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Jesse Miller

My Scholarship entry - Seeing the world through other eyes

WORLDWIDE | Friday, 20 April 2012 | Views [182] | Scholarship Entry

The muscles in my neck were starting to boil on a slow simmer as I craned my head upwards and around. Dashes of neon blue, smoky red and, ironically enough, halo-gold danced in speckles on my body and backpack. I almost felt intoxicated, like I was lost in a mix of strobe-lights (which Cairns had plenty of) but then again, I’ve heard that being awake for roughly thirty straight hours does have some short-term side effects.
Around me, the twelve stained glass “Creation” windows of St. Monica’s Cathedral in Queensland, Australia stood. Tipped off to me as a “hidden treasure” in the crux of all things tourist, the beauty of them was immeasurable. Vivid colors clashed with precisely cut puzzle pieces that represented the beginnings of Eastern Australian nature and life, aglow by the penetrating rays of the golden-hour sun that drowned me in a faux ocean of glass.
I knew I was out of place - Flip flops? Sunburn? Sweat drenched t-shirt emblazoned with the yellow letters, “G’day mate”? However, standing in the center aisle of the nave, I let my mind wander to what the thoughts of those who readily seek and practice Catholicism might think as they sat down in the empty pews that surrounded me; their own eyes seeing what I was suddenly longing to remember:
The colorful light always waiting to play on their handbags and shoulders as dust settled through the shafts of light. A melodic hum of a far off air conditioner intermixed with the voice of the pastor. The warmth of the sun, as it cascaded down through its own depictions. I almost felt as if a song were about to begin, the ghosts of the empty pews ready to stand and call to worship.
A distant clip-clap echo of footsteps interrupted my trance, and a local suddenly walked by. Eager to leave them to their own solitude, and partially due to the probability that my travel-weary stenches were begging for a shower, I took my cue, snapped a photo and began to exit, leaving behind my own prayers for the glass gods.

Tags: Travel Writing Scholarship 2012

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