Gifts to You

These gifts, Beloved,
Peace and love hummed to loved ones
Living here and there

One of the Javanese and Islamic teachings that I will never leave for the rest of my life is sending gift of prayer containing peace and love to my loved ones wherever they are, whether they are physically wandering on earth or spiritually gathering around life.

I believe that my passing-away ancestors are living in different levels of consciousness (call it hell, heaven or somewhere in between up to your liking) and they are watching their offsprings without being able to directly communicating with us. They deserve my gift as they have been my line to get the chance to be here now. They deserve peace and love as they have done the best they could to draw a meaningful family tree. Yes, some might have made silly mistakes but hey that’s what Buddhism calls “karma”. Yes, some might have caused shameful stains on the family picture but hey that’s what Islam calls “alam syahadah”. Whoever and whatever they were, all of my ancestors deserve good wishes sung to them.

I also wish peace and love to those I love still breathing the air. Wishing all of them health and happiness. 💝

We Javanese Muslim will send gift by reciting some Javanese prayer closed with Alfatihah, a short chapter in the Quran containing peace, love, praise, forgiving, protection and guidance. A basket of beautiful wishes—

How light this heart is to be sure that all whom I love are well.

Alfatihah to all whom I love. You’re loved. You’re blessed. Don’t shop too much. 😁

Happy weekend!

born as part of a nation doesn’t make someone higher or lower – being born a Javanese, Aborigine, African, Arab, Chinese, English, Indian, Japanese, Korean, Sundanese, Vietnamese or whatever is a gifted tool to contribute the best quality of culture in sustaining and respecting humanity – respect yourself, respect other human beings 💕
if not respected (by you), your origin will be a boomerang (spun around hitting you) – be grateful for being born as you are, never wasted, fully loved, surrounded by beloved only if you accept who you are 💕

What Are You

Behind what’s seen,
What are you, Beloved?

Root of a tree
Who grows in in the dark,
Breathes with the creepy crawly,
Sleeps in none of seasons.
Silently grateful for
What’s not understood.

Cartilage of a human body
Who is not hard enough to be bone,
Not soft enough to be muscle,
Comfortably sits in between,
Catches messages delivered
By whisper, breeze and wind.

Jasmine sambac of the garden
Who is humbly tiny, clustering;
Blooms the whole year,
Leaves much fragrance to the day,
Deep meaning to celebration
Before she dries brown.

Helium of the sun
Light, low, odourless, tasteless, insipid—
It’s peaceful to be low profile,
It’s more joyful and freer,
It’s easier to be me,
Closer to Gaia.

Yet no secret bandit among
The rascals in the block!

What?!

What what?!
Don’t ask. I can be anything
But
You.

Rainy weekend is good especially when just have to shortly reply “Ok!” to a message saying “Heavy rain. Impossible to bike. Rain check ya.”

💝

🥰 can watch this forever! lovable rascals!

Idyll

Idyll, Beloved,
Found in rural area;
Hidden heritage—

Saw a package in front of my door today. It had been there for several days as instructed to the courier while I was away for a biz trip. Three pieces of jarik batik (long fabric with traditional batik patterns) from Yogyakarta were delivered safe and sound.

Idyllic gift for myself for the hard work in the past one year. Thank you, dear self! 💕

💕 thank you
this handmade batik was crafted by Mbah Suhir, a 93 year old batik maker – truntum background with sido asih (combination of 2 classic patterns) – I’m blessed!

Truntum (depiction of thousands of jasmine flowers) symbolises life under divine guidance and peaceful life fragrant like jasmine. Sido asih symbolises living in love and compassion.

210*120 cm – shorter jarik is for male as he won’t put any pleats when wearing it
the one-sided black “sido asih” handmade by another senior batik maker (still trying to find her name) – I’ll keep this beauty with love 🥰
250*105 cm, classic batik – longer jarik is for female as she will make some pleats at one end of the cloth to beautify the lower apparel

While sido asih pattern bears common symbols everywhere in Java island, the color and the strokes show its place of origin. Black and thin lining is originated from Solo, white and bold lining is originated from Yogyakarta.

“nitik cakar ayam” two-sided classic batik handmade by Ibu Suminah (80 years old batik maker) 🥰

Nitik (literally means making dots/points) is an original batik pattern in Bantul district, Yogyakarta. Nitik “cakar ayam” (literally means chicken claw) symbolises someone who is good at providing good life for his/her family (hard working, prosper and wise).

Two-sided batik is such a luxury to have in modern day. It doesn’t always show the price; but it is more about the maker has to block both sides of the fabric and it doubles the time of craftsmanship. Most batik is one-sided nowadays.

Can’t wait to directly thank the batik makers for their love to Javanese culture.

