Prose, poetry and prattle: some published, and some ... well, not yet.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

I Fly To Thee

Thank you for dropping in.

I was asked to write a short blurb of 100-words maximum so that audiences at Five Arts Centre's 2-Minute Solos might better appreciate my performance.

I did not think 100 words would be enough to explain the references in my piece.

I also feel that audience coming in cold would be a much better thing for the piece. I want them to feel an almost similiar bewilderment that I have felt when I faced the issues that resulted in this piece.  

I am prepared to admit that many references in my piece would not be recognised immediately or even at all. That some insights need a little more help. Such is the practice of piety and often politics.

The Memorare is a passionate Catholic prayer pleading for the intercession of The Blessed Virgin Mary, the revered mother of Jesus Christ.

The Blessed Virgin Mary is also revered in The Holy Quran, and whose Virgin Birth to Christ is also part of Islamic belief. According to Wikipedia, "She is mentioned more in the Quran than in the entire New Testament and is also the only woman mentioned by name in the Quran".

My paternal grandmother, Dolores Chin, a Penang-born Peranakan-Serani only spoke Malay to her children. Both my grandmothers were devout Catholics.

The batu tumbok (pestle and mortar) found in nearly every Malaysian home is often used to make sambal belachan by pounding chillies and belacan together.

Belacan has been produced by the fishermen of the Portuguese Settlement in Melaka for many generations. I have ancestral stock from this community.

The pounding gesture of twelve times echoes the European theatre tradition of 12 knocks heard before a stage play begins. You can still hear this ritual practised in some theatres in Paris.

The knocking before the curtain rises tradition references a historical beginning to when re-enactments of religious stories developed into theatrical performances and the knocking was an homage to the 12 apostles of Christ. Some theatres have reduced it to three knocks in reference to The Trinity of Christian belief.

When I was growing up, rub chilly in your mouth was a threatened punishment to children for saying rude things.

The punishment transforms into a holy anointment (like Hindu holy ash) at an agonising turning point of revelation, courage and faith following a passionate prayer for understanding.

My 2-Minute Solo ponders the question: "When does expression of faith become propagation of faith?"

It is my heartfelt and impassioned artistic response to "The Allah Controversy".

I would be very happy to hear any comments or feedback you may have about my 2-Minute Solo, especially the feelings and issues that have been aroused in you, before and after having read this.

Terima kasih.

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