Batik Grompol (Javanese Culture)

There are star clusters
Glowing in the horizon
Sending messages.


From Yogyakarta I brought home a pair of batik grompol sheets which I ordered 6 months ago. Happy I must be!

Grompol is a Yogyakartan special classical batik pattern. No other regions can claim otherwise.

Let’s talk about batik grompol today.

Disclaimer: 1) while the primary interpretation is based on what I learnt from the masters; many of it is my own thought based on what I understand on symbols and signs of Javanese, Islam and Hinduism that intertwined in my upbringing. So please be critical. 2) too much information, too little time for me to summarise. Please expect disconnected ideas, connect them by yourselves.

Grompol batik pattern is a sub-category of ceplok pattern in which one geometry pattern is clustered (squares, triangle, circle, lines, etc). In Javanese language ceplok literally means clustering, grouping, gathering based on the same characteristics or criteria (size, colour, shape, pattern, lines, etc). So hypothetically ceplok pattern is always about gathering, uniting, getting together.

Grompol pattern is characterised through the clustering of of 4-petal flower, a flower pistil in the middle, a seed with 4 couples of 3-ceceg and 5-ceceg (ceceg is a terminology used to describe dots in batik pattern) and “wrapped” by a square with 8 points that almost looks like octagram. 


4-petal flower is a symbol of fertile or healthy life. The 4 petals of the flower can be related to four points of the compass: east, west, north and south.

Flower pistil symbolises the centre of life, potential growth in human being. It can also represent the sun, the soul, the heart as centres of discourses to be applied based on contexts.

Flower which is the beauty before fruition is representing an expectation that human being should optimise their state of beauty which in Javanese almost always refers to the developed wisdom in human being manifested as kindness to fellow creature on earth before one dies.


A round seed surrounded by 4 couples of 3-ceceg and 5-ceceg symbolises seed of life that should be well protected from all directions.

The seed can be interpreted the same as the flower pistil in the middle of a flower. It is generated from the pistil fertilised by the pollens. It is the centre of life, potential growth in human being. It can also represent the sun, the soul, the heart as centres of discourses to be applied based on contexts.

The round shape of the seed indicates the completeness, thoroughness, integration, centredness, perfection, full cycle.

Ceceg is one type of isen (ornament in empty spaces among primary patterns of batik) in batik. Isen is more popular in Central Java than other regions, isen can be in the form of dots or lines or the combination of both repeatedly put in the intended empty spaces without changing the primary pattern, even there is an intension for isen to highlight the primary patterns.

3-ceceg can be interpreted as Trimurti, the three balancing power of Brahma, Wisnu and Siwa (Siva) which are the 3 powerful powers of creation of the universe, preservation of the universe and destruction of the universe.

5-ceceg can be interpreted as 5 types of self regulation: knowing one’s own identity and personality, connecting to inner self, managing the humane desires, living through good sources of life (no corruption, sharing to the needy) and self reflection through traveling or pilgrimage. A human being is expected to continuously strive for perfection of these five without expecting the perfection to happen.

Points of the Compass

Octagram represents 8. Number 8 in Javanese wisdom is about welfare and authority. Number 8 also represents 8 gods guarding the 4 points of the compass in which 1 direction is guarded by 2 gods of specific authority. The compass itself has 9 points – 1 the centre, 8 the directing points.

The 1 point in the middle is sat by Siwa. 8 points are sat by other gods based on what they manage in the natural realm. Those 9 (1+8) are called Dewata Nawa Sanga (nine guardian gods) in Balinese and Javanese culture. Those 8 are wellknown as Asta Dikplaka (eight gods of 8 directions).

  • North (Uttara): Wisnu or Kuwera guarding the north, Sambhu or Isana guarding east north – gods of rain
  • East (Purwa): Iswara or Indra guarding east, Mahesora or Agni guarding south east – gods of music
  • South (Dakhsina): Brahma or Yama guarding the south, Rudra or Nritti guarding south west – gods of winds and growth
  • West (Pascima): Mahadewa or Baruna guarding west, Sangkara or Bayu guarding north west.

Number 1, 3, 4, 5, 8, 9

Like in other cultures, Javanese gives significant role to numbers in their game of meaning.

