The Estuary

Rivers change their flows,
Meet salt, join tides, become sea
In an estuary.

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Eyes are a lagoon where tears are gliding through to the ocean of realities before evaporating then giving up what’s not serving anymore and turning grief into spirit to achieve the next milestones.

Soul is what’s peeping out through two windows, zooming in and out of what life presents to the self, finding the best view with accuracy and precision to gain clarity.

There won’t be anything wasted. All is flowing, without stopping. Like rivers that keep moving from soft to fast flows before finally joining a vast ever-moving force named the sea.

May all beings be happy. 💝

an estuary in Sempu Island, East Java – a hidden gem, hope it stays (relatively) hidden 💝

Sensing Softest Move

A dust falls on lake,
Minute ripples pulse softly.
Sensitivity—

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You’re not exaggerating, Beloved. It is the sensitivity amplified, with the quietness of the mind.

And it is not a disturbance anymore. It is a greeting to remind that you’re not alone.

May all beings be happy.

“Rippling Along” by Jack Wolf

Picture borrowed from http://photography blogger.net

Beautifully Wounded

She’s dancing freely
Between needles of the rain.
Wounds in a bright soul—

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She loves rain as much as she adores rainy days. It reminds her of millions of water needles sharply in high speed falling on earth, different parts of earth.

Heart rain washing a rainforest is a blessing, flood in Jakarta tortures many stray animals and the underprivileged.

It’s not the pain, Beloved. It’s what’s left after suffering.

Are you still beautiful?

May all beings be happy.

snowdrops after heavy rain

Picture is borrowed from https://wallpaperaccess.com

Friendly Green

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

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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. 💝

No Distance Ever Be

Distance, Beloved,
Isn’t how far you’re from me.
It’s how soft the voice
Can reach your heart. These whispers
Slide through the space of the rain.

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Have a good weekend! 🌱

Lily, Salt Or Drop of Ocean?

They gild the lily,
Making them salt to the sea.
Ocean in a drop—

———————————————————-

When I was very young, I could desperately envy those who were physically beautiful, intelligently wise and, spiritually mature at the same time. How could people be blessed with such full readiness to face the complex life and completeness to address its various issues? I’m sure I wasn’t alone; many human beings were on the same boat with me.

Yet getting older has helped me not want anything but more consistently feeling comfortable to be my own self and realising that those perfect people only looked perfect because they were perceived through imperfect eyes (my young ones 😉).

Proofs and revelation then taught me acceptance to live with limitation, imperfection and physical flaws. In many ways I’ve seen blessings in me more than the perfect.

Being ordinary has saved me from getting high demands to be a gorgeous woman who should move gracefully in front of the crowd, a pious person who should perform religion disciplinedly or a wise friend who should give good advices when needed anytime. I’m blessed!

Being ordinary has driven me to live with only two goals: to enjoy being my own self and to do what’s best in life to be as much beneficial in my short life. With not much to choose, life is forced to be the integration between persistence and dedication, a commitment of body, mind and soul.

Fortunately being flawed is like an ocean. Ocean is full of beauty especially the deeper the diver is willing to explore; like Captain Nemo who found beauty in the depth of the sea that wasn’t witnessed by those who never traveled in Nautilus. However, thousands of cubics of any possible wastes are also dumped to the vast water: plastics, oil, waste water, many kinds of garbage and probably millions of memories drawn by broken hearts. A perfect beauty full with paradox!

Rumi reminds through one of his verses “You are not a drop in the ocean; you are the entire ocean in a drop”. A perfection in imperfection—

Truly an existence is perfect when with natural flaws and complete acceptance.

Nothing is more blessed than accepting one’s own self and taking care of one along the journey.

Summary of today’s conversation with my best friend 🐣

May all beings be happy 💝

be perfume, even best eyes can’t see but good nose can smell

Hey, Gardeners

Plants greet gardeners,
Life shows generosity.
Optimism springs.

————————————————

Sometimes what she needs is optimising the sight in enjoying spectrums of light reflected through colours around her and rests. Then only a meadow of no feeling…. All can be called whatever it is, she prefers calling it beauty.

She realises rain has brought a lot of happiness to the orchids. It probably contains fertiliser triggering blooms and blossoms. Strong roots, healthy leaves, appearing flower stems, keiki. Thank you.

Nature greets those who’d like to take care of others who also want to survive, even the least of care is repaid.

