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

Sweetness

Sweetness, Beloved,
A limit everyone sets.
She has for good words,
Not for sugar. It is fine.
World gives space to all tastes.

————————————————————-

Life can be seen from many different perspectives. It can look bitter, sometimes sweet but the level of bitterness and sweetness is not standardisable. If someone wants to set a standard of bitterness based on her/his limit, s/he will suffer for her/himself. 😁

May all beings be happy (with different level of sweetness)❣️

there is a limit of sweetness that everyone can tolerate – don’t judge ❣️
…. to this! sweet boba!
from this: tapioca starch, cocoa powder, brown sugar

Welcome, Month of Exercising (Javanese Muslim Tradition)

Regret and sorry
Not easy to feel and say,
Yet flushing the guilt.
Look! It’s rain water pouring
On the roof, sweeps away dirt.

—————————————————

Ramadhan is starting tomorrow, it’s my 38th year in which I do full fasting. I’m so grateful with this achievement. Achievement? Yes! Imagine for one full month during the day we don’t drink, we don’t eat, we don’t smoke, we don’t sex, we don’t let out uncontrolled emotion, we simply hold whatever we normally let out easily with no delay. We are human beings though, we can do all those at night. Ahem!

As a Javanese Muslim welcoming Ramadhan is as special as the fasting itself. We welcome the Ramadhan with a small celebration called megengan which literally means holding (esp. the breath).

In megengan a Javanese family will deliver a basket of rice with dishes to neighbours and extended family members living separately. While each family can choose what they share, there is one must specialty in this occasional delivery so called “apem” in Javanese or “kue apam” in Bahasa Indonesia or Malay.

Apem is steamed cake whose ingredients are rice flour, coconut milk, coconut water, yeast, sago starch and some sugar.

The word apem is derived from the word “afwun” (an Arabic word) meaning apology. Why apology? In Ramadhan when a Muslim is fasting, s/he is not only holding her/himself from hunger, thirst, lust, uncontrolled anger, and exercising her/his integrity; but s/he is also recommended to contemplate her/his own “action records” for the past one year. It is not easy for one to bear the guilt during the contemplation, so it is recommended for a Muslim before Ramadhan to apologise to their family and friends or to whomever s/he did wrongdoing, to ease the contemplation process. As it might not be easy to say sorry through a naked word, Javanese Muslim will include a symbolic apology in the food called apem when they deliver the whole food package. Everyone knows what it is, what it does— it is up to each person whether or not to accept the apology. And there they go starting the fasting month with a light heart to physically, mentally and spiritually exercise her/himself for one full month.

I used to think that that celebration was a waste of food. For one week I used to see sooooo many plastic and bamboo baskets piled up in our dining table and shelves — all those megengan packages which would be eaten just a bit and end up given to our chickens at the back yard. Fyi, the apem is never wasted though as every family has different taste and ways of how to make their best apem – maybe it’s a symbol that everyone is taking the apology seriously. I used to say to my mom that megengan was more about chickens celebrating than human beings celebrating. However after I understand what is symbolised through those simple deliveries, I highly appreciate the way we Javanese hold the integrity through our humble tradition.

I used to tell my mother to not do it, but now I’ve always been a reminder to her to not forget doing it and done it myself although I’m living around those not familiar with this tradition. I normally cook some simple food for the cleaning ladies and the gardeners who are assigned in the block two days before Ramadhan. Unfortunately minus the apem, simply because I am not confident enough to make my own apem. Tried this year though and failed 🙃

I promise to myself that this year is gonna be a good Ramadhan.

Welcome, month of holding, month of exercising integrity. It might not be always easy but doable.

I’m sending out apology to all the people having felt hurt by me. I’m sorry with my heart and soul in naked words. 🙏🏼

May all beings be happy.

my private megengan in 2022 minus rice, the white one is my own first apem in life – taste good but imperfect texture 🥰

Touch & Go

Perfume, Beloved,
Won’t be enjoyed by blocked nose.
Eyes though see bottle,
But the fragrance goes away
Leaving no trace but the spray.

