Thunders, Beloved, Not sign of rain, but lightning— Know their true message.
Some messages are exactly like how people play “karambol” (carrom board in English), the player may strike one disk to target another disk. The message is as if for A but actually for B. Or the message is like this but actually that.
These gifts, Beloved, Peace and love hummed to loved ones Living here and there—
One of the Javanese and Islamic teachings that I will never leave for the rest of my life is sending gift of prayer containing peace and love to my loved ones wherever they are, whether they are physically wandering on earth or spiritually gathering around life.
I believe that my passing-away ancestors are living in different levels of consciousness (call it hell, heaven or somewhere in between up to your liking) and they are watching their offsprings without being able to directly communicating with us. They deserve my gift as they have been my line to get the chance to be here now. They deserve peace and love as they have done the best they could to draw a meaningful family tree. Yes, some might have made silly mistakes but hey that’s what Buddhism calls “karma”. Yes, some might have caused shameful stains on the family picture but hey that’s what Islam calls “alam syahadah”. Whoever and whatever they were, all of my ancestors deserve good wishes sung to them.
I also wish peace and love to those I love still breathing the air. Wishing all of them health and happiness. 💝
We Javanese Muslim will send gift by reciting some Javanese prayer closed with Alfatihah, a short chapter in the Quran containing peace, love, praise, forgiving, protection and guidance. A basket of beautiful wishes—
How light this heart is to be sure that all whom I love are well.
Alfatihah to all whom I love. You’re loved. You’re blessed. Don’t shop too much. 😁
Pleasure, Beloved, Sweet moment under the rain— Sunshine is peeping.
Today’s biking started at 6:30am and ended at 7:15am as the rain began earlier – weather forecast reported rain would fall at around 8am. We decided to fold the bikes in my home then drive to “Kueh & Mee” for breakfast.
Conversation is never boring with this good friend. Any topics about her children are my favourite as those children give me inspiration to be always young in heart how old ever I am and optimistic about life how much low my mental is. Topic about her wanting to go back to work is never nice because that’s when she questions if she is capable of doing this or that; while she is one of intelligent friends I have —- she is an excellent chemist who lets her expertise hibernate and allows her husband to lead a brilliant professional success.
After today’s chatty laughing breakfast, she went home then picked up her husband in Changi Airport, arriving from a biz trip. A long list of tasks were still waiting for her, making me lose reasons to complain about life.
She is one of my favourite people inspiring me with their being ordinary the way they are.
Warm heart, Beloved, Where flowers bloom in hot day, Roots enjoy diving—
I cooked cow heart for lunch. The taste of the heart was more special than before. Perhaps it was because I hadn’t eaten cow heart for more than 2 years. Or the heart was owned by a kind cow. 😂
The dish reminded me of a joke among my circle.
A: Why don’t you eat beef? B: How would you eat that whose eyes are so beautiful. They must have good heart! A: But why do you pork? B: &@$@?! Why don’t you eat pork? A: How would you eat that whose look is so cute like Ms Piggy. Their heart must be romantic!
Weekend is almost here! Let’s enjoy it with warm heart!
Good words, Beloved, Postcard sent in holiday Showing what one’s seen.
My mother’s question after saying hello at lunch time is always “What did you cook today?” And she’ll say “Delicious!” when I send the food picture although she might say differently when tasting it. Both are happy, and that’s the most important thing.
Clay art, Beloved, Hugged by earth, hardened by sun Livened by heaven—
In Java island clay was commonly used not only to make art work but also as material to make kitchenware, eating utensils, plant pots, etc. Kasongan, Yogyakarta is one of famous villages of clay work industry in which different types of clay art and utensils are mass produced or customised as per buyers’ request.
One clay utensil that I often used in my childhood was kendi, a clay jug used to contain drinking water – it makes drinking water smell subtly earthy and feels cooly fresh. Children would dispense water from the jug to glass to drink; adult would usually just lift the kendi slightly above mouth level and dispense the water directly to their open mouth without touching the tip of the kendi mouth to their mouth — whoa so difficult to explain!
Kendi is not however commonly used as the function is now replaced by plastic containers and refrigerator. It is now mostly used in Javanese traditional ceremony or in some households that still want to keep some traditional way of life. I prepare 5 kendi to compliment the fridge in my Javanese home — 5 kendi are ready before the dining table is ready 😁
Kendi is actually an acronym (kerata basa in Javanese grammar) of “kendalining diri” (kendalining: control, diri: self) or self control. In Javanese culture keratabasa is used to tie a good teaching to what people is doing. So, practically kendi is not a personal utensil like spoon and fork, anyone can share it. Through the name Javanese know that using kendi, there shall be some self control applied. When someone drinks directly from the clay jug, one should do it carefully to minimise the risk of dropping the kendi and break it; and not greedily gulp all water as other family members or friends also need fresh water in that hot day.
Culturally (at least according to Greek mythology and Quran) human being’s physical is created from clay —like kendi— that is given soul by the Source and so we are breathing. So it is natural that human beings are fundamentally attached to earth. Yet how much ever human beings want to stay as firm, strong, young, beautiful like the clay coming from earth, it is not possible. There is breathing that fans the “fire of life” in the clay body and when it stops “fanning”, the clay body stops functioning.
Can’t live forever, some like to play “forever pretending”. Pretending to be young or beautiful or firm with plastic surgery. Pretending to be happy with some drugs. Pretending to be more precious than others with fake luxury and conspiracy. Pretending this and that.
