Beauty, Beloved Bodily fades. Beauty stays Only as value: Commitment, integrity. Forever? Yes, forever.
I won’t exchange anything in me with anything from any other beautiful, rich, sexy women who look happier and more successful because I love the way Mother Nature presents life through this very journey.
Watching physical deterioration is provoking yet amazing. Seeing my own picture from small girl to adult mature, it takes courage to tell myself that who was radiantly strong has grown to this dully weak. At the same time it takes courage to tell myself that who was carelessly egotistical has grown to this wisely humble.
Thanks so much for all the lessons and gifts. I won’t regret. 🐣
May all beings be happy.
Dedicated to: scammers who never stop trying stealing from others in one way or another – if you don’t have money, just stop shopping, don’t use others’ to satisfy your impulsive buying, lazybones!
I want to not eat But get full. My palate says “Go talk to the wall”.
My palate is greedy yet very loving and worth loving. It tells me to eat more tasty food although I’m not hungry. In Ramadhan it whispers to me, coaxing me to “collect good-looking food” on the day to reward my good deed through breakfast (ifthar). Damn good influencer!
Dear, Ms Palate. At least please support my weight loss program. 😚
Up and down the hills The feet walk, the heart stands still. Journey of the nights—
Nights and days are the consequences of sun and moon fixed courses. Or is it the other way around: sun and moon fixed courses are existing due to the need of nights and days in this particular planet.
Many say day is for activities, night is for resting. I don’t deny but I have my own interpretation of activities and resting. Activity is when all my concentration is for transactional economy, resting is when my concentration is for relaxation and personal. Rest day? Of course all my rest days will become nights. 💞
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. 🙏🏼
Smile is a good mask Than a mask can be. A mask Masks a masking smile. What masks a mask? Or who does? Unmask! A soul has missed you.
Sometimes she doesn’t know why she feels a blissful joy. She tries her best to find a reason but seems to fail. When people ask why she looks radiant on certain day, she will just say I love the food, I love the weather, I love this, I love that — simply for courtesy with a bit of honesty compromised due to inability to give exact reason.
Perhaps the reason is because the footprints of falling in love is greater than the scars of broken heart. Alas! It might not be. Or, it might be. Come on, it might not be. Ah! That’s not important.
Oh? She doesn’t know. And it is ok to feel that way – blissfully joyful with unknown reason like when she is falling in love, unreasonable — her love did go to that that she never ever thought of getting on the way then suddenly gone away.
Woman is human being With exactly the same rights as man to be human being. All her decisions should be respected like man’s decisions should be respected, too. It is not a privilege to be a woman like it is not a privilege to be a man, too. It is a privilege to be a woman like it is a privilege to be a man, too.
In some culture woman is discriminated based on different things, but overall the discrimination is simply because she is a woman. Don’t worry, culture sustains when human being preserves it. So let’s change the discrimination culture by promoting a non-discriminative mindset.
In some culture though woman overdoes her fight of emancipation that makes herself suffer with no gain.
There should be no fighting between man and woman because the existence of both doesn’t generate competition. It is a complimentary and supplementary relationship for one another in different levels or fields of roles and responsibilities that are agreed without discrimination, harassment or abuse just because of being a woman or a man.
Ah! It is good for her to be a woman. And I know it is good for him to be a man.
Time travels with you To where good memories sit, Waiting to rejoice.
When I was a girl, I got sick very often. Yet what I remember the most isn’t the pain but is how my family would take care of me. Of course they medically treated me either at home or hospitalised, but there was a unique way I can never forget what my mother, father and siblings did extra.
My father would chant Javanese mantra that would calm me down. My mother would wrap me with a sheet of batik cloth before putting the next thicker blanket. And of course siblings especially sisters would sleep with me the whole night.
What Javanese mantra chanted by father? Oh can’t remember! What batik, I definitely remember it and now own it for the same need; covering myself with batik gringsing when sick.
Gringsing is one of the oldest batik background patterns in Java. It is thousands of tiny square with a dot in the center symbolising “sedulur papat kalima pancer” (literally means 4 siblings and 1 core as the fifth) the cosmic balance of human reality in Javanese wisdom. And through the philosophy it is believed that when a Javanese human is sick, s/he is cosmically imbalanced and needs to be balanced. Physically s/he is medically treated, metaphysically s/he is cured with gringsing the balance symbol.
