Colours adorn day—
Connect it to a mood which
Is the token. Not?
Flowers can give positive vibes in the room and even in the house. Working from home takes more effort to stay vibrant as for at least 8 hours some employees won’t be in “real contact” with other human beings; online platform can’t fully accommodate the actual need of interaction among human beings.
One of my colleagues in China who has the same interest in flower with me sometimes sends pictures of her today’s flower display. Last week she sent white peony. She knows I really really really want to have peony, which isn’t available in Singapore.
To some ladies flower is a medicine, curing some disturbed moods.
What’s being neighbours?
Readily help and share with;
Willing to be, too—
My homebase starts materializing. Yay! It is in Yogyakarta, a small city that is socio-culturally integrated (different ethnic, religion and political groups are well blended), not so crowded and modern (sayonara, Jakarta!), with existing international airport, etc, etc, etc. And one most important thing is good friends are living there.
I always love to be and to have good and reliable neighbour(s). Those good friends will be my neighbours from whom I will get help and support when needed and who are willing to get helps and supports from me. They are not in the same housing complex but still in the same city.
For the past four days my menu has been all about banana. Banana for breakfast. Banana for lunch. Banana for dinner. Banana either cooked or just eaten not cooked. How much ever I felt bored with banana, I had to finish the banana because neighbours confirmed of not liking and wanting banana. Their expressions of “oh that banana?”, “banana hahaha”, “ummm banana but…” left a tiny puncture on my poverty pride. Maybe next time I’ll share gold or cash and see if the puncture moves to another point hahaha…
My “active neighbours” said to me it is not so common to share food with “any neighbours” nowadays. Or, they want to give but they don’t want to accept. Yes, yes, they are so right. I learnt another lesson about this people.
My so called “active neighbours” nowadays are the cleaning services and security guards with whom I can share food and wishes freely. Hey, hey I never share left over, all food is either cooked by me or packed from stores/restaurants purposefully for them. Respect to all my active neighbours. 🙏🏼
When I shared the pictures of those cooked banana in the Instagram and how much I’d love to share the banana (cooked or not cooked) with neighbours, my neighbours-will-be in Yogyakarta gave welcoming comments including they would love to share their cookings too, and that alone has made me confident of moving to that city and hopefully living comfortably there in the (not so near) future.
Sometimes I feel that I don’t belong to this place. Yet I know I have to be here for some time before leaving these things behind and enjoy being a human living side by side with others without other temporary identity; just being me, being human.
I know it will happen, not very soon; but it will happen. Now I am happy with this temporary identity and want to be a good neighbour for anyone who is willing to be my neighbour.
One more thing: I’ll grow banana in the future homebase and cook the best banana recipe and share it with neighbours there! 😂
Defined with honour,
Integrated in mindset:
Having beautiful dreams everyday for one week is blessings in a row. The best of mine recently was finding so many ruby stones while walking home. When waking up, sense of calmness and relief were present yet at the same time a question of whether happiness was here. In the dream I still had to polish the ruby to shine, but at least those stones were given to me.
A couple of years ago I joined a noble silence in Bali, a one-week-no-gadgets-no-books-no-media-no-talk-just-be-with-yourself-although-living-in-a-dorm-with-other-people-and-be-vegetarian-plus-meditation-almost-the-whole-day. A top luxury for someone like me
Not about the noble silence, but a lot of things came back to me especially on how happiness is perceived by different people with different social, cultural, economical backgrounds.
In that noble silence there attended many different people from all walks of life: someone working in a prominent firm in NYC, fashion designer from Paris with one’s daughter, a family from Australia, a rich flight attendant of one of the best airline on earth, a rich person naming himself a party animal, a young start up owner who once talked in front of a president of the super power, an entrepreneur from Spain with one’s daughter, all others I can’t remember who because we practically didn’t introduce each other further. We stared and smiled with each other maybe once for that one week because each was simply busy with one’s self.
I was surprised that those who appeared so proud and happy and unshakeable finally shared in the closing ceremony how they struggled in life and how the noble silence brought realisation to them — simply by befriending with themselves. We were broken with different reasons: family matters, public cases, friendship, romance, work, trauma, fear of things and so on and so forth.
One more thing, struggling is not about how big the problem is but it is about how something disturbs the state of one’s clear mind. Nothing is defined too small when it shakes the boat.
I miss another noble silence, one of the biggest luxuries of life.
