AdSense Page Ads

Monday, April 29, 2013

Slaying the Past

My ex suddenly comes back to Indonesia after years of living abroad. Upon hearing the news, my body was shaking and my mind went blank. How long has it been? It was a little over a year since we last meet and agree to go our own way, 3.5 years since we were in formal relationship, a little over 11 years of commited and loving each other, and almost 13 years of knowing him. 

Streams of thoughts flooded through my mind, then a more rapid stream of guilt ensued. Why didn't he told me he was coming home? Why can't we meet? Why can't we be friends? Did I hurt him? Why can't he see and be happy that I found and with such a good man? I hurt him bad, didn't I? In my eyes, in my standard, I have failed the relationship. I made decisions that later was crucial into some important make or break moments in our relationship, and all my decisions lead to the its dissolvement. 

My husband-to-be realize my changes, and slowly he coaxed me to tell him the complete details. Arguments soon broke, one after another, tears shed and hurtful words hurled to each other ; but I was not fighting him, I was fighting my past. I cried and ask for my fiance's acceptance, I accused that my fiance will leave me, I beg eloquently for my fiance's forgiveness; but I was actually telling these things for my ex: 
"Why wont you stay? Why wont you keep me? Why wont you forgive me? I am really really sorry I hurt you with my decisions and actions."

As a true testament of how God loves me, my fiance did not only see through my agony easily but also to help me with it. 
He assured me time and time again, that he accepts me and he will never leave. He told me that it was not my fault, that I had made decisions that was the best in such condition and he fully understand my rationale. He gave me facts that I was not compatible with my ex and that the love had probably died between me and my ex by the time it was dissolving. I wanted to believe my fiance but it was so hard. I believe I was the culprit. I refuse to believe that there is anything wrong with my ex, despite the fact that my friends were so relieved when we call it end. It feels like there is no way out, that I will pay for my "wrongs" forever, that I wont ever deserve good love because I f*cked up my last relationship.

Then my fiance told me this: "Here is how you get out:  take my hand, let me lead, and understand the dreams of intimacy I have for us.  Believe in me and my absolute acceptance and appreciation of everything you are.  I love you, Ary.  I am here to stay.  Forever. "

And he jokingly said: "Not ex, but Lex. I will never be your ex, because I will never let you go."

I wanted to believe him. I have to believe him. A wise woman once said I have endured a lot and this is my time to be happy. And I have never been happier nor feel more accepted in my whole life. It's time for me to slay my past and move forward, instead of staying there and forfeit both the present and the future. It is time for me to stop worrying other people's feeling, it is time for me to start acknowledging the hard work and efforts I have made in my previous relationship, it is time for me to live my life and enjoy the love given by my fiance and the promises of future. It's time for me to shine. 

If you read this dear Ex, I'm sorry it didn't work out. I'm sorry I hurt you. I care about you, and I hope you will always be in good spirit and found your happiness. Thank you dear friend, thank you so very much.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The Worth of a Man

A friend shared religious note in Facebook, about how husband's blessing is heaven for the wife. The husband in the story was displayed as a one-of-a-kind-God-sent-angel-on-earth, and the wife was a silly-clueless-childish-ignorant-human. The man was loving and kind and selfless and patient, and hold no grudge or jealousy even though his wife is honored more than him or that he had to help pay for his wife's mistake. And I was like: whoa there, hold your horses ladies! Honestly, if such person do exist, be he a man or a woman we should make a national (or even international) holiday for him/her as to celebrate the most perfect partner there is! Of course as we have no national or international holiday yet for such a person, the chances of you finding the perfect person as the story said honestly sound pretty slim. 

I myself believe in equity and equality. Men should be honored and respected by women, but in capacity as fellow human. Many women do not aware that men are human like us. They got different sex organ, sure, but they also experience bad days and good days. They feel pain, fear, and loneliness; they want to be loved and understood; heck they even need to cry once in a while. I have seen countless meme that ridicule men's clumsiness, and countless more that ridicule or emphasize women's sexiness. This shows the difference in how we think, but the similarity of core thoughts: we laugh at each other daily yet we needed our counterparts, thus the meme. Women can't reach their full potential by thinking their human counterpart (i.e men) are better than them, and those who think men are lower than them lose a great deal of experiences and knowledge that otherwise can complete them. It goes the same with men.