Salaam….

these what make an amateur gardener stay longer in the shower room – enjoying the beauty of colours and looking down a crowded crossroad
pretty!
pretty!
pretty!
pretty!
pretty!

Favourite Things Might Not Be The Best Done

Billowing smoke. Up.
Reaching ceiling. What’s next, eh?
Go to sleep in peace.

————————————————————-

My favourite at the weekend or public holiday is cooking and (of course) sleeping!

Nicely looking food though doesn’t always come out with the good taste or the other way around. Eyes though aren’t always willing to stop blinking and just sleep away luring the dream to arrive soon. It’s fine, it’s fine.

I sometimes wonder how brain regulates its own waves. It’s fine, it’s fine.

So? Still want to keep the favourite things as cooking and sleeping? That’s the plan: keeping favourite things although they are not the ones I best do.

Salaam….

😘😘😘😆
🥰🥰🥰😃

Soft Heart, Possible?

Fire melts metal,
Taming its hard side of life.
A shout to soft heart—

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Hardship in life train two muscles: physical body and mental body.

The harder the exercises, the harder and tougher the physical body is. Punches will only hit hard strong muscle and a hit back can even beat the attacker.

In fact the harder life tests a human being with challenges, the softer one’s heart could be. Soft heart isn’t a sign of weakness, it is kindness or even wisdom. And wisdom is the purest strength.

A Javanese wisdom reflects how a soft heart can build someone’s attitude and behaviour: sugih tanpa bandha, digdaya tanpa aji, ngluruk tanpa bala, menang tanpa ngasorake.

Sugih tanpa bandha: Someone can feel rich without money or property. She can own treasure, wealth, fortune more precious than what money can buy. The true richness is a soft heart that can contain a lot of opportunity to learn lessons and preserve the heritage of life wisdom of being a human. Only soft heart can do that.

Digdaya tanpa aji: Someone can be powerful without physical strength. Only clear mind and soft heart can shape her to a powerful individual through whom solutions and ways out are channeled. Don’t ever worry, Beloved that having a good heart is in vain. At the end it is soft heart who drives good mind and it is also soft heart who invites true appreciation and respect.

Ngluruk tanpa bala: fighting without ally sometimes happens in life. Or always? Yes, when she fights against her own imbalanced judgement or inharmonious thinking, that’s when she doesn’t have ally. She is alone. No one can help her. She needs her own self and her alone. It is soft heart her sole ally to win every battle inside.

Menang tanpa ngasorake: winning without defeating or humiliating others. What do we need but victory? Yet victory isn’t always about winning against others in arguments or race. Victory is at the end about learning what weakness lies beneath a failure to appreciate and respect a relationship of any form: blood ties, friendship, romance, etc. And only soft heart can calm her down from intensity of defeating or humiliating others. The softer her heart, the better others feel about themselves. As a result those who are not feeling belittled will make space; and only soft heart will be given space without second thought.

Unfortunately it is applicable only in relationships without money as the basis. Sad? No. I can apply it happily outside business arena, a space which is broader and deeper than it looks. Step by step…. 💝

Salaam…

a soft heart, as soft as moist marble cake 🥰

7

Numbers, Beloved,
Tell you what life has brought in.
Blissful happiness—

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7 or pitu in Javanese is an abbreviation of pitulungan that means help, aid, assistance, support in any form in a situation when a Javanese feels helpless and hopeless.

In life I believe whatever enjoyed whether it’s a tiny achievement or accessibility have always been in 3 forms of pitulungan: from my ally, my enemy or from the invisible.

It’s my ally for sure. They will never let me down because when I lose, they will lose as much as or even worse than I do. We’ll work together to achieve our common goals. My family, my friends, my colleagues.

The enemy? Believe it or not, I’ve won a lot of battles with the help from enemy. Unfortunately they never realise that the harm they caused have been the best fuel for me to boost myself to achieve what they’ve never thought would happen with their bad influence and/or actions. My enemy think their strikes against me will ruin me. Oh never, my dear. You throw me bricks, I build a castle!

And the invisible is a never-ending support I’ve received since I was a baby. I was born difficult my mother said. I got sick when I was a girl. I grew in an environment where popularity was the most appreciated; if you were ordinary (although with high quality of quotients), you would not be appreciated. I grew up humble and naive and knew nothing about (dirty) competition. If I’m not protected by the invisible, I would have lost every battle against opportunists and deceivers.

I’m so lucky to be surrounded by 7, pitu-pitulungan, a number the Javanese sacredly celebrate. And the three layers of 7? Definitely mine!

