Payday, Beloved, Crossroads to 4 directions— 6 o’clock, good bye!
Ah yes! I’ve been paid with how a group of people feel proud of achieving what they thought would never happen for my persistence and never-ending-annoying questions and reminders. I’ve been paid with sweet smiles for greeting the cleaning ladies and security guards and colleagues and neighbours. I’ve been paid with my family and friends’ laughter for the jokes that were not even funny. I’ve been paid with my colleagues’ flooding emoji for my “drunken” fingers sending auto-correct silliness. I’ve been paid by many many of those I’ve never thought of making me so light hearted more than dollars and cents.
Hey! Don’t get me wrong! I’ve also been paid with bitter rejections and secret smirks for what I did wrongLY and/or I did inappropriateLY.
And hey! I’ve also been actually paid with wages and benefits for working in a company.
Everything is worth paying and everyday is a payday.
Never look back to what was wrongly spent, that’s my payday commitment!
Dream home, Beloved, Sitting with all senses on, Capturing moments—
Lunch break + very very heavy rain = early wish of birthday getaway to come true!
To be continued with more destinations in 2028, 2029, 2030, 2031, 2032, 2033, 2034, 2035, 2036, 2037, 2038, 2039, 2040, 2041, 2042, 2043, 2044, 2045, 2046, 2047, 2048, 2049, 2050, 2051, 2052, 2053, 2054, 2055, 2056, 2057, 2058, 2059, 2060, 2061, 2062, 2063, 2064, 2065…. As if I knew how long I will wander around here? I hope to live as long as time is mentally and physically enjoyable with family and friends without bothering them.
Long life, fresh and sane!
Then came the calculation part…. A lot of coins to spend to comfortably celebrate that way in those particular places. Easy! Just need a clover pendant to make it happen. 😝
Thanks for the rain and daydream. I know there is more than meets the eye! Life is so rich and I accept all the gifts.
Clay art, Beloved, Hugged by earth, hardened by sun Livened by heaven—
In Java island clay was commonly used not only to make art work but also as material to make kitchenware, eating utensils, plant pots, etc. Kasongan, Yogyakarta is one of famous villages of clay work industry in which different types of clay art and utensils are mass produced or customised as per buyers’ request.
One clay utensil that I often used in my childhood was kendi, a clay jug used to contain drinking water – it makes drinking water smell subtly earthy and feels cooly fresh. Children would dispense water from the jug to glass to drink; adult would usually just lift the kendi slightly above mouth level and dispense the water directly to their open mouth without touching the tip of the kendi mouth to their mouth — whoa so difficult to explain!
Kendi is not however commonly used as the function is now replaced by plastic containers and refrigerator. It is now mostly used in Javanese traditional ceremony or in some households that still want to keep some traditional way of life. I prepare 5 kendi to compliment the fridge in my Javanese home — 5 kendi are ready before the dining table is ready 😁
Kendi is actually an acronym (kerata basa in Javanese grammar) of “kendalining diri” (kendalining: control, diri: self) or self control. In Javanese culture keratabasa is used to tie a good teaching to what people is doing. So, practically kendi is not a personal utensil like spoon and fork, anyone can share it. Through the name Javanese know that using kendi, there shall be some self control applied. When someone drinks directly from the clay jug, one should do it carefully to minimise the risk of dropping the kendi and break it; and not greedily gulp all water as other family members or friends also need fresh water in that hot day.
Culturally (at least according to Greek mythology and Quran) human being’s physical is created from clay —like kendi— that is given soul by the Source and so we are breathing. So it is natural that human beings are fundamentally attached to earth. Yet how much ever human beings want to stay as firm, strong, young, beautiful like the clay coming from earth, it is not possible. There is breathing that fans the “fire of life” in the clay body and when it stops “fanning”, the clay body stops functioning.
Can’t live forever, some like to play “forever pretending”. Pretending to be young or beautiful or firm with plastic surgery. Pretending to be happy with some drugs. Pretending to be more precious than others with fake luxury and conspiracy. Pretending this and that.
