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What Our Tears Tell Us
August 12, 2016

tears of grief

i’m fascinated by the research of rose-lynn fisher on the topography of tears. have you seen this?

it’s a study of 100 photographed tears through a standard light microscope. going through a period of change and loss. rose-lynn wondered if tears of grief differed from tears of happiness. and, as you can see the images are nothing short of beautiful, some evoking the look of a map or landscape (thus the name of the project, topography of tears). Take a look at what our tears tell us.

tears of release


onion tears

tears of change

tears of endings and beginnings

after my initial awe of the concept and the beauty found in the intricacy and detail, i began to think of the tears in a personal way.  how each of these studied tears were not just a specimen for a project but shed out of emotion.  raw, real life experiences, whether excruciating or exhilarating.  my mind wondered off to the words penned in psalms where david wrote:


“you keep track of all of my sorrows.  you have collected all of my tears in your bottle.  you have recorded each one in your book.”

perhaps this is how each and every one of our tears are being recorded?  not in list but in landscape.  the landscape of our lives.  noticed, collected and recorded.  it’s brings such an amazing visual to the idea that not one thing about you goes unnoticed in your every days.  your endings.  your beginnings.  your grief.  your joy.  your change.  your elation. and, so the list and landscape goes on and on.  your tears are as individual as your pain and your joy.  if anything this is yet more imagery portraying what beauty can be found in (and come out of) brokenness.

are you are crier?  i am.  having kids has only increased this emotion.  but, i’m ok with it.  sometimes you just need to have a good cry.

*this is a re-post from 2014, but I just felt it was for someone today. xo

you can see more types of tear topography here.

images / rose-lynn fisher


commented on August 13th 2016 at 10:34am

The repost on tears was for me today. My dad is undergoing medical care and I have been fighting the tears back, this gave me a sense of peace knowing they are part of the documented journey. Thank you


replied on August 15th, 2016 at 12:09pm

So glad you found this post today, Carolyn. Praying for your dad and you today. Yes, tears are very much a part of the journey. xo .t