Life Is

Life is a mystery. Human to solve it. Not always successful, yet it is worth doing.

Life is a gift. Human to thank for it. Not always easy, yet it is worth doing.

Life is a journey. Human to travel it. Not always smooth, yet it is worth doing.

Life is love. Human is to accept it. Not always sweet, yet it is worth doing.

Life is of this or that to be experienced. Human is to keep living within the given time, a line between two points. There is so much to take and give and I thank for everything — that I know when I know, that I know when I don’t know.

Will not ignore how precious this life is. Will always be patient with this self in experiencing it.

🙏🏼

clovers

Luck Vibes

Yellow lucky leaves
Pop up unexpectedly.
Answers to wishes.

Dream come true is not always with work only. It might be with some enchanted wishes, self encouragement, ranting when upset, sleeping when tired and beloved ones’ prayer — all acting as the x factor. In a package those can be summed up as human being determination.

Ignore those demotivating and/or disrespecting. They try to distract, but let them be out of the equation for a while. Just blow them a kiss. 😘

Weekend is a bridge between two islands. Walk on it slowly with a smile. Don’t forget to hum love songs. 💕

🍀

never found in my attempt to get a clover pendant to bring my birthday annual staycation wish come true; a pair of clover studs greeted me in Bangkok yesterday – won’t let a chance be a waste 🍀 i feel lucky most of the time – thank you!

Feel Good No Matter What

The room becomes bright
With two smiles under dim light.
Feel good with good sight.

—-

I met a good friend and he could not stop talking about how hard it has been for him to feel good behind his (nice) smile. He said that he is constantly in stress of silent competition at work or in loneliness far away from family. He said that people around him seem unhappy to see others happy.

Me: Normal! It happened to me when I was young. Getting older, it is easier to accept what is.

GF: You did compete? Unbelievable! You seem to have neither ambition to excel nor spirit to live. Low profile, high product yuck! Your motto sucks!

Me: I did lightly. You’re still young so just enjoy your competitiveness and being away from family. Make more friends and only one girlfriend. Some day you will be where I am now when nothing is worth chasing except cockroach to kill.

GF: So you feel good all the time?

Me: Most of the time only, not all the time lah… I am not a Barbie doll.

GF: Meaning you never have problem?

Me: Do I look like not having problem?

GF: I know you have problems and are sometimes upset about people.

Me: Ya, I do have problems. People confront me. I confront people. But I minimise blaming others. Most thing if not everything is about me making incorrect decisions. I am sometimes very very unhappy about others, too. I act boldly occasionally to show boundary.

GF: And you still can feel good when you are not happy?

feel good is contagious

Me: Yes, I have a lot of distractions ready: work, books, orchids, painting, people although mostly not them, biking, cooking. End the unhappy time fast.

GF: How?

Me: Distract yourself. Flip the coin to the other side. And remember feel good is contagious. At least you don’t look gloomy when you feel good.

GF: So how do you think I should feel good when my colleague stabs me in the back?

Me: Feel good that it is not you stabbing people in their back. Thank God for showing the real friends to you.

GF: Argh! I want to punch his face!

Me: Ouch! Will it make you feel good?

GF: Maybe, but makes me look not good, then makes me feel not good.

Me: Wow! You master it already!

GF: But don’t you realise some people will get offended even when we feel good and do things as we are? They think we are insensitive. They think we are ridiculing them.

Me: Why care? You only need your approval to do something that makes you feel good, with one condition: that you do it without intension of offending or hurting others.

GF: If they get offended?

Me: I…. Don’t…. Care….

GF: Okaaaaaay! Hey! How is the food?

Me: Not so good 😩 The worst tom yum on earth!

GF: Agree. So is it because you are not able to appreciate the food? And how do you minimise blaming others in this case?

Me: Of course I blame the chef! You think I am his mother? Let’s not be back to this restaurant again.

