topography of tears

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).

tears of release

onion-tearsonion 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. these tears are someone’s true story. 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.

you can see more types of tear topography here.

images / rose-lynn fisher



  • heather
    Commented on May 19th, 2014 at 10:52am

    Gorgeous! Thank you I needed that verse today. :)

  • Trina
    Commented on May 19th, 2014 at 11:27am

    of course! it’s a good one and this project totally shed a new light on it for me. xo . t

  • Allison
    Commented on May 22nd, 2014 at 9:09pm

    I read this post a few days ago and I can’t get it out of my mind. I’m not exactly sure what struck a cord so deeply with me. Maybe it’s the fact that I have become more of a cryer in the last couple of years. Or perhaps it’s the ever unfolding knowledge of God’s hand in the most minute details. Whatever it is, thanks for sharing!

  • Trina
    Commented on May 22nd, 2014 at 9:37pm

    of course! i had to catalog this for myself because it’s probably both for me. but, yes the detail is amazing and beautiful and the work of the most amazing artist! xo . t

  • Marinalva Sickler
    Commented on April 10th, 2016 at 5:18am

    I do need this verse. Kisses

  • Trina
    Commented on April 11th, 2016 at 8:57am

    I love that verse, too! It has comforted me, many times! xo . t

  • Cindy
    Commented on May 24th, 2016 at 2:42pm

    This is one of the most beautiful things I have ever read.
    To hold back tears is so hard, but now they are beautiful.
    Thank you for sharing this.

  • Trina
    Commented on May 24th, 2016 at 4:14pm

    Thank you for reading…..there is always beauty to be found…even in pain! xo .t

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