Short Story & Rhythmic Tale


I bought an umbrella because I was tired of feeling humidity on my eye lids. It’s hard enough keeping my eyes open these rainy days. Enough tears soaking my words as I try to voice the pain, even though, I don’t want to drown. Some shelter for those windows into our soul is key for long-term resilience. Having a stream of salty solution glide on my cheeks and drip off my chin has its soul-opening function as it fertilizes the soil I am about to walk on. Just like sea salt water having potential healing properties, our own tears may well be equipped for the same. Though, chronic despair in a rainy season requires its protection as too much moisture both of my cheek and feet is, to say the least, fatal. Showers of any kind should have a finite place within our daily lives because flooding may cover a lot but does not serve as a blanket, hence; an umbrella.

Walking through the mud I wipe my face dry and hold the transparent collapsible water-proof parasol. It’s beautiful to look up and watch water drops fall without those typical human reflexes that make you miss the splashes from blinking. Coming to think of it, the sound of the drops clash are even better. It’s in these breath-taking moments of solitude where falls finally seem the most soothing thing to both see and hear. Droplets from a grey-scaled sky with random tints of light blue resemble our own chambered tears every now and then. One thing I always miss, though, is the sound and, maybe that is, I figured, because we are so fast to wipe them off. Or not. Maybe most tears evaporate behind our eyes and those that do escape our gated shame are met with more air resistance than rain.

“Why do we cry?” then became my subject of interest while leaving footprints on liquified soil. A little bit of philosophizing and reminiscing always fits these fall walks. I began to think of how despite me needing an umbrella I believe many people should probably allow themselves to cry more. Also, indoors that is. Probably plenty still do it during a harsh rain precisely because they would not even notice the difference between a teardrop and a raindrop. Clever disguise. A shelter on its own. Protection from judgment and vulnerability. Another umbrella, I guess, in a sense. But, then, what if air itself is a gatekeeper; one trying to test teardrops for their willingness to fall and openness to hit hard? Maybe it genuinely is looking for the same thing recurrent in many domains of life: intentionality.

Just like most umbrellas, my feelings are not windproof. They are blown away and I am quite aggressively pulled to run after them all if I want to remain intact. Pretty hard to run while sinking densely. So, I decide to call it a day and collapse my umbrella before these strong winds take all I have left, including what is not waterproof either. My pride. Since there is little it will allow to permeate but a lot of space that it wants to cover, I have to be responsible and acknowledge the temporary defeat. As I let my heavy thoughts descend and rest at the bottom of my slow and deep breaths, I finally shake off the mud and set foot on the road. From a moment of stillness I rearrange my senses while using my umbrella as a walking stick and come to a sudden practical realization:

‘I am at the intersection of chaos and order feeling the weight of having to choose between comfort and pain.’

I was hoping I had stopped crying but before I could assemble more thoughts, I was at it again. I stood still in a puddle where my teardrop reflection continued speaking about how gravity is still impacting earth, not just to be spiteful, but trying to be vain. From the moment I believed to be able to compartmentalize the irritable confusion that had suffered from frequent friction with anger, I could see clouds passing by the mirror of my eyes unwilling to take a moment to look at me. Then, another tear was not held back and I couldn’t see how there were in fact raindrops staring and waiting for me to see. Several breaths in and tears out all I can do at first is react because making a decision is left for stages of stability where I am not yet welcome to stand.

Each foot is on a different lane but my chest points straight ahead. Umbrella on the road now, fully wet. I look at the horizon at the end of the road and begin to zoom out of my posture. With a wider scope and distant view I get to look inside myself. We do externalize and project internal needs, don’t we? With the constant rainfall on the ground becoming a numbing sound the flood of tears of the past months became clear water.

Looking into the puddle of tearing raindrops and mirroring tears, I could feel relief in the motion of clouds swimming by as I stopped forcing them to answer for my fear of the unknown. My surrender was not merely theatrical but intuitively guided. A primordial sanctification to restore honesty and space within that shifted the labour of my own gates. See, allowing ourselves to cry is not enough. I got down on my knees and closer to the ground for teardrops to remain in a larger compound and be able to hear the sound. It will keep you sharp to pay attention to that visual message that it carries around. Buying an umbrella will lessen transient pain but not replace the courage to embrace growing fears. It was time to admit I was resentful of gravity keeping my feet on the ground and air resistance delaying my messengers of pain to be found. I am the only one who can distinguish my tears from raindrops in my hand, puddles and inside the gated shame chambers that steer the sight to see what makes life so profound.

Many deep breaths and incomings sighs; raining stops but breezes ignite. My umbrella I will keep, but more importantly, the awareness to dig deep.

My intention, then, has been set. From crying being a vehicle and medium to express emotion, the decision at the crossroad begins with my own commitment to becoming.

From buying an umbrella as cover to reaching the end of a mud trail all the way to the end of a beginning road, I give thanks to the next insights that the wind seems to be wanting to unfold. At least I know that this umbrella will not save me from the winds so I promise to remain open to the upcoming teachings with which pain usually begins.


‘people say the wind is free

but I hear it cry as it passes me

solely condemned to nature’s fee:


whistles of solitude

dismissed through the multitude,

disperse in directions that tackle me


It was loneliness and despair

since it massless body was too much to bear,

and after repeatedly blinking, I understood

the concept of the wind has long been misunderstood


people say the wind is free

but it fights for its existence, just like me’

Scroll naar boven