I will not say: do not weep; for not all tears are an evil

I have been thinking about sadness.

I have been sad recently, thinking about this and that, and people that have gone and will never come back. And I have been crying, weeping desperate, gulping tears over my books. They reflect me, I think, on a whole. I read into things what I feel at that point in time.  I bring my backstory, my laden-heavy history, into these texts.

Reading is a passionate, torrid, painful affair and perhaps one of the most potent relationships I engage in on a daily basis. I conjure stories, I do, I create them every time I read, when my story brushes up against theirs and we meet in a strange liminal space, neither book, neither me, but something other

Language is a skin: I rub my language against the other.

It is as if I had words instead of fingers, or fingers at the tip of my words.

My language trembles with desire – Barthes

And I wonder why I do this, why I choose to read, if these books can bend and break and hollow me so. Why do I choose this little death each and every time?

I think then of Tolkien, of Gandalf “I willl not say : do not weep; for not all tears are an evil” and I realise he’s right. Reading – living – creating this moment where you touch – you just touch – the experience, the word-tricks and language-magic of an other – is worth it. It always is. Because what you do, every time you start afresh, you turn the page, you are saying I am here. I am here, and I engage in life, in this world, in this existence. Do not forget me for I am here and I am with you and I give life to this book in the most curious and unique of ways.

“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart: I am, I am, I am” – Plath


  1. Great post. I have always thought that seeing your feelings represented and validated in your reading is both cathartic and reassuring whatever age you are. It’s one of the reasons I profoundly disagree with adults who criticise writers like Melvin Burgess and Jacqueline Wilson for tackling difficult subjects in their plots.

    I hope that whatever is making you sad ends soon, and that the sun comes out for you tomorrow, to quote Annie!

    • Thank you 🙂 Totally agree with your thoughts on Melvin Burgess and Jacqueline Wilson – books like theirs provide that validation of thought, of emotion, that makes you realise it’s okay – it’s not just you. I will utterly and always fight for books like this to exist.

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