Saturday, April 29, 2006

Thorny Dawn

sunrise on MUET day, originally uploaded by mincaye.

I wrote this after completing the MUET Reading Comprehension paper, the first for the day. It is something of a reflection on the last 24 hours, during which I evaluated the two weeks since the Great God Experiment began.

Thorny Dawn

"My grace is sufficient for you,
My strength is made perfect in weakness."
-- Jesus, 2 Corinthians 12:9

Said Teresa of Avila,
"More tears are shed over answered prayers
Than unanswered ones."

In the waking hours of dawn
My heartbeat was as a healthy man
Yet troubled was my soul,
For though the thorn had been removed
The pain remained--
Not pain of a spear through the side
But an emptiness:
A longing for something more substantial
Than flesh and blood.

Pain drove me to my knees,
Where I met my Maker
And threshed things out with Him;
But this pleasure (like all pleasures)
Was like anaesthetic--
Pain removed, and yet retained;
Not knowing, not feeling,

No coloured arches or candy clouds,
Only raindrops lightly falling
From a gloomy sky.

Morning on a roof above an open field:
Cold darkness thawn by dawn,
The Son of minarets and steeples,
One and the same.

On bended knee, slave and free
Heat of a sun shining warmly;
The rose, the rose, that I may see,
This thorn, this thorn, come back to me.

While on the way back to school for the Premier Cup, Li-Shia and I were talking about the pronunciation of MUET. It's one of the things I remember vividly from last year: 'moo-et' and 'mew-et' (interestingly, these are the sounds of cows and cats respectively).

And Li-Shia suggested 'dew-gong' for dugong. Wai Loon misheard her, thinking she meant something bad in Cantonese. I kept repeating the two words in the car, much to the dismay of Wai Loon, Kian Ti, Phak Hoe and, of course, Li-Shia.

But small things do have great impact, and at least I learned something new today!

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