—————————————————————

Once I had a chat about “Touch ‘n Go” card of Malaysia. One Malaysian friend made what he called a joke “Life is like touch and go la. You touch then you go la. As long as you pay, it is ok! The problem is after touch and go, you realise you run out of fuel and there is no gas station there, then you are stranded in the middle of nowhere.” None of us laughed. He said “Alamak! You all don’t get it la! Boy’s joke, boy’s joke!’

Only today I can really get it. I should text him to confirm a fresh understanding. He must be happy receiving a message from a long lost friend who is now “smart enough”. 😁

I prefer not to live like “touch and go in nice cars” touching here and there for temporary pleasure then losing the ability to detach from irresponsible people who can only suck joy out from my only self through the excessively irresponsible exchange of memories. I prefer “going on foot” consciously although it looks less luxurious.

‘d only build precious memories with those reciprocally loving me and not playing touch and go 💝

May all beings be happy.

well understood

Lunch Chat

Today I had a lunch chat with a colleague. We discussed about this and that and of course how we both grow more grey hair, more fat and of course more wisdom.

happy to work with those having courage to tell when it’s right or wrong, with objectivity

I remember when I was 30’s I said to him I was so afraid of growing old alone. Now I’m growing old alone and I’m not afraid. Today I said to him that I’m afraid of dying alone and he lightly said “No one wants to die with you or with anyone else, girl! No one!”

I laughed and said “Damn! you’re right!”

And I made a good decision right during the convo that I won’t be afraid of being alone! Everything is gonna be alright!

But he said something before saying goodbye “And you’d better be a bit stingy to those not helping!”

“Damn! You’re right again!”

Life is fair but life is also not fair so we’d better know how to surf! Unfortunately, I don’t like surfing, I’m just gonna be biking!

slow down to both directions, live and die is like drawing an ♾

Happy International Women’s Day (ranting)

Honestly I prefer to name it by either feminine or masculine rather than women and men. It’s not about what’s attached between your crotch that matters by being a human, it’s about the quality attached to your spirit and contribution made to society.

So, even if someone is born a woman, she won’t be able to appreciate other women as long as she only sees the other women’s physical body measurement as the indicators. And by doing so, she does discriminate other women in the essence for having non-essential indicators to appreciate them.

Whereas, at the same time I see many men around me respect and appreciate women simply because they know those women have the same opportunity to contribute for a better life. Or else, they discriminate based on sex or even any other thing attached to the women.

Ok, let’s agree though to call today as International Women’s Day and make the spirit of anti-discrimination based on anything possible be rekindled.

Happy International Women’s Day to all women who represent the symbol of femininity and to all men who become part of appreciating agent.

from one of my good friends – I’m grateful male in my inner circle are those respecting women based on what we’re capable of doing at the same time having ability to laugh at what’s funny in reality e.g.: ladies parking 😂 oops! sorry, myself 😶‍🌫️

Chimney

Does it suffocate
Or release? Up to the sky
Or stuck in the black?
Meet the wind. Fly to the far.
Let the chimney nobly stand.

————————————————————-

Chimney is a symbol of industrial era like church for religiosity, tower for secularity and all kinds of stars of spirituality.

Yet I found different interpretation of mine on chimney through Japanese books reading (very very elementary, all hiragana and katakana, I can only remember 15 kanji so far, hell yeah!). Chimney can be a symbol of fairy tales, dreams, ideas and creativity emerging from the dark, beautiful stories. What else? Ya, just use imagination to find what clicks in mind until the word “chimney” meets its lighter connotation against the one in paragraph 1.

Reading the books, I can’t deny some people really get blessed with extraordinary imaginary world and ability to materialise what’s in it by intertwining the intangible blessings with the tangible ones. Like the writer whose books I’ve read.

God bless you, Akihiro Nishino (should be with ~san). Thanks for the books you’ve written.

Read. Read. Read.

Read the letters. Read the lessons. Read between the lines.

🏭

find the Chimney Town in you 🏭
dark but glowing – isn’t that paradoxically beautiful?