Ah! That game! That’s fun indeed! Yet it is not doable for me. Being human is not an easy job, pretending makes it even difficult and complicated and unnecessary. So please count me out. 💃🏽
Hey! If some people want to live forever or stay young, firm, strong, beautiful and fully functional; they’d better be a kendi. 😂
Crossroads, Beloved, A while gauging where to go— Follow the North Star.
Today’s conversation with one best friend was a bit nostalgic. She talked about how she went to spiritual class (very common in my country to do so for religion or non-religion based teachings) until finally she quit at 45. Her reason was disappointment to teachers. She asked about me and I said quit at 30’s and my disappointment was to myself.
A stubborn student, I wouldn’t listen to what teachers told me to believe or to do. I would ask questions then believed only when choosing to believe; even with good explanation, I wouldn’t believe if not interested to believe.
One example of the fool was when a particular teacher gave “daily task” to recite “Bismillahirrahmanirrahiem”, I didn’t do it even he only asked me to recite it 10x a day, while the other two were 100x a day. “No, Teacher. Why do I have to do it? I already read it as part of Alfatihah recitation in my daily prayer, that’s more than 10x a day,” said I. It was when praying was five times a day for me, oftentimes 7 times!
Bismillahirrahmanirrahiem is a sacred word uttered by Muslim or most traditional non-Muslim Javanese when starting an activity. It means “In the name of Allah The Gracious The Merciful”, some interpret it as “On behalf of Allah The Gracious The Merciful”. By reading it the reader is expected to only do good thing with good intension with love. The teacher also said that reading it we were doing self alignment: align the self with the true self, to be true to ourselves, to easily make decision and to cut short confusion and to always be blessed, to blend action with good intension.
Amazingly all teachers understood the fool and just gave a lot of smiles and books to read which annoyed her more and more. I became frustrated seeing the two good friends gained fast track understanding of life. I decided to quit then did whatever was fun fun fun ignoring the essence of being human being.
Only years later I found that self alignment is very important and I was sorry for realising it late. I finally got it why those two good friends were so peaceful while I was still struggling with almost everything. It was also the year when we found that that dear teacher passed away of old age.
Now? Learning to care more about inner journey and well being. Whatever happens to me is a consequence of my decision. If the decision is aligned with my true self, it leads to success. If the decision is false and against my true self, it leads to lesson learnt. Lesson learnt leads to better decision. Better decision leads to success. Success to me is not merely material gain, it can be simply being able to smile in tough time. This simple lesson is a result of years of battle for a stupid person like me.
My best friend asked me how now to deal with self alignment esp when in confusion.
Me: I recite Bismillahirrahmanirrahiem cumulatively 300x before night sleep.
BF: Why? Did that teacher come virtually and ask you to?
Me: No. I found that this word is my best to strengthen self-alignment between good intention and action.
BF: Why 300x? He said 10x.
Me: He discounted the price. I’m 30x more valuable than his appraisal.
BF: Arrogant fool!
Me: I’m just a fool.
BF: There are two of us.
Lesson learnt: Always find a way to see my fool not others’. Always find a way to laugh at my own self not at others’.
Dream home, Beloved, A place where nature meets hearts; Hearts warmly greet souls—
The conversation with a long lost friend came to a topic of “where we want to live if ending living alone?”
Living in Singapore was never part of my dream. A visit in 2010 gave me impression that I would die of hunger in a week with Indonesia salary. 😁
Now this city is a lovely second home; my impression has changed. I won’t die because of hunger but I will die because of loneliness if I stay single retiring here. I still can’t find enough friends like those in home country. There are three but all of them will retire in Bali and New Zealand sooner than me.
Residing in a landed property where gardening and backyard dining is affordable is a preference, yet I don’t have the luxury of living in such place here. And I don’t want to die alone in a locked condo found rotten after days or even weeks. Oh God, please protect me from such horrible thing. Amen….
F: I’ve always wanted to live in Ubud and it will happen very soon. I’ll open a spa with all traditional herbal from all over Indonesia. I’ll quit my job soon. I want to live my own life as me, no one can tell me to do this and that anymore! No bloody politics anymore! Visit me often! You’ll find my spa super special! I’ll give you discount! Be a regular customer! Hey! You once wanted to live in Thailand?
