Sunday, September 25, 2005

All things

Kennedy and Kroke
Originally uploaded by mincaye.
My final exams begin tomorrow, and will end on Saturday. Which is a good thing.

Have been listening a lot to this recording by Nigel Kennedy and the Polish klezmer band Kroke, which I bought last Sunday. One of the finest works of crossover music I've heard yet.

A verse from Philippians encourages me:

"I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."

Sunday, September 18, 2005

The World of the Cell

Cell Bio
Originally uploaded by mincaye.
Just a quick one, before I disappear for another week.

I would like to apologise for the harsh things I've written about my studies, etc. I'm actually beginning to discover joy in the midst of Maths and Chemistry... or rather, re-discover.

And today, I found a wonderful book in Kinokuniya, entitled The World of the Cell. Paid RM 123.45 for it, though I'm sure it's worth more than that.

Biology still fascinates me. Life always did. I think it always will.

Here's to studies, not an end in itself, but merely a door to the beautiful world out there.


Originally uploaded by mincaye.
One of my finest shots over the past week.

Suzanne's face is off-focus, adding a sublime sense of joy to the dandelion in-focus, atop the 2002 edition of The Victorian, my school magazine.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Of Prayer, Paddy and Philippians

dens leonis
Originally uploaded by mincaye.
I do not have much time.

This picture was taken some weeks ago; I cannot remember exactly when, but it was on a Friday morning in August. I had intended to write a poem about it, something along the lines of 'morning prayer', but in the end composed the following:

Dens Leonis

Tufts of downy fluff, strewn over
Meadows in the height of summer,
Picked by the casual observer.
Glimmering in the golden sun,
Diamond rays through feathery heads run
Into the prayer to the Only One.
Blown apart, its death is gain,
Scattered on stone and grass and muddy lane
The joyful flower may sing again.

This will probably be my last post for awhile, as the final exams are drawing very near: last week of September, to be precise.

Earlier, in the morning, I was looking at the Best Debater trophy I won last year; I noticed a paddy and hibiscus motif on the pewter, and wondered, why paddy?

The old Malay proverb struck me -- ikutlah resam padi; semakin berisi, semakin tunduk. I think C.S. Lewis' words at the end of The Weight of Glory translate this maxim best: there are some burdens so great, only humility can carry them.

I also recalled Jars of Clay's words in their song 'Jealous Kind': "...breaks the back of foolish pride..."

Oh well, just a random thought inspired by one of the most uninspiring plants a trophy can bear. (Indeed, I still wonder why POS Malaysia doesn't get rid of the uber-ubiquitous 30 sen padi stamp and replace it with something more interesting).

I've decided to 'study' the book of Philippians throughout whatever is left of this month. Some of my favourite Steven Curtis Chapman songs, such as 'Hold on to Jesus' and 'His Strength is Perfect' were inspired by verses from that book.

Also, I remember most of us never finished it during Quiet Time at d'NA last year, due to God's unexpected, dramatic visit wrapped in petal showers of blessing and joy borne upon a gusty wind of encouragement and hope.

On a sarcastic note, Paul wrote it while he was in prison; I am reading it in the student equivalent. Or at least, that's what the exams feel like to me: a prison sentence.

My father has just given me a thorough scolding. Even as I type this very sentence, I don't know what to think. I was supposed to be in bed 17 minutes ago. I'd better get going now.

I'd have left Form Six a long time ago if not for the Christian Union and Editorial Board. All that keeps me here is the knowledge that there is something unfinished; a divine conspiracy that hasn't worked its full course yet.

Good night.

Thursday, September 01, 2005


merdeka, originally uploaded by mincaye.

I'll let the photos do the talking.

L-R, from the top:

1. Glimpse of the King and Queen. They left the Ministry of Finance building rather unceremoniously, via carriage with cavalry escort. The crowds were all flocking to the parade ground, so hardly anyone was around when the Royal Couple made their first appearance.

2. Some of the (I believe) Royal Guards greeting their soldier friends.

3. An unidentified military unit folding up their flag after several exhibition formations on the main square.

4. Sam and me. No prizes for guessing who took this picture... *wink*

5. My friend Afri, head of the V.I. Band's bagpipe section.

6. The last time I held a flag up in the wind was during National Service, when I was flagbearer for the Bravo Company. It was a joy, albeit on a lesser degree this time.

7. Labrador Retrievers: the Fire Department's canine unit.

8. Kudos to the Police Force for putting up one of the two best march-pasts of the day; the other was the Fire Department's. Virtually every subdivision was represented, from the traffic police to the patrol cars and motorcycles. Even an antique fire engine made its appearance!

Here's to you, Malaysia... 48 years and counting!