Tis the season when emotions rise, for better or worse. In many cases they are stirred by the media. Last Sunday night we watched the 60 MINUTES interview with Hugh Jackman, who plays Jean-Val Jean in the film version of the musical LES MISERABLES. It was only a 20 minute interview, but I found my tear ducts warming up every time the musical score boomed and Jackman, Anne Hathaway, and others belted out their songs with emotional bravaura. I should invest in Kleenex stock. The film is going to be an emotional avalanche, and I can't wait!
Then, Betsy and I were watching a repeat of Episode 2 of the second season of DOWNTON ABBEY, that toney Brit import on Public Television (Yes, I sent in my pledge) that has captivated American Anglophiles and soap opera fans alike. The scene that caught us off guard involved the Grantham family dealing with bad news with the proper stiff upper lip. They have learned that Matthew Crawley has gone missing behind German lines. But the show must go on; i.e, the musicale for recovering soldiers is in full swing. Sisters Lady Mary (Matthew's true love) and Lady Edith are soldiering through "If You Were the Only Girl in the World," and suddenly the missing Matthew appears. The song, the look on Lady Mary's face, the entire package brought me to tears. I turned to Betsy, and she was snuffling as well. More stock in Kleenex.
So should we do the "amurican" thing and stifle our tears? I think not. At this season of the year, at this juncture of our fractured world, maybe a few heartfelt tears, elicited by popular but worthy dramatic works, can be healthy and even cathartic for us all. MERRY CHRISTMAS.