Matur sembah nuwun, Mbah. Mugi penjenengan dipunbarokahi dyaning Gusti Allah Kang Maha Agung. 🙏🏼💕

Alfatihah

Little Bird

Little bird, dear love,
Telling her to soar then go home
To where her heart is—

Home. Is it a what, a who, a whom, a whose, a which, a when, a where or a how? She knows hers and it doesn’t always the same as others’. 💝

shared rice with a little bird in Cointrin Airport before boarding for Amsterdam then home – a trip worth doing she should repeat 🥰 …

Surprise

Daruma city
You’ve witnessed left eyes were drawn.
Wish me the right ones.

A group of people in Takasaki wished me a happy birthday in an online meeting. A real surprise that made my day! I almost cried of happiness! 🥺

This evening one of them went back to Tokyo and she sent me messages with photos taken in Takasaki station. Another sweet surprise!

ありがとうございます, AWさん。また来年お会いしましょう!

Looking forward to a set of daruma dolls of different colours I ordered from Amazon (because of cancelled plan to buy them in its original city). Not a real surprise but hope the dolls give me a little shade of surprise! 🤩

Salaam.

daruma doll in Takasaki station sent with a message “Happy birthday, Rike. Come on draw my eyes!” 😂
“Enjoy!” another message with another photo 😂

Self Discovery (ranting)

Point zero, my love
Here now, unshakeable ground
After the earthquakes—

I’ve been a full time thinker for the past one week…. Thanks to the physical weakness brought by the virus! 🥰 And here is the ranting abridged 🙃

Life has always suggested me to walk through places where paradoxical situations exist and has made me weigh what life path should be chosen. Luckily life has always sent me angels (fallen angels included 😄) who remind me that life isn’t only about exploiting what’s considered lucrative and physically pleasant; it’s also about exploring what’s wising-up and spiritually enriching.

When I was young; books, courses, lectures, workshops were kind of “subscription” I had to shape a level of mental toughness. Yet there was exhaustion and anti-climax for intensity every now and then (good deed included 😄). Losing faith, difficulty to trust human beings and skepticism to almost everything triggered me to deconstruct my own mindset.

Another “point zero” came and brought a decision to take a course inspired by one friend named Eva (not one of my close friends but she is definitely one trusted human being). I promised to myself that this would be my LAST course to finally be unshakeable me.

I flew to Edinburgh and was driven from the airport to a place called Chisholme House by Mr Brix who became an excellent opening of my self re-discovery. He introduced me to the richness of self re-discovery even before the course started. That was when I felt so lucky to have read Ibn Arabi, Rumi and English literature although not extensively and to have learnt Javanese wisdom that is considered “local” by many of my friends (which I always disagree) as Mr Brix’ languages were using all those keywords in the repertoire from my literature reading and cultural wisdom. Indeed Mr Brix was a “gate” welcoming me to a true friendship or fellowship bonded by humanity.

The course was simply daily schedules for us to an experiencing life or “human beings who work” — physically, mentally, spiritually, socially in connection with their own self, other human beings and nature. Of course the classes was the superb! Collins, Hiroko and Aaron were excellent facilitators and to me they are role models of ordinary yet impressive human being! Collins was a loving husband and father cum the best administrator. Hiroko was a loving mother and wife cum an excellent painter! Aaron was an excellent chef cum wise philosopher! 💝

It was so normal a life that I felt so blessed. We woke up in the morning then took a bath or at least took ablution. We started the day with a group meditation — everyone: the course participants, kitchen staffs, office staffs, garden staffs, etc except those who overslept. Then we had breakfast — English breakfast! After that we started the class; the staffs started their duties. After that we had tea break then WORK! Work meant doing the assigned chores (garden, kitchen, house, laundry). After that class again then English lunch! Then lunch break for one hour. Class again. Mediation again. Work again. Afternoon tea. Personal time (we could go to the hill, forest, sleep, talk to staffs or participants, whatever). English dinner. Discussion time. Free time. Sleep…. Repeat.

Completing the “self re-discovery”, I found that life is like riding bicycle, balancing while moving. I lose, I win. I fall in love, I break heart. I get sick, I get cured. I trust, I distrust. I think, I feel. I work, I take a rest.

Balancing is about knowing the limit. I lose against someone/something but I gain wisdom. I fall in love at the same time I have to accept the unpredictable responses. I get sick then I will be cured. I trust with or without reasoning yet can also distrust because of the true or false reasoning. I think based on logic yet when logic doesn’t count, only feeling of acceptance will neutralise the situation. And, when I am tired, I should take time-out. Just like that!

And I actually graduated with flying colours from many “extra” lessons: doing laundry, washing dishes, house keeping, potato harvesting, making bread, cooking English lunch, preparing dining table, raking dry leaves, going up and down the hills in the rain, walking in the moorland, listening to silence, listening to others’ opinions, identifying and recognising true intelligent people, trusting the right people at the right time in the right place, respecting stupid idiot (myself included 😂), taking a bath in the cold morning, and more and more!

