What’s Your Spread Today?

What is in the spread?
A bunch of grub and wisdom
Don’t leave any bit.

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It is Lebaran today.

I put what I cooked on the table (the only table in the house), took picture of it and sent to those with whom I would love to enjoy it together on Hari Raya: family, close friends and some colleagues. This year, we’re virtually enjoying it through pictures or video calls! What an exciting morning!

Rice cake (ketupat or lontong in Indonesia), sayur labu siam (chayotes in coconut milk), opor ayam (chicken opor, the yellow soup), beef rendang and sambel goreng kentang (potato sambal), kerupuk (crackers), nuts, sweet cookies from Bengawan Solo, and of course fruits! Enjoy!

And what’s under the spread? Table cloth of batik with “nitik” motif.

Nitik is a Yogyakartan-style batik which is traditionally dark colour (sogan in Javanese) with lighter colour background compared to Solo style. Nitik is the shortened structure of “nggawe (making) titik (dots)” that immediately shows the appearance of the motif, thousands of dots forming some geometrical patterns.

Historically this motif has been believed as the simplicity and humbleness of the designers and makers who were ordinary women in the villages which were located outside of city centre (palace). This motif came into palace environment after certain period of time and finally integrated into many designs.

Interestingly nitik is a Javanese word that can also mean niteni or marking based on data or facts. So, simple and humble of human beings character can show something bigger if gathered and analysed carefully. Ah my…. Why should it be that complex? Just enjoy the batik beauty, Beloved.

Selamat Hari Raya!

May all beings be happy. 💞

hungry caterpillar! 🤩

He Is Zero Today

When moments collide,
Time slows down, space enlarges.
A coincidence?

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Based on solar calendar, it is my father’s birthday today. Based on lunar calendar it is his death commemoration.

Mathematically the two calculations are crossing, astronomically celestial bodies are in moving in harmony, momentarily it’s just a coincidence. To his family it’s a special moment— celebrating a point when an important human being’s life in the world is started and ended.

God bless you, Bapak. Happy 0th birthday! Are you watching me? Thank you. But no need, just take a rest, I’m safe now. 😘

my favorite taste, not his coz I eat it not he😁

It’s Lebaran Tomorrow

One awaited day,
A line to end and to start
A cycle. Nom nom nom!

This is the second Ramadhan without going out of this island. It feels serene. It is Lebaran (Ied) tomorrow. Many Muslim feel it is a happy sad time to end Ramadhan knowing that it is when they will celebrate a big day, realising that they might not meet with the next Ramadhan. For most Muslim Ramadhan is one of the most prominent and favorite months of the year with different reasons.

This person?

While it is culture that nurtures the vibe of Ramadhan in someone’s life, at the same time it is one’s personal experience that defines how meaningful and beautiful it is in one’s life.

My best Ramadhan was when I was a teenager. Ramadhan meant long holiday, browsing around from one “langgar” (small hut designated to pray together and teach how to read the Quran, usually won’t be used for Friday or ‘Ied prayer like mosques is, I never found extreme teaching in any of langgar I visited by then) to another, from one mosque to another looking for which prayer was the shortest and the most crowded with children to play with after. We would meet new friends, new games and new snacks every Ramadhan!

We also loved gathering food on the day for breakfast time when finally all the food could not be enjoyed. After fasting for 3 consecutive days, you can’t eat more than half of your normal. Your belly shrink! It didn’t stop us from gathering food though. Greedy child!

Clean if not new clothes is a recommended to wear in Ied. The clean and/or new clothes symbolise the self as spiritually newly born and pure gold after being “burnt” in the hottest month of the twelve. I loved it, I loved it, I loved it! I don’t buy clothes in Lebaran anymore, that’s not excited anymore and it has become an impulsive buying.

Ramadhan doesn’t feel that fun and full of adventures anymore to me. Aside from because of living in a place where legal restrictions will make people more citizen rather than human beings, no excitement of celebration involving cheerful crowd except scheduled and arranged by the authority; as an adult mature I “should” put more “less innocent” meaning in order to adjust with what the surroundings expect from me. How time flies but memories stay implanted in one’s remembrance.

In the opinion of this “aging me” fasting isn’t only about no eating, no drinking, no sex on the day. It is more about a structured self management: when to push the gas pedal and when to kick the brake. That’s life to me now: how effective the brake is working, not how outstanding the gas pedal is.

Anyway, Lebaran is also when Muslim should turn into butterfly after being a cocoon for one month. If they don’t, they should not look into the mirror. How could you be a cute caterpillar forever?

