Inside. Outside

Graphite pencils and conte crayon drawing

Inside. Outside.

I dreamed of my grandfather very often shortly after he passed away. I wasn’t there because my mom thought it was the best that I stayed at school so she took off to see my grandfather without telling me. It turned out that she was too late, too. Grandpa passed away in hospital in grandma’s arms when mom just got off the train.

In my dreams, grandpa was always on the other side of a river, a small river. He would talk to me and ask how my day goes, or even give me small presents, but he has never crossed the river to my side.

One day I was looking for something in my mom’s study. She kept a photo of grandpa there, and I accidentally knocked it off the shelf. There I found a little note book hidden behind the photo. Mom has been talking to grandpa through this little journal! She told him she missed him, and it had been killing her to be a daughter without her father. She felt her dad is now inside this photo frame, and she is outside of it. She can touch the frame, talk to the photo, but her tear will only stay on top of the glass.

On the other side of a river, or a picture frame; inside and outside; that’s how death feels like to us.


Copyright ©2012 Whitney Yu Bai All Rights Reserved

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