  • 1 – siji, setunggal, tunggal, ika, eka: It can mean uniting, integrating, the first, the earth, the sun, the moon, queen, king, country or any other thing perceived as singular or superior.
  • 3 – telu, tiga, tri: It can refer to 3 life (spirit life, physical life, life after life), attitude/behaviour/work, celebration/luxury/merriness
  • 4 – papat, sekawan, catur: Number 4 in Javanese culture signifies creativity and intelligence, endurance, perseverance and victory. The 4 points of the compass also represent something about those 4 directions. The power of sun in the east, the power of mountain in the north. The power of luck in the west. The power of maximum ability in everything in the south.
  • 5 – lima, gangsal, panca: self integration, self regulation, supernatural powers
  • 8 – wolu, asta: Number 8 signifies high rank, respected people, physical forms, dragon as symbol of authority


That it is a ceplok type signifies the clustering, gathering, integrating of certain characters. So this batik is message and prayer for uniting of between or among family members. It is also a message and prayer of integration of human being internal wisdom – a state of maturity. Batik grompol is often worn by bride and groom in their wedding day due to its very sacred meaning of ultimate protection and potential growth through a gathering.

The uniting or integration should be based on clarity of wisdom and protection. It is the wisdom personally and culturally harvested and nurtured. The beholder, owner, wearer of batik grompol is expected to realise that this pattern is a message and a prayer that they are well protected at the same time expected to extend the given protection to all directions as the gods of all points of compass spread their protection to the universe.

The pistil of the flower as the potential growth in human being put as a compass centre in human being life can be interpreted that human being integrated wisdom has as strong power as Siwa who is sitting at the centre of the compass/chakra. Although described as destroying god, Siwa is actually symbol of re-creating, re-cycling. His being sat in the centre of a chakra (wheel, cycle) is significantly describing him as recreation/recycling agent who then distributes the re-created/re-cycled material to different function around him to be re-governed wisely by “different gods” (remember the 8 gods of all directions).

A human being should be able to learn, re-learn and un-learn one’s own life experience and lessons then to better redo or re-process the way one solves problems or to simply treat other creatures.

The round seed means a centred human being who has achieved the understanding of integrity, full cycle of life. It doesn’t mean the human being is flawless; it means the human being is aware of one’s flawedness yet accepting the state of imperfection of being human. And through the acceptance the human being keeps bettering one’s self in treating one’s self, fellow creatures and the nature. This is an everlasting interaction and intertwining between micro cosmos (jagat alit in Javanese language which represents human being) and macro cosmos (jagat gedhe, the universe).

And all in all, a human being shall pray to his God or make one’s self sure that to any direction one is heading to, one is safe and peaceful. Religious human being will live through guidance and protection from God. Spiritual human being will find inner centre in one’s self whatever one calls it and focus on what one is doing in honesty and sincerity. Free thinker will boost one’s self confidence and focus on what one is aiming with integrity.

So batik grompol has helped me understand that all my fellow human beings are essentially doing the same things as what I am doing in my life, just explained through different perspectives; and we are only of different pace and timing.

What a beautiful batik pattern. What a beautiful meaning.

my beautiful grompol batik cloths were born through the golden hands and soul blessed to this beautiful lady, Ibu Tien Wartienah

Cuts and Bruises

All cuts and bruises
Paint a life of a blossom
Before it decays.

i was so young and innocent, a loved friend of many, a hated enemy of some — i was so much blessed 💝

life has brought me travel through labyrinth of life with traps and turns that cut and torture yet i am still a loved friend of many, a hated enemy of some — i am still so much blessed with cuts and bruises 💝 i’ve lost much but i find myself

no one shall erase this happy girl within — a blessed soul that travels through space and time 🙏🏼 thank you

No Regret

One by one they fall,
Petals decompose to soil,
Fertilising life—

when i see more fine lines under my eyes, i feel blessed that i am alive up to this age; i wish to live longer with the same amount of love or even more 💝 there is no regret for all are signs and turns to the home 💝


This corner is quiter,
Sitting on a placid lake,
Where still water
Hides a huge secret
Called love,
Is covered with a vast blanket
Called peace.