Gringsing is an acronym of gring or gering (sick, not well, ill) and sing (not); gringsing means not sick anymore. Oh! That simple! Made by hand! Oh! Not that simple!
Today I had a lunch chat with a colleague. We discussed about this and that and of course how we both grow more grey hair, more fat and of course more wisdom.
I remember when I was 30’s I said to him I was so afraid of growing old alone. Now I’m growing old alone and I’m not afraid. Today I said to him that I’m afraid of dying alone and he lightly said “No one wants to die with you or with anyone else, girl! No one!”
I laughed and said “Damn! you’re right!”
And I made a good decision right during the convo that I won’t be afraid of being alone! Everything is gonna be alright!
But he said something before saying goodbye “And you’d better be a bit stingy to those not helping!”
“Damn! You’re right again!”
Life is fair but life is also not fair so we’d better know how to surf! Unfortunately, I don’t like surfing, I’m just gonna be biking!
A flower blooms, dries to fall off or falls to dry at time in place for a given moment. It lives then dies. It blossoms or prematurely drops.
Some flowers are admired, some are not even noticed. Some are vibrantly coloured, some are dead dull. Some are meticulous, some are straightly simple. Some produce edible fruits, some the poisonous.
It’s about flower, the beauty in itself, although most view points perceive the look differently. Absolute beauty sits where it is, lingering forever as values and concepts. Relative beauty fades away through aging, some even without being remembered as memory or history.
It’s about flower, the one in a palace and that in a lawn.
Go solo travel Through blocked road, dead end With fright, thirst and hope! Trees will tell you where to go. Sun will tell you when to halt.
I (almost) always travel alone and I love it. It is not only business trip but also travel for leisure.
My first impressive adventurous solo travel was at 12 with my red mini bike. I would bike from home to my uncle’s home in a hilly district. It was about one hour ride of 7 kilometers away excluding all the U turns of getting lost in quite rough terrain in the route. I was excited doing it though because of nieces and nephews waiting to play with and the agriculture experience to enjoy. The up-hill biking to uncle’s home was my private getaway until my little brother insisted joining.
Another impressive solo travel of mine was in Bandar Lampung where I visited elephant and rhino conservation centres. Unfortunately the sweet young me was still innocent that people thought I was welcoming them; and I got sexual-physically harassed. Lucky me to be saved by a bus driver — wherever you are (maybe you away already because you looked like 60 years old when I was 26), you are blessed, Pak Supir!
And the excitement of the first impressive solo travel and the most dangerous one have combined to be a sufficient foundation for me to be a 99% solo traveler until now.
Traveling solo, I learn and improve how to cope with life challenges: languages, culture, human behaviour, security, etc. Yet I can enjoy the trips as I wish without having to wait for others moving slower or having to be dragged by others moving faster. It is almost always about excitement, freedom and privacy!
The bravest trip of mine was to Bangladesh in 2011. Plane touched down at 12am. Taxi waited in a corner that will be considered dangerous spot by any normal women on earth. Hotel was totally different from what was described online. Food was a bit below my hygiene par but I had to show my respect by eating with (fake) happy look! Yet I was truly happy to meet 3 new friends who hosted me with genuine hospitality (no fakey smiley like in some countries on earth I won’t mention); they brought me to city parks, mosques, slum areas, high end areas, etc in Dhaka. That was one paradoxically the happiest-saddest trip where I met the most skinny dogs and poor people right in front of luxurious houses. The most teary nights ever!
My smoothest, most expensive was 20-day solo travel in Europe: expensive flights, flights between countries, 1st class trains between cities and countries, taxi rides, good hotels, accessible public facilities, drinkable water free of charge!, good choices of food…. very little warm smile though. My favourite cities are still Amsterdam with so many Indonesians that warmed my soul and Madrid with so many handsome men that freshened my eyes! 😂
Do I still want to travel alone? YES! but not 99% anymore, maybe will be 75%. I have a small group of semi-backpacker ladies who will be best neighbours when I retire. So they might be my travel buddies when I want to share some itinerary with.
I miss traveling!!!
Next destination? I don’t know…. The virus has evolved from physical barrier to physio-socio-psycho-political block for me to move around! God bless you, dear Corona.
Sometimes a challenge or deadline is needed like fertiliser sprinkled on to the soil to trigger more chemical, biological, physical reactions from the root dancing in the ground to go deeper and healthier so that the tree grows even stronger and taller.