GF: 😂😂😂

Lessons learnt: stay away from chatty friends when hungry, be relaxed when talking to young men as they explode easily, find a good restaurant or cook your own tom yum, get older without grudge, avoid those disrespecting you, laugh joyfully

see you again, Bangkok! thank you for bringing me this funny friend and the APEC meeting 2022 😩 both make me feel like a good human being: acting wise to one and waking up early because of the other 😊

Flood Lesson

Floods come with big rain,
Worsened by the blocked drainage.
Leaving mud story

A big flood happened in Jakarta in Feb 2007. It trapped many people in the buildings for almost the whole day (even longer in some area) or inside cars for at least 6 hours (even more in some location). Those in the office just stayed in the office. We on the road moved inch by inch as only narrow part of the road was “safe” from water — no, no, not dry at all; it was standing water almost like ripply shallow ocean.

The cause of flood in Jakarta is the extremely heavy rain plus bad drainage system in Greater Jakarta.

I was on the road back in 2007 flood day for 8 hours feeling stuck: no food or drink, no toilet (the worst of all the experiences), with random collection of songs played in a music player low bat before even I reached half of a normal journey home.

It was only one day or two of misery; the next year we all laughed at each other’s story. A friend who peed in to a bottle in the car. A friend who decided to leave his car on the road and went home on foot finding the car moving far away from where it was left the next day. Some friends who cried afraid of losing chance to meet the family but the family especially children thought that flood was fun time. Many friends whose floors and walls were messily coated with mud mixed with rubbish and creepy crawly after the flood and they found stuff that were lost for years through cleaning the mud.

We’ve learnt the lessons yet it takes time to fix such a systemic issue. Jakarta, you can!

I’ve learnt my lesson too that tragedy + time = comedy. A simple equation without unknown factor except how much time is stretched. God speed!

Salaam.

from this
to this
also this and more….
simple equation, just 9 no complicated combination

Prancing in A Tunnel

A line of this heart remembers
What’s not even in memories.
Flowing clean river hidden in the sky—
The other line of this heart remembers
Only what’s imprinted through relations.
Murky pool standing around the earth—

Don’t have the right to be missed
With these limited memories.
This sky is hidden by the cloud—
Don’t have the right to be remembered
With absence of relations.
This earth is full of locked doors.

Can only miss what’s not imprinted.
Can only remember what’s hidden.
Still beautiful
Still amazing
Yet hidden
Yet secretive
Circled around between hearts
That read what’s not inky written.

There’s an end
To a dream.
It’s when coming true
Or coming dead.
And that’s the light at the end of a tunnel
Of light
Of wide spectrum
In which we’re prancing.

Choose your colour.

you don’t remember me, I do; you don’t see me, I do; you don’t hear me, I do; you don’t smell me, I do; you don’t taste me, I do; you don’t touch me, I do — when you close the door, I stay yet I’m blocked from you 💗

Too Good To Be True

Too good to be true,
Yet too long to be untrue;
A dangling long dream—

this song is an ever green for a love that is beyond reach 🥰
my sister introduced Frank Sinatra to me through this song; I love you Mbak Yuda, you’re a best sister
strong message from Banksy; thank you, Banksy!

Ocean Welcomes

Ocean welcomes all,
River flown and rain fallen.
Friends in a friendship—

A meet up with my first mentor training me in my current profession almost 20 years ago. He and his wife are in Singapore to celebrate their 10th wedding anniversary and spend this whole day to meet up with me: shopping in Orchard Road Apple Store, browsing around looking for my favourite Japanese restaurant that was found closed down since 2021, having lunch (Indonesian food in Singapore….? Oh my) walking around Orchard Road, taking MRT for fun, enjoying evening coffee in Starbucks Bugis Junction before our farewell.

This wise couple gave me a bunch of advices to be this and to be that…. How lovely this life is to have friends who are willing to share their (personal) experiences for precious lesson learning.

Thank you, Pak Donny and Mbak Maya. See you in Jakarta! 💗🙏🏽

Alfatihah to my dear friends.

three mugs, different content, enjoyed from the same table

Walk Back Not

There’s only one way to leave a forest: its edge. Throw away the doubt.

life is too precious to play complicated games; take away unknown factors from the equation and find a home 🥰
Yogyakarta, a place I dream of being a home when all these muscles give up the hardship – maybe yes maybe no, my bothers said; I said again “at least I know it is now my home”

What Is Money

Not answered questions:
Those to be pinned with meanings
By them questioning—

Surabaya did sum up my medium-length end-of-year holiday of mine. Hosted by one best friend, this 32-hour visit meant much to me: a lot of chat and enough food.

