Friday, February 6, 2009

WHAT I LEARNED IN SCHOOL THIS WEEK: The meaning of lachrymatory

If you've read BLUE you probably remember that Imogene Wilfong comforted Ann Fay with a story about God's collection of bottles - "one for each of his childrens". This idea was inspired by a passage from the Old Testament.

Put thou my tears into thy bottle. Psalm 56:8. This week the students at H.H. Poole Middle School in Stafford, Virginia presented me with a book. It's quite thick as you can see - each page represents a student's idea of what his or her tear bottle would be like. They drew pictures of their bottles and explained the symbolism behind the colors, shapes and designs.
There are some incredible entries. They're so personal and so beautiful. It is truly a sacred thing to see how these sixth graders have used this section of BLUE as a springboard for thinking about their personalities, life experiences, and their relationship to pain.
The students made dozens of dioramas depicting scenes from BLUE. Note the blue bottle in the window and more in this corner cupboard. (I love dioramas!)

One of the teachers at H.H. Poole told me you can actually go online and buy a tear bottle. So I checked it out and...

Who knew?! There are multiple sites!

Here's one that gives some info on the tear bottle tradition. I discovered the tear bottle is called a lachrymatory (tear catcher). The Comfort Company , like all these sites, will sell you a tear bottle. Check them out if you're so inclined.

And also check out these tear bottle projects created by students at H.H. Poole! Click on the pics to read the poetry and descriptions and to see the exquisite details.


  1. How amazing! I enjoyed reading the students' poetry. You've inspired much creativity and deserve congratulations. So here goes: CONGRATULATIONS!!!!! Ruthie

  2. your post gave me the chills. I can imagine how incredible that would be for you--to see how the students connected with your work. Praise God for his blessings in your life! (and for being a blessing in my life too!)\PS sometime that we're together in teh same place you've got to show me how you get pictures inserted where you want. It looks wonderful!

  3. I am so impressed with how these young students have connected with the "bottle of tears" concept. It was very moving to read their work and see their creative dioramas. You have facilitated enabling them to get in touch with the sacredness of life, emotions and abilities to express themselves. WOW!!!!!