This silence is so eloquent,
But still needs clarification.
What did you just say?
That love is blind?
That love is dumb?
That love is numb?
What did you just say,
Silence weeps bitterly.
Love is candid.
Love is painful.
Love is funny.
Love is simple
As simple as none....
Don’t trick me with words
The beauty of silence shouts more loudly than what you’ve uttered.
Bluff with verbs, not adjectives.
Walking hand in hand is more beautiful than telling me beautiful.
Not to be a grammarian, Beloved.
Use the grammar well.
Someday you’ll receive an unwritten book of love with which thousands of poems are softly breathed to survive this pain.
Do you mind whispering an address, Beloved?
This silence is dramatically eloquent but indeed much better than Korean drama.
Listen to the rants
Of those needing some ears. Who?
Maybe your own self—
I need fresh air and different taste today! Pretty hot day and my bike really needs long rest. So I decided to book a taxi to Bussorah Street. Why not MRT? Today the automatic-smile-to-people apps of mine broke down and my ears needed some entertainment from random drivers who -if you are lucky or unlucky depending on how you perceive it- will tell a lot of stories about the Gov, the people, etc.
And Universe answered! The driver was perfectly being upset with a passenger that scolded at him because the passenger thought he made a longer journey and so the passenger had to pay $16 instead of $9.
“Walao! He think such distance can ah with only $9? If he live in Sentausa, he sure got money whaaaaat?! And if always take taxi, he sure know it is at least $15!”
“He think because he is foreigner he ok do what he like haaaaaah?!”
“You know he said “f***ing ***hole” to me ! He think he got right say that to driver! This is first time I complain to my office about my passenger you know. Usually I don’t care la people bitter or not smile or not talk but this guy ah scolding ah you think ok ah?”
Oops! If that was really the words said to the driver, that was rude!
He ranted more…. actually the whole trip I was all ears for him. Thanks God for my patience today.
“You probably need some coffee, Sir,” said I.
“Ya la. I so angry! I didn’t take passenger after him, straight to coffee shop to have coffee then took your order la. Still angry you know! My company already took my complaint. Maybe also need blacklisted passenger you know. People should not behave rude to drivers blah blah blah”.”
“You need to walk to the street. Cannot enter, not allowed one, you know right?”
“Oh, no worry, Sir. I know this area quite well. Let me walk. This is the fare, please take the change, for your noon coffee.”
“Thank you. Thank you. Have a nice day!”
I walked down the street to go to a small bookstore which sells books that I won’t find in Kinokuniya. This hidden gem among all those nice restaurants feels much more special in this pandemic. There are still many people but probably only 30% of normal days when tourists are swarming like alate around the light.
This was a nice day! I brought home some reading and good food!
What’s life, Beloved?
Contribution, not duration—
How much not how long.
Once an engineer working in a battery manufacturing asked me why my mobile phone battery was almost always fully charged. I didn’t know people observed my mobile carefully.
He said “I don’t see many applications in your phone so the battery might not get drained quickly, Rijk.”
“You’re right, Sir. The activities I do in those few applications already take a lot of energy. More apps, more energy, yet mostly those apps are not used often. So….”
“Ahhh! A good choice to contribute better than to be a jack of all trade eh? Try this trick!” He told me some secret of how to keep phone battery live longer. “…. That way battery will stay strong, live a little longer than expected plus you’ve got the endurance you wish. Tell me if it works.”
He also said that it doesn’t apply only to battery. It is about how life is dedicated for. Some people feel satisfied with having a lot and enjoying long life in luxury. In fact, some people live to contribute more to their surrounding, not having so much —just enough to stay content and happy— and die meaningfully.
I don’t know if that senior citizen is still alive. If he died, I’m sure he died happy. Once his colleagues said his life was blessed because of his kindness and generosity.
Alas! I still want to live longer contributing more. Oh, greedy self me! 🤪
This love’s, Love never
Dubious. It’s the window
Clouded with questions.
Had a weekend call with one of my best friends and always ended up with haha hihi and hehe…. Joyful and fun! Yet love is always a-must topic. And today’s love’s topic was that it is never wrong —both the feeling and whom we love. It is questionable when we expect the same from those that we love.
Painful! Indeed. Like getting beaten by snow flakes in the coldest winter on the way to the warm summer. Whether you survive through the journey or you return to the previous path.
Mined, Rubbed, faceted carbon—
4C through life time.
