Hari Kartini

Hari Kartini ki mesthi dadi dina paling dieling-eling marang bocah-bocah wedok jamanku ning Indonesia. Ngapa? Merga saben Hari Kartini bocah-bocah wedok jamanku paling ora pisan pindho nate bayakan (nganggo kebaya), jarikan, gelungan, sing wong tuwane nduwe ragat ya macak ning salon barang. Sing wong tuwane dhompete kandel ya anake ayu moblong-moblong. Sing sederhana ya wis biasa ae, ketok wedhakan, bengesan, jungkasan mening wis lumayan mbois.

Ning maknane Hari Kartini ki kok ora pati mancep lan nilas ning ati lan jiwane bocah-bocah ya? Nek diarani tokoh emansipasi wanita Indonesia, apa iya bocah-bocah sing jarikan macak nganti ayune uleng-ulengan ki paham maksude apa? Kok nganti saiki wong-wong wedok ijik akeh sing didiskriminasi kaya jamane Ibu Kartini.

Apa cukup carane memperingati Hari Kartini ki nyang sekolah utawa kantor nganggo klambi daerah mblenger ditutuli benges, sedow lan celak ben ketok medoki?

Sakjane ya kudune rada jeru ya masiya nek isane ngono ya wis ben ngono sik. Ning muga-muga ae bocah-bocah wedok Indonesia ora mandheg maknani Hari Kartini mung dadi tetenger wiyose Ibu Kartini, tapi luwih meneh maknani laire rasa setara, dudu kompetisi antarane lanang lan wedok, rasa melengkapi antarane lanang karo wedok ana ing urip iki, ora balapan, ora royokan.

Alhamdulillah wis enek Hari Kartini. Paling ora enek sing ngelingne lek wedok ki kudu piye lan isa piye. — wedok ki ora mung sumur, kasur, dapur tapi ya oleh tandur, tutur, ngatur barang. Wis piye?

Sugeng ambal warsa, RA Kartini.

Selamat Hari Kartini, para perempuan Indonesia. You’re well respected whoever, wherever, whenever you are, no matter what. 🙏🏼

🎂

Perfect

Perfect, Beloved
Indication of moments,
Not about others—

——-

I thought there was perfection but then life showed me that the only thing truly modified by the word perfect is time or in some situation called moment. Other than those two creatures are never essentially perfect, they are perfect through some agreed points of view.

When it is over, it is perfectly done – time is up. When it is cut, it is perfectly completed – time is up.

And I accept a “time is up” sincerely or forcefully. A let go. A move on. A celebration. A moment to remember. A memory to save.

Oh life…. A set of perfect moments you are!

Thank you!

how do you hide imperfect look? make it black and white, that’s exactly what some human beings do to judge others – black, white — or, slice the thing, don’t see big picture and perfection is as if there 🧐

Singapore – Apr. 19, 2022 / 21:03

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

One Way To Forget

Away from real life
In real life: watching movie—
One perfect weekend!

——

Good movie is not always that with good cinematography quality, to me good movie is one released and on when there are many to run away from for some time in real life. Sitting in a huge space among those we don’t know feels like a freedom with responsible limit: we enjoy ourselves and try our best not to disturb others who are enjoying the same thing with us in different way — some people scream watching some scenes, I simply close eyes and block ears; some giggle, I laugh loudly; others eat and drink, I enjoy Fisherman’s Friend, and so on, and so forth.

Life is full of blessings if we can see it from the right point of view.

Salaam.

the best place to run away from reality: theatre 🥰

Temasek – Apr. 17, 2022 / 21:15

Strokes of Colours

Woven coloured threads
Build a spread of table cloth,
Freshening guests’ eyes.

——-

While white is the most beautiful colour, bright colours are good choices to brighten most days!

Welcome, tired eyes to a realm of colours.

Salaam.

70% of Kembang Ganyong

Singapore – Apr. 14, 2022 / 21:00

Quietness

It’s dark, Beloved,
I’m afraid. Where should I go?
Walk through the shushed wind.

————

One wise teacher said,”Your path might be dark and you can’t see anything but don’t worry, my child as the hearing works without the light.

Listen. Listen carefully”.

at times I should thank the pandemic…. for making this area the least crowded, so quiet, only sound of water then hair dryer…. the rest is silent air❣️

Singapore – Apr. 13, 2022 / 21:22

History of A Tree

You have to believe
Nature lives with you, ruling
Games in which you are.
See colours. Watch shapes. Seasons,
Patterns count the scores to make.

Fruits rot. Flowers sere.
Leaves fall. Trunks topple. Roots die.
This plant is a name
In encyclopaedia,
Memory of its climbers.

——-

This body has expiry date. I’m seeing it deteriorates in time. What will be something of me left behind?

Temasek, Ramadhan 11 / 5:55am

dear sun, when you’re down, where are you and what are you doing?

