Friendship

Friendship, Beloved,
The sun rising so early,
Pushing stars away—

(Very early) morning conversation that left me sleepy but so energized after talking with someone whose genuineness could kept me listen to whatever this person said— My day is always good especially when started with a cheap talk with my best friends. Today is going to be super good one!

BF: Still writing?

Me: Everyday

BF: Poems and ranting?

Me: Ya, you don’t read mine?

BF: Not these two weeks. Busy! You still talk to yourself in your writing?

Me: Ya

BF: You think people like it?

Me: No

BF: Why do you do it then?

Me: I do what I love doing.

BF: Even if no one cares?

Me: Even if no one cares.

BF: Are you happy?

Me: Not always

BF: Are you happy writing?

Me: Mostly

BF: What happens when you are not happy writing?

Me: I have so much in head but I don’t want to make it so obvious or it is so hard to make it concise.

breakfast please…. 💝

BF: Do you know that people reading your cheap writings might think you are madly in love?

Me: I don’t care. But yes I’m madly in love.

BF: With whom?

Me: With many different things.

BF: Name some.

Me: Oh my…. Are interrogating me?

BF: 😂😂😂 Yaaa! You didn’t know?

Me: I just realised it.

BF: That’s how you don’t care about what people are doing to you? Don’t be silly. Put some suspicion and negative thinking to some people, even to someone that you love.

Me: I will.

BF: You’re 50 several years to come and still have mental of a £€$@$£€L!

Me: What?!

BF: Do you know who is among your friends genuine or not?

Me: Yes.

BF: But you look like not knowing.

Me: Because I don’t care. It’s my business to make sure I’m me but I can’t ask others to do the same thing to me the way I do to them.

BF: What about me?

Me: You are genuine especially when you have problem.

BF: You mean?!

Me: Yes, only I can listen to you for 5 hours non stop ranting about your problems! The same problems unsolved for years! That’s how genuine we are with each other.

BF: &$@!?890:;((@:!!!!

God bless all my best friends. See you all soon! 💕

You Be Jack (ranting)

You be, Beloved,
Truly. You know not, I do.
One moment owns you.

A teacher said, “What’s the most important thing in your car?”

No one said anything but everyone had one’s answer popping around one’s head.

The teacher continued “How do you think about jack?”

Everyone laughed. One of them said, “Almost not functional.”

The teacher giggled and said, “Yes! Jack will work only in unexpected situation almost accidentally, might be never if there is no emergency. How do you feel if your existence in society is like a jack? And what will you do?”

No one said anything. Most of them felt denial, not wanting to be jack in a car.

The teacher smiled and said, “You know a jack is a jack because it is a jack. What a jack needs to do is being a good jack. A good jack is a jack that can function well. Function well when needed! Anytime needed! What if a jack feels desperate of being a jack just because the jack is never used? The jack will give up functioning. The jack may let itself corroded, lose its credibility and accountability. One day the car needs a new tire in the middle of nowhere, jack doesn’t function, it doesn’t do its job, it lets the car stranded nowhere until another car with a functional jack comes by….”

No voice….

The teacher said, “So whatever your function now in society, function well, perform your best, as that is some part of the true you. Everyone has one’s own moment. If you think you’ve been a jack in a car, don’t stop functioning because someday you might be needed and you alone are needed and that’s when you become a super hero. Or if you ever be a jack that is never used, at least someday the owner will say ‘I never use this jack but it is a super jack, I’m sure it functions well anytime I need it’. Ok, Jack?”

Everyone laughed, feeling relieved of having been a jack in different moment.

One student said, “What about if no one knows I’m a good jack because I never meet a moment?”

The teacher smiled and said, “So what? That no one knows we are good at something doesn’t mean we are not good. Why is jack mostly painted red?”

“To be easily found!”

“Yessssss!” Shouted the teacher. “Might not be the best answer but it can be one best answer to answer your friend’s question. Where is red? You still call it red without knowing why it is called red. You still call it red although you don’t realise the existence of red except painted on a jack in this context. You said jack is red so it can be easily found. No one knows what is actually red but all of you know that red is good in jack that functions only in emergency so when needed it is easily found….. That is red— a quality in you that is taken for granted because people think a jack is mostly painted red; only when people think deeply then the quality is a good quality! Don’t cover your red jack with other thing, it won’t be easily found anymore.”

“Like him!” A student pointed his finger to a friend in a red shirt sleeping in the classroom.

The teacher said, “Don’t wake him up. He is a jack in a good ride.”

Everyone laughed. The boy in the red shirt woke up and joined the cheer with his loudest laugher.

“He is a jack functioning well!“ said the teacher.

