Coffee

Coffee, Beloved,
Brings back the fragrance of breeze
From the green high land.

—-

I drink coffee but am not a big fan of it. Fragrance of raw coffee beans, coffee cherries, coffee leaves, coffee flowers, coffee trees are much more lovable to these nostrils. Last 2019 visit to my uncle and aunt’s home in Menoreh Hill has always been a fresh fragrant memory; it is because the coffee fragrance would welcome us in the morning when wind blowing down the hill through the window sills.

Along the path up the hill going to our grandparents’ graveyards these hands would playfully pull some coffee leaves or coffee cherries, squeeze them and breathe the aroma in. My cousins and nieces would do the same. We would throw them to the dogs jumping around as playful as the owners.

Miss that green high land, where my ancestors started their humble legends—

Wind, fly me. 🛫

Salaam.

coffee shrubs decorate back yard of many houses in the hill; that fragrance is the witness of how the people love the land 💝
another fragrance loved – pepper
wait!
hey! get up, let’s run!

Taken for Granted

For granted I take
The green, the blue and the red
Until they turn grey.

—-

Sometimes I’m thankful that I’m not given opportunity to have children. I can’t imagine what playfulness and nature exploration they will have in their future with very minimum real nature around. I’m thankful. 🥰

Sometimes I’m broken-hearted that I’m not given opportunity to have children. I can’t agree on how some people raise their children. I egotistically imagine how well I would raise them to be human-respecting and nature-loving generation in the family tree. I’m selfish. 😐

Meanwhile I’m always feeling lucky to be me, born when and where nature was willing to introduce her excessive bounties, grew up when and where human interaction was real and warm, working when and where human right and environment protection is a paramount topic. I’m blessed. 🥰

♥️

just realised there is a fully shaven greenery farther across the road 🙃
zoomed in – oh…. maybe not long after this the greenery around me will turn to patches of garden and playground among grey concrete 🙃

Time Zones

Time zones, Beloved,
Limit spaces with blurred ends.
Illusion that jails.

One hour makes things different.

Dear, time…. Thanks for the space you just gave for what’s called holiday. Please bless me with nice pace and good vibe again and again like always.

If I forget about your kindness, please remind me gently as I’m fragile. If I take you for granted, please remind me that I’m traveling between your two points: start and end.

Thanks again.

Me that is blessed with both negative and positive yet trying to balance at the zero ❣️

illusion that jails – time zones
sky is the limit – love?

Good Morning from Mother Nature

Mother, Beloved
She’s giving more than taking
No end since morning.

—-

This morning I saw my mother cleaned our slim long patch of plants and Mother Nature showed the beauty along the patch. Many herbs and flowers are presenting their prime time. Some of them are preparing their exhibit and yields. Many of them are of no bloom after last month.

I didn’t help her. Let her enjoy the cleaning, let me take some pictures. 😝

Some neighbours passed by and greeted us, exchanging some light chat about the neighbourhood. One of them came to us bringing a bowl of nasi jagung (steamed corn grain) before she went teaching.

A short visit with long lost warmth of a real neighbourhood

May all beings be happy.

one of the aloe vera pots – we harvested it to make some drink 🤩
red lemongrass ❣️ oops my sister said it’s sugar cane 😃
cabe rawit hijau – green bird chili
cabe rawit merah – red bird chili
zinnia
layered zinnia
cream zinnia
kumis kucing 🐈🐈🐈
tapak dara
cepokak
rose obviously
jasmine sambac

and so on….

nasi jagung from Bu Yati, thank you!

Indonesia – May 10, 2022 / 07:28am

Different Days for One Date

I learn
Life is about counting gates of moments.
It’s not what I celebrate,
It’s how I celebrate.
They call it this,
I call it that,
It’s a day dyed with red, blue, yellow
Yet
Really the day won’t describe its own color when asked.

One more day to celebrate!

—-

It’s not unusual Ramadhan is closed on different days by different groups of Muslim esp. in big country like Indonesia. One group may close Ramadhan on 29th day, the other on 30th. It’s not a big deal (although some noisy people like to debate about it) but it’s not simple things to explain. Overall the difference is due to 2 different methods of seeing the crescent moon visibility in the horizon – one group is using mathematical astronomy (computation), the other physical observation (telescope).

This year most of my family in Indonesia celebrated the Eid yesterday, I in Singapore today.

Without further ado….