Palate The Great Influencer

I want to not eat
But get full. My palate says
“Go talk to the wall”.

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My palate is greedy yet very loving and worth loving. It tells me to eat more tasty food although I’m not hungry. In Ramadhan it whispers to me, coaxing me to “collect good-looking food” on the day to reward my good deed through breakfast (ifthar). Damn good influencer!

Dear, Ms Palate. At least please support my weight loss program. 😚

pizza, good when rather hot — ordered at lunch time in the office at 1:25pm
heated pizza at home at 7:12pm — good? slightly dry but good!

Drunk Without Drinking

Intoxicated
Without drink, just dream of you.
Sensing from afar—
From a distance it is you.
The true you? A perceived you?

—————————————————————-

I learn about fasting gradually, starting from child’s fasting to earn presents then knowing it as shoum then as shiyam. All refer to the same activity but have different level of loaded meanings. In Arabic when word is added with one letter, the type of word changes, the voice changes and the depth or load of meaning also changes. The word صوم (shoum) has three letters, while صيام (shiyam) consists of four letters. Therefore, the word shiyam has a deeper meaning than the word shoum. There are even some circles that distinguish the meaning of the two words.

The word shiyam means to refrain from things that cancel (eating, drinking, sexual intercourse) performed with good intention, while the word shoum means leaving things that cancel fasting or not talking. In the Quran the word shoum can be found when Maryam the mother of Prophet Isa (Jesus) intended to stop eating and talking after the birth of him. While shiyam can be found as an instruction to do fasting in Ramadhan month.

I wish my fasting flies to the place where even Angel Gabriel (Jibril) can’t go in then my fasting goes back bringing me better understanding of how a human being should serve the living.

May all beings be happy.

❣️

my big breakfast of today, oops greedy stomach 😘

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

Ribbons With Messages

There is a crystal clear ribbon
Flying through a cavity
Bringing a message
About love
To whom
I say
“This painting is made for you from the first stroke to the last dot in the artist’s signature.”

I’m mixing colours to find the best hue to paint you.
I’m balancing the real and unreal to find the vibe of you.
I’m panning my own work to find if this is truly a gift or stolen relic from you.

I keep these hands engraving
But eyes focusing on you.
All to find you.

And every second I can see myself reading another message on another ribbon:
“Is this a hide-and-seek?
Or simply a peek-a-boo?”

Ahh! You maybe only smile, enjoying the scene of how funny this could be.

——————

won’t stop learning how to depict what’s in mind on physical media 🖼

Journey Of The Nights

Up and down the hills
The feet walk, the heart stands still.
Journey of the nights—

———————————————————

Nights and days are the consequences of sun and moon fixed courses. Or is it the other way around: sun and moon fixed courses are existing due to the need of nights and days in this particular planet.

Many say day is for activities, night is for resting. I don’t deny but I have my own interpretation of activities and resting. Activity is when all my concentration is for transactional economy, resting is when my concentration is for relaxation and personal. Rest day? Of course all my rest days will become nights. 💞

Thanks for giving me days and nights.

May all beings be happy❣️

“kembang ganyong” will fill the Ramadhan nights

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 🥰

The Flowers That Bloom

How are you, flowers?
You’ve greeted me with colours,
Loved me with fragrance.
The canvas has been waiting
To perpetuate your beauty.

———————————————————-

Only heaven knows when the “flowers on canvas” project will be completed. Let’s take picture of flowers before painting them.

Soon! Soon!

bunga sepatu, bunga raya, kembang waribang, wora-wari, hibiscus 🌺
🌱
bunga tapak dara
bunga tapak dara
🌱
orchid at the office lobby

The Sun That Sets

It sets, Beloved,
When birds swoop in to the nests
And you go to bed.

—————————————————————

Sunset doesn’t suddenly come. It sets as a process slowly through time. Just like this life: before birth… then birth, infant, child, teenager, adult, old, end of life — aging before the great divide coming

Some wise men said to me “death should be thought of as an ordinary thing, it shouldn’t be afraid of”. Not easy, it invites fright of uncertainty to me personally, but death has become a relevant thing to ponder at my age — I’ll be 50 a couple of years soon. 🥳 Although I am not prone to heaven and hell after life, I believe there is another cycle of life after the physical death whose quality depends on how the earth life is enjoyed and celebrated. A huge enigma!

Good thought that has motivated me to see death positively is a chance to be beautifully remembered by those loving me. I’m not afraid of being disliked by some (even those that I love) because I know I am loved by those whose life I’ve touched. Enjoying life to the fullest joyfully and responsibly is both a game and a goal at the same time. I don’t regret what I’ve done because there is always lesson behind. Now I just want to be a human being around human beings who appreciate each other properly and help each other grow.

Who doesn’t want to be like a sunset whose existence is realised and enjoyed by those who can sense the scene and the moment? No one.

May all beings be happy.

