Friday, November 27, 2009

Thoughts after a Camp and a Shoot

Prophet's Call

Come meet me beneath the frangipani tree,
A stone's throw from the altar, where
On rattan mats the prophets sat
And listened to me there.

The sun has risen but the earth is wet;
Pools of water have yet to dry.
It is now afternoon, and very soon
His Spirit will pass on those lying on tile, concrete or grass.

You are not alone, for I am with you,
Whether in fearsome halls of stone
Or moss-covered hills, dripping in dew
In the dry land between there and here.

Beneath a train of strange white clouds, do not fear.
Today you are born of spirit and water;
Though torn in two, I will be with you
Whichever way the journey tends
To lead you to My promised land.

* * *

I wrote it at half past twelve, on the second day of PKV's T.H.E. Camp. It was at the end of our post-session short reflection. I allude to many things that were present at that particular moment, whether heard, seen or felt.

At the end of camp, Kim Cheng reminded me of how I first learnt silence; there was this camp called d'NA which I joined years ago, she said. She reminded me that silence and solitude are disciplines which do not come easy to us.

I think I have, over the years, forgotten some of these lessons. I used to enjoy solitude and seek silence out, but as time passed I became more sociable and company-seeking. As I prepare to enter into my final undergraduate semester, I want to reclaim some of this; I do not want to become a recluse, but I want to set aside time when I can be alone.

Perhaps I am not ready to pray yet, but I want to at least remember once again what it was like to be unencumbered by the distractions of the world.

* * *

Yet it is not (it seems to me) by Painting that Photography touches art, but by Theatre.

-- Roland Barthes, Camera Lucida

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