You’re Here. You’re there.¬†

Jennifer Ngan photography
Cancer they said. IT is cancer. Must undergo treatment. Cannot wait. No time. 
It was in the silence all around me, or maybe the smoke curling over my head. But in every way, you are all around me. When I looked away, you were still there. I close my eyes, you are still here. And in the darkness I heard the waves, only to wake and find myself there with sand under my feet, stars over my head, and the sounds, the crashing, the rocks, everything fell out of my arms as I hit the ground. 

The sky is devoid of any color, the ocean black and tumultuous, a reflection of above. I don’t want to be here. 
But you’re here, out there in the waves, and if I try, I could reach you, but it seems that I am trapped forever here, watching, waiting, dying. 

As I lay back down on the sand, the light of a million stars fill my eyes, and the sound of a million mourns fill my ears. The motions of your footsteps walking away from me. When the water rushed over to take me away, I was already gone. Because you are not here.

A dream last night. I was driving down a forgotten road in a sleepless ocean town. Rolling fields to one side of me, the endless ocean on the other. Broken fences, sand. Doors.

Open road ahead before me, leading me nowhere, leading me home.

No familiarity reminding me, no leafless dead trees haunting my view. No empty eyes staring back at me, and no expressionless hollow face. Just the cold wind piercing through.

 Just the water, the green grass, the swaying trees and the 3am skies. All calling, all leading me nowhere. Leading me home.

Jennifer Ngan photography
She drives a tiny car of frost colored pastels. 

In window-fog looking in, she is stenciled of a  lovely silhouette, and despite the glass’s cloudiness from inside, she cannot and will not clean it because she is terrified of erasing the proof that someone, somewhere in the world, understands.

The road splits her between two paths: one that she knows and walks every single day, despite the myriad of times she stumbles over rocks and twigs; and another that moves like a jagged snake, forcing her to encounter tomorrow’s uncertainty and fall, its twists and bends windy and alone. 

The choice is decided, no matter the weight of her own desire: once again, she is tripped by protuding sticks and falls to bash her knees against the stones for news that, despite its seemingly positive outcome, seems hopeless. 

Yet more and more, despite the news she sews to her skin, she aches to morph them into the family who never tucked her safely from the darkness. These nights, she curls quietly in bed, lanterns spill light into her bedroom’s darkest corners, and as each moment passes, she becomes more and more like a child in her mother’s clothes, a babydoll with soft limbs.

It was like seeing the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen in your life and having it suck the very life and breath out of your body so all you feel is broken apart and smashed all over the floor in the most unexplainable  way imaginable.

It is close to sunrise now, and her closed eyes are seeing again. She is still on a forgotten abandoned ocean somewhere along the highway, and there are big dark stones everywhere amongst the cool colored sand, and the water is dark and gray, and the sky is filled with rolling clouds in every shade of charcoal. The air is stiff and cold, warm, and the sprinkles of rain fall quietly and gently all around.

She picks herself up from the floor and brushes away debris from the stones and continues to walk along the shore into the water and lie down on the sand with her face to the sky and close her eyes.

It was your arms, your eyes, your frown, your voice, all of it mended together into one and swept me away.


The winds roll over themselves across the icy lake and hit this house before anything else. I try to sleep, but dreams are of howls and thunder and fog. I wake to the low rumble of a hum. The electricity is gone; the generator takes over. 

I wake to thoughts of you, uneloquent flashes of feelings. Unrequited love, it seems, foolish girl i am. Despite the cold, despite the chill, I feel warm.

I avoid my bed because I know in that first moment of breath released, undistracred,  I will lose control. You came to me like the winds rolling off the lake and my shoulders shake and I’m uncertain how I should be. If I should be. 

But the calm after the storm of tears is worth it, perhaps. I started a new book, and maybe that was also a small reason of the sadness–that I finished a book and I didn’t want it to end. Like us.

I will leave, and i may never come back. I made the decision after I let you go. 

I think I will miss this place more than I ever have. We have grown accustomed to this life over the past few years. I’d forgotten, completely forgotten, how comforting this sort of familiarity can be. A sort of solitude, just you and I. 

Always You.

jennifer ngan photography
When I leave, i will bring your words with me. I will store it in my heart space. 
Maybe one day it’ll make sense. 
But for now, I might be gone for a little while. And it’ll be okay. For now, I will let you go. For I have held on too long. 

Today, I am finding love in old things. The scent of pine, tall trees and the mountain air. Details from the natural world, voluminous in its silent echoes. The strength of quiet. Of you. Always you. 

Which you are. 

But not.


Your words, repetitive and golden though always a sound of tiredness and exhaust. Perhaps you are lonely. Maybe you like solitude. Woods and trees. A mystery you are.  Always you.

Like a sad song that’s played, my days will go on. Without you here. 

or there.

My sense of being, may it let you go. I bare my heart,  beating wildly, for you to notice. But you don’t. You don’t really care. It’s all superficial. And it’s okay. It’s always okay. I will always bare my heart to you. I know. Always you. 

I’ll see you later, I suppose. I’m running away, resisting. I don’t want to. Part of me knows that when I leave this place, it will be hard to look back. And maybe I will lie. I will tell you how great it is without you. The mountain air, clear and crisp, pockets of cold. I’ll write you a letter. Maybe from afar. I’ll think of you often. Always you.