Hari Raya Puasa = Hari Raya Idul Fitri = Lebaran = Riyaya = Ba’dan = Eid Mubarak whatever they call it, it is here to be claimed and celebrated, not debated. 🥰

Celebrate moments that are given in life including this festivity. Every moment is a gate to another moment before entering the next gate of moment. After entering Ramadhan gate, now Syawal gate, what’s next? Any should be simply a gate to start or to restart or to continue.

a common greeting in Eid: May Allah accept (good deeds) from us and from you.

Gate after gate before finally the grandest gate ⛩

this is always a favourite object – gate

once more…

Selamat Hari Raya Idul Fitri 1443H

Mudik, Home Sweet Home

Home is where heart feels safe and calm. And going home is always something to cherish. One of terminology for going home in Indonesia —only in Indonesia— is mudik. Some consider mudik as a derivational Indonesian and Malay word from the words “me+udik= mengudik = mudik” that means going back to home town (udik= home town, rural). However, it is also allegedly an acronym of two Javanese words mulih (going home) and sedhiluk (for a short while). The mudik tradition is done on one celebrated religion festive day called Hari Raya Idul Fitri (the Eid Mubarak after Ramadhan). It is a massive movement happens from medium to big cities to smaller regions/towns/districts/villages where senior family members (grand parents, parents) usually reside.

Mudik is one cultural side product of urbanisation. Urbanisation as a population shift from rural to urban areas due to concentration of modern work styles (non agricultural) has left minimum of not no choice to younger people to go to bigger cities to work in big companies or manufacturing sites. And, as they have left their homes with parents and other groups of elders, they see the need to go home regularly. As much as they want to meet the elders more often to pay homage, their work duties have only allowed them to do it annually.

Why Hari Raya Fitri is the most chosen? It is closely related to the fact that especially in Java island the biggest population is Muslim. But not only Muslim will do mudik, other religion believers also do it as they want to enjoy the festivity with their Muslim family and friends. Everyone loves Hari Raya Idul Fitri. Everyone looks forward to mudik every year.

Aside from that it is the best time for a rendezvous, mudik is also associated with the word Fitri literally meaning “becoming holy again” or “going back to the origin of creation which is sinless”. So mudik isn’t only physical movement to where people were born, it’s also commemoration of going back to holy again (although the holiness isn’t the point as no one alive is truly holy), going back to the origin of creation (to realise that how big their success in career in the cities, they are still human beings created by God, born by a mother and raised by parents in rural area).

Maybe only Indonesians can really relate with this. We’re so blessed. 💓

This year is gonna be one of the biggest after the lock-down thingy due to the beloved COVID-19. Can’t wait to finally meet with my beloved family and friends after 2 years❣️

Selamat Hari Raya Idul Fitri. Maafkan lahir dan bathin. 🐣

Note: Hari Raya Idul Fitri = Lebaran = Riyaya = Ba’dan = Eid Mubarak

to you all celebrating the day!

Singapore – May 1, 2022 / 22:20

Welcome, Month of Exercising (Javanese Muslim Tradition)

Regret and sorry
Not easy to feel and say,
Yet flushing the guilt.
Look! It’s rain water pouring
On the roof, sweeps away dirt.

—————————————————

Ramadhan is starting tomorrow, it’s my 38th year in which I do full fasting. I’m so grateful with this achievement. Achievement? Yes! Imagine for one full month during the day we don’t drink, we don’t eat, we don’t smoke, we don’t sex, we don’t let out uncontrolled emotion, we simply hold whatever we normally let out easily with no delay. We are human beings though, we can do all those at night. Ahem!

As a Javanese Muslim welcoming Ramadhan is as special as the fasting itself. We welcome the Ramadhan with a small celebration called megengan which literally means holding (esp. the breath).

In megengan a Javanese family will deliver a basket of rice with dishes to neighbours and extended family members living separately. While each family can choose what they share, there is one must specialty in this occasional delivery so called “apem” in Javanese or “kue apam” in Bahasa Indonesia or Malay.

Apem is steamed cake whose ingredients are rice flour, coconut milk, coconut water, yeast, sago starch and some sugar.