Ah! That game! That’s fun indeed! Yet it is not doable for me. Being human is not an easy job, pretending makes it even difficult and complicated and unnecessary. So please count me out. 💃🏽
Hey! If some people want to live forever or stay young, firm, strong, beautiful and fully functional; they’d better be a kendi. 😂
Weekend, Beloved, When heaven moves to kitchen Where AirPods are on—
It’s always good to hear from good and best friends especially at weekends in which time feels like unlimited, calls can be done while cooking or cleaning the house. Topics vary from food to rubbish, celebrity to annoying friends, spirituality to sexuality, neighbourhood to social media, history to future, measured dream to dreamy imagination, everything.
This morning a group call stopped abruptly in the middle of a topic “what’s your most interesting experience in social media”.
F1 (friend #1): You all know. We married.
F2 (friend #2): That’s happy. Try again.
F1: Scammer! It was long before this marriage. A guy put a French guy photo uploading activities of the rich handsome guy who was actually not himself and after one month I found that he was from an Asian country trying to get my money. It became a twisted plot when finally I found who he was. He made up stories that he lost his business, he tried many things but could not make it and had no choice but doing what he was doing.
F2: Was it the one you told me?
F1: Yes. You?
Me: I stalked my crush. I thought he played numbers to align with the numbers of my postings, followers and followings until finally I knew he was adjusting his numbers of postings, followers and followings to align with his fiancée’s numbers! 😫
F2: How did you know that she was the fiancée?
Me: Long story short: I found their photos having vacations to many different places every single year with one particular hashtag of their nicknames put together. They’re liking each other’s postings, too. Since then I stopped stalking him. I guess they are secretly married. Why was I so stupid? 😁
F2: Better stupid then knowing you are and so you learn. 🙂 Ok my turn. I watched porn videos.
F1, Me: What?! Where?!
F2: 😂😂😂😂😂 Prank youuuuu! Of course not! I don’t have interesting experience in social media. I’m too busy with my work. Hey! Why are you both so excited? You want?
F1, Me: No!
F2: I do want.
F1: What? Say that again! I guess you have done it, you just don’t want to admit it! You’re a man and impossible to not watch that kind of videos! Don’t lie!
Me: Hmmm…. Ok, ok. That’s interesting. It’s fine just admit it.
F2: What’s wrong with you, ladies? I’m joking!
F1: (left group call)
Me: Are you there?
F2: (left group call)
Me: (feeling confused and stupid after talking to husband and wife who probably started a fight because of one failed joke)
What a (stupid) weekend! May all beings be happy.
Lesson learnt: plan your joke well esp in front of your wife! 😝
Crossroads, Beloved, A while gauging where to go— Follow the North Star.
Today’s conversation with one best friend was a bit nostalgic. She talked about how she went to spiritual class (very common in my country to do so for religion or non-religion based teachings) until finally she quit at 45. Her reason was disappointment to teachers. She asked about me and I said quit at 30’s and my disappointment was to myself.
A stubborn student, I wouldn’t listen to what teachers told me to believe or to do. I would ask questions then believed only when choosing to believe; even with good explanation, I wouldn’t believe if not interested to believe.
One example of the fool was when a particular teacher gave “daily task” to recite “Bismillahirrahmanirrahiem”, I didn’t do it even he only asked me to recite it 10x a day, while the other two were 100x a day. “No, Teacher. Why do I have to do it? I already read it as part of Alfatihah recitation in my daily prayer, that’s more than 10x a day,” said I. It was when praying was five times a day for me, oftentimes 7 times!
Bismillahirrahmanirrahiem is a sacred word uttered by Muslim or most traditional non-Muslim Javanese when starting an activity. It means “In the name of Allah The Gracious The Merciful”, some interpret it as “On behalf of Allah The Gracious The Merciful”. By reading it the reader is expected to only do good thing with good intension with love. The teacher also said that reading it we were doing self alignment: align the self with the true self, to be true to ourselves, to easily make decision and to cut short confusion and to always be blessed, to blend action with good intension.
Amazingly all teachers understood the fool and just gave a lot of smiles and books to read which annoyed her more and more. I became frustrated seeing the two good friends gained fast track understanding of life. I decided to quit then did whatever was fun fun fun ignoring the essence of being human being.
Only years later I found that self alignment is very important and I was sorry for realising it late. I finally got it why those two good friends were so peaceful while I was still struggling with almost everything. It was also the year when we found that that dear teacher passed away of old age.
Now? Learning to care more about inner journey and well being. Whatever happens to me is a consequence of my decision. If the decision is aligned with my true self, it leads to success. If the decision is false and against my true self, it leads to lesson learnt. Lesson learnt leads to better decision. Better decision leads to success. Success to me is not merely material gain, it can be simply being able to smile in tough time. This simple lesson is a result of years of battle for a stupid person like me.
My best friend asked me how now to deal with self alignment esp when in confusion.
Me: I recite Bismillahirrahmanirrahiem cumulatively 300x before night sleep.
BF: Why? Did that teacher come virtually and ask you to?
Me: No. I found that this word is my best to strengthen self-alignment between good intention and action.
BF: Why 300x? He said 10x.
Me: He discounted the price. I’m 30x more valuable than his appraisal.
BF: Arrogant fool!
Me: I’m just a fool.
BF: There are two of us.
Lesson learnt: Always find a way to see my fool not others’. Always find a way to laugh at my own self not at others’.