Outside / Inside


When did the streetlights come on? Did you see the sun set?

News: Several people in Wuhan, China have tested positive for a novel virus being referred to as Covid19.


Glass reflexively seals out the darkness. A sudden darkness revealed only from inside a lit room at dusk.

Text: School Closed for students. All teaching staff report to the Media Center.

Have you met your real parents?

Unspoken response: How many hours did your mom spend in labor when you were born?

Blog Comment: Thanks for your sharing your thoughts.

A surprising indication that my emotional health was deteriorating . . . Something that I’ve noticed . . . As a child, I believed each letter of the alphabet had its own personality and relationship to its adjacent letters in a sort of alphabet drama.

Pinterest: Check out these incredible teaching resources provided by teachers attempting to establish workable solutions for remote students.

Am I doing enough? How can I advocate relentlessly for students? What grand gesture can I offer in this time of crisis?

Revelations of betrayal have rocked the nation.

I’m allowed to be angry with my loved one, but strangers? I don’t need your self-righteous pity.

I’ve joined an invisible club of people who understand that life is not under our control. The initiation into the club is unpleasant, but its existence creates a camaraderie against those who have never been deeply wounded by scandal.

How to be an Anti-Racist by Ibram X. Kendi

Still Processing with Wesley Morris and Jenna Wortham

Pod Save thePeople with DeRay McKesson

Watchmen with Regina King

A colleague stretches her eyes after someone offers her some leftover Asian noodles.

Stomach freezes. Split second delay. Finally, “I saw that.” Reverse two finger half joking gesture from my eyes to hers.

Later, second guessing if the gesture was overly dramatic while simultaneously disappointed that no white person commented.

Buzz. White letters against a gray background scroll over the small black screen.

❤ ❤ ❤
Introverts will answer the phone during a pandemic.

About jaclynfre

Tech integration specialist, recipe adventurer, fast walker, sporadic writer, aunt, sister and daughter
This entry was posted in Life and Culture, Slice of Life and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Outside / Inside

  1. So many of your Outside/Inside points spoke to me. Being an introvert, I read body language really well. In this new world of meetings online, visual cues have me second guessing so much. It is almost overwhelming until I remind myself to be mindful of the moment. Thank you for your interesting format, your ingenious insight!

    • jaclynfre says:

      Thanks for your kind response. My most brutal emotional response to quarantine is questioning my place in society. Being able to connect with others through this writing group has been both raw and also consoling. You’re appreciated more than you know.

  2. your format of Outside/Inside thoughts is so powerful, and the contrasts worth much poring over. I connect with the Inside thought that you crossed out, about alphabet letters having their own personalities—i had a similar thought as a child. For example, C seemed much weaker in character than K, so I preferred the spelling of Katherine over Catherine. (and why did you cross it out?) I also assigned family relationships and dramas to the states of the U.S. for my puzzle map of the U.S. and still remember many of them.

    Thank you for being part of this community. I appreciate you being here.

    • jaclynfre says:

      This response is so generous! How fun to find another inventor of stories for the ingredients of life. I crossed out that section to indicate how many thoughts cross the mind of a writer before she lands on an idea for a piece. I’d love to hear more about the stories from your letter people and states. I thought that C was the third youngest sibling to the cool older sister A and handsome B. D was the boy next door. E and F are the Ernie and Bert of the alphabet … maybe there’s a post here. Thanks for sharing—Katherine with a K!! Take care!

      • Here are the families I divided the states into. California was the mother and Texas the father of kids Arizona and New Mexico. New York was a widow, with all the New England states her little kids (they were all one piece in my puzzle), and Florida a much older child. Kansas and Nebraska were the parents of the Dakotas North (boy) and South (girl). Washington and Oregon were a young couple. That’s all I remember from my 5 or 6 year old brain. Now it is interesting to wonder why I thought any of this. I don’t think I even knew any widows, but perhaps I’d heard my parents talk about someone, or seen something on TV. I do think kids personify a lot of inanimate objects. Did you ever read anything by Sherry Turkle? She teaches at MIT, and in one of her early books, “The Second Self” (1984) about computer and human interactions, she studied how children interacted with battery-powered toys. One exchange I still remember was her asking what things were alive, i.e., were these toys alive? They said that something was alive if they weren’t allowed to kill it, like a cat or dog (or person), but something wasn’t alive if they were allowed to kill it, like remove the batteries from the toy. Fascinating. And yes, a great topic for a post.

      • jaclynfre says:

        Fascinating! Love this!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s