The word apem is derived from the word “afwun” (an Arabic word) meaning apology. Why apology? In Ramadhan when a Muslim is fasting, s/he is not only holding her/himself from hunger, thirst, lust, uncontrolled anger, and exercising her/his integrity; but s/he is also recommended to contemplate her/his own “action records” for the past one year. It is not easy for one to bear the guilt during the contemplation, so it is recommended for a Muslim before Ramadhan to apologise to their family and friends or to whomever s/he did wrongdoing, to ease the contemplation process. As it might not be easy to say sorry through a naked word, Javanese Muslim will include a symbolic apology in the food called apem when they deliver the whole food package. Everyone knows what it is, what it does— it is up to each person whether or not to accept the apology. And there they go starting the fasting month with a light heart to physically, mentally and spiritually exercise her/himself for one full month.

I used to think that that celebration was a waste of food. For one week I used to see sooooo many plastic and bamboo baskets piled up in our dining table and shelves — all those megengan packages which would be eaten just a bit and end up given to our chickens at the back yard. Fyi, the apem is never wasted though as every family has different taste and ways of how to make their best apem – maybe it’s a symbol that everyone is taking the apology seriously. I used to say to my mom that megengan was more about chickens celebrating than human beings celebrating. However after I understand what is symbolised through those simple deliveries, I highly appreciate the way we Javanese hold the integrity through our humble tradition.

I used to tell my mother to not do it, but now I’ve always been a reminder to her to not forget doing it and done it myself although I’m living around those not familiar with this tradition. I normally cook some simple food for the cleaning ladies and the gardeners who are assigned in the block two days before Ramadhan. Unfortunately minus the apem, simply because I am not confident enough to make my own apem. Tried this year though and failed 🙃

I promise to myself that this year is gonna be a good Ramadhan.

Welcome, month of holding, month of exercising integrity. It might not be always easy but doable.

I’m sending out apology to all the people having felt hurt by me. I’m sorry with my heart and soul in naked words. 🙏🏼

May all beings be happy.

my private megengan in 2022 minus rice, the white one is my own first apem in life – taste good but imperfect texture 🥰

Chimney

Does it suffocate
Or release? Up to the sky
Or stuck in the black?
Meet the wind. Fly to the far.
Let the chimney nobly stand.

————————————————————-

Chimney is a symbol of industrial era like church for religiosity, tower for secularity and all kinds of stars of spirituality.

Yet I found different interpretation of mine on chimney through Japanese books reading (very very elementary, all hiragana and katakana, I can only remember 15 kanji so far, hell yeah!). Chimney can be a symbol of fairy tales, dreams, ideas and creativity emerging from the dark, beautiful stories. What else? Ya, just use imagination to find what clicks in mind until the word “chimney” meets its lighter connotation against the one in paragraph 1.

Reading the books, I can’t deny some people really get blessed with extraordinary imaginary world and ability to materialise what’s in it by intertwining the intangible blessings with the tangible ones. Like the writer whose books I’ve read.

God bless you, Akihiro Nishino (should be with ~san). Thanks for the books you’ve written.

Read. Read. Read.

Read the letters. Read the lessons. Read between the lines.

🏭

find the Chimney Town in you 🏭
dark but glowing – isn’t that paradoxically beautiful?

Home

A home, Beloved
Not an outlook— it’s the soul
That hugs when inside.

—————————————————————-

I bought my first property at 34, a bit late from the original plan simply because I was broke. It was a small house in Greater Jakarta, that is now called “Rumah Bob” (literally Bob’s home) named after my cat Bob.

It is one tiny house in a small cluster, uniformly designed with minimum freedom to show “me” — the owner can only have it painted different colours, install different window sills, plant different flowers and design different garden, add different carport, or maybe buy different cars.

That has motivated me to have a home that reflects “the me that I want to present”. None of the houses offered to me by brokers or friends hit my core although some were into my taste— of course some were simply too pricy. 😩 I rejected all offers.

Apology – Some people (who helped search property for me) thought I was too much because for some of them a house is simply a place to live in comfort, while I’ve always dreamt to live in a home where I can express the true me and help my guests understand their true selves by visiting the home. A few of them sarcastically said I shouldn’t have searched through them if I didn’t have enough money — ohhhhhh some bloody stings!!! 😂 Yet I did apologise to them for being so difficult.

I decided to buy a small plot of land in a greenery in Yogyakarta (my father’s home town) and build a home from scratch.

Architect – It’s very important to choose the right architect. Not necessarily the most prominent as to me integrity and friendship is the most important thing – luckily my best friend recommended her student to work on my dream. Working with an architect who was artist had blessed me. She understood what was wanted by her clients but she never got satisfied even when the clients said the final draft was excellent. She would get back to me saying “Mbak, I think I find which part should be optimised. I’ll get back to you with a new draft.” Thanks to Mbak Novi.

