cries;
O storm, embodied, rising, careering with swift steps along the beach!
O wild and dismal night storm, with wind — O belching and desperate!
O shade so sedate and decorous by day, with calm countenance and regulated pace,
But away at night as you fly, none looking — O then the unloosen'd ocean,
Of tears! tears! tears!

I wrote this little ditty some years after my father died. He was born with a hole in his heart, blue baby syndrome, so the amazing thing is that he lived as long as he did. I must have been thirteen when he died and for several years after I was unable to cry. This was at that point my best attempt to get down how I was feeling, needless to say, not exactly a happy bunny.

He was a great man and had a somewhat frustrated and tragic life but that's for another node and another time. I think my greatest regret is that he never saw me through college, we never had the chance to sit down with a pint together and talk.

When night has closed upon me
and angels leave my mind
I delve deep inside me 
to where my horrors hide.
A chasam deep awaits me 
it's jaws are verry wide.
My past lies here benesth me
and yet I have not cried

Each tear I shed hits this mire and not my cheek
All I have left are memories which come and go.
And so i stop when memories' bells jingle, to remember more.
And old places that recall him hold me, my tears I hold

I saw him lying there leaving me, and I did not know.
The nurse smiled and said hello
the nun did not let him go
as he wanted to, and i sat there and I did not know.

I did not say such a simpe thing as 'I love you' and i cannot say it now
to those I love in case they leave and tears again I will not feel.
My cheeks are dry and have been so for many a year
but deep inside i drown behind a dam of lost time.

My life goes on but it will end and i have tasted death
For he is not here now my father draws no breath.
And when I die who will there be to remember him
and then to remember me

When night has closed upon me
and angels leave my mind
I delve deep inside me
to where my horrors hide.
A chasam deep awaits me
its jaws are verry wide
My future lies ahead of me
And still i cannot cry

There are tears of sorrow, and tears of joy. Tears of pain and tears of emptiness. Tears with laughter, and tears in the rain. Tears from beauty, and tears of loss. Every emotion that we can feel has a different tear associated with it.

Tears are an outward expression of our emotions, just as a smile can be. They are the pressure release valve on our inner turmoil.

Drop for drop, tears shed in solitude release less emotion than those in the comforting arms of others. At times, it seems they add to it rather than ease it.

Tears, usually pure water, with saline traces; but in cases of poisoning may show the poison, and in diabetes become saccharine like the other secretions. Serving normally to moisten eyeballs, interior eyelids, and nose, they are regularly secreted in normal quantities, and disappear by the duct into the nose. In man they are also the natural outlets of strong emotion, and are secreted in greatly increased quantity; they much more constantly accompany crises of fear, anxiety, grief, affection, and keen joy than physical pain. Old age is comparatively tearless.

Entry from Everybody's Cyclopedia, 1912.

Tears of joy
Like the seeds of a ripe pomegranate
Leave a fresh and salty tartness
On the Soul

Tears of sorrow
Rush the salt
Out from the wounds


The very corners of her jaw, just below her ears, tighten and burn simultaneously with her eyes. Her mouth waters. Inside her chest, a ball of emotion makes its presence known. It is the feeling of tears hidden, pent up, and not allowed to be free. She acknowledges the feeling, but continues to hold back the salty evidence of emotion which tried to overwhelm her.

This time, it was watching a well-known actress portraying a woman visiting the grave of her dead hound dog that evoked the response. It’s not the dog or the actress or the chick flick plot, it’s the portrayal of such sincere emotion. She is touched by the raw, powerful expression of emotion on the screen. She feeds herself these movies, filled with emotion, hoping it will release her own powerful emotions somehow. Sometimes, it works.

People often think she is not emotional. This is untrue, she just not physically expressive with her emotions. She is actually intensely emotional -- she doesn’t display the emotions because she doesn’t understand most of them. She has never been one to express something which she does not understand, or cannot understand through analytical conversation.

