Searching


Photo by Enric Cruz Lu00f3pez on Pexels.com

Before I present my poem, let me start by explaining what prompted this piece. For most part of my day today, my heart and mind have been accompanied by songs from a new album that just came out today. It’s by DPR IAN (also known as Christian Yu), part of the Dream Perfect Regime (DPR) group. One song that has spoken to me is Nerves, with its music video that also came out today. You can see the video below and probably understand why it has been calling me to write something.

DPR IAN – Nerves, from the new MITO (Moodswings in This Order) EP, came out March 12. 2021

It is only appropriate to respond to a piece of art with one, so I offer my words in the form of Tanka. Tanka is a Japanese-origin, syllabic poem, following a 5/7/5/7/7 syllable structure. I just recently learned that Tanka can be and should make sense when read forward or backward where the third line can act as a pivot, as if the first three lines can be combined into one piece and the last two as another. So, here it is.


Fragile nerves still grow

Though half eaten by regrets

‘Tis time, search within

Sorry alone won’t close wounds 

I’d stare back fear in the eye


Congratulations to DPR IAN and to the whole DPR crew for producing another collection of mini album with astonishing music videos. You guys are true artists. Keep going strong and bold!

Hope and Fear

Photo by Max Bender on Pexels.com

Think I’m losing it

My longing, unbearable  

Please don’t burn my dreams

This life you offer, cold void

How can I ever catch up


The poem above uses a Tanka form. I’ve written Tanka poems before that follow 5/7/5/7/7 syllable structure, but I never paid attention to the one unique characteristics of a Tanka poem as explained below (taken from Word Craft & Poetry’s Cheat Sheet :

Your tanka should be filled with poetic passion, including vivid imagery to make up both parts of the poem. The first three lines of the poem consist of one part and should convey a specific theme. The third line of your poem is the often where the pivot occurs, although it can happen anywhere. The pivot gives direction to your poem, whose meaning should be applied to the first two lines of your poem, as well as the last two lines so that your tanka can be read forward and backward.

So I tried to incorporate it this time and read it backward at the end. Think it works. Oh, and this time, I did the writing first and let the writing picked its image (check out my piece Random Thought to explain about this).

The poem above is in response to Tanka’s Tuesday Challenge #216 – Synonyms Only with Eager & Hope as the prompt.

Struggling to Find Inspiration

 

I’m struggling with writing lately. As you can see, I’ve been trying to write regularly again in the past one week after being absent for many many months (maybe even a year). There has been an itch again to write that I felt a week ago. I want to write, but I don’t know if anyone can see through my writings lately that I’m actually struggling. I really don’t know WHAT to write.

I’ve visited those pages that give prompts, trying to get an inspiration on what to write, and still no impact. I used to be able to write on nothing in the past. I remember writing about eating ice cream and how the act of eating ice cream reminds me of going through a vacation…they both end too fast. Now, I can’t even feel the inspiration to write. Ideas came and went in my head, but I didn’t have any interest to write any of them.

I know it is best to keep on going, just type something. If I stop now, this block may get worse. See, I think the desire to write is there, the passion is also there, which is why I’m sticking to this task. But what I’m lacking is…the inspiration.

What to write?

Help. I think I’m experiencing creativity block.

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Image taken from https://pixabay.com/photos/energy-inspiration-ideas-planet-3073847/

 

Kelekatan Duniawiku

 

Akhir-akhir ini aku banyak membaca tulisan-tulisan dari internet untuk membantu pemahaman diri. Ada satu artikel yang paling mengusikku dan membuat jari-jariku ingin menari lagi di atas laptop. Artikel itu mengenai non-attachment atau letting go, melepaskan kelekatan-kelekatan duniawi yang selama ini mengikat kita dalam bentuk keinginan-keinginan. Misalnya, keinginan untuk selalu sukses dan berhasil dalam pekerjaan, atau keinginan untuk diperlakukan sedemikian rupa dari pasangan. Saya ingin berfokus pada apa yang barusan ini saya alami terkait hubunganku dengan seseorang. Ini bukan tulisan yang mudah bagiku dan banyak orang yang tidak tahu mengenai ini, tapi aku akan mencoba untuk menyalurkan keluar apa yang aku alami sebisaku.