The Core – My home will never impress random onlookers from the outlook or those who think a good house is a luxurious building; they will simply think it’s a humble abode clean and fresh. It will only impress its guests, family and friends who truly relate with me as human beings with different kinds of engagements or those who know how to appreciate humanity and ordinary.

I wish to be granted health and prosperity to live long enough to enjoy being a sincere host in my true home to those who love life.

A dream come true! Alhamdulillah.

May all beings be happy. 💝

front door, greeting family and friends with all my heart and soul – no fake people are welcome

Cycled

After the moon? No.
The sun is where this heart walks
With rain that visits.

—————————————————————

Chasing what’s not clear and uncertain was an exciting thing for the hot-blooded. Dark, shadowy picture of what she once imagined has started fading away. The moon’s shift is over.

Walking in this forest, the leaves has rekindled her faith that rain is paying a short visit. When the rain stops, she will again realise that her heart is always enveloped in the warmth of clarity.

Sunbeam always opens a new chapter in which sunshine will take over what’s mysterious and frightening. Light will help her eyes see things the way they are, no assumption, no prejudice. It is what it is.

When she reaches the edge of the forest, she will step on a meadow where the moon is again sending shadow but this time there is no mystery anymore.

All is clear. All is well. What it takes is just counting the milestones and blessing all that are sensed.

May all beings be happy.

take the bent road or go ahead? your choice, the sun will guide you 🧭

Kebun Raya Purwodadi

Scented World

Flowers scent the air
With messages telling her
To follow North Star.
The path brings her to the gate
Where home is a state of mind.

————————————————————-

Home is where the heart belongs to. This wanderer finds it where she is. Now and here….

very sweet scented orchids; bringing me to wherever I wanna wander
very sweet scented orchids; bringing me to a home inside

MacRitchie National Park

Green, lush forest trail
Where fresh air infuses life
With hopes and good vibes.

————————————————————

Today’s 4-hour walk in MacRitchie National Park gave me full stock of tropical vibes that will last for a year ahead keeping me positively motivated.

Wish there are more and bigger places like this in more countries especially in South East Asia so that people can find sanctuaries to breathe in cleaner tropical air for a while after busily working in populated buildings where air is conditioned or in factories where excessive chemicals are used or made.

Thanks, Singapore for keeping some managed greeneries which keeps the oxygen happily circulated.

🌳

of the entrance of MacRitchie Reservoir
greeted by a big family
respect neighbours 😃
respect neighbours, don’t misunderstand 😁
simple beauty
humble green
yellow iris
yellow at the bank
gate to the green
green from the tree top walk
walk happily, wear mask to keep happiness longer

Pulau Ubin

Sail by a bumboat
To linger where nature’s mixed
With preserved good life.

——————————————————-

Finally I visited Pulau Ubin, the only place in Singapore where there are no apartment buildings, malls or highways. It just a kampung (village in Malay language). Cool and green!

Wikipedia: On 3 June 2005, the Singapore Government ordered that all the farmers rearing poultry on the island were to ship them to mainland Singapore and rear them in government-approved farms by 17 June 2005, in the wake of the avian influenza. In exchange, the local inhabitants were offered HDB government housing packages, although they could choose to live on the island. As of 2012, there are only 38 people living on the island.[8]

Wikipedia: Pulau Ubin’s wooden house villages and wooden jetties, relaxed inhabitants, rich and preserved wildlife, abandoned quarries and plantations, and untouched nature make it the last witness of the old kampung Singapore that existed before modern industrial times and large-scale urban development.

Thanks, Singapore for teaching me a lot of paradoxical loads of experiences.

Holiday is real! 🤩

trace together, vaccinated
monkey is free to roam as a neighbour 😎
the most dismounting time in my biking history ☺️
lock it up!
walk only
boardwalk in Chek Jawa Wetland – check why it is called Chek Jawa 😎
Chek Jawa beacons
mangrove forest
pray before going home, aaaahhh forgot when departing 😃
see you again!

Why named Chek Jawa?

Merry Christmas, Long Weekend

Wish you, Beloved,
Sent with white heart through the air
And short holiday

——————————————————————

Christmas falls on Sunday so it’s replaced with a day off on the following Monday. I take 2 days of special shut-down on 23 and 24 so…. It is a long weekend for 2021’s Christmas. Whoohoo!

