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?

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 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 🙂

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

Across Rainbow Bridge

Across rainbow bridge,
Wings bring a tiny light up
High to where it glows.

————————————————————-

I’m surrounded by animal lovers and rescuers. Every now and then I see how they struggle with animals in pain or death. It’s not easy each time those friends have to say good bye but at the same time they learn again and again that the best end is by releasing sincerely and being released sincerely.

Happy journey, Dear. Thanks for all the lessons you have taught us.

Alfatihah 💝🙏🏼

bye, Item; see you across the bridge 🥰 alfatihah 💝

Life of A Flower

It’s about flower in its life cycle.

A flower blooms, dries to fall off or falls to dry at time in place for a given moment. It lives then dies. It blossoms or prematurely drops.

Some flowers are admired, some are not even noticed. Some are vibrantly coloured, some are dead dull. Some are meticulous, some are straightly simple. Some produce edible fruits, some the poisonous.

It’s about flower, the beauty in itself, although most view points perceive the look differently. Absolute beauty sits where it is, lingering forever as values and concepts. Relative beauty fades away through aging, some even without being remembered as memory or history.

It’s about flower, the one in a palace and that in a lawn.

Salam. Alfatihah.

prominent, admired, blessed
unnoticed, hidden beauty, blessed
fall to dry, blessed
dried and ready to decompose, blessed

The Choice To Bloom

Even though they’re weed,
They’re flower, ready to bloom.
Truly as they are.

———————————————————

Respect each other as all of us have become us with no choice but traveling the paths we’ve agreed to sign up. Early termination doesn’t apply; life is about starting and completing what’s written.

Respect each other. At least….

💝

💞

Banana Tree

Live once, no regret,
Said banana trees. They die
After giving fruits.

——————————————————

the boy, the mole, the fox and the horse – them in one
unlearn, my dear…. let go
my finding me is like finding a piece of unpolished sapphire, not diamond which is too high value nor gravel which is too low – maybe it’s gonna be unpolished forever but at least I know it’s a sapphire, not diamond not gravel

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 💝 😵‍💫

I Trust You

Know not, Beloved
This path about to end when
And where. I trust you.

——————————————————-

Trust is what she’s been holding tight because without it she’s lost the grip against so much magnetic force around that will pull her into a gaping hole, where greediness can consume anyone till no end.

Thanks, Beloved, for giving me a life that’s imperfect but perfectly humbling me in many ways.

I trust You; voluntarily or forcefully.

💞

a song that touches my heart like a tiny leaf falling on a placid lake 💝 thank you

The Director

Her life, Beloved,
Perfectly-directed film
Ready for Oscars—

————————————————

She sometimes forgets that life is a performed script in which she is casted to act out a given role the best she can. She should follow the director’s direction and directive.

What about spectators? She should ignore spectators. Spectators are stars whose job is to see and comment on the film. And they pay for what they see and comment. The payment goes to the stars!

So, dear Star. Fix your moves. Better your expression. Tag your ears with the melody. Live in harmony, with your own self like Javanese Bedhaya performers who are meditatively drowned in the sacred composition.

Oscars are waiting.…

…. Only if you play all out!

Heart and soul dancing through body 💞

Alhamdulillah 🌻

The Director from Pinterest
Bedhaya, the epitome of Javanese dance

River

River, Beloved,
Flows. Let things go with the flow
From, in, through, to you.

—————————————————————

Feel the flow: calm, swift, pushing, breaking, splashing, swirling, stuck, moving. No matter what, flow.

enzo on a plate
golden enzo

Home

A home, Beloved
Not an outlook— it’s the soul
That hugs when inside.

—————————————————————-

I bought my first property at 34, a bit late from the original plan simply because I was broke. It was a small house in Greater Jakarta, that is now called “Rumah Bob” (literally Bob’s home) named after my cat Bob.

It is one tiny house in a small cluster, uniformly designed with minimum freedom to show “me” — the owner can only have it painted different colours, install different window sills, plant different flowers and design different garden, add different carport, or maybe buy different cars.

That has motivated me to have a home that reflects “the me that I want to present”. None of the houses offered to me by brokers or friends hit my core although some were into my taste— of course some were simply too pricy. 😩 I rejected all offers.

Apology – Some people (who helped search property for me) thought I was too much because for some of them a house is simply a place to live in comfort, while I’ve always dreamt to live in a home where I can express the true me and help my guests understand their true selves by visiting the home. A few of them sarcastically said I shouldn’t have searched through them if I didn’t have enough money — ohhhhhh some bloody stings!!! 😂 Yet I did apologise to them for being so difficult.

I decided to buy a small plot of land in a greenery in Yogyakarta (my father’s home town) and build a home from scratch.

