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

Reflection & Fragrance

Standing in front of you,
I see love.
It is clearly reflected—
A face of mine smiling at itself.

When you look at this mirror,
What do you see?

I wish you know
You are love reflected by a clear mirror.
I wish you see
This water clearly reflects you,
A love that exudes fragrance.


a pond behind Himeji Castle 🏯 i could breathe drizzles and pine freshness while seeing a school of fish swimming in clear water reflecting acceptance

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 💝

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


Reflection kills her night.
The tower dramatically sways,
Dancing with the street light,
Gleaming with the moonbeam.

She grabs a cloth
To wipe her mirror.

Oye, her little heart.
You need a janitor.

one Petronas tower reflected perfectly through a skyscraper’s glass in a dim evening 🪞 dramatic yet poetic and romantic 😎


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

Lost & Found (ranting)

I’m lost, Beloved.
This market keeps me busy.
What time is it now?

One friend said to me that I might be lost. What she meant by lost is I’m not as good as she is at interpreting ultimate truth and looking less than I was before.

If that’s the definition of lost then I’ve been lost since decades. I’ve never been truly right — or found? 😁

There are patches of time in life when my honesty is tested within. Am I loyal to myself? Am I caring about my own wellbeing? Am I aware of to where I’m heading? Am I aware of what I’m doing? Am I aware of the configuration of individuals around me? And am I aware of what’s beyond all these (divine entity, higher power, gods, God, universe, life, whatever you call it)?

(from Pinterest) 😄

Each of those questions should be answered at least “more than half yes” —let’s put 80%— because “full yes” is impossible except for those with high intelligence (not about IQ, intelligence is the naturally-attached awareness of being a well-developed human being). And when my yes is below 80% that is when confusion will lead to another confusion to another confusion until there is one question answered at least more than half.

If loyalty to my self is only 40%, I will have to shop for 40-60% outside in order to achieve 80-100%. I will crave for validation from others offline and online. Lack of self trust and honest self reflection is my personal indicator. Virtually number of likes, followers, subscribers, comments in popularity-based social media have become both blessings and curse with which external validation is quantified and a group of people are willing to do anything literally anything to be popular. FYI, there will be an alternative social media highlighting both merit and popularity, hopefully can balance popularity with utilitarianism.

If I care less about my well-being, others will have to take care of me. If no one takes care of me, I can feel sick, messy, frustrated, helpless, lonely. There was a period of 10 years of abundance that I didn’t take care of myself and that was enough!

If I am not aware of to where I’m heading, I will just follow wherever my peer head to. Good peer improves integrity. What about if I’m not aware of what kind of peer I’m associated to. With bad companions, I might excessively drink, abusively drug, irresponsibly sex around can be up to extreme of commit crimes.

If I’m not aware of what I’m doing, I might hurt myself or even at the same time hurt others. Hurting is undoubtedly. Hurting doesn’t always come through bad intension, it can come through priority. So when I’m aware of a priority and I unintentionally hurt others, it is almost forgivable. It is truly forgivable when I’m doing it right or possibly with a style.

If I’m aware of the configuration of individuals around me, it will be more convenient to map out how I do what I want to do to, for and with whom. Priority, target and impact become triangulation to be balanced of. Human interaction is important, yet I don’t want to give up my dignity just to get along with random people only for fame or temporary pleasure. I’m not that young anymore, I don’t mind being fun but responsibly and crazy but gracefully. 💃🏽

And if I’m aware of what’s beyond all these, I would not fall too low because of despair or fly too high because of pride. There is always a perceived limit as consequence of awareness about this ultimate power; playing water gets wet, playing fire get burnt, my freedom is limited by other individuals’ boundary that I have to respect. This is where many people think I’m totally lost when I’m lost; they think I lose control and/or give up humbleness. Nope! In fact I’m always aware that there is a limit that I can’t even accurately prescribe and perceive in life. I can only plan, not decide the outcome. In this section I have 100% yes, just sometimes feel jealous why this power never gives me full control.

So am I lost? Let people think the way they do. I just have to be alert when ALL or MOST of those questions have lower yes answer because that’s when I’m not sufficiently developed as a human being, I’m not enough self-well-defined.

When “lost” or more suitably “wandering”, I’ll spend some time to sit down in the middle of crowded mind doing nothing saying nothing just observing what all those birds and monkeys are doing; while breathing counting the time….

I love being me with dreams and wishes that might not all come true because of limit that can suddenly emerge. Yeah! You higher power that always meddles in my affairs. ☺️ Please always side with me. 💝

Ahhhh what is this? A long ranting after getting teased of “lost to be found”.

Love Makes

Love makes heart full.
Love makes heart empty.
Love makes heart laugh.
Love makes heart cry.
Love makes heart closer.
Love makes heart distant.
Love makes heart trust.
Love makes heart distrust.
Love makes heart bloom.
Love makes heart wither.
Love makes heart healed.
Love makes heart broken.
Love makes heart warm.
Love makes heart cold.
Love makes heart enlightened.
Love makes heart blinded.
Love makes heart beautiful.
Love makes heart wicked.
Love makes heart bright.
Love makes heart weary.
Love makes heart sing.
Love makes heart scold.
Love makes heart write love poem.
Love makes heart compose hate speech.
Love makes heart recite ballads.
Love makes heart scream hoax.
Love makes heart look foolish.
Love makes heart look angry.
Love makes heart love more.
Love makes heart hate more.

Love makes heart swing like a pendulum between two ends.

You say love is
You say love is not
You ask what is love

Love makes space
To those willing
To feel,
To taste,
To experience
Millions of what’s-nots
To know
The what-is.

We decide
Which space
To be filled
With what.

This is about love—
An unlimited edition
But still
Difficult to grab.

missing home where love is as simple as opening the door ajar to let the breeze in – please bless me oh Allah…. this poor soul 💝 thanks for everything

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 🪶🙏🏽

Breathe The Life

Flow to the ocean,
Swim in the sea of blessings.
Experience life.


Who doesn’t like good smell? Not necessarily perfume, yet perfume is one most common celebrated fragrance other than food—

While many perfume brands provide the customers with their concoction of scents, there are two prominent brands offering different ways of how they sell their collections.

One brand is making the perfumes following customers’ taste or favourite scents after some discussion. The assistant will go in to their “lab chamber” and go back after a couple of minutes presenting a bottle of perfume as what have been discussed. I love the rose that I chose— some orange as too note with rose in the middle and no base.

Another brand is even more transparently doing it. They spread bottles of many kinds of oil that are categorised in 3 perfume notes: top, middle and base. The customers are free to choose which and how many percents of each of them they want to have in the concoction. To me it’s an interesting experience, making me think of how my scent last: light, heavy, long lasting or not. Once the customers decide, the assistant will go to a lab corner open to the guests. The assistant will measure and weigh how much of those 3 notes are wanted. Customers can talk to her/him and try on the weighed mixture before finally they are ok with the customised fragrance. Some minutes later….

Tada! A bottle of a “perfume signature” is produced!

Another interesting feature: customers are allowed to engrave a 4-to-6-character word on the bottle! For free!

It’s like experiencing “I hear, I know. I see, I remember. I do, I understand.”

Welcome, next week.

she is concocting a signature perfume for a customer

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


The eyes, Beloved,
Bury what was once alive,
Mark eternity.


Maybe it’s your eyes when I look in to them. And mine when I look through the heart.

Welcome the weekend.


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

Self Love Or Selfish?

Self love or selfish?
A striking question to me
From me about me.
The answer hangs up the call
Coming from behind my head.


Singapore, October 26, 2020 - 9:45pm

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.