A momentary glance was all it took. Past the layers of broken rock shards and interspersed sedimentary fragments, a sudden rush of air, and the waterfall appeared before my eyes like a grand orchestra rising above the skies. The sheer massiveness of the rock shard wall stood like a scene from lord of the rings, like a fortress growing organically out of soil. The patterns cast by shadows on the façade created this feeling as if the thing was from outer space, and had landed crashing into the ground a millennia ago. Yes, it reminded me of alien ruins. I walked slowly toward the ridiculously green grass that sprawled underfoot – they glimmered and shone in the morning sun like fluorescent green jewels of unknown origin. Water dripped, moistening the fertile grounds, and scintillating light pierced through the clear morning sky. I looked upward, following the vertical orifice, tracing my eyes along violently angular cut rock, where moss and patches of grass started taking foothold between cracks. At first, it seemed like a man-made relic from quarry blastings, but upon further contemplation: nobody would cut rocks diagonally into a mountain that looked like worthless sedimentary rocks. Therefore the mind came to a conclusion – huge chunks of rock must have broken off from the wall, due to erosion from an endless stream of water, resulting in a rock outcrop, perching, precarious and mesmerizing. The diagonal slices are like gashes on the mountain wall, and from it flowed green grass, and from it dripped water. The gashes bring the eye on an upward journey and into the sky, a clear blue with a hint of white.
Water flowed from the spouts of heaven up above, trickling at this time of the year, and it came down like little crystalline droplets, wetting the rocky mountainside. It dripped off those sharp edges and banded together through some delicate, intricate system of ontological waterways, weaving within the rocks and culminating in bigger and bigger streams of water. Some drop off the perched edge, some flow through surface tension on the face of stone, and some, dashed into a million shards on its maiden voyage down the spout, drift downward like a membranous veil of silk, creating a flowing mist of water that cast itself upon the waterfall like smoke as it falls with gravity. Gravity itself, for a moment, felt like it was suspended in the thin air of surreal omnipotence, as the waterfall warped and weft through jarred stone, casting a magical, almost eerie glisten upon the towering walls, ruins under false pretences.
It was heart rending in its presence, even more so in memory.
And it reminded me of architecture, for its potent, powerful existence, a scene more real than real, hyperrealistic. So much so that it appeared to transcend what we normally perceive to be the normative world. And somehow, it contained within it visions of what we call ‘contemporary architecture’ today. Looking back in retrospect, the architecture that we see on magazines, a la Daniel Libeskind and his peers, seem to be only achieving what nature has effortlessly been doing since the dawn of time. It is a good thing, yet not so. It now looks like a transformation from sugar-cube modernism to disintegrated-rock deconstructivism. Regardless of pretension in the battle of styles, this timeless natural architecture is up for your own interpretation.
Place: Sg Lembing waterfall / Rainbow waterfall
Time: 10am for best effect.
P.S. Apologies for the sorry condition of the photo. they just don't do the reader justice. it has to be experienced first hand.