This is why she almost exclusively has conversations about emotion with her best friend. This woman can understand emotion and explain it with amazing skill. Her best friend is, in her opinion, the most emotionally intelligent person she’s ever met. Her best friend is one of the most generally intelligent people she knows anyway, full of the kind of common sense the world seems to lack too often. They never feel the need to label why it is they are best friends, they both accept without question, for once, that they just are the sisters of each other’s souls.

She always question everything else. The less she understands something, the more she analyzes and questions. She has a drive to understand the world and people around her. She feels she must find a way to understand every situation. A single idea can, and does, consume her as she struggles to understand it. Currently, it’s the heart, two hearts actually.

Deep, heartfelt love. The bane of philosophers trying to explain it, and of the entire human race trying to understand its mystery. Like a solidified blob of naturally formed glass that’s been dropped and broken, love is beautiful and dangerous all at once. Beautiful because its shape is unpredictable and uncontrollable. Both capture your full attention as you visually devour every detail. Dangerous because, as you explore it, you find the jagged edges among the smooth curves, but you keep exploring, captivated as you bleed. Beautifully dangerous because, like looking through the irregularly shaped glass, the world is distorted when you look at it through the kaleidoscopic filter of love.

Her life has never presented her with a mystery like this. She thinks she’s often just avoided these situations because the emotional involvement was too much. This time, she made a different choice. She knows exactly the moment when that choice was made.

She was on her cell phone, sitting in her Forester’s parking space outside her apartment, talking to her best friend. Her best friend asked her a question about this man. She thought about the question for a moment, looking to her intuition to supply the answer. Intuition did not let her down, and it showed her the right choice. She would make the same choice again if given the opportunity. Even though the results of that choice have sent her on the craziest emotional trip of her life, that has threatened to undo her at times, it was the right choice. So now, she is wrapped up in trying to understand.

For months, ever since she made that choice, she has tried to understand the situation in which she has found herself spinning. She can’t ever seem to catch up though, there’s always more information to feed into the existing hurricane of thoughts. Another phone call, e-mail, personal interaction, look, joke, dream...always adding more complication than clarification. However, none of this has stopped her from trying to arrange it all into a cohesive, understandable whole.

Daily, hourly, her brain strains with the effort of understanding and questioning every aspect of the situation. How can such a contradiction exist?

In her life is a man with whom she deeply connects, yet they are not a couple. Everyone around them notices this -- their friends, his entire family, her sister, even the woman who he seems to be unsuccessfully dating (they seem to antagonize each other more than support each other). She has a hard time believing that he does not also notice their connection. Even if he is the stereotypical clueless man, there are things he cannot ignore.

For instance, he must notice that they spend more time alone together than she spends with her best friend. Logically, the way they both think, there is only so much opportunity for social activity in a given week. They run together on most Saturdays, see each other more days than not during the week and tend to end up at her house for dinner a couple times a month. In fact, he has been in her home enough that he is comfortable enough to get up and serve himself or to just walk in the door when he arrives.

When they are together, they talk and laugh about anything and everything. Long ago, they agreed that they could not possibly have boring conversation. Always, they have the most random conversations, and delight in tracing their zigzags back to where they began. In all of their combined conversations, there is only one taboo that they have not broached -- talking about what they really think of each other.

She is in love with him. She knows this undeniably, no matter how scary it is to make real via admission. She’s not supposed to fall in love right now, she’s still in the process of getting divorced. She’s not supposed to want her best friend’s brother, says social convention. She’s not supposed to want her martial arts instructor, according to social convention again. She’s not supposed to want a man who is dating another woman, no matter how weak their relationship is. Well, “supposed to” has never had much effect on her anyway, why should it now?

Swirling faster, getting crowded, her brain is flooded with the events, words, and actions of the past several months of their....friendship. Only friendship doesn’t quite do it justice. If it did, his mother would not wonder if something was “going on” between them after having seen them interact for only a few hours. If it did, she would not push for her best friend (also his sister) to maybe give him a push. If it did, he would not have ever called her and claimed to not know why he called. If it did, he would not have found it disturbing when a church member suggested the two could pass for siblings. If it did, he would not look for excuses to come to her home. If it did, neither of them would have said or done any of a thousand things they have said and done. If it did, she would not be writing this. If it did, there would be no tears to hold back. If...

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