No matter what doctrine one wants to believe, either men as true savior or men as the world's abomination, give the guy a proper respect that he deserves. That goes without saying that if the man showed no respect for the woman he deserves exactly the same. But again, this is not about his side/her side. It is about how you treat fellow human. Will you (as a woman) respect a girlfriend that treated you like slime? Will you respect her if she stood up for you and care about you? Whatever your answer is, the same treatment you give to a women should be applied to a man. That is how women should treat men: not more than us, nor less, but equal.

Remember though, equality does not always mean the exact gesture. Men and women's needs are different. Called me conservative but I am of opinion that a man must be protective of a woman, he must be able to provide (or at least be the main provider) of the family. In the end he deserves my display of love and affection. This is not fairytale wish washy, but based on biological observations only. Men's body is wired to physically stronger than women's, and women are wired to be more sensitive with emotions of others due to their child-rearing task. As a species if I were to raise a family I will want a partner that can protect and provide me in my long period of child rearing, and I will give comfort and love to keep him fulfilled because as a woman I am more fluent in showing affection. Same goal to keep our gene running but different way to achieving it and thus, different needs.

Yet sometimes it should be extremely simple. Logical thinking aside, religious doctrine and society dictation aside, everytime I see my partner I feel a rush of pride and respect. I will not belittle him because he never belittle me; I will cater his needs because he catered mine; I will uphold his honor because he uphold mine; I will make him happy because he made me happy (and because he has the most beautiful smile and sweetest laughter). No promises of heaven or threats of hell needed, no society stigmas or rewards needed. This is what respect in love is all about, this is what commitment in relationship is all about. And yes, because he deserves it. Frankly, I won't do it for less ;)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Cewek Jelek, Pergi Sana!!

Menurut kabar, ayah teman saya menyatakan dia tidak suka anaknya bergaul dengan saya karena nanti "ketularan jelek". Uhhh.... serius?!!

Selaku pemilik wajah selama 30 tahun lebih, saya ga ngerasa secara fisik wajah saya jelek. Yah, emang lumayan jauh dari Sandra Bullock sih; tapi masih cukupanlah untuk ditoleh (dan ehm, dikagumi) lawan jenis. Cincin tunangan di jari manis saya buktinya ;). Memang sih selera orang beda-beda, tapi jelek itu bukan penyakit menular dan bukan penyakit turunan (ok, secara teknis itu turunan sih...); jadi kalaupun teman saya secantik BCL ga akan mungkin dia bisa ketularan muka Bali dan kulit gelap saya cuma dengan nongkrong bareng. 

Kalau maksudnya kelakuan yang jelek, saya bisa mengerti karena kelakuan jelek memang menular. Tapi (lagi-lagi) selaku pemilik kelakuan selama 30 tahun lebih, saya ga ngerasa kelakuan saya jelek. Kerjaan saya legal, dan gajinya lebih bagus dari orang kebanyakan (I rock, baby!), punya tunangan juga orang baik-baik dengan kerjaan mapan, pengisi waktu luang saya gulang guling baca buku atau berita dan menulis di blog saya. Boro boro nyusahin atau nyakitin orang, saya aja jarang banget ketemu orang hehehe. Sayangnya fantasi orang ga selalu didasarkan kebenaran.

"Jelek" bagi saya adalah suatu sikap. Sikap untuk sengaja menyakiti orang lain demi kepuasan pribadi, dan/atau menginjak orang lain demi kepentingannya. "Jelek" itu sikap tidak mau mempertimbangkan perasaan orang lain, dan/atau merendahkan orang lain demi kepercayaan dirinya. Kalau pekerjaannya tidak terhormat apakah jelek? Tergantung. Kalau dia tidak menyakiti orang lain dalam proses/pekerjaannya ya itu urusan dia. Kalau pasangannya yang ga oke, ato keluarganya yang broken home, atau segala aspek pribadinya yang ga sesuai standar di masyarakat? Selama orang ini tidak menyakiti orang lain apa urusan kita kalau dia tidak, ah, "sesuai standar"? Jangan rempong deh cyn.

