Conversations For Transformation: Essays Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

Conversations For Transformation

Essays By Laurence Platt

Inspired By The Ideas Of Werner Erhard

And More

Real Men Cry

Grass Valley, Sierra Foothills, California, USA

December 17, 2005

"Be quiet. Big boys don't cry. Big boys don't cry. Big boys don't cry. Big boys don't cry. Big boys don't cry. Big boys don't cry. Big boys don't cry." ... 10cc

This essay, Real Men Cry, is the companion piece to It is also the fourth in an open group Encounters With A Friend:
  1. Showing Up
  2. Poet Laureate
  3. A Man In The Crowd
  4. Real Men Cry
  5. A Different Set Of Rules
  6. Nametag: A True Story
  7. Half-Life
  8. Waiting On You
  9. Erotica On Schedule
  10. A House On Franklin Street
  11. NeXT
  12. Reflection On A Window
  13. Here And There
  14. How To Enroll The World
  15. Demonstration
  16. Two Of Me II: Confirmation Not Correction
  17. Holiday Spectacular
  18. Hello! How Are Things Going For You?
  19. Regular Guy
  20. A Scholar And A Gentleman
  21. Images Of You
  22. With Nothing Going On
  23. Where No One Has Gone Before
  24. Attachment: Causeway Between Islands
  25. If You're Not Then Don't
  26. Images Of You II
  27. Living Where Life Is
  28. Create Me The Way I Am
  29. How Do You Spell The Sound A Ratchet Makes?
  30. You Don't Ask "Why Me?"  When It's Raining II
  31. The Stink Of Zen
  32. Sitting Quietly In A Room Alone
  33. Footsteps On Metal Stairs
so far, in that order.

I am indebted to my brother Brandon David "Bang" Platt who inspired this conversation.

I've got a word or two to say about creating completion, about being complete with people.

You can create completion with anyone, whatever happened, wherever they are, whoever they are, dead or alive, any time you choose.

Speak what you've been withholding. Listen for their answering. If there's emotion and tears, let them come. They wash your face.

I make perfect cappuccinos. I'd just finished making a cappuccino for Werner. I presented it to him. He took it from my outstretched hands, looked at me, smiled and said "Thanks Lar!" (his term of endearment for me, from the Roman god the house), took a sip, and turned towards his guests. He was radiant - serenely happy. His eyes brimmed with tears.

He was - I could see - literally moved to tears  by his guests, people who invest their time, their money, and their lives to be with him. When Werner says he is "touched, moved, and inspired" by people he means it at a level which for the most part that whole carefully crafted macho  facade precludes. We're shrouded by the injunction "big boys don't cry". Whether you're a man or a woman, "big boys don't cry" is you. When I look I see what that withhold costs me being open and vulnerable, being approachable.

What big boys don't do, real men are free to. The realer the freer.

I've come to realize if I can't cry I can't laugh. If I can't cry I can't empathize. If I can't cry I can't love. If I do those things without ever crying it's usually because I'm not playing full on. If I can't cry (the entire sobbing tears and snot catastrophe if necessary or simply getting misty being touched, moved, and inspired by human being), all my Self Expression is muted to the same degree.

How ironically human to go so far down that road perpetuating the facade. It costs us time. It has to come undone eventually.

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