Monday, September 26, 2011

Beauty Only In The Beholder's Eye

The light flickers and I look up to see if the bulb in my room is failing. But it glows constant and moody. The flashes happen again. They come from outside. I look out the window but I see nothing. It is strange that my windows fog up from the inside. I wipe the moisture to look out and I get a glimpse of the city skyline but grey. The cold night air rushes to kiss my face when I slide the windows open. The clouds drift into my room, surrounding me. The fragrance of wet fog and the scattering of the city lights summons nostalgia.

I know you. 

I whisper to the massive, shimmering veil of grey. The recognition turning to disdain as if it were an old friend bearing bad news. But I cannot remain cross for long. I am seduced by the way it wraps around me, by its scent; like a long lost love. I breathe deeply.

The rain sounds like a standing ovation. The buildings in the distance, the congregation. Jagged lines of light appear like they were drawn by infants connecting the stars. The sky lights up and I imagine God staring down at us, taking bad photographs; pushing back darkness long enough to capture the beauty only in the Beholder's Eye.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Picture Perfect

the door opens and i step out once more. it is evening and the sky is old and depressed. the leaves float around me like the trees were crying in slow motion. it must be the coffee that buzzes in my veins. the traffic hums a baritone. the lanes filled with cars carrying people whose eyes water at the monotony in the air. people glad to leave the office yet wishing they didn't have to go home.

a man sits near the entrance of the subway station. the unbuttoned shirt and rolled-up sleeves, his attempts to fight off the humidity. he nervously plays with a cigarette, subconsciously counting the hours before he has to return, numbering the days till the week's end. in a single smooth motion, he flicks his lighter and draws life into his cigarette. the smoke and humidity entwine in a little dance. he watches the choreography fade into the darkening night. he closes his eyes and lets the nicotine calm him.

when he reopens them, he sees a young woman standing near him. the curves of her slender body comforting his eyes. she holds up a digital camera taking pictures of the building across the road. she is captivated by the constantly-changing, coloured lights that line the building. she smiles to herself when she sees the photo she took. and yet she is unaware that she is a sight to behold; warm smile, big eyes, brown hair. she stands relaxed with one foot on the sidewalk and one on the road, now lit by street lamp. in his mind, a whisper forms. perfect, just perfect. she throws a glance in his direction and notices his gaze. she blushes, smiles and turns to walk away.

the smile sticks to his heart and makes him forget his dread. he takes another drag at his cigarette and at that moment, he is ready to leave for home. 

Monday, September 5, 2011

This Is Not The Time

I am grit under fingernails.
You are tensed hands, palsied, desperate;
digging as if this earth held secrets.
As if the moist scent of this soil could sustain your soul.

I am sweat dripping
down the side of your cheek.
You are eyes, squinting with a sparkle
as if beauty the sun revealed too much.

I am the words that won't come when face-to-face with uncertainty, or when in love.
You are the shiver of pleasure when coming out of minor key.
If you cry out loud enough, I become each shaky sustained beat.
You belong with me.

You are fresh strings stretched across an instrument.
Ready for the first harmony.
I am the wicked twang of you snapping at me.
You are presence in a warm room.
I am cold awkward silence.
You are words; stories and poetry.
I am an empty page.
You belong with me.

- Daryl Goh

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Three Years And A Third

At the end of August, I will be leaving Christian Outreach To The Handicapped to pursue my degree in Mass Communication at the Institute of Higher Learning which is established by the Singapore Manufacturers' Federation (SMa). The degree will be accredited by Murdoch University.

Although I am eager to begin a new season in my life, I cannot help but look back and appreciate all that God has taught me through the beneficiaries, my colleagues and the volunteers; both the good lessons and the bad. Working at COH has given me so many opportunities to learn and develop new skills. It has been a great pleasure being part of an organisation that puts so much effort into serving and loving our beneficiaries.

I have learnt so much from the beneficiaries. Spending time with them has taught me that their disabilities are simply extensions of my own shortcomings and limitations. They have taught me how to behave a little more selflessly and even when I sometimes don't, they are still are happy to see me. They have given me a glimpse of God; His character and His nature.

I am often quick to forget. My colleagues have been such a blessing to me, constantly giving me much needed reminders and appreciation. They always inspire me with their commitment; spending all their creative, emotional and physical energy just to improve a few hours in the life of the beneficiaries. And when the beneficiaries have left, the exhausted expressions of my colleagues surprise me. Not because of how drained they are, but because I know that the next day, I will see them refreshed and smiling as if they've never tasted tiredness.

I am glad for these three years and a third. COH and the stories of her beneficiaries are now a part of me. I am glad because I know that I have learnt lessons that cannot be taught from a lecture slide in any classroom. Because I know that COH will continue to grow and develop, even as I do.