Moments of 2017: The Emotional Profundity of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2

I’m generally not one to cry during movies. Not because I’m too machismo for my own good or anything like that (far from it). No, my experience in the repression of this form of sentiment comes from a very profoundly effective moment in my life where I was made to feel that I should no longer cry.

It’s not a particularly exciting or tragic incident in my life, but it is likely what began the building up of barriers around my head, heart, and eye sockets. When you’ve spent so many years sobbing over the most petty things, it’s understandable for it to get under your family’s skin, at least in my case it is. However, the reason the experience was complicated was because the incitement of being yelled at and being told that I’m too old to cry came as a shocking realization, but one that I ended up embracing with spite and anger, instead of a healthy compromise. At the time I took it as a lesson that what I was a doing was a sign of weakness and something only children do.

Of course I know better now, though for some reason the knowledge that it’s okay to shed tears doesn’t help the rest of me use the activity to express my feelings in a healthy manner. I doubt I’m doing a good job explaining my state of being or fomenting events that led up to the complex individual I am now. Probably because I may not understand it in full myself. Going from someone who would cry over feeling the slightest sense of invalidation or trouble to a person who can’t help but hold back the tears, no matter how hard I try to surrender to the feelings when I feel them, makes me feel isolated in a lot of ways. Most of the people I know don’t have this experience, and often think me heartless if I don’t cry at certain scenes from shows and movies. But it’s not like emotional moments don’t resonate with me, or I feel completely hollow when they come up. No, I can still feel, just ninety-nine percent of the time, find myself incapable of expressing sadness or profound heartache through tears.

That is until I watched Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 this year. One of the most deeply resonant films I’ve ever seen. I don’t have it anywhere close to as bad as any of the characters here, who are all victims of abusive familial relationships. But I still really related to their feelings and how they tried to deal with those feelings. They’ve all built up walls of their own as ways to block out the pain of having to address their issues and the complexity of their relationships and the feelings associated with those relationships. And while I could go on to discuss the characters, themes, and many, many scenes that connected with me so strongly, I think I’ll just highlight the moment that evoked such a strong closeness to my feelings that it actually brought tears to my eyes; Star-Lord’s eulogy and Yondu’s funeral.


Born blue and discarded; forsaken

Our harsh knower of abuse

Made red heart hardened

Trying to fend off the blues


Victim of confused emotions

Complicated through and through

Whistler of twisted notions

A father who partly knew


A toxic repression becomes spoken

Sentimentality rings ‘Ahoy’

Love for those heartbroken

See you… Space Cowboy


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