And yes, that was the last course in my life. Ordinary yet impressive, like what I always want myself to be to and for those having in touch with me.

I want to be back there not as a participant but as a guest in the English breakfast or lunch bringing a best friend who deserves an ordinary yet impressive life.

…. 💕

Thanks for today! 😴

Salaam…

farmhouse where participants and volunteers slept during the “Self Discovery” in Chisholme Institute (there are male house, female house and couple wing) – missing the place and good friends there 💝
the main house where we meditate, contemplate, brainstorm, do household chores, enjoy meal and good company during the “Self Discovery”
‘The Monument to Man”: this place is one of reminders for me to stay on this track: a track where life abundance isn’t always represented by or captured through social high class and luxury show off – ‘ve lived among those with abundance yet humbly bowing to the underprivileged – thank you for this decent life 🎀
hi, Edinburgh! I’m sure I’ll be back 🥰 next time with someone I love with heart and soul 😘

Dirgahayu, Indonesiaku ke-77

Duhai, Indonesia. Serupa apapun engkau, kau adalah tempat lahirku. Walaupun saran dan nasehat bertaburan untuk menjadi pemegang status PR di rumah keduaku ini, aku tak goyah. Nggak papa…. PR atau bukan PR passport-ku tetap Indonesia. Hanya cinta dan hidup-mati saja yang boleh membuatku jadi PR atau pindah kewarganegaraan. Selain itu, no way!

Indonesiaku, terima-kasih telah menjadi tempat lahirku dan tempatku belajar hal-hal pokok untuk menjadi manusia utama. Kalau aku dilahirkan dan dibesarkan di negara lain, mungkin aku jadi orang yang bermewah-mewah dan tidak down to earth.

Indonesiaku, kemanapun aku pergi, kamulah darah yang mengalir di tubuh ini. Dimanapun aku tinggal, engkau tetap menjadi tujuan pertama pulang atau liburanku (ya setahun satu atau dua kali deh). Dengan siapapun aku bergaul, kamu tetap warna primerku.

Kecintaanku padamu bukan pada para pejabat buruk yang mengurusi ketatanegaraan. Kecintaanku tulus pada tanah, air, udara, rakyat dan makhluk di sekitarnnya.

Merdeka!

what a coincidence! this number is really escorting me this year
💝
didn’t attend this year’s flag-raising ceremony in the embassy because of this cute virus 💝 next year I will, bismillah!

No Losing!

I will win
In any battle.
My flag is rising
As high as the farthest star
Reaching you
Bravely!

In me is a girl who dares!
I’m brave!

Don’t try me!

I am….

Brave!

I won’t give up! You sell, I buy! ALL!

Listen

Listen, Beloved,
Humming angels keep singing
Song of union.
Ears can’t hear, too low a voice.
Heart can, swayed by the wind though.

Root deep, Beloved.
The song vibrates in the earth,
Making grass and flowers bloom,
Brightening up the meadow—
Listen, Beloved.

It takes enormous patience to listen to the silence. Hey! Is it being patient or simply allowing quietness to sit where birds and monkeys are hopping and making noise?

Listening is a skill. A skill needs practices to mastery. Mastery takes time. Time takes breathing, in, out, with awareness.

—practicing listening mode on—

holla…. love ya! (RC Gorman’s work of art)

Witness

Witness, Beloved,
Umbrella in rainy days,
Locked door in dark nights—

Still celebrating my hair!

Not every woman likes growing long hair. I do love it. I did short hair in some period of time: senior high school when short hair gave privilege to be called “not too girl” and some recent years when busy days took away the hair time.

Now the long hair period has claimed its prime time back and ready to witness the joy shared by its owner.

May all beings be happy.

with two of those I’m grateful to for their company, witness of my determination and dedication – shortest hair ever
hair started showing off, witness of new habit: selfie at the home office corner before and after work 🤩
longer and longer giving me comfort, witness of pillow face and no-bath work from home 😎
50cm+! grow and grow, my dear hair witness of awakening 😘
now I can do many things with the hair, witness of new adventure 😘

Beads of Pray

Counting beads of pray,
An echoed name flows away
Through silence of heart.

Have you ever prayed so silently? No one can hear. Only beads of pray click. A remembrance of love that is unseen. Beyond the ocean and beyond existence—

Literature is a limited tool to disclose ideas and emotions; not accurate enough to shoot one heart. Math is sharp to operate a complex equation; not sweet enough though to state naked truth.

With what then should I count this reality between two lovers? Beauty or precision?

Only beads of pray is whispered silently. Who knows the river will sail this soft voice along its flow introducing it to the estuary that escorts it to the ocean where winds push the current following the North Star to meet with you.

Salaam.