How beautiful the life of a jack is! 😁

(based on a conversation with a jack of all trades and other jacks who are waiting for the moment to appear)

Brewed Tea

Brewed tea, Beloved,
Best sipped anytime with you
While counting the stars—

Certain music composition like good friends is like well brewed tea, suitable for any occasion.

this composition never fails played any time
live music is one best medicine – missing the feeling of standing among the crowd screaming when favourite musicians or singers greet the fans 🥰

Sweet Surprise

Unforeseen, unplanned—
Life’s rich: men, events, chances
Bring moments of truth.

This evening I met up with two Saigonese friends— not planned, not predicted. We sent each other messages and found that we three were in Hanoi and decided to have dinner together.

OP’s coffee with milk, LP’s coconut coffee, my black coffee 🥰

His message to me: “I’ll pick you up once you’re prepared”. Her message to me: “Let me know when you arrive at hotel, I’ll kidnap you”. And they both came in the same taxi with different intension. 😁

For years we have always wanted to meet in Ho Chi Minh City to eat south pho bo and life preferred pulling us together in Hanoi for north pho bo.

Hanoi pho – sweeter, no ngogai leaves (Javanese coriander) and slightly murky, good especially enjoyed with friends 😍

A happy rendezvous! All was good. The only minus was that I had much noodle as part of dinner. 🙃 See you in HCMC!

I hope to get other sweet surprises. Or at least I commit to feel good no matter what so any surprises will be sweet.

Salaam.

sweet surprise story shared to me: he was a medical doctor before a major accident that took away some of his physical ability and his job; now he is a part time historian bringing tourists to historical places in Hanoi in the evening and a full time employee in a pharmaceutical company in the day; recently he escorted a surgeon with his wife doing social work in Vietnam who happens to be in the same project with a Vietnamese surgeon who happens to be this historian’s roommate in medical school years ago; long story short what life brings is often unpredictable, hope for the best! 🙏🏼

Pleasure

Pleasure, Beloved,
Sweet moment under the rain—
Sunshine is peeping.

Today’s biking started at 6:30am and ended at 7:15am as the rain began earlier – weather forecast reported rain would fall at around 8am. We decided to fold the bikes in my home then drive to “Kueh & Mee” for breakfast.

Conversation is never boring with this good friend. Any topics about her children are my favourite as those children give me inspiration to be always young in heart how old ever I am and optimistic about life how much low my mental is. Topic about her wanting to go back to work is never nice because that’s when she questions if she is capable of doing this or that; while she is one of intelligent friends I have —- she is an excellent chemist who lets her expertise hibernate and allows her husband to lead a brilliant professional success.

After today’s chatty laughing breakfast, she went home then picked up her husband in Changi Airport, arriving from a biz trip. A long list of tasks were still waiting for her, making me lose reasons to complain about life.

She is one of my favourite people inspiring me with their being ordinary the way they are.

Thank you, Mbak Eva! God bless you. 🥰

one of Indonesian guilty pleasure, lupis 🤓
kopi tarik kosong (Indonesian/Malay pulled coffee with no sugar) + an empty paper cup of (eaten) hard boiled eggs

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!

Prime Crime

Partners in crime, Love
Sail from torii to torii.
A ship of good friends—

Fushimi Inari Taisha, our favourite shrine has its duplicate in Singapore 😘 being with partner in crime is always prime time 😂 thank you!

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 😂

Dream Home (ranting)

Dream home, Beloved,
A place where nature meets hearts;
Hearts warmly greet souls—

The conversation with a long lost friend came to a topic of “where we want to live if ending living alone?”

Living in Singapore was never part of my dream. A visit in 2010 gave me impression that I would die of hunger in a week with Indonesia salary. 😁

Now this city is a lovely second home; my impression has changed. I won’t die because of hunger but I will die because of loneliness if I stay single retiring here. I still can’t find enough friends like those in home country. There are three but all of them will retire in Bali and New Zealand sooner than me.

Residing in a landed property where gardening and backyard dining is affordable is a preference, yet I don’t have the luxury of living in such place here. And I don’t want to die alone in a locked condo found rotten after days or even weeks. Oh God, please protect me from such horrible thing. Amen….

F: I’ve always wanted to live in Ubud and it will happen very soon. I’ll open a spa with all traditional herbal from all over Indonesia. I’ll quit my job soon. I want to live my own life as me, no one can tell me to do this and that anymore! No bloody politics anymore! Visit me often! You’ll find my spa super special! I’ll give you discount! Be a regular customer! Hey! You once wanted to live in Thailand?

Me: Someone informed me about a good property in low price near my favourite hotel in Ayutthaya. Yet Thai have controversial life style I’m not comfortable with in a way. I’m too simple, sometimes too honest and can be against those status-oriented that I might not be able to adapt well. Not a true dream! Hey! Actually love to live in Kyoto!