Many women love diamond with different reasons. Some do because of its beauty. Some do because of its prestige. Some do because of following the trend. Some do just because of spending money on anything seen and wanted. Some do because of what it symbolises…. In fact its value has a wide spectrum like why we love someone.
Diamond is just a type of carbon. Carbon is what’s burnt to cook steak. Carbon is what’s chosen for media to grow orchids. Carbon is activated to be a medication for food poisoning. Or simply think of other things containing carbon!
Diamond though is a certain level of carbon which has been buried between layers of earth for millions of years, tested by the pressure, temperature. It’s hardened, purified, strengthened, crystalised.
4C is a familiar acronym for diamond lovers. These 4 C’s show diamond’s quality.
Cut: Quality of the angles, proportions, facets, and finishing details ~ level of craftsmanship and precision play important role
Color: How colorless the diamond is ~ less colour is the best but colour is at times defined by preference
Clarity: How clean the diamond is of inclusions and blemishes ~ the more flawless, the more valuable; but who is flawless, Beloved? The Death is flawless….
Carat: The weight of the diamond ~ small carat of diamond can look big; also determined by how the craftsman cuts it
Imagine a human being is a carbon processing one’s self to be a diamond. Stay regardless the pressure and temperature exposed to you, Self. Once you find you, you’re diamond in the making.
Showers of colours
Splash cheery hello to time.
I wish you warm heart.
Colours can bring certain vibes to a home. And so different colours of flowers create different atmosphere. Although not taking all for granted, I mostly check the meaning of flowers and wish that the supportive qualities symbolised by the flowers will be the energy filling the air.
Gear change in the rain
Between slippery road and
Raincoat left behind—
With years of biking experience I’m supposed to have no problem speeding with bike in Singapore, that’s what my siblings think. But that’s totally misleading. I feel high alert when biking in the rain here. In slope pavement or road I will constantly put hands quite pressure on both brakes, put the easiest gear combination making me look like a beginner biker — slow, doubtful, awkward. While in home country I would go to alternative routes which are many to get to the destination with the same speed enough to bulldoze a wall.
In the rain with blurred goggles because of water and wet body because of no raincoat, it makes it even more awkward coz this mind is swinging between “wanna be careful and go slow” and “race to get home quickly”. What’s more, the big vehicles in the road would either splash water with no mercy when traffic is good or floor the gas pedal not to rev but to let the steam off from the driver’s head in heavy traffic.
Yet there is always good side: I can sing as loudly as I want or curse the drivers with no mercy too ‘coz no one will hear me….
Eh? Human beings are confusing – wanna go safely but taking high risks, wanna curse at people but don’t wanna get heard, wanna be dry but forget raincoat at home…. 🤪
Life is such a paradox, like biking in a heavy rain with no rain coat.
Not easy to explain but even with smiles and optimism, 2020 is still a heavily dragging year. Thanks to this pandemic to be a scapegoat. Sorry, dear virus….
Yet I still want to remember 2020 with what’s thanked for. 👍🏽
More flexible time to make appointments with doctors and dentist – IMPORTANT!
More time to (re)read books
Good time to cook my own food which is healthier and try recipes
Good time to hand wash clothes
Good time to bike at night
Good time to take care of plants
Good time to take online courses – FANTASTIC!
Good time to paint
Learn how to be more relaxed and ignore things – NEED MORE PRACTICES!
Easier to reject invitations from people and stay home or just go out alone – I LOVE THIS!
Collect colourful and cute face masks
Wear sad face and no one knows, thanks to cute face mask
Weekend biking and getting loss without calculating time to go to airport for business travel
No frequent packing/unpacking
Wear dress more often; used to mostly wear pants when working onsite due to nature or activities – PRETTY, PRETTY!
Save more lipstick ‘coz I only wear it during video call
Knowing online shopping better – LOSS! NO LIKEY!
More time to go to the reservoirs and parks to see animals (squirrels, otters, chameleons, fish, cats, dogs, butterflies, dragonflies, birds, etc) and plants (especially orchids on the trees!!!)
Write more (typing and handwriting)
I’m still well employed – BIG BLESSINGS
What’s not working in 2020? None! Lying! None. Lying! None…. Lying! Ok, people don’t wanna hear what puts dark goggles on my eyes when seeing whom I used to love dearly. Below calendar gives idea how intricate the situation is. 😁
Welcome, 2021. Send chocolate and/or flowers, not villain not virus.
