When I was into my adolescent years, I wasn’t really into sports or anything relating to moving my relatively thin frame to block a tackle, kick a ball or deliver a cross-court backhand. The closest endeavours to anything remotely physical were those aimless runs that I do during exam periods, in attempt to clear my mind and bring life into perspective. Now if I think about, that habit kinda stucked with me until now and it still serves its purpose well.
I was more into the curriculum of arts, music and theatre during those tender years. I joined the school band without much hesitation after hearing their orientation concert. For a period, I immersed myself totally in the music of Claude-Michel Schonberg enveloping Victor Hugo’s epic tale of Les Miserables. With the songs repeatedly playing in my head, I would remember the lyrics word for word. Without even seeing the show, I stretched my imagination and went about directing selected scenes for my high school music project. It was only a couple of years later that those songs really made sense as when I saw for the first time, Jean Valjean belting out his confessional soliloquy “Who Am I?”.
Never the one who took schooling seriously, I dabbled instead in seemingly “unnecessary” pursuits. Most notable one in my memory was trying to read the World Book encyclopedia from A – Z.
Yes, I was a closet geek.
I never really made it past the letter A though I could still remember what’s an aadvark. Seems that I’m not the only one who actually thought of doing this. Some of those unprofitable pieces information clearly did stuck in my mind – namely the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Sears Tower being the tallest building at that time, how the Great Barrier Reef is the largest in the world (which I still didn’t manage to dive in, damnit) and it was the flea who possessed the world’s highest jump (that record was unfortunately being upstaged by the spittle bug in recent findings)
As I once flipped through the pages, there was a picture that stands out – the Leaning Tower of Pisa. This building had always intrigued me, where the turn of historic events which some might call a “miraculous fluke” had led to the fact that it is still standing today.
There is a world of difference between reading about an artifact or a building and seeing the actual thing in itself. Just like there is a world of difference between hearing a Les Miserable cd and attending the actual musical. Or reading about Revelation of John in the new testament and experiencing the arrival of the new heavens and new earth. The awesomeness of such a reality often leaves one speechless. We see things for what they really are. When that happens, we can’t help but worship.
Visiting the Leaning Tower of Pisa. My childhood dream.