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Friday, April 27, 2018

Dear Artists and Passersby

When randomly googling my name, I found out back in 2015 somebody mentions my work in an article that she wrote. I reached out to her on Instagram, and we happily chatted. She said my article (which she mentioned) helped her a lot. To say I am humbled is a gross understatement.

Here's the thing, 2015 was not a pleasant year for me. It was rife with insecurity, instability, and a lot of anger and grief. To know that somehow my work at that time manage to inspire people was nothing sort of miracle. And my work is not an easy read. It never was.

I thought no one read my work, or maybe just a handful. It doesn't stop me from writing, though. It might help people who read it, I keep telling myself, even if only very few. There are times when I just want to quit, but I can't. My excuse was, somewhere out there, there might be people who think what I write is useful. Of course, when I found it really was the case, it was still mind-blowing.

I immediately told my fellow Indonesian writer in USA about what happened. I told her, because we shared the same loneliness of being far away from home, that even though we feel we're out of place at times, our work may have helped people, even inspire them. We might just don't know about it. 

And it is true to any form of art, or anything that you put in public. I haggled the photographer and the filmmaker I know to keep taking pics and make videos for this exact reason. Hiatus is bad not only because skill is something that can only get better the more you use it, but also because someone out there might break a smile, or awe in wonder because of our work.

I can't tell you how many times I am 'saved' by something someone made and put in public. Pretty much every day, really. There are always things that make me smile, ponder, or amaze. And that makes life worth living, makes the world a better, more fun place to be.

And yes, smile and kind gestures included. Imagine ourselves like dominoes. Everything we do in public will have an impact on other people's lives, even as small as a smile or a frown. We are not made of steel, devoid of feeling and emotions.

So artists, your work matters. So passersby, your existence matters. Thanks for touching my life. Thanks for making the world an exciting place to be.

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