So I am up in Wisconsin earlier this week, and I run into a guy attending a writer's conference. I met him in the hotel lobby one night and we strike up a conversation. He was writing on his lap top, surrounded by several legal pads filled with hand writing.
Our eyes caught and I said, "Looks like you're a busy man."
"Yeah, I guess so. I'm writing. Writing about tears."
"Tears?" I asked.
"Yes, tears. I have to write a piece for tomorrow about crying, and I realize that I haven't cried any tears of sadness or sorrow since I was 10 years old. I'm 73 now, and I'm trying to figure that out."
"Wow," I said. "That's great. Your tears are in there. You just have to find them. I hope you can."
Then he tells me he wants to read to me what he's written.
"Go ahead," I said and sat down in a chair beside him.
He proceeded to read me a very touching piece he had written about finding his own grandfather dead. He was just 10 when he discovered his grandfather dead in bed. His grandfather lived in the same house with him.
As a boy he was so shocked, he ran into his own bedroom and wept for 30 minutes.
After he finished reading me his story, he looked up at me and said, "Can you believe it? I haven't wept over anyone's death since then. I don't really know why. I just can't. Somehow I'm just frozen. I feel strong emotions of grief. I just can't weep."
I thanked him for sharing his touching story with me. "It was an honor to hear you read your story. It's very touching."
I told him I'm a crier. He said he thinks that's wonderful. He wished he could be one, too.
As I headed to my room I turned toward him and said, "Your tears are in there, pal. I know they are. You keep looking for them. I'm sure you'll find them."
"I hope so," he said. "I sure hope so."