Here in the second half of my fifties I'm horrified to find that if anything I cry more instead of less. I remind myself more and more of Waker, the emotional twin in J.D. Salinger's Raise High the Roof Beam, Carpenters -- 'Tell Waker it looks like rain and his eyes all fill up.'
It never takes much, and the minute it starts I feel split in two as neatly as an apple, with one half blubbing away and the other, cool and scornful, observing this intemperate creature and thinking Oh for God's sake, what is it this time? It's usually not about 'being upset', more something that seems both glancing and visceral, like being accidentally knifed by someone who wasn't even aiming for you. It reminds me, in fact, of that great line of Dorothy Dunnett's: 'Music, the knife without a hilt.'
It is indeed most often something to do with either music or animals, which brings me to my real point, which is that one of the reasons I'll feel very pleased to have finished this book about Adelaide is that I might stop crying so much; not only is the writing of it an unexpectedly emotional exercise, I think probably closely akin to a form of auto-psychoanalysis, but in the reading for it (yes, I'm almost finished, but one keeps finding new things while checking the old things), I keep coming across stuff that gets me going, like the item about the War Horse Memorial in Simon Cameron's lovely little book about Adelaide's statues, Silent Witnesses.
It's a granite horse trough inscribed WAR HORSE MEMORIAL 1914-1918. Not an actual horse to be seen. On the contrary, what it evokes is the poignant absence of horses. It hasn't always; it was originally situated in Victoria Square and connected to the water mains for the use of the working horses of the Central Market. The memorial was moved to its present site on the south-east corner of North and East Terraces, next to the Light Horse Memorial obelisk, in 1964 when Victoria Square was redesigned. It's got an inscription on it from the Book of Job.
He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength. He goeth on to meet the armed men, he mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted, neither turneth his back from the sword.