This corner is cozy,
Getting warmer and calmer,
Where a cat
Curls in a bed
Called dream,
Is lullabied with long slumber
Called hope.

How peaceful it is
Pampered with a life
Called humble.


salaam means peace

A Loving Visit

A loving visit beyond time and space. Salaam. Universe answers.

about the museum
when you’re loved, people still visit you even when you’re nowhere 💝
when you’re loved, you’re taken care of even when you’re nowhere
beloved – visiting him with love, see you again
beloved – visiting him with love, see you again


Smile, Beloved, smile.
It’s a luxurious gift
For you and for me.

I was checking my educational docs and was in awe to see my photos in each of different docs. How I am touched by physical transformation and what experiences attached to it, that makes me stay loyal with my own self whatsoever.

Tell yourself that your life is a journey that if you need buddy, you should pick those willing to share wonder. Otherwise, travel alone. 💝

Thank you!


sleepy, angry, yet stop telling me to take a nap! 😂😂😂
classroom, my party time; playground, my party time, my childhood was everyday party! 👯‍♀️
no smile, no mercy 😃
length of hair defines how I treat the world; i love my pretty silly me! 😃

Love Is

Two love birds singing
In a cage full of good food.
A choice to a love—

Love is…. ?

Love is…. ?

Love is…. ?

Damn! I can’t define it except that it is sometimes misunderstood with lust.

That it is often symbolised with a heart shape. Maybe most human beings believe love comes from the heart. Hey! Is that really the shape of a heart? Or just how we agree that it is a shape of the heart?

That it is discussed everywhere but also wasted everywhere.

What I believe love is a verb not a noun so without action, it is muted sooner or later. At the same time love is an energy that cannot be created or destroyed so it is there and will be there, yet it can transform and/or transfer between subjects. Compatibility (chemistry), heat (intensity), motion (intension), what else can change the form of love? (oops forgetting all the physics learnt when younger)…. Anyway, it transforms and transfers (circulates can be another word) between (or among if circulated) human beings. So, accept it.

I believe love is about interest that human being cannot select voluntarily. It is a blessing at the same time a curse. it can be love between two love birds inseparable, or Tom and Jerry entertainingly cruel for either of two, or as cold as Antarctica.

I believe love is the core power generator of life that if removed, life will disappear. Never give up love. Broken heart is just a milestone that brings a human being to deeper and deeper understanding about him/herself. Broken because of a crush? Broken because of family? Broken because of friendship? Broken because of work? Broken because of world reality? A human being can always fix it gradually with anger, disappointment then acceptance. Just don’t be broken because of yourself – you are the most precious for yourself.

I believe that the way someone loves evolves through time, and it will suit the person’s intention never not. There should not be regret of what has happened because of love. Yet it is a regret that some people still choose to constantly send covert or overt humiliation and torture to hurt intentionally and/or to disrespect further to those they don’t love, while the best way should be forgiving or clearly declaring clear disagreement. War is one of them. Yet liked or not, that is the evolution of loving.

This weekend comes with a basket full of lessons learnt, a heap of ideas to pour as blessings in writings that I can re-read someday in the future.

Thank you, Love. You are never wasted.

Alfatihah to all whom I love.

a love locket with a pair of love birds seen in Bangkok airport – I could not resist its charm! now it is a daily friend to my T key love pendant

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

Time Takes Side

Time flows, Beloved,
To an estuary of hope.
Time flows, Beloved,
To the eternity sea.
Won’t be long before we meet—

Time flows, Beloved
To you through me. White beacon
Blinks red at low tide.
Wind says the woodlands miss me.
Time flows, Beloved. Thank you.


Don’t take too long a time to fix an issue. Time wisely travels with those willing to appreciate a journey through action taking along with wisdom harvesting. Otherwise, it will bulldoze what’s not solved.

Dear January. I know you’ll transform with me who doesn’t want remedial lessons next year.

Thank you, 2021. Welcome, 2022.



nothing is forever, let go of all that are not serving for my highest good either interest or ambition
no one is perfect, accept the dark side of my own self and learn all lessons either pleasant or unpleasant
balance is feasible only when mental detachment and appropriate acceptance are achieved, I claim the balance
I’m ok, dude…. You’re not? 🤠


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.