Aging

Aging, Beloved,
Counting blessings everyday—
Feeling challenging?

——————————————————————————————————

Sometimes a challenge or deadline is needed like fertiliser sprinkled on to the soil to trigger more chemical, biological, physical reactions from the root dancing in the ground to go deeper and healthier so that the tree grows even stronger and taller.

頑張りましょう!

28-day writing challenge with some friends feels like a squid game 💝 😵‍💫

Happy Chinese New Year

New year, Beloved,
Leaf falling celebrated
By the wind then gone;
Only memories will stay
In the soul of those alive.

——————————————————

You can start the year on any day and call it a new year. You can use lunar or solar or any other possible cycle in the galaxy or even beyond the galaxy as you wish.

The only thing you need is making sure your start is well used.

I thank everyday for the second chance, the new day everyday, the new year everyday.

Happy Chinese New Year!

a video from a colleague in Taiwan, always one of my favourite buddies at work!!! 👍🏽 Gong Xi, Gong Xi, Tim!

Prudent Clown

Comic, Beloved,
Life through senses. Through head, storms—
Through soul, a great gift—

—————————————————————-

‘m wishing the borders re-open soon so I can travel to meet my family and friends then have some chat with them while throwing sour jokes without emoticon or disturbed internet connection.

‘m wishing the borders re-open soon so I can travel to see my base home starting her life.

‘m wishing I’m as fine as now if the borders don’t re-open soon. 😎

Borders re-opening means no quarantine applied 😁 10-day in a closed room -how much ever it is comfy- is truly a must-not-happen-experience-in-life thing!

wisdom, humour and friendship at one table 😂

Thanksgiving

Thanks for everything
Not only abundance, but
Also scarcity.

—————————————————————

Online work mode has made people think creatively to minimize boredom including inserting some fun through dress code in online meetings. This time thanksgiving. Yay!

I’ve read some history and the development of that tradition, not a fans though because I am raised a Javanese who is supposed to thank every day —every moment if possible— with whatever reason. If you don’t have reasons to be grateful, find one.

For being a human being. For being a female. For being one rascal in the family. For being a persistent colleague. For the abundance. For the scarcity. For being me now.

If it is still hard to thank for who you are, Beloved, just be you with the layers of fear, hope and awe.

Thank you! For everything 🐣

not a fans of costume but thanksgiving is not far from turkey, turkey headband is counted costume 🦃☺️ my hair! 🙄

Forever

A strand of white pearls
Harvested in the deep sea
Bedazzles her neck.

————————————————————

There is time when I regret of what’s done and nervous about what will happen. Why did I do that? I should have done this. What if I fail again? I am not good enough.

I used to think money was everything with happiness but I prove that money is the biggest illusion in life that I misunderstood. Now I consider money should be merely a tool, never a purpose. Yet I still think of what if my company stock price decreases? 😁

I used to look for happiness and protection in a relationship. With experiences I become strongly convinced that only a healthy relationship with the self can help me cope with problems; moreover, without healthy relation with my self any relationship with others won’t work well. Yet I still don’t heal from broken heart easily and still think whether or not I will meet someone I can share some simple happiness and shelter with.

I was between life and death situations more than once for some illness before, and so helpless about future. And gradually I realise that death can come anytime even when people are healthy. Yet I still hope I die when I let go of any confusion and live in clarity.

However, there is time when I know that only in the now I can accept everything. In the now I can shed tears with mixture of gratefulness for what’s breaking my heart and blessings of what’s boosting the quality of life. In the now I can smile just by seeing piling laundry waiting for ironing. In the now I can see the canvas is the door of self healing. In the now I can imagine sending a cake full of love for my loved ones who live in many different places, whom I cannot visit with many reasons. In the now I can see shades of real and true happiness in each and every experience from wake up to sleep.

Thank you for the now and now and now that form a strand of pearls called forever.

I live forever until the last now meets with the first now.

Al Fatihah to all of my loved ones across the oceans. I bless you happiness.