Tapi biar bagaimana, saya jadi merenungi kaca saya agak lama esok paginya. Bener ga sih saya itu jelek, baik fisik dan/atau kelakuan? Dan itu menyebalkan. Saya benci harus mempertanyakan diri saya, saya sedih saya jadi berpikir saya "kurang" dari orang lain. Semua agama mengajarkan untuk tidak menyakiti orang lain dan hanya Tuhan yang berhak menilai orang, sialnya entah kenapa manusia malah sering menyakiti sesamanya dan merasa berhak menilai orang lain. Kita bukan Tuhan bo', dan (dalam kepala saya) bapak tua itu juga bukan. Saya langsung merasa lebih baik. Suka-suka loe lah pak...

Cerita "cewek jelek" saya berakhir dengan bahagia: saya sadar bapak itu tidak berhak menilai saya dan sebagai bonus saat temu perdana camer saya langsung bilang saya punya senyum yang indah dan hati yang baik (taelah...). Terlepas dari kepedean saya, faktanya banyak orang yang tidak seberuntung saya. Banyak orang yang dikucilkan karena dianggap jelek, baik karena fisik ataupun karena (kehidupan) mereka tidak seperti masyarakat normal. Dan karena manusia adalah mahluk sosial, acceptance atau penerimaan oleh lingkungannya sangatlah penting. Setiap rejection/penolakan yang kita lakukan adalah lemparan batu tak kasat mata terhadap orang tersebut, dan bagi beberapa orang acara rajam ini bisa berlangsung seumur hidup. Saatnya berpikir, apakah kita memang berhak melempar batu tersebut? 

The Venom in The Net

"Curtsey while you're thinking what to say, it saves time." Red Queen in Through The Looking Glass

I seriously wish people will do this. Not the actual curtsey by bowing and bending one's knees, but just be nice to others. And for heaven's sake to actually think before they post or say  things. I've had this sentiment for a while, but the comments from the news about Boston Explosion knock me out of wind. Almost all was saying about condolences and be strong and sympathetic in general, and almost all got quite a few thumbs down. Seriously? Expressing sympathy deserves thumbs down? What actually pleased these negativitist? (Yes, I made the word up, it comes from Negative Activist which is an person that is actively negative about things).

It is amazing how much hatred people can spit about something, regardless whether they are affected by it or not. Rape cases, Sandy Hook, as long as it is in the news there is no limit or restriction to comment on it. USA maybe the only country that stated right to free speech in their country policy, but in the internet it has always been "free speech" no matter what your nationality is. Not that people believe the right to free speech world wide, but simply because they know they can get away with it. Whoever bother suing the many troll commentators for their rude remarks? 

Yet that is the thing, we may have the right of free speech but we also have the right to not use it. Why? Because no one has the right to hurt others. Frankly put: if what you say is not beneficial to others and might even cause further grievance, you might want to strongly considering not saying anything at all. Example: you think a girl deserves to be raped during social drinking, what good will it be for saying it outloud in the comment field? Will it help the girl or other girls? Will it help the guys that did it or other future perpetrators? Will it caused grievance to others? These are the things one must think before posting or saying negative things. Just as you don't want a stranger punch you because he/she was unhappy about things he/she heard about you, you shouldn't hurt others just based on what you heard about them.

If you need to express your opinion, by all means do it. Just make sure you go classy and not trashy, and say it because you think your point of view is beneficial for the issue and not just pure malice. I do know there are people who crave attention and probably cackled happily when numbers of people replied in anger to their malicious comments. The joke is, their voice never counts. Whatever your comment or opinion is (even the piece I am currently writing) will be hidden amongst thousands, millions of comments and opinion in a matter of seconds. Then why bother saying something hurtful?

The world's biggest challenge right now is not global warming. It is lack of sympathy, and thus, lack of common justice. Little do we realize that we can and will be held accountable for things we say or do, because if our words attack us back we usually just blamed others. Will it be a great sacrifice to shut our mouth or at least think dilligently about other people's feeling before we post things? Many might say yes. But in reality, the "My comment about that issue is right and f*ck people that called me harsh or inconsiderate or got offended by the truth" attitude is unlikely going to make people rush to your side when you need help; nice and thoughtful attitude will. Which one will you choose?