With this best friend open discussion is a routine. Last night’s discussion while driving around the city was everything about money. We both treat money differently. She is a better financial planner, I am a learner.

We used to be curious about what money truly was. Money discussion had always been a hot topic before and last night we both finally agreed that money can be defined as anything according to the one managing it.

We know different types of friends and their behaviour towards money. There are friends who meticulously count money (stingy), friends who think money is a symbol of welfare (social status), friends who consider money is everything (arrogant), friends who consider money is treasure (stupid), friends who consider money is nothing (careless), friends who don’t believe that money is a thing (maybe almost dead), friends who have little money (poor), friends who constantly borrow money (lazy). Complete experience. 🙂

What is money to us? We both don’t have special place for money at the same time we have special space for money. It is a tool. It is the replaceable at times, the irreplaceable at others. It is what it is with given context. We both agree that a question of “what is money” doesn’t need an accurate answer; it just needs honest response. Answer is too rigid and feels like a reaction; response is more flexible and almost a wisdom. Example? If having money makes us think we are more respectable than others, that is an accurate answer. If having no money makes us think we are less than others, that is an accurate answer. If having money makes us more functional as human beings in some situation, that is an honest response. If having no money makes us less complaining and harder working, that is an honest response.

We both don’t expect to be in forever comfort by having so much money yet don’t want to live uncomfortably because of having not enough money. We simply want to have sufficient amount as what is needed in life.

This visit puts me back on track that “life is just like that” at the same time “life is worth fighting for and beautifully living” with good will and a small touch of power from money.

Before driving me to the airport, she commented on my eyes.

BF: Have you put eyeliner?

Me: No

BF: Told you to always put eyeliner. You have one?

Me: Ya

BF: What colour?

Me: Brown

BF: No, no. Try blue.

Me: (frown on my forehead). I don’t have blue one.

BF: Try this. (handing a blue eyeliner to me)

Me: (reluctantly putting blue eyeliner on both eyes)

BF: Look at that! Brighter eyes! Ok, take it. Wear blue eyeliner more.

Me: Ok, as long as not green that turns me to a green-eyed. How much is it?

BF: I am not selling it to you. A tiny token of friendship. Not everything should be paid with money. Thanks for the birthday gift, too.

Thank you. Happy birthday, Madam Scorpio.

See you again.

Salaam.

see you, Surabaya 💝

Manusia

Manusia mengembarai langit
Manusia menyusuri cakrawala
Tidak untuk menguasainya
Melainkan untuk menguji dirinya
Apakah dia bertahan menjadi manusia,
Tidak untuk hebat kuasa atau perkasa
Melainkan untuk setia sebagai manusia.

(Emha Ainun Nadjib)

Good morning, Surabaya. You did a lot of moulding to this human being. Thank you!!! 💝

thank you 💝 for making me a human being; I won’t give up moulding this self to be loyal to being humane

Visit

Garden of the death
Where pray and wish are whispered
To eternity—

plaque of cemetery of kings of Mataram
gate to the bathing pool for women; women should at least take ablution before entering the graveyard complex
gate to the graveyard complex of kings of Mataram; visitor can only enter this enclosure by wearing Javanese apparel: kemben for female and surjan for male
as I didn’t want to wear kemben, I preferred not entering the graveyard complex and decided to take some pics (with my bag) under a tropical fruit tree called kepel aka Stelechocarpus burahol

Friendship

Hello, dear friendship.
This ship is sailing smoothly,
Storms don’t ruin our cruise.

Four are (fake) backpackers. One is (true) camper. We all sail together in a ship called friendship.

Alfatihah.

💝

a visit to a best friend’s youth center, this woman dedicates her life to accompany those needing support; the main house is for the classes, sitting room and kitchen; the front is a pendhopo for bigger discussion group plus tiny senthong for library
a visit to a best friend, a Javanese dancer cum lecturer, the wife of a late most well-known puppeteer in the country and the mother of a most sought-after teenage puppeteer in the island 💝 god bless her and family 💗 dear photographer, why do you always block me in group selfie? 🙃
Yuki after playing with my dress 😍 hey, you’ll meet a vet , you’d better watch out 😁

Feel Good

Don’t let anything and anyone be a happiness snatcher even if they hurt you unintentionally or intentionally.