F: You’ll die in three months after you complete second round of shrine, temple and ancient house hopping! 😂

Me: Dying of walking! 😂

What a refreshing conversation! And yes, I’ll visit her spa soon! 😍

Lesson learnt: Will only live with those I love and loving me where home is a real feel. No excuse.

Salaam…. 💝

gebyok – the Javanese teak wood door symbolizing the host’s living in welfare, peace and harmony with nature 💝
angkul-angkul – the Balinese gate symbolizing warmth welcome to guests and privacy of the host at the same time 💝

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 😘

A Dream

A dream, Beloved,
A bloom of sleep or a sign?
Each has drawn a smile.

Sometimes a dream brings me to an immediate mood of contacting a friend. Last night I dreamt of someone who has set a strong boundary against me. I dreamt of this person surrounded guarded almost like being swarmed by many tough guys and beautiful ladies; becoming the top of all! Waking up this morning, I decided to text this person who has blocked me in WhatsApp (of course I made mistake as the reason) and summarised my dream— what I didn’t tell was that those guys and ladies in my dream rigorously chased me away. And as expected of course no reply; maybe another anger and frustration against this ridiculous me 🙃

Then I prayed that this friend is enjoying the best time of life; which must be happening now.

I’m still smiling remembering the dream. How could it be such dream? Scary yet entertaining! I must have been traveling to a multiverse! Maybe it was a sign about a raising boundary; or simply because I was too tired!

Thanks for the dream.

🙏🏼

Cheese!

Two friends are chatting under a tree.

Friend #1: I think God takes care of us very well.
Friend #2: I think God stopped working after creating us.
Friend #1: You just don’t know.
Friend #2: I just don’t care.

Suddenly a lightning strikes not far from the tree.

Friend #1: Cheese!!!
Friend #2: What the hell are you doing?
Friend #1: I told you! You don’t know! God just took a picture of us gossiping.
Friend #2: @&@$#%^*~


(this is a very common joke among Indonesians, modification is applied here)

It is the way some crazy heads respond to what’s striking around them. 🤩

enjooooy!

Without Love? (ranting)

Love at the first sight
To what’s captured by senses
And stays in the heart—

One beloved person called me asking why I didn’t attend a nephew’s wedding party yesterday. I said I couldn’t as I’ve been physically “beaten up” because of an accident recently. After what happened, sorry and better be careful, don’t go biking at night, wear the right shoes; she started ranting….

“What are you looking for in life? Look at your nephews and nieces getting married one by one. They wish their best wishes for you but you don’t seem to care. You’d better find one man and get married and they will attend your wedding party with all love and gifts.”

“Not my priority”, I said.

“What is your priority? Your work? Your dream? What?”

It is sometimes annoying to be a single woman in a society in which marriage is highly appreciated and considered as highway to happiness. I feel so lucky for living overseas away from those caring so much about me so I can enjoy my life the way I love to. Many of my single girl friends call me now and then telling me how tiring it is to answer the same questions again and again even when they don’t seem to have problems for not getting married. We are mentally and financially stable. 😁

“Ok, tell me I’ll find one. I know you won’t want one like your last. Tell me.”

“Sexually straight and not abusive in any way possible.”

“That’s easy! It is just you so difficult! Sometimes you just have to give up your priority or your love. I got married without love and it goes well. Many of us do and it goes well. Know that we worry about you.”

Alamak…. 

Weekend still goes well. And I’m happily looking forward to another week.

Life is a mystery, and so is love. I love my life and I don’t worry. 🥰

message for all whom I love

the right place possible – Jun. 19, 2022/17:12

Marriage

Married, Beloved,
To your shadow that follows
Wherever I go.

Divorced, Beloved,
From your doubt that hunts and haunts
Wherever I hide.

—-

One very long chat decorated a night. A childhood friend did sharing about what she had experienced when we were away for about 10 years, busy with our own life. This is her promise to tell the full story after giving hints and looking puzzled when meeting me.

She married thrice. First husband died of illness. Second abused and cheated her and so they divorced. Third one, this one has brought a lot of stories and enlightenment.

How she finally decided the third after the traumatic second has strengthened about my own lesson in life – acceptance. How she lets a seemingly perfect person be with her imperfect figure does add amazement about one of my loyalist. How she ignores words and stares from people disapproving her behaviours has told me she is still girl going foraging in the wild with me in our lively early age.