Monday, April 15, 2013

Happy Birthday Love

I am thankful for the day you born
Does God know how much joy and happiness you will bring to the world?
With your shining eyes and mischiveous grin 
With your strong embrace and warm presence
With your kindness and sincerety

I am thankful for the day we found one another
Does God know how much joy and happiness you will bring to me?
With your love and acceptance
With your funny jokes and silly games
With your strength and determination

I will be thankful for the day we are in each other arms
Surely God know how much joy and happiness we will have from each other's presence!
The day is yet to come, but I will wait
The distance is still so far, but I will wait
The loneliness is terribly suppressing, but I will wait

Happy (belated) birthday love
No finer man has walk my world
Nor lovelier or funner
Wishing you all the best in life
Because you are simply the best!

Monday, April 8, 2013

When I Grow Up

When I grow up I will be good
I will stop cussing at people
I will understand that each person is unique
And therefore has their own opinion
I will get that some are poorly trained
And will not get hurt by their sheer ignorance

When I grow up I will be kind
I will be ready to give helping hand
I will love and appreciate my surroundings
And be able to laugh and smile in any given time
I will stop living within the computer screen
And give real love, real laugh, real touch

When I grow up I will be brave
I will not make up excuses and hide from things
I will stood up for what is right
But not by mercilessly stomp on others
I will be courageous enough to admit my wrongs
And accept the consequences with head held high

When I grow up I will be wise
I will do what I have to, and take what I deserve
I will be dilligent with what I do
And be responsible for it
I will know when to say or do things
And also when to not say or do things

Night come, another day passed
Yet the 30 year old me still hasn't (fully) grown up
Living through Internet
Devising new calling for that unpleasant coworker
Making up excuses to myself for not completing my goals
And pout. And got scared. And be irresponsible.

But for every laughter I made (and feel happy about it)
For every potential mistake that I can identify (and make right)
For every happiness that I can give (and grief I can avoid)
For every good cause that I support (and dare to announce)
For every right that I do when it is much easier to do wrong
I will slowly grow up

Growing up is such a long process
But tomorrow is a new day
And cuddling under my blanket
I just know that the journey has not ended
Yet one day I will conclude it and will fully grow up
One day, one day...

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Weaving Destiny

Click clack clickity clack. The sound of woods against wood as the weaving machines do what they do. Burst of color everywhere. Patterns magically appear on the cloth. And on and on they go, until the clump of thread become a beautiful intricate cloth, ready for sale.

I have had the luxury to visit an Endek workshop/makers a few days ago, and it was humbling. For those of you that did not know, Endek is a traditional Balinese cloth that is made with single tie-dye procedure and weaved with non-mechanical weaving machine (ATBM - Alat Tenun Bukan Mesin. It takes months to completed a single cloth, even the dyeing itself can take a solid month.

The workshop was actually a hall, with 10 or 12 ATBM and their operator working for about 8-10 hours a day. A New Yorker next to me gasped and said she would take desk work at the office anytime. But of course, why wouldn't she? That is what she (and also I) trained for. Yet these women also created magic, and when I looked closely each machine had a specific doodles on it : be it notes on the length of the cloth they made, their names, or even fading stickers of their favorite celebrities. These are their "cubicles", these are their "e-mails and roster", this is their "office".

The vertical threads were placed on every machine by a dedicated "technician", and the dyed threads were to be weaved horizontally to completed the cloth. This was where the magic happen. The dyed threads looked just like a long clump of thread with a few spots of different color here and there, it was only after it was weaved into the bland color threads that the pattern sprung to life. How the dyer/pattern maker can dye the threads to make the pattern is simply beyond my imagination.

And thus, the cloth was created. Each "department" work their magic: the ones that spun the thread until they were ready to dyed or to be used, the ones that dyed the threads, the pattern maker/designer, the "technician" that placed the basic threads, and the weavers. With each stroke of the machine the threads are pulled together and closed to form the perfect cloth. It was like weaving a basket but in much, much denser scale. Slowly the pattern emerged and repeat itself. I was watching the birth of the cloth, the birth of beauty.

