Completed on 22 September 2013
There is a line that connects us: every person, every home, every emotion, every memory. It’s that thin thread that separates day from night. That streak of warm tears that trickle down our cheeks. That trail of warmth that lingers moments after he’s left his seat. It’s that sear of pain that we can’t seem to forget.
And when the night is long and the moon is new, when the stars are dim and the room is silent, when the tears have dried and the seat is cold, the line would come by your side and tug at your hand.
“It’s ok,” it’d say, as you grab onto it. It’s ok, you’d tell yourself, as you let it guide you out. Where am I going? you’d ask in your head, although deep in your heart you know who you’ll find.
As you draw near to the end, you’d see a man: tall, skinny, and all too familiar. And as your steps slow down and breaths quicken, your eyes would start to sear in heat. For as you look into his eyes, you’d see that he is looking back, and when he blinks and smiles, you’d blink as well, and let the tears slide down your face. You’d run forwards and hug him tightly, burrowing your head deep in his chest even though you’ve grown up too much, too quickly. And you’d hear that the heart in his chest no longer beats, and feel that the touch of his hands is no longer warm.
“I’m sorry,” you’d say, as you look up into his eyes again.
“I love you,” he’d reply, as he wipes the tears off your face. And when he brings you in closer and hugs you again, he’d whisper gently into your ear, “I still do.”
For the next few moments the two of you would stand in each other’s arms. You’d try your best to relive those distant memories that have become too clouded, until you realise that the flowers that have wilted could only decay, that the memories that were made could only fade, and that the things that were left unsaid could only be lost.
“I love you too,” you’d say, as the man fades away, and you’d wonder deep in your mind whether you’re already too late.
This image isn’t an original work; it’s modified and sketched off another image off the internet.
The past week has been quite an emotional roller coaster. I had initially decided not to sketch anything for the week, because I was feeling too tied down by my school work and other commitments. But then, on Thursday, my brother showed me this video of a song performed by 蘇打綠 (Sodagreen, a Taiwanese band): 小時候. And it got me thinking. It made me really emotional. If you understand Mandarin, the best way to understand the song is to watch the video.
For those who don’t understand Mandarin (or aren’t too good at it), I’ll try my best to translate the song here. I’ve re/mis/interpreted some of the words here during the translation, to bring the words beyond their literal meanings.
It starts off with an opening speech by the lead singer of the band, 吳青峰 (Qing Feng):
“Have you ever had that nagging feeling that your father was way too strict? Have your ever felt that there was no way you could communicate with him?
“When I was a kid, my father would bring me on a road trip every weekend; he’d ride me on his bicycle, to a park that I’ve never been to before, and we’d play. We’d have fun together.
“But as the years flew past, I gradually grew up, and he slowly grew old. And with that, we grew apart, too. We stopped talking to each other. For all that I have accomplished, he has never once praised me. And for all that he has done, I’ve never told him that I love him.
“But we were lucky. Before he passed on, we told each other what we should have said a long time ago.
“When I was about to leave the hospital room, he called out my name. There was a moment of silence in the room, before he finally said something. ‘Always remember,’ he said, ‘that you’ve got what it takes to do great things.’
“I’ll never forget that day.
“I wrote a song for him, and played him the demo that I’ve recorded.”
And then the song begins, with the lyrics basically summing up his feelings and the things that he went through with his father as he grew up. The chorus reads:
Let me climb onto your shoulders again,
let me look into the windows of your soul.
Let us forget the reasons behind the silence through all these years.
Let me be your wings,
let me ride away your sorrows.
Let me tell you, dad, that I’ve only ever wanted to make you proud.
Let me look into your eyes, and see you smile.
After the first chorus, the lead singer said:
“I know you’re here, dad. I know that those wings of yours have brought you here today. I know that you’re here to hear me sing to you.”
I teared up when I watched the video, but I had to hold them back because I was, as it turned out, in a classroom full of people (and my class was just about to begin). Back in the comfort of my room at night, I watched the video again. And the tears fell.
And oh yes, reading John Green’s ‘The Fault in Our Stars’ didn’t help, because it made me cry even more (although for a totally different reason).
In case you’re wondering, I’m fine. I’m not depressed or anything, really; I’m just human. And I don’t really talk a lot about my personal feelings (I think most people don’t, ‘cos if they do all the time then they’re just being narcissistic), so one of the ways that I let my feelings out is to write short, albeit vague, stories (and long blog posts) about how I feel. And sometimes I draw or paint too. So yup, I’m fine =).
More to come next week! =)