As much as missing my family, I don’t have enough gut to go back to Indonesia which still applies 10-day quarantine in Jakarta while I still have to fly to Surabaya before meeting my mother.

“It’s fine, you stay safe there. Take good care of yourself,” said they. That’s enough as blessings to me.

So? Where to go?

Pulau Ubin by bike!

Al Fatihah to all celebrating Christmas and those enjoying holiday! 💕

soft soothing wish of Christmas 🤍

Play Wise

How time flies!
How age discolours hair,
Folds skin,
Accumulates fat,
Shortens eyesight,
Softens muscles,
Weakens body.
Damn!

How life dives!
How age develops mind,
Broadens horizon,
Wises up perception,
Deepens empathy,
Harden willingness,
Strengthens compassion.
Hell yeah!

Don’t play wise, Fool. Your hair needs dyeing soon!

————————————————————-

I was an old soul. Now I am just old. 😌

sweating through brisk walking and jogging, the grey refused to hide – stubborn old hair! 😎

Where Will I Go

Nature, Beloved,
Speaks to you about a path
Where wings be North Star
Which gives signs and directions
Only when you walk.

—————————————————————

Only when you know your destination, Beloved, and are willing to take the walk, all signs, symbols and directions become relevant.

Salaam…. 💝

many branches, prioritise!
it is good to have a map, but having a destination is a pre-condition
there’s always risk in an action – evaluate and still do the walk
there should be an exit of everything – decision making is paramount, don’t get trapped in indecisiveness
know where to evacuate esp in emergency situation
know where and what to wait 💝

Generous Nature

Lily bulbs come back
Among red leaves in autumn.
Second chance from Her—

—————————————————————-

What is second chance? Once again? Or again and again like lily bulbs that come back every autumn and bloom beautifully until forever ends?

spider lily near cemetery

Mother Nature has taught me that mistake doesn’t come with punishment; it comes with lesson to be a better human being, someone who has purer intention and clearer attention. She consistently brings messages about acceptance that no one will be perfect as imperfection is an included package to realise and/or materialise perfection. That welcoming the next good day is doing the best today. That if the next now called tomorrow is here, the second chance has welcome me to be a better me. A me that’s more me than before—

I remember my Kyoto trip in 2014, my first encounter with spider lily. Fascinated, I sat down on the grass for quite long time in front of a temple with my camera until a beautiful Japanese (old) lady stopped by me.

“Hana! Hana! Hana!” She said smiling, with her thumbs pointed to the lily then to my camera.

“Ya! Ya! Ya! Thank you! Beautiful flowers!”

It was a surprise for me. A moment with no preparation. A short act with no anticipation. She just went away with her wise old smile.

That lady was probably sent to me as a second chance to re-define what possibly a Japanese truly looks like as the previous week I didn’t have a good experience with another one in Nagano.

I won’t probably meet with her again, yet enough for me to know that when I’m that age, I’d like to be as friendly and warm as her. 💝

Thank you for everything that comes with second chance, even second chance after my second chance so that in the second second chance I realise that it is my second chance not to be missed.

Al-Fatihah for all those who miss the second chance and those who are waiting for a second chance.

Salaam….

spider lily at the rice field – I haven’t seen it in my country, worth trying

Both pictures are borrowed from https://www.japanvisitor.com/japanese-culture/seasons/higanbana

The Beach Breeze

Covered with white sand,
A beach lies behind mountains.
The breeze that is missed—

—————————————————————

Unfolding map of South East Asia, getting travel gears with excitement

South East Asia, a truly loved place of mine where human beings are created humble and friendly in nature. Nature, please always make us that way. 💝

Salaam….

Da Nang, Vietnam when will I revisit its white sand beach? Heaven knows.

Friendly Green

This life, Beloved,
Needs greenery and friendship
To stay beautiful.

————————————————————

Someone can’t truly live without dreams. Dreams make days clear with focus and full of energy, nights calm with focus and full of serenity.

Simple dreams will do; as simple as doing daily gardening on a small courtyard garden and veggies garden around a house that is hosting simple rendezvous of family and good friends, cooking, teaching free language classes and life skill or tips of management or leadership to those who need, traveling light to places friendly to weaker body, sharing how life is so broad and deep with those who care.

Come true. Come true. Come true. 🐣

Wake up! All is still on paper. Go back to work! 😃

May all beings be happy. 💝