As a Balinese, I used Endek quite regularly as my praying cloth. Yet I never thought beyond whether the color and pattern matched my kebaya/praying blouse. I realized now that it worth so much more than that. The energy and concentration of each person involved in the making, the sheer strength of each weaver that weave a specific cloth, it all imbued the cloth with a life of its own. Thus, no cloth is the same, you can't find copy as each of them is unique and have the life and story of its own. The cloth to me also represent human life itself, a friendly reminder that God has laid patterns for us, one that we cannot see until it is weaved into our existence. Small wonder that this cloth was regarded in high respect and thought to be sacred in the old era!

With all the efforts and energy pour into it, Endek is more than just beautiful pattern on colorful cloth. It is life itself. To me, it should be use with utmost care, ways that befitting the life in it: proper praying outfit, elegant formal dress or shirt. The rise of using Endek print (and for the ones that can afford it, real Endek) as common fabric for bags or shoes or a mere accent on fashion (or worse: a horribly matched mix-up dress) greatly disturb me. True, it is a way to popularize the Balinese heritage; but we must never forget the value of Endek itself and these "popularizations" risked the diminishing of those values by making (and treating) Endek as nothing but pretty pattern and colors. To think you use a material with life woven in it, it is truly an experience and a great honor indeed. And it does not matter if you own one or a thousand of those, as each of them is unique and priceless in its own way.

Back to the workshop, the group of American next to me soon went on a shopping spree, stating that you can't find an artisan work like this in US and definitely not as low as USD 50. My heart quivered. What will happen to them afterwards? Locked in a trunk or Linen cupboard for safekeeping? Hanged on the wall like exotic tapestries? Making round as "exotic gifts" for friends that, in their own bafflement of what to do ewith it, send them over to another baffled friends? Sewn into skimpy dresses or tasteless fashion? Will they ever be used for what they were created for: a dignified outfit fits for the nobles, a beautiful fashion fits to present oneself to God during praying session. But I have to stop. Is it not just another part of life? For one to go to the big big world and see where destiny landed them. Not all human ended where they should be, or do what they are meant to do. Endek fare no better. Yet there will be Endek that landed in the hands of people that can appreciate them and put them in proper use, just like human do. And I will cherished mine ever more.

Read more at:

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Bali, March 2013

I saw you walking confidently at the beach side mall
Cowboy hat and cowboy boots, boyish grin and twinkling eyes
Girls in shorts threw flirtatious glances at you; Ladies in fancy dresses eyed you approvingly
But that is not what I love you for.

I love you for your mischievous grin when we ordered ice cream
And how you tease me of being "Amateur!" in ice cream-eating
And sitting on the sand at the beach afterwards to star-gazing
I love you for all of these and more.

I saw you walking dignified with great sense of calmness at the Pura / Balinese praying temple)
The colorful Balinese cloth match perfectly with the white shirt, dazzling and beautiful
The priest smile and shook your hand and called you Gentleman, the women smile and adore you
But this is not what I love you for.

I love you for your interest in my culture and my religion and what I believe in
For opening your mind and willingness to understand how much it means to me
For eating Balinese snacks afterwards and then go grocery shopping just like a regular Balinese will do
I love you for all of these and more.

I saw you plunging gleefully in the pool at the waterfall with cowboy hat on like Indiana Jones
I saw you walking joyously at the local fair, dancing and laughing and making jokes
I saw you playing with the waves on the beach, looking thoroughly good and enticing
But this is not what I love you for.

I love you for having a good time with me no matter where we go
I love you for massaging me when I am driving, and hold me tight when it gets cold
I love you for keeping me safe in all our activities, and treated me like I am the only woman in the world
I  love you for all of these and more.

As we stand at the airport's departure gate panic consumes me
What if we forget to laugh and be happy when we are apart
What if you live your life and forget about me
What if you and I never see each other again

You saw the fear, reflected in your eyes and mine.
Yet you held me close and kiss me gently, and whisper: It won't be long now
Should I believe it? Dare I hope for it?
I held you closer and tighter, but no tears fell. Not this time.

In between our constant kisses and embraces
(and some more, sneaked through the security door with the guard pretending he didn't see anything)
I believe I will be with you again. I believe in you and me.
Because your good love is what I love you for, and so much, so very much more.

Search This Blog