Salaam….

back on track, contemplating with colours
do things with love, the definition of love? enjoying good things to the fullest or, in bad time enjoying the process with patience 💝
thank you, Emily for the message 🪶🙏🏽

Harvesting Generation (ranting)

Harvest is to reap
What’s nurtured from the nature.
Good plans might not work.

————————————————————-

Last weekend was one of the merrier offs. Meet up with friends in different places + online conversation with best friends did draw interesting facts about how they apply parenting.

I’m against those who consider children as investment. This mindset is broadly believed where I was raised. This old concept has poorly discouraged many of us to grow as we are.

Many children from my time feel that their success should be to fulfil what their parents want as the investors who often time consider financial support is paramount, not to actually use their own ideal dreams to contribute to society as an individual with their unique ID and personality.

No, I don’t deny how important formal education is for modern human beings. And so financial support -normally from parents in my society- should be highly appreciated by those who enjoy the privilege. Yet the financial support should not make children become economically vulnerable against their parents.

In the other hand children must know parents -assumed as the major or primary support before living independently- get old and need support in their retirement and so those elderly should be well taken care of. This should be a form of respect and responsibility, not an abusively forced task.

Good parents should know it is a responsibility to prepare children to be responsible human beings; good children should know it is a responsibility to support parents in retirement time. 💝

It is not easy to deal with parents who don’t give room or give very thin chance to bridge gaps of many topics. One of the significant result is these children fail managing their own future plans: losing the chance to work in a dreamed place, missing the chance to live abroad, getting married with someone they don’t love or being single for not getting approval to get married with the loved ones, and so on and so forth. I’m one of those 😝

When one best friend said she wanted her son to be so and so but the son shown his rebel, I couldn’t resist myself to not say “Do you remember why you are now still there?”

She laughed and said,”Ok, ok thanks for reminding me. But you are not married. haven’t been a parent, haven’t had children that’s why you can say that easily…..! You would be disappointed if your children grow not up to your expectation. You would never want them to live below your standards. They should be the one materialising parents’ dreams that are missed. What would you say, my dear?”

Damn! She might be right!

However, how would parents expect children to be what the parents failed to be? Don’t they think children will fail to do so as well with the same style of parenting parents copy from grandparents (who failed in the first hand)? 😫

Please forgive me, best friend. Can’t always agree with but respect your stance. If I have children, I won’t lazily apply the dictatorship or transactional relationship. 👍🏽😘

I thank God to be single in this situation although I have smaller hope to “harvest my own next generation”. I’m quite happy that my brothers (and some crazy good friends) allow me to love their children as an open-minded aunt cum good friend when they need to have fun smart discussions. 🥰

May all beings be happy.

the cause of crop failure might be flood, 😫
or draught, or any other reason like…
this and the gang, or….
THIS 😖

Friendly Green

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

————————————————————

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. 💝

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

Be Willing To Be Reborn

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

—————————————————————

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!

Moment To Simply Live

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

————————————————

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

Happy Journey

Birthday, Beloved,
One step closer to the gate
To a rendezvous

———————————————————-

It’s my mother’s 77th birthday and she looked so happy when I called through my little brother’s phone. A happy day for all of us finding that she’s still happy and healthy in this age.

She’s a lady of the house. She’s respected by family and neighbours because of her kindness. She’s cheated though by the greed. She’s loved by her children at the same time official enemy of all of them at certain time. I personally have a shade of rivalry against her, she did envy me how I would be closed with and always got constant support from my father. 😂

My friends want to be like her but I don’t. I don’t want to be like her because her life was too tough. She was born in a period of war, raised mostly without a father and be given a lot of ups and downs in her personal journey. Lucky that she was married to a humble, kind, hard working man and they became one of the best couples in our humble world.

Happy birthday, Ibu. I wish you happiness. 💝 Long happy life! See you at our dining table on your 78th birthday. 😘😘😘😘😘😘

Lots of love as always,

Your daughter (stubborn yet sweet) 😊

this is yours, Ibu
this is mine!!!