Feel good is successfully deciphering the codes in my life.

final hunt of interior doors and window done!
4 windows, 3 doors – not easy to find lovable ones in tact in high quality; thanks to an antique collector who is willing to let go off his collection to me 🙏🏼

Green Backyard

The green yard behind
Is where greets and smiles soft-land
On the plate and glass.

Jiwa Jawi’s my backyard – found that the owner is a good friend of my best friend’s. she briefed me about the environment and seems that i can only raise cats, not dogs 😁
torch ginger aka kecombrang one of the major herbs grown within Jiwa Jawi, the more than 15,000sqm-garden-home
iga sapi bumbu rujak, lunch today 😘
with neighbours to be after 6-hour chat filled with warmth laughter and experience sharing 💝 I humbly thank you!

A Home before A Home

Wondered about home.
Has wandered finding a home.
She’s learnt she’s a home.

Feel good is feel home wherever she is.

not bored (yet) with this place, d’Omah is my omah before my omah is fully ready for weekend getaway
messing around before unpacking
Mbah Petruk, you’re not supposed to be in my bathroom – ladies only 😆

Mother’s Story

Tragic is comic
After fermentation time.
Dark jokes bring bright joy.

We always remember how our father loved our mother. He liked giving gifts to her and doing household chores like cleaning the floor and doing heavy laundry. Yet he also enjoyed teasing my mother around; his goal was to make her angry just to show that he was good at calming her down. 😂 Yet his strong affection to our mother did one extreme discomfort to her and some of us.

This morning my older siblings asked mother to re-tell a story that we the younger don’t record well as we were too young to save the moment. While they laughed before she started telling the story, we three waited curiously.

Mother: Once I went with my friend to a beauty parlour. She wanted to have her hair cut.

Younger children: With whom?

Mother: (mentioning a name that we are familiar with)

All children: (commenting about mother’s friend who happened to be a very fashionable woman at that time)

Mother: She said that I should have my hair made curly or at least wavy so I could look different. I said no because I should get permission from your father. But you know her, she was able to convince me to do it.

All children: (laughing and commenting about the lady who spent money like she would die today. Mother said that woman got much money from ex husbands so she deserved to do it.) So, curled or waved?

Mother: Medium curled

Older children: (laughing and commenting how she looked fresh but weird as we had never had anyone with curly hair in the family before)

Mother: When I reached home, your father seeing me with curly hair looked surprised. I thought it would be a terrific moment but then it changed to one terrible day. He was so angry, never before he became that angry.

Older children: Ya, I was shocked. Never saw him like that before—

Mother: I was not shocked with his reaction but the next action of his was a biggest discomfort in my life. He said he wanted to make the hair look better which I thought minor trimming and he took a pair of scissors.

Older children: I didn’t expect that to happen. He cut most of the curly hair and only left the one with very vague curls near the headskin. You were almost bald! (laughing) You became so not you.

Me: (upset) Why did’t you run to hide and protect your hair?

Older children: Hey! Don’t be too serious. He didn’t hurt her.

Me: But he hurt her pride! I won’t let my hair be screwed up by anyone.

Older children: I remember mother sobbed and I screamed to father to stop. He didn’t do it harshly, but I felt worried about her sobbing.

Me: Damn wrong thing! I never knew he would have this in the checklist.

Mother: No worry. He regretted and apologized on the same day. And trust me it was the only one bad thing he did to me. He said he didn’t want me to draw attention of other men.

Older children: Jeeeaaaalousy! We know some other things about his jealousy! You should tell more stories.

Mother: I think it was the best lesson for him about how he should not be too possessive.

All children: Yaaa!!! Agree!

Older children: Do you remember that you turned to be a better fashionista than her. I remember you wore turban and sometimes wigs.

Mother: Yes. And I guess he regretted it even more as I asked for different wigs and turbans until my hair was good enough to show.

What a comedy! Oops! What a tragedy turning to comedy after some time!

Lesson learnt: choose the best expression of love to avoid bad impression, don’t have your hair curled 😁, find a husband who doesn’t hate curly hair 😁, forgive your husband’s wrong expression while educating him, and see a comedy in a tragedy