See how happily and how long a butterfly will live. No doubt that once one lies eggs, the next cycles will repeat soon. I myself am ready to eat big on the Lebaran’s day; a caterpillar mode on. Let’s cook tonight then eat tomorrow!

Cycles

Under the green leaf,
Crawls then sleeps. Wake up with love.
Fly, Butterfly, fly.

Metamorphosis of egg to caterpillar to cocoon before butterfly is beautiful and relevant with the cycles of human being’s life in all aspect.

How someone finds a potential and amplifies the potential with any resources that one can think of such as schooling, taking courses/training/workshop, reading, listening, watching, contemplating, consultancy…. Oh some others who don’t have clear thinking include their actions of cheating, stealing, breaking the law, stepping the integrity lines, backstabbing, etc.

It is like witnessing the eggs sheltered by some shade of plants and with the weather and pressure, they are pushed to crawl out of the shells. Here it comes one hungry caterpillar, playing happily, eating this, eating that, eating these, eating those, eating everything. This caterpillar can only stop eating when one feels numb and one’s fullness melts away and wraps itself to sleep. The things one consumed liquifies it like ice thawed in a plastic bag.

Sleep soundly, hungry caterpillar and don’t wake up until someday your fluid self come into form, embodied into a totally different creature. The butterfly you are!

There was a time when an employee is so preoccupied with what one is doing, as if one is wrapped in a system that trapped one doing the same thing like no choice is given. One does it everyday until finally not having to think of how to do it already. One might feel the job is ingrained as a thought, a feeling, an intuition, movement, the life itself. Trained skills and talents make an art, the integrity shapes wisdom. A job—when has become a dedication— will not betray a human being.

Hope someday mine becomes one. It is never about how high I climb but about how deep I dive into the commitment of making what I’m doing a wisdom and benefits for those we promise to protect and support.

I think it is ok to be one hungry caterpillar, looking greedy and craving for more knowledge, experiences, adventures. As long as it knows where poison lies, it is safe to chew and swallow anything. No no not anything…. Select wisely, Beloved.

I remember Steve Jobs said “Stay foolish, stay hungry”. That person really knew what he was doing. Many people might have thought negatively about him, laughed at what he was doing, called him crazy, kicked him out for having different ideas, backstabbed him to stop his annoyance. Those people just didn’t know that that guy was a hungry caterpillar processing into a cocoon before butterfly. Amazing human being! God bless time when he was alive and forever.

Hmm…. Perhaps he truthfully made himself hungry by fasting and foolish by learning and unlearning.

God bless you, Steve Jobs and the people around his belief about staying foolish and hungry.

Salam….

you know what colours will be yours

Sit Still

Silent nights have come
To sit still and greet the heart.
Please forgive me, Love.

——————————————

Ramadhan month is almost over. Many Muslim will spend the last 10 days of Ramadhan in the mosques. They focus on the zikr (remembrance) by enchanting attributes of God and reciting the Quran. They call it i’tikaf— literally meaning staying put or sitting still, commonly understood as retreat in the mosque to worship the God recommended at the last 10 days of Ramadhan. How beautiful those nights are!

How lucky people who have the time to spend with themselves and look in to their own inner journey.

I’m not a devoted one so I don’t do the i’tikaf anymore. For retreat I prefer attending discussion or meditation session or just being alone contemplating or just wandering at the nature.

I feel lucky that this past one year has been a kind of long retreat through the working from home during pandemic. I’ve got sufficient time to do what I missed doing for almost the past 12 years in which back to back trips were a cup of tea, and do it slowly with (sometimes not full) awareness.

Cooking own food, washing own clothes, cleaning the whole house alone, running or walking at the river bank, biking around midnight time, painting, singing out loud at lunch time, writing journals and blog, watering my plants and talking to them, and so on…. All thanks to working from home—

Thanks to Life for all those. Thanks for everything.

At the same time I made a series of mistakes to someone. Some things are misunderstood naturally. It’s gonna be ok. I hope Life forgives me and lets my journey be easier.

May all beings be happy. 💞

beauty comes again

Missing Home

Where’s home, Beloved
That gives warmth, food and laughter?
Winter gets longer.

———————————

Never was in mind that I would live in the time of Corona. Gabriel Garcia Marquez sounds relatable.

Salam….

Brown beetle keeps coming, attracted by the light

Luxury

What is luxury?
The rarely found, Beloved
Regardless its price—

Some find synonyms of luxury in caviar, Hermes, Lambo, penthouse, blahblahblah…. Not always

It’s my luxury today! 🥰

Tada….! Incredibly delicious! True luxury!
Lack of convincing colours, I was doubtful of its flesh and taste.
Fondue fork is quite useful
Banana again 👍🏽

Add Acceptance To Each Plan

This night gets longer.
More dreams linger in silence.
Lid the bucket list.