She hit me with some bitter comments about my complicated points. She ridiculed me for being so guarding and distant from risking broken heart to happen. She also highlighted how her love transforms to friendship that I would have not believed can happen to her – she is not a “friendship-friendly” type of person, she is a snapping turtle 😑

There are things she has regretted about all 3 decisions but the regret has brought her to a final realisation that her life has shaped her into a composed, mature woman strong yet flexible enough to be beautifully bent by the hardship of life. The pain pays off, she said. What a beautiful creature my dear friend is! 😘😘😘

This weekend has given me another package of lessons from our childhood. A blast from the past!

Weekend is still long. I’d better have more fun!

May all beings be happy! 🙏🏼

the commitment on paper needs realisation in 3 dimension reality with soul and trust – red torii in progress

Sunset

Sunset, Beloved,
Serene pretty end of day
To be in your lap—

—-

I’ve limited contact with human beings for the past 2 years either due to the blessed pandemic or my own will. It feels good to seclude myself: doing what’s sweet and enriching, talking only to those encouraging and infusing positive vibes, working with all heart and soul.

Only calls from colleagues and family are those I’ve picked. Very very limited number of friends have been the preferred channels. The rest is next layers, not priority.

Only 6 people have been my favourite for the past one year — they are the easiest to laugh things with; at the same time the most serious to discuss crazy things with. We can talk about how stupid we are especially when in love 🤮 up to how we are afraid of dying ugly and in debt 😑

My mom and 2 older friends are kind of those I would respectfully listen with a twist – hey sometimes my ears are itchy too… My youngest brother and 2 same age friends are whom I impatiently argue with and patiently listen to each other. They are the definition of best friends of mine.

Thanks for becoming my sunrise, sunstroke and sunset. Beautiful friendship is about acceptance and trust! 💝

Alfatihah for you all my best people

sunset is beautiful reminding me of those sweet sour best friends 🥳

Tonight Is A Good Night

Good night, Beloved,
They slow down even the trains.
But times, it moves right.

—-

One friend said “Some people show their sweet side when they need me, I just knew they laughed at me behind my back and said how stupid I’ve been for (she mentioned one big social contribution she made). Do you think I should stop being kind to people?”

Another friend said “No. why stop? There is karma so you’d better do good deed. Your good actions will be repaid with good reactions. Believe it.” This one is also very kind.

Another one said “This life doesn’t owe you anything. So how much ever you spend, it will not be paid back. You will not be repaid 10 points just because you donate 1 point. Look! How much have you lost, just like that? No one gives you 10 times the amount, right? What karma? Whose karma? You’d better do what’s the best for your benefits and without harming others.” She is the most critical.

The other friend said “it should be balanced. You do good things and don’t forget doing bad things.” 🤔 Gosh she is always the most confusing.

I said “I’m hungry. Let’s go dinner. Our brain needs to slow down.” Those three stopped arguing.

Night is always good for a chat with some friends whose heads contain different things whose heart is of one intension — to respect friendship.

Salaam. ♥️

two trains to/from opposite directions of the same line, Red Line

Trust & Accept

Laughter, Beloved
Takes trust before exploding.
Accepting what is—

—-

I had a conversation with one friend about acceptance and trust.

This friend is one of my favorite as she is the struggling among us but the one with the biggest acceptance and trust to the life process. She’s been in all tests of life that might have made her a tough lady. Or probably she was just born that way and so she can pass all tests.

She said that trust is very important, only trust to the processes of life can make her accept whatever is presented by life. It has turned her into this current posture and gesture – tough yet kind.

Talking to an honest yet witty friend is a privilege, listening to her funny stories is like unwrapping hidden wisdom. How would a human being be that tough yet kind? She reminds me of my mother and some people around me.

friends laugh at each other, but touch each other’s heart the most

Yet I never want to be like them as being like them means dealing with roughest surface of life. I’m sufficiently thankful being me.

Thank you so much for giving me good friends as present. I will love them without being them. ♥️

Hey! But sometimes my ears feel like exploding with the length of the call. For full jokes, call at weekends only please….. 😚

Rendezvous! Whoohoo!

A rendezvous
Pouring some unmet words—
It’s a rendezvous
Exchanging stories,
Laughing at saved jokes,
Frowning on some questions to answer.
A true moment
Capped with
An “Au revoir!”

Whoohoo!

—-

🐣

a treat for a happy first day on our first official day after more than 2 years working from home – thanks, buddy! 🥳

Life As I Like It

Good life, Beloved
Surrounded by them most loved
In green serene air—

—-

I like to tell some colleagues that I’ll be the host for our reunion dinner in my home 15 years from now. It must be a good time to talk about how we’re doing what we’re doing.

Though not soon, ‘m looking forward to a long life to make it happen.

See you in a green serene garden, fellas! 🥳

water, greenery, away from parties – life as I love it 💓 – one spot in Singapore Botanic Garden 😍

Temasek – Apr. 19, 2022 / 19:33