Me: Someone informed me about a good property in low price near my favourite hotel in Ayutthaya. Yet Thai have controversial life style I’m not comfortable with in a way. I’m too simple, sometimes too honest and can be against those status-oriented that I might not be able to adapt well. Not a true dream! Hey! Actually love to live in Kyoto!
F: You’ll die in three months after you complete second round of shrine, temple and ancient house hopping! 😂
Me: Dying of walking! 😂
What a refreshing conversation! And yes, I’ll visit her spa soon! 😍
Lesson learnt: Will only live with those I love and loving me where home is a real feel. No excuse.
I’m lost, Beloved. This maze takes me a hostage I need to grow wings.
You might feel lost yet don’t get lazed. Open your eyes. This is not that maze maze. It is just an abandoned garden where trees are growing high touching the sky blocking the sun ray, grasses are growing wild covering the paths disguising directions. Look! There is something blinking from afar. Follow it, it might be a star. Or at least there is something moving you out of where you are.
Firstly open eyes! Your cat is getting impatient to go for adventure. Don’t let it leave you. This cat is a precious traveling companion indeed.
Artist, Beloved, Proportional and perfect? No. Flowing river—
When someone is so much a master of something that no labels or names of techniques are needed to pinpoint what s/he’s doing to perfect completion, s/he be an artist.
When will this human being be the artist of her own life? At least the artist of her own breathing…. It takes not only talent for her to become an artist, maybe she needs courage to be wrongly perceived! Maybe she should be at least misunderstood that she seldom breathes right?
Point zero, my love Here now, unshakeable ground After the earthquakes—
I’ve been a full time thinker for the past one week…. Thanks to the physical weakness brought by the virus! 🥰 And here is the ranting abridged 🙃
Life has always suggested me to walk through places where paradoxical situations exist and has made me weigh what life path should be chosen. Luckily life has always sent me angels (fallen angels included 😄) who remind me that life isn’t only about exploiting what’s considered lucrative and physically pleasant; it’s also about exploring what’s wising-up and spiritually enriching.
When I was young; books, courses, lectures, workshops were kind of “subscription” I had to shape a level of mental toughness. Yet there was exhaustion and anti-climax for intensity every now and then (good deed included 😄). Losing faith, difficulty to trust human beings and skepticism to almost everything triggered me to deconstruct my own mindset.
Another “point zero” came and brought a decision to take a course inspired by one friend named Eva (not one of my close friends but she is definitely one trusted human being). I promised to myself that this would be my LAST course to finally be unshakeable me.
I flew to Edinburgh and was driven from the airport to a place called Chisholme House by Mr Brix who became an excellent opening of my self re-discovery. He introduced me to the richness of self re-discovery even before the course started. That was when I felt so lucky to have read Ibn Arabi, Rumi and English literature although not extensively and to have learnt Javanese wisdom that is considered “local” by many of my friends (which I always disagree) as Mr Brix’ languages were using all those keywords in the repertoire from my literature reading and cultural wisdom. Indeed Mr Brix was a “gate” welcoming me to a true friendship or fellowship bonded by humanity.
The course was simply daily schedules for us to an experiencing life or “human beings who work” — physically, mentally, spiritually, socially in connection with their own self, other human beings and nature. Of course the classes was the superb! Collins, Hiroko and Aaron were excellent facilitators and to me they are role models of ordinary yet impressive human being! Collins was a loving husband and father cum the best administrator. Hiroko was a loving mother and wife cum an excellent painter! Aaron was an excellent chef cum wise philosopher! 💝
It was so normal a life that I felt so blessed. We woke up in the morning then took a bath or at least took ablution. We started the day with a group meditation — everyone: the course participants, kitchen staffs, office staffs, garden staffs, etc except those who overslept. Then we had breakfast — English breakfast! After that we started the class; the staffs started their duties. After that we had tea break then WORK! Work meant doing the assigned chores (garden, kitchen, house, laundry). After that class again then English lunch! Then lunch break for one hour. Class again. Mediation again. Work again. Afternoon tea. Personal time (we could go to the hill, forest, sleep, talk to staffs or participants, whatever). English dinner. Discussion time. Free time. Sleep…. Repeat.
Completing the “self re-discovery”, I found that life is like riding bicycle, balancing while moving. I lose, I win. I fall in love, I break heart. I get sick, I get cured. I trust, I distrust. I think, I feel. I work, I take a rest.