Salah satu kelekatan duniawiku adalah keinginan untuk dicari, diinginkan, dibutuhkan, diperhatikan. Tulisan ini bukan untuk memahami apa yang menyebabkan kelekatan itu padaku karena penyebab itu sudah pernah aku tuangkan di sarana lain dan juga karena penyebab itu personal buatku. Untuk saat ini, melalui tulisanku aku hanya bisa jujur mengenai kelekatan duniawiku, kerapuhanku.

Selama sekitar dua tahun terakhir ini aku menjalin hubungan dengan seseorang yang menurutku suatu hubungan roller-coaster, penuh naik dan turun, penuh gelombang, gejolak, tarik-menarik, kebimbangan, ketidakpastian. Mungkin bisa dikatakan bukan suatu hubungan yang sehat bagi kami berdua. Selalu ada yang mengganjal hubungan kami, seperti ada suatu ruang di tengah kami yang memisahkan. Saat berada di ruang kami sendiri-sendiri, maka kami baik-baik saja. Tapi begitu aku mencoba mendekati dan mulai masuk ke ruang yang di tengah kami itu, maka aku masuk ke ranah roller-coaster itu, naik turun, jatuh bangun, bagaikan sedang berada di tengah laut yang bergejolak dengan gelombang ombak yang besar menggoncang kami.

Bila aku telaah lagi dan melihat ke belakang, yang aku lihat menonjol dari sisiku adalah kelekatan-kelekatan yang aku sebut di atas itu, yang dengan berjalannya waktu berwujud tuntutan-tuntutan baginya. Dan karena cara kami berelasi dan juga mungkin karena kepribadian kami, entah bagaimana awalnya, pokoknya aku merasa keinginan-keinginanku itu tidak terkabulkan, dan itu malah tambah memicu lagi kekuatan dari kelekatan itu. Penafsiranku waktu itu adalah aku ditolak oleh dia, aku tidak diinginkan, aku tidak dibutuhkan, tidak diperhatikan, dan seterusnya. Parahnya, karena ini adalah suatu kelekatanku terhadap keinginan itu, yang terjadi bukannya aku pergi dan meninggalkan hubungan itu, aku malah bersikeras untuk lanjut terus dan kelekatanku juga semakin menjadi-jadi. Mungkin hampir mirip semacam obsesi jadinya bagiku di awal hubungan kami. Itu menjadi dance-ku dengannya selama mungkin dua tahun lebih. Aku bolak-balik antara menyalahkan diriku sendiri dan dia. Selama proses itu memang aku mencoba terus untuk menyadari diri, memperbaiki diri, dan seterusnya. Bacaan demi bacaan aku lahap, retret demi retret aku ikuti, dan memang aku merasa ada perubahan dalam diriku, bahwa aku menjadi lebih baik dengan berjalannya waktu. Akan tetapi, aku merasa tidak bisa memperbaiki diri lebih baik lagi bila terus berada dalam posisi dimana aku terus diingatkan akan kelekatanku.

Barusan ini aku diingatkan lagi betapa lemahnya aku dengan kerapuhanku. Masih banyak yang masih perlu aku pahami dan terus upayakan untuk belajar memahami diri dan memperbaiki diri. Jujur, aku kadang merasa sangat sangat lelah dengan semua proses ini. Jauh lebih mudah mungkin untuk menyerah saja, pergi saja, tinggalkan dia, tinggalkan semuanya. Tapi ada bagian dari diriku yang membisikkan untuk jangan menyerah, karena pasti ada makna indah dari semua ini. Hanya harapan itu yang bisa aku ingatkan diriku terus supaya tidak menyerah.

Apa yang akan terjadi dengan hubungan kami ini, entahlah. Sebagai bagian dari proses melepaskan kelekatan duniawi ini, aku juga mulai belajar melepaskan hal-hal yang tidak bisa aku kontrol, termasuk keinginannya dan keinginanku yang sepertinya tidak cocok. Belajar melepaskan, bukankah itu kuncinya? Maka apa yang akan terjadi, terjadilah. Ini sudah pernah aku katakan kepada diriku sebelumnya, tapi mungkin bedanya antara perkataanku yang dulu dan yang sekarang adalah…sekarang ini aku lelah sekali. Aku sudah capek jatuh terus. Aku capek kecewa terus. Aku capek karena kepalaku terbentur terus karena memilih untuk berjalan secara buta. Aku capek karena memilih untuk terus berada dalam posisi “menginginkan” dan berharap dia akan menerimaku, menginginkanku, mencariku, dst. Mungkin kelelahan inilah yang akhirnya membuatku sadar bahwa ini saatnya bagiku untuk melepaskan semua harapan itu, karena semua kelekatan itu menjadi sumber ketidakbahagiaanku.