————

I pray to have enough time to be able to visit all places in my bucket list as 2020 and 2021’s trips are unchecked. If only dreaming is stoppable,

Thanks God I enjoy getting lost walking or biking that’s the best option in this cute island.

May all beings be happy.

🍀

Plan as if you live forever. Accept today as the best gift.

Language of Dreams

Almost given up:
Milestones to reach the final.
Language of dreams

Japanese is almost as difficult as Arabic but I didn’t find hard time learning Arabic as the brain was much fresher with more time to focus on lessons by then. I almost gave up this Japanese lesson as I felt too slow. Until today mixing up between シ and ツ still happens again and again. Different forms of adjective and noun when tenses change still confuse me. The crazy kanji has also tortured me. Why did I even learn this language? 🤪 Drama! 🥰

But hey! I won’t stop until I can read and compose beautiful poems in Japanese. Too much a dream? Ok, I won’t stop until I can present the company’s Code of Conduct in Japanese! Making more sense! 😁

If the teacher isn’t this good, I might have given up earlier. The Sensei is such an expert of Japanese language and culture that she can make me understand why those Japanese I’ve met have behaved so strangely not as I expected Japanese I thought would be. 😝

Some people are just so “like that” regardless they are Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Singaporean or any other….. Life is so interesting, take it easy!

God bless all….

One of the easy thing I was frustrated of….! What a stupid me! Look at the ugly frustrated hand writing! 🥶

You’re A River

Flow, Beloved. Flow.
Be a river whose stream knows
Its gravity. Yours
Is me? Making it flow back
To where a home is. Within—

A river is a river only when the stream is moving to a point of a pulling force. Don’t  get stuck or blocked because that is when you lose your being as a river.

Find the tiniest gap and flow….

Never getting bored of it 💞

Shifting Culture

You look perfect, Love
Mechanically living.
I can’t reach you, Love.
You’re deadly cold snow— heartless
Pushing me farther away.

Some work of art is precisely designed, formulated and worked by robot. Accuracy, precision, flawless

Some is beautifully designed, measured and worked by living artist whose movement is built through heart and soul. Relatively beautiful with direct human touch

Each prefers one with some price

A robot carving accurately on the door panel
An artist carving Jepara style design on the door panel

Some human beings are so mechanical, they don’t know how to respond others humanely. They simply see things through a flow chart. Hope that this group extinct soon.

May all beings be happy.

Sweetness In Heart

Beyond layered skies
Is beauty unknown, my Love
I’ll never give up.

This I wishes happiness to that you across the ocean although the you never knows….

God bless Louis Armstrong who’s bringing sweetness to the heart even when he is not here anymore. 💞

Life As Cycled

When you reach the shore,
Let the sand pull you into
Everlasting pores,
Put life to start once again.
Life stories of wave and wind

How will you be back to shore after being brought back to sea….

….every second, minute, hour, day, week, month, birthday, death, life….

….Repeatedly?

(Un)Fortunately

Ripple can disturb
A placid lake. Tidal wave
Won’t change a rough sea.

I’m a small lake, whereas you’re the wide sea. Dear, with the roughness you can’t feel the softest heart. Too bad….

May all beings be happy.

dim light captures silence

Doesn’t Look Like Any….

You’re a paradox.
Close but distant; tangibly
Impalpable sphere—

I know you’re around. I just know. I trust you, Beloved. You smell like mid spring, sound like jazz, taste like sugar cane, feel like breeze, but not sure look like what….

May all beings be happy.

fresh, relaxing, sweet, flowing song

What I Trust

What is after this?
What shall we be transformed, Love?
Trust me, Beloved.

Trust is my key. It is with what I address what I can’t see behind the curtains. Be it good or bad, the journey is ahead. God bless each breath I take and the air I release….

May all beings be happy.

Let’s wear the key again….

Heaven Is Where?

Where are you now, Love?
Home is around the corner.
Turn right and be there.

One of good friends sent her work of art, compiling her memories of Sulawesi trips into a sweet calling-home clip.

Thank you, Mbak Adek for reminding me that I’ve got home, a beautiful one. A beautiful home is a heaven on earth and in heart.

Home is where heaven is. Good friends make you realise that it’s real!

Salaam.

This video was produced by Adek Azhar. She is a cat lover, a happy mother and grandmother, a good friend, a crazy traveler, a senior journalist as best description of her. Can’t wait to travel with her after pandemic in our small group of awkward travelers! 💞