Thanks, 7. You’re not the 7 sins or evil other people consider. You’re not the 7 of bad luck on crap tables.

You’re a 3-layer 7 sent by the Life to protect me forever.

May all beings be happy.

7 feathers

Make Peace

Make peace, Beloved,
With the softest anger in.
Growing peaceful stars—

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🌱

Weekend, bring the peace intact.

Salaam 🙏🏼

batik truntum to cover my working chair; truntum is taken from a Javanese word “tumaruntum” meaning growing

Never Give Up

Don’t stop, Beloved
Before a full stop. Milestones
Aren’t end of game.

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The father in law of a friend of mine is heavily sick in his 80’s. Never before she called me in that weak tone; not her normal tone. She’s been one of my great supporters especially in career. And I felt a hit of sadness —like when my father was diagnosed with cancer—when she said that his father in law is in a very critical condition. She took some days of personal leave and she might be working in the hospital to observe his progress more closely.

I said to her that things are gonna be ok whatever the end is.

She didn’t say anything. But at the end of the call she said that she’s doing her very best and will not give up until the final turn out to an end.

Life is a journey with lines of milestones to be celebrated, to be commemorated, to be reckoned and she is doing one of them now.

May all beings be happy.

🙏🏼

💐

Ant Nest

Ant nest hills up high
A place for a colony
To devote in life

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Ants are amazing creature. All about them are just amazing! The way they distribute the work. The way they do their jobs. The way they live in a community. The way they treat fellow and leaders (obviously the queens). The way they collect their food. The way they kill their preys, etc, etc just the way ants are.

To survive ants must live in a colony that can be inside trees or underground. In the colony that they respect and protect they devote their life with extraordinary loyalty. Loyal to their queens. Loyal to their fellow ants. Loyal to their responsibility—

Ants might be small but they amazingly are able to carry something of 10 to 50 times their own body weight!

Ants can swim! I can’t understand why my mom would put a bowl of sweet in a plate filled with water; she said ants wouldn’t reach the sweet because they couldn’t cross the water. Ibuuuuu! Ants swim. Maybe better than us 😂

Ants are slave makers! This is very new to me! Excerpted article (https://www.westernexterminator.com/ants/10-interesting-facts-ants/)

This may sound strange but hear us out. Some species of ant, such as the Polyergus lucidus are known as slave-making ants. They invade neighboring ant colonies, capturing its inhabitants and forcing them to work for them. This process is known as ‘slave raiding’.

Slave-making ants are specialized to parasite a single species or a group of related species which are often close relatives to them. The captured ants will work as if they were in their own colony, while the slave-making workers will only concentrate on replenishing their labor force.

Slave-making ants come in two formats: permanent social parasites and facultative slave-makers. Permanent social parasites rely on the enslaved ants throughout their lives whilst facultative slave-makers do not.

Which ants are you? Regardless, I built an ant nest for all of you 😁

the “ant nest cake” aka “bolu sarang semut” in Bahasa Indonesia is named after its texture that looks like ant nest structure. It tastes heaven! 🥰
look at the tunnels and chambers in the ant nest! not bad for a beginner 😁
hot brown ring of first “sarang semut” of mine
put the wok lid when the bubbles intensify
I found that we can replace oven with a wok! Magic? No! Just a technicality 😁
caramelizing the sugar, hot as hell!!!
🐣

Moment

Moment, Beloved
The breeze before falling rain
Greets the earth. A joy—

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Moment is when an experience gets clicked with all senses, falls on to the right-chosen meanings, stays for a longer time.

Yet each moment should vanish, fade away, blend into pixels of maturity in someone’s life. It will be forgiven, might be forgotten, must be learnt as life lessons. How delicious this life is for those who are willing to appreciate both shade and light. How beautiful life is as it is composed by millions of pixels of different experiences whose essence is memorable.

The more experience, the better? Yes, only when its essence is memorable. Its essence is memorable only when all senses are capturing the experience and reflecting it through lesson learnt. Or else, it is just motion gone with the tick-tock of a clock— not forgiven, not forgotten, no learnt-lesson.

Walking through the lanes around Masjid Sultan, sitting at the verandah of an old shop lot, reading new old-book from Wardah Books, drinking Turkish coffee, sucking the sweetness of kunefe, breathing the air right before the rain, hearing the warm chats from other tables are all motions which are waiting for the moment to disclose beauty before things end. The taste of life!

Weekend is always much appreciated through slow pace, to balance the fast-paced demanding targets that are relevant for a preparation before the next beneficial life journey.

