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Mui-Ling Teh

Art and Words from the Heart



Life is a Game

"Life is a Game" by Mui-Ling Teh


Life is a game;
Or perhaps a dream?
Is the world I see
Not what it seems?

I feel like I’m on water;
My bed is a raft on the waves.
My body has become smaller
As my mind becomes space.

The world out there
Is no sweet fantasy;
I feel safer in my mind
Than in reality.

Written October 19, 2012.



I wrote various bits of the poem above on different nights (I keep my iPhone next to my bed, and when I can’t sleep, I start typing musings into the ‘Notes’ application). On day, as I looked back at some of them, I thought they’d make one interesting poem when combined. The final writing also made me think of ‘Alice in Wonderland’.

Many times in the past I’ve felt “bottled up” and still occasionally feel that way. The only difference now is that I come to understand why that may be, and use the reason as an outlet to open the bottle. As I think back on the scene in Disney’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ where she rode in the bottle she drank from, floating in her tears in her ‘dream world’, I come to question where the expression came from…

As a child I simply enjoyed, ‘Alice in Wonderland’ as a fairytale, but now I’m seeing something more deep within that tale – the feeling of being bottled up, drowning in our tears, wanting to escape from reality etc. And there are even some elements and themes more suited for adults (e.g. execution). And perhaps in ‘my world’ the three cards 2, 5, and 7, who painted the roses red, were sentenced to sea rather than beheaded…

All images and textures used in the image are by me. To create this image I put the cards under a raised glass tray filled with water and placed the bottle in it. I set the camera on the timer and made waves in the water to make the cards look like they were drowning. I then took it into PhotoShop and inserted myself into the bottle while adding some textures. The overlay of my face was from one of my trial shots from A Box of Kisses.



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