The Beauty of Crying

Crying is a natural emotional response to certain feelings, usually sadness and hurt. But then people also cry under other circumstances and occasions, for instance, people cry in response to something of beauty. Stephen Sideroff

The place was the Los Angeles County Museum, the time was the fall of 1990. The exhibit was The Masters of Impressionism and Post-Impressionism: The Annenberg Collection. Jimmy, Audrey and I entered together but soon drifted in different directions. Nearly half an hour later I noticed Audrey at the far end of a small display hall, I was at the other end, inevitably we would meet near the group at the center of the room. As we got closer the group dispersed leaving Jimmy standing alone in front of a shimmering Monet. Reaching him at the same time, we noticed his tears. We embraced him, Audrey at his waist, I around his shoulders. "There's a word beyond beauty," he said.

Some time later Jimmy and I met in front of one of the early impressionistic works and were marveling at the techniques that were simply invented by those artists. We walked together into the next room and found Audrey standing alone in front of a huge Renoir. Tears streamed down her cheeks, followed by another embrace.

Late in the day, I was standing in front of a very pointillistic work by Camille Pissarro. I was transfixed by the movement created on flat surface and the shifting of light with just a infinitesimal movement from me. I remember the scene so clearly, the picture was on a short wall section next to the opening to the next gallery. At some point I looked just slightly to the right through that opening to see Jimmy and Audrey coming towards me. I had to blink the tears from my eyes to see their smiles.