Damn! I’m being melancholic for just a bit. 🥰

hey, Sun! thank you for sharing a moment and being a reminder

Mask Is, Smile Is

Smile is a good mask
Than a mask can be. A mask
Masks a masking smile.
What masks a mask? Or who does?
Unmask! A soul has missed you.

————————————————————-

Sometimes she doesn’t know why she feels a blissful joy. She tries her best to find a reason but seems to fail. When people ask why she looks radiant on certain day, she will just say I love the food, I love the weather, I love this, I love that — simply for courtesy with a bit of honesty compromised due to inability to give exact reason.

Perhaps the reason is because the footprints of falling in love is greater than the scars of broken heart. Alas! It might not be. Or, it might be. Come on, it might not be. Ah! That’s not important.

Oh? She doesn’t know. And it is ok to feel that way – blissfully joyful with unknown reason like when she is falling in love, unreasonable — her love did go to that that she never ever thought of getting on the way then suddenly gone away.

Tragic comedy! 🙃

❣️

guess why happy? the salad counter is at least 50% open! eyes can’t hide a smile 🙂

Memories, Scents and Elements

Calm breeze blows her hair,
Pulls memories out of head.
Filling the fresh air—

Water soaks flowers,
Distills their fragrance slowly.
Diffusing the scents—

—————————————————-

Weekend is studying, doing laundry, cleaning home, and listening to things. Cooking? Not today, I’ll skip the healthful food 🦸🏻‍♀️

listen, don’t believe – then I listened to him and didn’t believe ❣️

Woman – ranting

Woman is human being
With exactly the same rights as man to be human being.
All her decisions should be respected like man’s decisions should be respected, too.
It is not a privilege to be a woman like it is not a privilege to be a man, too.
It is a privilege to be a woman like it is a privilege to be a man, too.

In some culture woman is discriminated based on different things, but overall the discrimination is simply because she is a woman.
Don’t worry, culture sustains when human being preserves it. So let’s change the discrimination culture by promoting a non-discriminative mindset.

In some culture though woman overdoes her fight of emancipation that makes herself suffer with no gain.

There should be no fighting between man and woman because the existence of both doesn’t generate competition. It is a complimentary and supplementary relationship for one another in different levels or fields of roles and responsibilities that are agreed without discrimination, harassment or abuse just because of being a woman or a man.

Ah! It is good for her to be a woman. And I know it is good for him to be a man.

Stop ranting! Go rest. 😀
thanks for saving me, Beloved❣️
we can adopt a cat, a dog or an underprivileged child! 😁
not less woman by being not a wife or a mother with a child
I never be in this type of changing room but yes, I get it
exotic and uniquely built
oh, I’m not either of them but yes it’s my body and I love it so I take care of it
commitment and integrity
to those underestimating me, thanks for staying away 🥰
not only happy, be joyful❣️

Dreamy Days

Red leaves, Beloved
Gracefully fall on the lap
Of Mother Nature,
Garnishing coloured autumn
Welcoming benign winter.

Dream, dream, Beloved.
As vibrant as you wish to,
As sweet as you want.
You’re red leaves lightheartedly
Flying decorating life.

—————————————————————

I wish all my good dreams come true. And all of yours, too 🙏🏼

Salam.

❣️

Batik Gringsing

Time travels with you
To where good memories sit,
Waiting to rejoice.

———————————————————-

When I was a girl, I got sick very often. Yet what I remember the most isn’t the pain but is how my family would take care of me. Of course they medically treated me either at home or hospitalised, but there was a unique way I can never forget what my mother, father and siblings did extra.

My father would chant Javanese mantra that would calm me down. My mother would wrap me with a sheet of batik cloth before putting the next thicker blanket. And of course siblings especially sisters would sleep with me the whole night.

What Javanese mantra chanted by father? Oh can’t remember! What batik, I definitely remember it and now own it for the same need; covering myself with batik gringsing when sick.

1.2mx2.3m batik cloth with gringsing background pattern of flower bouquets

Gringsing is one of the oldest batik background patterns in Java. It is thousands of tiny square with a dot in the center symbolising “sedulur papat kalima pancer” (literally means 4 siblings and 1 core as the fifth) the cosmic balance of human reality in Javanese wisdom. And through the philosophy it is believed that when a Javanese human is sick, s/he is cosmically imbalanced and needs to be balanced. Physically s/he is medically treated, metaphysically s/he is cured with gringsing the balance symbol.

Gringsing is an acronym of gring or gering (sick, not well, ill) and sing (not); gringsing means not sick anymore. Oh! That simple! Made by hand! Oh! Not that simple!

What a blessed human being!

wrapping body when catching fever doesn’t replace paracetamol, it’s to recall the memory of how my family well treated me when I was sick 🥰
detail of gringsing: a tiny squarish scale with a dot in the center – sedulur 4 ka-5 pancer