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 🪶🙏🏽

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


Dogma, Beloved,
The least she can hold in life.
She is full of quests.


What human beings should think of being sick is it is a tool materialised by Life to make them stop or at least slow down especially from analysing every single thing. Yet human beings often forget that blessing should not be always gift-wrapped in fancy paper with ribbons; it might be sometimes humbly bundled in a sack.

Blimey! Why do I have so many sacks? And poorly unable to untie them successfully 😎

May all beings be happy.

a pile of ugly sacks; filled with all the richness of nature

Arid Land, His Heart

I never want to hurt myself, I just didn’t know who you are.
I got hurt by a cactus in a desert
Who pricks little fingers,
Who just want to touch this life softly,
Not hurting, not taking anything away.

Wounded, I decided to blame stupidity:
Why did I have to have to have to have to have to just touch cacti? I should have left that arid land long before I touched a prickly spirit.

A delayed regret is less important than a lesson learned but it always gives a story the most significant pivot.

I’ll just admire from here
From where I stand
With millions of prayers
For a secret journey.
Yet I know you are a ghost days and nights.

Someday when I pour down the rain,
You’ll know.
Love is as sweet as water in drought—
If it is not late....

May all beings be happy.

Please Stay Calm, Humans – haiku

Please stay calm, humans.
This state of fear might extend.
Hey! It has an end.

Singapore – March 13, 2020 / 21:00


In current situation I find some real nature of human beings and how they cope with a stressful situation. Some glue themselves to their selfishness by excessively buying stocks of logistics in the name of saving for rainy days, some rant and nag as if whatever the Govt have done is never enough, some keep being as crazy as if nothing happens, some others keep calm, some others become calmer, some others are afraid to death, etc….

So what?
Everyone copes with stress in different way. I don’t blame them for doing what they have done. However, I prefer pushing my happiness to an extreme level. I’m happy and thankful that I’m still healthy and active now. I prefer smiling to as many colleagues/neighbours/passers-by or at least not looking so bitter, being kind to as many people as I can; and most importantly letting myself feel that however worst a situation outside of me will be, I can always go within and find peace and calmness here….

God bless all of us.

May all beings be happy. 🙏🏼

Blacky and Amie

I support animal lovers and rescuers by praying for them or when I’m able I’d like to donate or accompany them to take care of those animals. But honestly I mostly support them from a distance…. The lowest level of caring but the best I can.

About two weeks ago a friend of mine texted me to pray for Blacky, a little cutie pie that was suffering from vomitting after every meal of his. Blacky, a black-with-white-spots kitten was waiting for exchanging blessings with me.

This is Blacky, when he was up and around.

Blacky was transported by his mommy named Amie by bus for about 3 hours. What a lovely journey for Blacky and Amie the mommy….! To get him cured. Vet said that Blacky suffered from kidney disfunction. Or, at least that was the result after some examination by the vet plus X-Ray.

Blacky and mommy Amie

Mommy had to go home to Tangerang, Banten because she had to work. But Blacky ought to stay — he was exhausted and needed some rest because of Tangerang – Jakarta trip and his sickness. Then it was decided to put Blacky in an animal clinic in Kemang.

IMG_2884IMG_2888IMG_2887 Blacky with siblings — all those sweet creatures

Blacky was not getting better. He kept vomitting and decided to leave, he was departing to the land across beautiful ocean. On his last day he ate a little and got positive energy support from another friend of mine. But Blacky really wanted to leave. He was happy and still is now.

Blacky felt the love of mommy Amie and thanked the Universe for sending her to take care of him in his very short life span. He was serving himself as a cat and it was his best serviceat that time. He would love to serve a better role in his next span of life and the Universe already grants his wish.

He will be borne as a boy or a girl who gets so much love…. Namaste….
He will be borne as a boy or a girl who is raised by loving and caring parents…. Namaste.
He is blessed and giving blessings.

Breastfed together to mommy cat

Thank you Blacky for being present in my life although we never met face to face…. I feel the love of yours and mommy Amie’s love.

Please be safe in your trip to your better future. Til we meet again….

Jalan Putri Hijau, Medan – October 2, 2015 – 12:23am