Architect – It’s very important to choose the right architect. Not necessarily the most prominent as to me integrity and friendship is the most important thing – luckily my best friend recommended her student to work on my dream. Working with an architect who was artist had blessed me. She understood what was wanted by her clients but she never got satisfied even when the clients said the final draft was excellent. She would get back to me saying “Mbak, I think I find which part should be optimised. I’ll get back to you with a new draft.” Thanks to Mbak Novi.

The Core – My home will never impress random onlookers from the outlook or those who think a good house is a luxurious building; they will simply think it’s a humble abode clean and fresh. It will only impress its guests, family and friends who truly relate with me as human beings with different kinds of engagements or those who know how to appreciate humanity and ordinary.

I wish to be granted health and prosperity to live long enough to enjoy being a sincere host in my true home to those who love life.

A dream come true! Alhamdulillah.

May all beings be happy. 💝

front door, greeting family and friends with all my heart and soul – no fake people are welcome

Rose Garden

Garden, Beloved,
Fertilized with poisons? Dead!
Cinder rose goes off.

———————————————————

A group call with my brother and sister in law is mostly either stupid or crazy. Once we talked about the old time passing and our addiction.

How someone gets addicted to something is mostly started from a physical or mental exit of pain— either clinically prescribed or personally decided— followed by excessive dependency on the substances or the activities.

I’ve seen how people addicted to medicine (I was to pain killer), drugs, alcohol, sex, gambling, etc have changed from beautiful human beings into ugly persons either physically or mentally. It’s how awful co-dependency shapes someone’s life. Moreover, there is no addiction in any history that brings true happiness or freedom.

Three of us then discussed about someone who was addicted to something unusual: spiritual drills. Having all resources, the person went shopping on various classes and workshops about spirituality and self help such as meditation, mindfulness, tapping therapy, money magnet and how to optimise it spiritually, how to activate chakra, yoga and blahblahblah, gemstones and their spiritual power, mandala and spiritual awakening, how spiritual life pull financial abundance, spiritual traveling around many places, etc. One had been in one’s 60th class last time we met. One would be able to answer all questions in any possible ways. I called one ‘Mr/Ms Know All’, a euphemistic nick name that might be loved by those addicted to power and authority. Some friends called this person “Mr/Ms Spiritual Junky”.

What I remember about this person is that no one around was genuinely appreciated, everyone was just a “who-are-you-you-think-you’re-better-than-me”. One called most of one’s friends “cantrik”, a Javanese word that literally means follower/helper and would never be up to one’s level (one called one’s self healer and universe map reader).

How ironic! From someone who were full of compassion to someone who were full of envy and insecurity—

I think many if not all people to some extent were once addict who learned the lessons and changed the patterns to be free from co-dependency. My brother was a heavy smoker, been stopping for around 3 years. My sister in law was a Korean drama freak and quit. I myself was addicted to those I fell for and heavily overthinking.

“I almost got addicted to someone again.”

“Let go! Let go! Let go!” said they to me like cheerleaders.

Definitely! It’s a waste to wait for emotionally unavailable people to care that I care about them. I’m ok to get soaked in love and compassion but not in addiction to people. 💝

Addiction, oh addiction.

Alfatihah to all of those who are addicted to anything in any situation. Be healed and blessed.

are they addicted to gadget or hugs? so clingy, damn…. 😂

Addiction to technology?

cinder rose, dusty pink 🥰 from Pinterest

Madly In Love

Was madly in love,
Still am…. Realm is the limit.
…. With you, Beloved—

—————————————————————

Where is the end of love journey? Either hopelessness or time 💝

Alfatihah 💕

love poem of Nizar Qabbani

Nizar Qabbani

Where Will I Go

Nature, Beloved,
Speaks to you about a path
Where wings be North Star
Which gives signs and directions
Only when you walk.

—————————————————————

Only when you know your destination, Beloved, and are willing to take the walk, all signs, symbols and directions become relevant.

Salaam…. 💝

many branches, prioritise!
it is good to have a map, but having a destination is a pre-condition
there’s always risk in an action – evaluate and still do the walk
there should be an exit of everything – decision making is paramount, don’t get trapped in indecisiveness
know where to evacuate esp in emergency situation
know where and what to wait 💝

How To See The Self

Mirror on the wall,
I’m the prettiest of all?
It cracks up. Masks gone—

————————————————————-

Ah, weekends of mid December! Work is slowing down on several days. Weekends feel like starting on Friday morning. I have some longer time to talk to the mirror and find that I’m still there! A hidden innocent rascal nicely sitting behind layers of curtains

Masquerade on break!

🤡👻🤖👽😈👹👺🎭💩🎃👾🤠

🥰

May all beings be happy! 💝

🤩
watching Maru, feeling like looking at the mirror 🤪