Amazing Day, Today

Today, Beloved,
Filled with laughter of past times.
Bitter was, sweet is—
Time doesn’t heal. It turns taste,
Look. All is well. All shall pass.

Rendezvous with my best people, those who are always with ears to listen and to be listened to, with tongue to twist bitterness to wisdom, with foolishness to laugh at what’s not even funny but needing some appreciation.

Some people are amazing with just one reason called trust.

Blessed to have them.

Holiday is getting shorter. Let’s slow the steps and insert more meaningful conversations before it halts.

May all beings be happy.

🐣

TA – May 12, 2022 / 11:46am

Blinding Light

Blinding, Beloved,
Light when too bright. Dimly bright
Suits these eyes searching
Luminosity and cracks
Following path to a home—

—-

Sometimes light disturbs eyes because its intensity is way too high than what’s expected or needed by the eyes. eyes can only tolerate and work well with enough light. So the more isn’t always the better.

May all beings be happy.

Changi Airport with its lights – this one is a favourite ❣️
❣️
so much thing to miss for the past 2 years, this garden of giant bright dandelions is one of those – let’s fly home

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?

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

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

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 🙂

Touch & Go

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

—————————————————————

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

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

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

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

May all beings be happy.

well understood

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.

❣️

Chimney

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

————————————————————-

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

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

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

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

Read. Read. Read.

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

🏭

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

Alone

Go solo travel
Through blocked road, dead end
With fright, thirst and hope!
Trees will tell you where to go.
Sun will tell you when to halt.

—————————————————————

I (almost) always travel alone and I love it. It is not only business trip but also travel for leisure.

My first impressive adventurous solo travel was at 12 with my red mini bike. I would bike from home to my uncle’s home in a hilly district. It was about one hour ride of 7 kilometers away excluding all the U turns of getting lost in quite rough terrain in the route. I was excited doing it though because of nieces and nephews waiting to play with and the agriculture experience to enjoy. The up-hill biking to uncle’s home was my private getaway until my little brother insisted joining.

Another impressive solo travel of mine was in Bandar Lampung where I visited elephant and rhino conservation centres. Unfortunately the sweet young me was still innocent that people thought I was welcoming them; and I got sexual-physically harassed. Lucky me to be saved by a bus driver — wherever you are (maybe you away already because you looked like 60 years old when I was 26), you are blessed, Pak Supir!

And the excitement of the first impressive solo travel and the most dangerous one have combined to be a sufficient foundation for me to be a 99% solo traveler until now.

Traveling solo, I learn and improve how to cope with life challenges: languages, culture, human behaviour, security, etc. Yet I can enjoy the trips as I wish without having to wait for others moving slower or having to be dragged by others moving faster. It is almost always about excitement, freedom and privacy!

The bravest trip of mine was to Bangladesh in 2011. Plane touched down at 12am. Taxi waited in a corner that will be considered dangerous spot by any normal women on earth. Hotel was totally different from what was described online. Food was a bit below my hygiene par but I had to show my respect by eating with (fake) happy look! Yet I was truly happy to meet 3 new friends who hosted me with genuine hospitality (no fakey smiley like in some countries on earth I won’t mention); they brought me to city parks, mosques, slum areas, high end areas, etc in Dhaka. That was one paradoxically the happiest-saddest trip where I met the most skinny dogs and poor people right in front of luxurious houses. The most teary nights ever!

My smoothest, most expensive was 20-day solo travel in Europe: expensive flights, flights between countries, 1st class trains between cities and countries, taxi rides, good hotels, accessible public facilities, drinkable water free of charge!, good choices of food…. very little warm smile though. My favourite cities are still Amsterdam with so many Indonesians that warmed my soul and Madrid with so many handsome men that freshened my eyes! 😂

Do I still want to travel alone? YES! but not 99% anymore, maybe will be 75%. I have a small group of semi-backpacker ladies who will be best neighbours when I retire. So they might be my travel buddies when I want to share some itinerary with.

I miss traveling!!!

Next destination? I don’t know…. The virus has evolved from physical barrier to physio-socio-psycho-political block for me to move around! God bless you, dear Corona.

Happy Sunday home! Salaam. 💝

traveling isn’t the only way to find your true self, you can travel within instead; yet when having time and resources, do travel out of your familiar towns and cities – you’ll feel different blessings! stay safe!

Happy Chinese New Year

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

——————————————————

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

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

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

Happy Chinese New Year!

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

The Hermit

Laughter,  Beloved,
A curtain shading shadow
Hiding a hermit.
Pulled up, it unhides a smile
Coming out from a long sleep.

——————————————————-

Once in while, she chooses to slip in to a hermitage among the daily noise without moving away from the crowd.

one can feel solitude among everyone like one flower among other flowers, one leaf among other leaves, a tree among other trees

Process Based

Blooming, Beloved
Not the most important phase.
Root is foundation
Where seed is a buried secret
With dancing roots, and the crop—

——————————————————-

Mind the strong foundation resiliently planting you to where you stand and contribution generously assisting yourself and those around.

💝

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.

Bismillaahirrahmaanirrahiem….

💝

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? 🤠

Scented World

Flowers scent the air
With messages telling her
To follow North Star.
The path brings her to the gate
Where home is a state of mind.

————————————————————-

Home is where the heart belongs to. This wanderer finds it where she is. Now and here….

very sweet scented orchids; bringing me to wherever I wanna wander
very sweet scented orchids; bringing me to a home inside

Water

Water, Beloved,
Loyal to gravitation
And filling all shapes.
Cleansing only when it’s clean,
Weathering in given time—

—————————————————————-

Once I wanted to be water; don’t want anymore though, too challenging. Too challenging, dear oh dear….

Let me enjoy living with water. That’s already more than being blessed.

May all beings be happy. 🙏🏼

want one with a slower flow in my base home 🤩

Matur Nuwun

The boughs touch the ground
Showing respect to nature,
Mother who loves all.
Fruits are ready to harvest
Everyday. Farmers’ blessings—

———————————————————-

One of those teaching me constant gratitude is my mother. When I share my problems, she will either tell me “We should be grateful that our problems are still solvable” or “We are still lucky that we are still given blessings when having problems” or “It is ok, someday they will understand”.

That lady is made of flexible rubber when hit by hard challenges. Nothing hurt her blessed heart. I’m lucky to be born by her. I guess God has sent her to teach me patience….

…. and at the same time to be patient. Hallow…. It takes patience to deal with patient people. I mean it!

Matur nuwun, Ibu. I love you. 💝

matur nuwun