Balancing is about knowing the limit. I lose against someone/something but I gain wisdom. I fall in love at the same time I have to accept the unpredictable responses. I get sick then I will be cured. I trust with or without reasoning yet can also distrust because of the true or false reasoning. I think based on logic yet when logic doesn’t count, only feeling of acceptance will neutralise the situation. And, when I am tired, I should take time-out. Just like that!
And I actually graduated with flying colours from many “extra” lessons: doing laundry, washing dishes, house keeping, potato harvesting, making bread, cooking English lunch, preparing dining table, raking dry leaves, going up and down the hills in the rain, walking in the moorland, listening to silence, listening to others’ opinions, identifying and recognising true intelligent people, trusting the right people at the right time in the right place, respecting stupid idiot (myself included 😂), taking a bath in the cold morning, and more and more!
And yes, that was the last course in my life. Ordinary yet impressive, like what I always want myself to be to and for those having in touch with me.
I want to be back there not as a participant but as a guest in the English breakfast or lunch bringing a best friend who deserves an ordinary yet impressive life.
Torii, Beloved, Opening from here to here To be entered now—
I’ll always make tomorrow morning inevitable in life like a torii that connects here now and another here now. These happy steps are walking from torii to torii, with another pair of steps inevitably aligning with me.
Negative, Beloved, New paradigm that builds life; Breathing is blessings.
I thought that virus was reluctant to approach me until that funny doctor said bitterly to me last week “The Gov will SMS directly to you but these sudden symptoms give me a hint. Take care.”
After some inconsistent (+) and (-), being a lethargic patient (the virus pulled all muscles down) and a slow thinker (MZ sent me a confusing email of mine) of home quarantine, I’m back to my own self!
Thanks for toning this pride down. I was not that healthy.
Nowhere, Beloved, To depart. Wait for next train. Look around and pray.
Checking my old photos, I saw an almost forgotten one. A station that was giving me the most alarming experience in that trip.
Back in April 2017 I was in a solo travel for 20 days in EU region when the train from Lyon left me no choice but changing train in Bourg-en-Bresse. It was rainy and windy, almost 5pm local time, some passengers got off with me but all of them went out of the station (perhaps to go home) and only I stayed to wait for the next train at 7:15pm.
For almost 45 minutes and no one was coming. A group of young men entered the other side of the railway. They sounded chatting and giggling. I tried to avoid looking at them. It was my first time feeling insecure in the trip.
I continued reading my book (now pretending) as I felt so uneasy with the noise across the lines.
“Hi! Lady!” I looked around. No woman but me. Damn! They called me.
I didn’t say anything, my eyes looked back to my book.
“Hi! Hi!” Don’t say anything, Rike. Don’t look at them. My left hand slowly moved down to my Swiss knife in the inner pocket of the jacket.
Only prayer in heart and some strategies that were taught by my brothers on how to use the Swiss knife and simple kicks to defend myself from bad guys.
“Lady!” They shouted at me more loudly after some time.
“Lady!” The guys laughed out loud among their French words. I saw them waved their hands to me. They whistled at me. I wondered why no one was here but those guys. In my country there are always many people selling things around railway station. There are always tricycle riders moving around.
When those guys got even merrier and happier, I saw a shadow moved the tall doors behind the guys.
A tall black lady drew a trunk and went across line 1 to line 2 and to line 3 where I was almost ready to hurt any of the guys if they approached me.
The guys stopped their noise. The lady walked towards me.
I didn’t feel better. This lady could stop the guys’ laughters and whistles, she must have been able to do stronger thing than that including killing me— I had to be alert!
“Hi! Going to Geneva?” A soft voice greeted me.
“Hi! Ya! Are you?”
“Yes! The train will arrive soon.”
“No, it is just the schedule.”
We eventually were sitting in the same cart. She was working in the UN headquarters and traveled back from personal leave. She said I was lucky to take this train, not later one that might have made me encounter with more men in the station unluckily often drunk.
“No, you just need to choose the right timing.”
I almost forgot that I met this smart wise tough lady. Wherever you are, Madam, I wish you good luck! Thank you for saving me with your timeliness.