A bunch of roses,
Send this prayer as a gift
To those remembered
Through air, land, water, fire in
Dark, fragrant beauty. Amen.
I pray with flowers in a glass vase every week: reciting beautiful verses to those I’ve loved and remembered especially the ancestors, whispering unsaid love to those faraway, wishing they be happy everyday. Some people consider it ancient practice and not applicable or acceptable as modern but I feel more connected to my own self by doing it. So making it a habit
I love the dark mood of today’s flowers combined with my “sogan handmade batik”. It painted a shade of dark beauty with special fragrance and colour.
You’re in the dark. Who?
What? Matter? Not! It’s still you.
Just some shade and light.
I’m never perfect, will never be as long as I live with and in this matter. There won’t be any absence of uncertainty. There is always a gap to bridge, a space in between, an emptiness after fulfilment…. Always between 0 and 1 – a binary system of wholeness I call it. Swinging like a pendulum from one point to another up to one extreme point before at the end of momentum thrown back to the next direction…..
Why would you stay in the day for 24 hours if you can stay cool in the dark for 12 hours after a long working day? Or the other way around with some reason?
Why would you mind missing someone for at least an hour a day if it can make this life more vibrant? Just don’t hate….
Why would you regret your broken heart as long as you don’t hurt anyone’s pride? Just don’t forget to love yourself….
No matter what and who you are some time of and in your life, you’re still you. Be you! Be more whole you every time…. A true you
Good Swisss fondue is
Not about cheese, bread or wine.
It’s all chat and friends.
I missed one of my friends, Mrs Fondue whose face suddenly “flew around” for the past 2 months. Her number wasn’t active anymore. Called Mrs Fondue because she was the one introducing me to cheese fondue. Trying to contact people who worked around her with no result, I finally planned making cheese fondue and praying for her good.
Fondue was well served, not with the expected consistency but the taste is almost the same with my very first fondue in Cafe du Soleil.
Yet I could not enjoy this second fondue, even with air conditioner set to low temperature to bring autumn to this small living room. Still failed…. There was melancholic ambience striking me suddenly. No goosebump though 😁
The first fondue tasted greater than this. Maybe because I enjoyed it with Mrs Fondue who invited me to that “traditional” fondue cafe whose air was filled with warm laughter and greetings to the visitors.
This Mrs Fondue was an amazing yet unpopular lady, had done so much to help refugees from dangerous situation. We were amazed with what she and team did. Such a brave lady yet motherly and sweet she was!
She was a wise yet fun lady. She’s probably 15 years older than me but we could still chat like we were of the same age. Lucky to have met people like her in my life!
I’m praying for you, Mrs Fondue and family. If you are still here, I hope we still can see each other again. But if you’ve crossed the bridge, hope you’re smiling receiving my beautiful messages. Enjoy your fondue!
I can read but I
Don’t know what I read and I
Don’t stop ‘coz I like
What I read. Sounds strange but I
Like to read hidden meaning.
Reading is fun even if you don’t know the meaning of what is read. When learning a new language with totally different structure and alphabets from what you are fluently using everyday, the excitement is there. I was so excited when first time learning writing Javanese alphabets in my childhood and I mostly knew the meaning because Javanese has been my mother tongue; while Indonesian has been second (primary) language. Then Arabic gave me the second excitement when I was around 17. And now, Japanese gives me another excitement and a taste of frustration.
Mastering language is about internalising logical thinking of a culture, the logic of a nation. Why in one particular language structure a predicate is located at the end of a sentence while in the other it is somewhere else. This frozen brain has to work hard to know how Japanese digest facts and blend them into grammar. And all the sweet apology and courtesy all over the language now make me question if they are truly kind in heart or it’s just a muscle of articulation. Forget it. Just learn and know how to use it.
The excitement is here coz I read like a kindergarten student -loud, confident but dreadfully un-melodic”. Yet I love it! Even when I had to finish the super short story Ikkyu-San in 45 minutes. I keep mixing up among ne-re-wa, i and ri, nu and me… Good heaven! (Did I mean bloody hell?) Courtesy please 😂
I also have Yotsuba! for my next. But hey, that can only be started after reading Ikkyu-San smoothly with melody. When the melody and pace are right, read more books! Then get dictionary….
My colleagues in Japan already offered their free time to chat with me in Japanese when I’m ready. When? I don’t know…. 😂