Apakah aku masih mencintainya? Dulu aku pernah mengatakan bahwa aku bingung, tidak tahu sebenarnya alasan aku berpegang terus padanya dan hubungan itu — apakah karena aku memang mencintainya atau karena tidak ingin melepaskan rasa ingin menguasai hubungan itu yang dipengaruhi oleh ketakutanku untuk ditinggal atau ditolak. Saat ini, aku sadar bahwa selama ini yang lebih kuat mempengaruhi keputusanku untuk terus lanjut adalah alasan kedua, yaitu tidak ingin melepaskan. Ketakutanku akan “kesendirian” tanpa ada yang mencintai dan menerimaku jauh lebih kuat selama ini. Tapi, dalam beberapa hari ini dengan lebih banyak waktu untuk merenung, yah, aku menyadari memang ketakutan itu ada dan sudah aku temukan dan bawa ke alam sadarku. Akan tetapi, aku juga menyadari masih ada rasa sayang yang tersisa. Apakah itu cinta? Mungkin. Apakah itu akan cukup kuat untuk bertahan dan dengan berjalannya waktu akan semakin kuat untuk mengalahkan kerapuhanku? Hanya waktu yang bisa menjelaskan.

Namaste.

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Image was taken from https://themindsjournal.com/im-practicing-non-attachment-2/

 

Tulisan di atas terinspirasi oleh: The Art of Non-Attachment: How to Let Go and Experience Less Pain by Lachlan Brown di Hackspirit.com

 

 

Mencari Sahabat

Bersahabat dengan waktu, mungkinkah itu?

Entahlah. Akhir-akhir ini aku terus bergulat dengan topik ini. Apakah itu waktu yang terus mengejarku — setidaknya terasa seperti itu — atau apakah sebenarnya aku yang mengejar-ngejar waktu karena waktu sepertinya selalu berlari jauh lebih cepat di depan. Kenapa aku dan waktu tidak bisa berjalan bersama, selevel, seperti dua kawan lama yang berjalan sambil mengobrol? Kenapa selalu perlu ada acara kejar-kejaran?

Anehkah buatku untuk bertanya mengenai ini? Tapi aku memang akhir-akhir ini merasa level stresku bertambah, merasa seperti selalu lelah, tidak tenang, selalu ada yang perlu diingat, dilakukan, dan masalahnya, kadang yang perlu dilakukan itu harus segera pula dilakukan. Jangan tanya mengapa aku memakai kata ‘harus’ di sini, tapi yah untuk saat ini, itulah kenyataannya.

Lantas, mengapa aku hidup seperti ini?

Mungkin lebih tepatnya, mengapa aku merasa terjebak di tempat ini? Tahukah aku dulu saat membuat suatu keputusan besar dalam hidupku bahwa aku sedang memilih hidup yang seperti ini? Penyesalankah ini yang sedang berbicara?

Sebenarnya tidak. Ini bukan penyesalan yang berbicara, tapi keingintahuan. Ingin tahu bagaimana aku bisa sampai di sini. Tapi yah dalam hidup kadang kita memang tidak akan selalu tahu apa yang akan terjadi di masa depan, iya kan?

Bagaikan seorang pengelana di padang gurun yang sedang sangat kehausan, aku haus sekali akan kesempatan untuk hening. Hening itu tidak mesti berarti kesendirian, karena sebenarnya aku punya cukup waktu untuk sendirian setiap hari, tapi lebih kepada kondisi atau keadaan di mana aku bisa merasakan…yah seperti yang aku katakan di atas, berjalan selevel bersama dengan waktu.

Akan tetapi, saya juga ingin mengingatkan diriku sesuatu supaya tidak membuat keputusan yang mungkin kurang tepat hanya karena mengikuti suara/keadaan hatiku saat ini, bahwa aku sudah pernah mengalami keadaan-keadaan di mana aku diberi kesempatan untuk hening itu. Dan tahu apa yang terjadi? Keheningan itu malah membuatku tidak tahan. Keheningan itu malah sangat mengusik, tidak nyaman, malah membuatku kesepian dan gelisah. Bagaimana tidak gelisah kalau dihadapkan dengan titik-titik kelemahan?