May all beings be happy.

books before coffee, coffee before sugar, sugar before smiles
taken it many many times, still favourite Turkish food of mine
dear Lamp, is anyone living inside of you?

Alaturka Mediterranean and Turkish Restaurant, gonna be back again (and again) 🥇

a pretty corner
eyes everywhere, omnipresent omniscient

Be Willing To Be Reborn

Rebirth, Beloved,
Rose budding after winter,
Welcoming her spring

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A long lost friend texted me yesterday and asked if I could accompany her to buy sari and some Indian accessories for Deepavali Day celebration in the school where she is now working. Of course I made myself available. And we agreed to meet in Little India at 6pm which I missed. We both met at 6:30pm.

This friend was gone as if evaporating in 2017. Contacted, no reply, not even delivered. My last message to her in 2019 was “Are you still alive?”

Out of the blue she texted me using a new number in 2020 “How are you, friend? I miss you. Let’s meet up.” We were supposed to meet in October 2020 but never happened.

It was a cool rendezvous! We browsed the market to find the most beautiful yet the cheapest sets of costumes for the will-be-merry celebration.

At 9pm we decided to enjoy our dinner in one Indian restaurant before going home. And there she told me why she didn’t meet anyone of us. Now I become more and more convinced that the brightest person can have the darkest time in life. Luckily there’s a light at the end of the darkest tunnel if one is willing to move forward, not quitting.

We’ve been born as a human baby; and we can be reborn as anything good if we want to. One of the best is to be reborn as a new hope with good friends around!

The decision is ours.

May all beings be happy. 💝

a perfect combination of blue and green
pretty Indian kameez
dangling earrings!
bangles!
necklaces!
excitement brought some henna painting 🥰 first of mine in life, will have another one some day! 🎉
dangling sets for clearance (3 pairs for SGD10!) I took one pair, my friend 2! 🥰 pretty!

Sunflower

It’s Helianthus
Following Helium core,
Breathing in the life.

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Sufficient for me is you, and you’re where I give myself over to.

May all beings be happy. 💝

Breathe The Life

Flow to the ocean,
Swim in the sea of blessings.
Experience life.

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Who doesn’t like good smell? Not necessarily perfume, yet perfume is one most common celebrated fragrance other than food—

While many perfume brands provide the customers with their concoction of scents, there are two prominent brands offering different ways of how they sell their collections.

One brand is making the perfumes following customers’ taste or favourite scents after some discussion. The assistant will go in to their “lab chamber” and go back after a couple of minutes presenting a bottle of perfume as what have been discussed. I love the rose that I chose— some orange as too note with rose in the middle and no base.

Another brand is even more transparently doing it. They spread bottles of many kinds of oil that are categorised in 3 perfume notes: top, middle and base. The customers are free to choose which and how many percents of each of them they want to have in the concoction. To me it’s an interesting experience, making me think of how my scent last: light, heavy, long lasting or not. Once the customers decide, the assistant will go to a lab corner open to the guests. The assistant will measure and weigh how much of those 3 notes are wanted. Customers can talk to her/him and try on the weighed mixture before finally they are ok with the customised fragrance. Some minutes later….

Tada! A bottle of a “perfume signature” is produced!

Another interesting feature: customers are allowed to engrave a 4-to-6-character word on the bottle! For free!

It’s like experiencing “I hear, I know. I see, I remember. I do, I understand.”

Welcome, next week.

she is concocting a signature perfume for a customer

Moment To Simply Live

Life pace, Beloved
Chosen wisdom, loved glory
Of everyday life—

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I wish to retire at 52 and will be a person with not too many layers of identity, being a human being living a slower-paced life, contributing to smaller society and community with my own hands with all my heart and soul, respected as I am I am not as I am who is associated to prominent organizations.

One of good friends reminded me to get prepared for that will definitely be a much different life. There won’t be luxurious facilities enjoyed, privilege given, smiles and hand shake or bow. She says it’s gonna be a true life though loved and respected by those with genuine love and respect. No transactional courtesy, all is about friendship and humanity.

When? Still long time to go but short enough because now I live in a fast-paced life.

Time to prepare.

Once retired, I won’t want to be in contact with those who have respected me because of business or money. They should be eliminated from friendship. They will deserve others who have the capacity.

May all beings be happy. 💝

next one week flower arrangement
enjoy the moment
extended appreciation to those in my heart
someday flowers will be daily life for me, not weekly anymore