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Mui-Ling Teh

Art and Words from the Heart



My time is already running late

"My time is already running late" by Mui-Ling Teh


It is half past six in the morning,
I cannot sleep; my bed feels cold.
My window is already glowing,
And I am crying like a six year old.

My only wish is the same as before;
I have not asked for anything more.
How long do I have to wait?
My time is already running late.

Written November 27, 2012.


Self-portrait asleep in an hourglass feeling more weight from lost time each day…

I don’t usually ask for much nowadays, there would be nothing new that I really want; I can happily spend hours watching the world outside my window, or finding beauty in the mundane – my imagination is all I need. For a few years however, there has been one thing I constantly wanted. There are other things I’d love to have, some maybe even more, but I can accept not having them because it maybe too much to ask for; or, in some ways, it would be better for myself, or people around me, if I didn’t have them. Meanwhile there are some things that just cannot be helped; or too late to ask for. The one thing I had on my mind however, I still yearned it – in some ways needed it. I thought if I could just have that one thing; that alone would already put me to ease, but time was running out…

A few years ago, I made a decision, though events that occurred since may have proven that decision to be the wrong one. I couldn’t have judged the situation before however; – if things happened differently, (i.e. if certain incidents didn’t occur) it could have been a good decision, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case – and sometimes I still lost sleep over it. It isn’t a situation one cannot understand easily, but it has been constantly on my mind, and I became a different person. I was under a spell; my character changed – often moody and unpleasant. I felt I was unable to break the spell unless I could reverse the consequences. I had time, but like the prince, in Beauty and the Beast, who was transformed into a beast by a spell, I could do no more after the last petal fell.

When Beauty entered the beast’s life, his life began to look brighter, and likewise I started to feel better upon a bit of help, which at the least allowed me to get back my desire to do art again. But even as the beast had Belle in his life, he didn’t change back immediately. My curse wasn't lifted yet, and I was left wondering if it would before the last petal fell… I felt as anxious as the beast who counted his time left as the rose petals fell; or as a captive Dorothy who watched the red sand falling after being told by the Wicked Witch of the West, “You see this? This is all the time you have left to live!” as she turned the hourglass upside down; or Princess Jasmine who was getting buried under the sand of the hourglass that the sorcerer Jafar trapped her in.


(Since the time I create the art and wrote the poem, I began to feel a sense of relief again - see A year went by in a single day.)


I don’t actually own an hourglass so I created the accompanying image by combining two photos of wine glasses

The background is a close-up of my paper weight that consists of colourful beads in a liquid; while I held it vertically I thought the beads looked like baubles slowly falling like snowflakes…

All images and textures used are my own; and I combined everything in Photoshop.



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