Dengan kata lain, berada di sisi yang berlawanan dari keadaanku sekarang ini belum tentu sebenarnya akan membantu atau membuatku lebih bahagia. Belum tentu. Bisa saja sesampai di sana aku malah ingin kembali ke sini. Rumput tetangga memang selalu lebih indah ya? Apakah kita manusia memang selalu tidak merasa puas? Saya tidak ingin juga terjebak di keadaan hati yang seperti itu, selalu tidak puas. Pasti tidak nyaman.

Kalau begitu, apa yang bisa saya simpulkan dari tulisan ini?

Saya sebenarnya ingin menjadi manusia yang lebih mampu menerima, lebih ikhlas, rendah hati. Ada bagian dari diriku yang memang selalu ingin sesuatu yang lebih untuk hal-hal tertentu yang menjadi kelemahanku. Yah, aku rasa semua orang juga mengalami hal ini — kodrat kita sebagai manusia — yaitu punya kelemahan dan menginginkan sesuatu. Saya ingin lebih bisa memahami kelemahanku itu, apa yang aku inginkan, rindukan dan kemudian menerimanya, bahkan berteman dengannya. Saya tidak ingin dikuasai oleh kelemahan itu.

Tapi sebentar, kenapa bisa sampai ke sini yah pembicarannya? Bukannya tadi diawali berbicara mengenai si waktu? Loh, lantas kemana si waktu ini? Kok ini bukan lagi ngomong mengenai waktu?

Ah, ternyata ujung-ujungnya ini mengenai diriku sendiri toh? Sorry yah, waktu, ternyata ini bukan mengenaimu. Aku sudah menuduhmu yang bukan-bukan, maafkan aku. Ini ternyata mengenaiku. Aku yang perlu berteman dengan diriku sendiri.

Amin.

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I’m still learning to love the parts of me that no one claps for.” 
Rudy Francisco

Art by the amazing Kate Louise Powell, taken from http://theglasschild.tumblr.com/post/143611893134/im-still-learning-to-love-the-parts-of-me-that

 

Hai Kawan

 

Gundah

gelap warnamu,
menyeringai tak karuan dari balik muka yang kusut
bayanganmu, terlalu pekat
bahkan –
tak segelintir anginpun mau mengabari kedatanganmu
bila kau ingin datang,
tak ada yang bisa menahan

seperti biasa,
teriakan protesku tercekik oleh laraku sendiri
terjebak dalam putaran hasrat yang tak kunjung usai
dan akhirnya, di penghujung malam yang panjang,
hanya hampa yang tersisa,
menemani dalam kesunyian, mengisi waktu yang terputus

hai kawan,
kedatanganmu, membawa tangis
kepergianmu, keletihan

 

Image berjudul A Feeling of Emptiness oleh Jeff Masamori (diambil dari artlimited.net)

What is to Forget?

Picture

Image is titled “Remind.her to remember” by sophiaazhou from DeviantArt.com

I responded to a writing prompt. It asked me to write two lists. The first list is about things that I want to forget. The second one is about things that I want to remember. Guess what, the results came back almost the same.

In order to get rid of memories involving people and situations that I want to forget, I would run the risk of deleting the same people and possibly situations that I want to keep in my memory too.

Why are we humans so complicated? We create this complicated wants, needs, hates, dislikes on our own. We continue to push ourselves to get something that we want, to chase something in order to feel happy, belonged, loved, but then let them go once we get tired of them. Therefore, we continuously create a dual-impact in every single person and situation that we come across. We love a person, then we hate that person. We need a person, then we push that person away. We strive to be part of a group, later we quit. We find ourselves in a bad situation, but then we learn from it and become a better person. We let go a person, then we desire that person again. We make a decision to move to another place, then we miss it. And so on. It’s a dance of life that we make into a perfection as we move along in life.

Why does it have to be a double perspective to every single thing that we go through? Why can it be much simpler. I hate complication, but I always find myself getting caught in one. Is there a lesson in all of these messes?


Picture

Image is titled “Remember Me Too” by laughsofgreed from DeviantArt.com

 

(a poem)

what does it mean to forget?
for a person who has seen the secret beauties of this world,
who knows how a rainbow frames the sky with its colors,
or that trees would wear their best autumn dress and
dancing until no more leaves are left on their naked limbs,
or when the sky sprinkles its first snow
coloring the ground in shiny white,
oh and what about the magnificent sunset,
the view that we tirelessly waited
day after day,
how can a person forget all of those?