Sincerely,

from a tiny heart wrapped in a peaceful morning

Flowers Bouquet

Bouquet, Beloved,
A bunch of symbols arranged
Through fragrance and hues.

Amaryllis: strength and determination

Daffodil: honesty, truth and forgiveness

Eucalyptus: division of the underworld, earth and heaven (Aboriginal wisdom); inner and outer strength, leadership

Gladiolus: faithfulness and integrity

Lily of the valley: sincerity and joy

Sunflower: loyalty and unconditional love

Tendril: growth, softness, flexibility (Javanese wisdom)

Flowers Bouquet in water colour; 60%, waiting for the liquid frisket to block some colours before completion

Mother of Pearl

Deep dive, Beloved,
To where soft bodies guard light
Wisdom of the dark

Nowhere is better than within, where price tag is no longer a concern, where silence and acceptance is currency, where no one looks evil or harmless, where only gratitude and peace reside, where no colour distracts, where pain and joy are blended to ecstatic reality….

….where I finally get sleepy 😁

Salaam.

the no-longer-cost-fortune-yet-still-cost-a-wisdom gemstone called pearl is produced through 100’s of layers of mineral secreted by mollusk to cover around irritants that enter its shells – if a soft body of mollusk can do it, how can’t we human beings?

Reading

Reading, Beloved
Deciphering messages
Sent by soul that shines—

Sending my warm regards to all readers in the world. Hope we’re all blessed with wisdom and fun from reading and what is read.

Salaam…. 🙏🏼

‘ve always wanted to read this book but never happens; maybe my 5 people are not those in his book 😎 skipped (maybe forever)
this writer has fascinated me with his crazy ideas about children’s life; wish I could write that way 😍 paid!
sorry, Keanu; many not even in my kindness list 😘 you’re not my guide, just a man that has charmed me with your kindness & bearded face 😂 finished reading in the bookstore

Kinokuniya SG – calm Saturday afternoon after Japanese class with Honda Sensei

Flowers

Flowers, Beloved,
Dipping her days in colours,
Leaving her in awe—

Thanks God for the flowers around which have helped me much to be in good mood. Suddenly get the urge to ritually pray and thank for all the blessings sprinkled on to me—

Weekend, bring me to Masjid Sultan. 🥰

rugosa roses, tiny dots that entertain 💝
that day was as tough as bougainvillea; 39 degree Celcius! 🥵
crape myrtle (bungur China in Indonesia) not crappy at all
calming lotus 🥰
a bunch of lotus flowers for SGD1.4, they said 😍
lily and hydrangea ♥️
see you again soon, red carnations 🤗

Morning

Morning is breathing
With sun light from the window
And red carnation.

There is always good thing to associate to morning….

…. if we accept it.

💝

said “good morning, good morning” to this good morning this good morning
always red carnation in this hotel room

Blueprint

Blueprint, Beloved,
Life in black and white. Colour!
With meanings and vibes—

Happy life is a sketch before coloured. The same sketch in the hands of different human beings can have different colour composition that bring different vibes and nuance. Neuroscientist’s perspective of happiness is different from artist’s. The haves’ perspective of happiness is different from the have nots’. A wanderer’s perspective of happiness is different from a homebody’s. Et cetera…

Yet it is still happiness in its original design.

It is a feel of happiness when I shed tears then realising that life is more than crying on failure or accidents; life is seeing failure or accidents as blessings. Imagine how happy a person was knowing that she was late for boarding losing mega business opportunity then after that learning that the plane she was supposed to board crashed in which all passengers were dead. A blessing in disguise! Life is more precious than any business!

Thank you for this subtle reminder about putting some bright colours where dreary feeling resides.

Baby step to grow wiser…. Very slow but I’m sure I’ll be a wise old lady. 😁 Hey, hey! Don’t forget to dye your hair!

this might be a blueprint, what’s next?

Coffee

Coffee, Beloved,
Brings back the fragrance of breeze
From the green high land.

—-

I drink coffee but am not a big fan of it. Fragrance of raw coffee beans, coffee cherries, coffee leaves, coffee flowers, coffee trees are much more lovable to these nostrils. Last 2019 visit to my uncle and aunt’s home in Menoreh Hill has always been a fresh fragrant memory; it is because the coffee fragrance would welcome us in the morning when wind blowing down the hill through the window sills.

Along the path up the hill going to our grandparents’ graveyards these hands would playfully pull some coffee leaves or coffee cherries, squeeze them and breathe the aroma in. My cousins and nieces would do the same. We would throw them to the dogs jumping around as playful as the owners.

Miss that green high land, where my ancestors started their humble legends—

Wind, fly me. 🛫

Salaam.

coffee shrubs decorate back yard of many houses in the hill; that fragrance is the witness of how the people love the land 💝
another fragrance loved – pepper
wait!
hey! get up, let’s run!