when we no longer have what we used to have
shall we forget them then?
when we no longer want what we used to chase
shall we forget them too?
is it the same as letting go?
and will it always involve a goodbye?
how painful it must be then to let go
the more your heart insists to toss ’em,
the more it aches and
the more your mind frantically grabs to hold on,
it haunts you even in your waking dreams
like a nightmare, but a never ending one


but do you ever wonder why it’s so
damn hard to forget?

have you ever laughed so hard
that you happily wipe tears from your eyes?
have you ever excitedly anticipating something so delightful that you want to shout your joy to the world?
do you remember those…
…moments?
see, before there was pain, joy was there
before there was yearning, excitement was there
before there was loathing, love was there
hurt and happiness,
they come from one root

what then?
what should a person do?
begging the heart to stop?
force hope out of the head?
it is hope’s fault, you convince yourself
just make it die please, you whimper in your sleep
you’re so desperate for anything
any prescription that can
stop what you no longer want–
stop what was once desired
and would die for

my dear, you’re asking wrong questions,
you can’t stop the wheel that is already
in motion since the day you took your first breath,
you can’t throw what is already a part of you,
you can’t cut a thread
that is binding you to the memory,
have you ever wondered
perhaps
you are not supposed to forget?
you’re not allowed to pick what to forget
because that is the universe’s job,
not yours

your task is,
to learn to accept, that
to forget means to continue to remember,
and to deny it means to live in pain,
the past is a gift, a blessing,
so remember them,
accept them,
breathe,
live,
love!

Thoughts on Vulnerability

I want to share and discuss a video that has inspired me. I saw this video a few months ago and this video blew me away. I found through TED on facebook and I knew back then that I have to share this video on this blog. Her message about vulnerability is excellent. Some messages that we hear hit a target within us because it’s something that we need to hear. So let’s hear it.

You can also click on TED website here,

The website has a transcript if anyone is having a hard time listening to her.

“Why do we struggle so much with vulnerability?”Yes, why do we? I do too, though things that make me vulnerable may be different from those of other people. As Brene Brown said it, “Vulnerability is the core of shame, fear and our struggle for worthiness…”  With that sentence, she can actually create the second, third and fourth video of this topic, which she did later on. There is a video on the topic of shame that is also just as interesting as this one.

She threw in so many terminologies in the video, so many concepts that it was confusing at first. Confusing but makes sense to me. When I first watched this video several months ago, I understood right away what it was about, but it needs time I guess for the whole concept to sink in.

If I may try to sum up the video based on my understanding, here it is. It was interesting to me that she started earlier in the video to mention worthiness. Based on my understanding, what Brown means by worthiness are worthy of two things, belonging and love. People who feel that they belong to something, whether it is to family or a group of people through work or organization, and people who are capable to love are people that basically think that they are worth those two things: to belong and be loved. If people feel that they are not worth those two things, then a struggle is likely to happen within them. They may struggle to make connection with other people, and they may have a problem being authentic, being vulnerable. Because to be able to connect with other people, to love, to be loved back, and to belong, one has to be courageous enough to feel vulnerable.

And here is my own thought about the whole thing. Let’s start at worthiness because I think worthiness is the key. To me worthiness to love and belong should be everyone’s right to have. It’s human rights, it’s part of being human. Those two needs, to love (and vice versa to be loved) and to belong are crucial for every human being to survive. But not everyone receives those two things. Those who do not receive them may have a hard time with worthiness. Why? Let’s just say for example when a child feels that she is worth the love of her parents and therefore feels that she belongs to her parents, she may then develop a thought that she deserves to be loved by her parents. When the child thinks she deserves it, she can technically ask for it, demand it, want it and be given it. Worthy, deserves, they do connect. But how can she learn to ask, demand, want if she was never given or shown it before? Worthiness to love and belong therefore, is a privilege. It is not something that everyone has access to.

With that realization, it makes a person’s whole sense of worthiness very vulnerable then. It’s as if we depend on other people’s love, acceptance, connection, in order to feel we are worthy. It’s like a circle. One’s worthiness in return impacts other people’s worthiness, and so on. This is probably why as human beings, we are never free from this concept of vulnerability. There are and will be issues, situations, people that make us vulnerable. And what makes us vulnerable now may not be the same that make us vulnerable in the future or in the past. We go through changes in life, we meet new people, we perhaps encounter illness or accident that can make us vulnerable. Our vulnerability is never separated however, from other people. It has a social aspect.

It an addition to social aspect, vulnerability seems to me has an aspect of episode or process, which means that it has a beginning, a middle and an ending. I don’t think we should be feeling vulnerable about the same thing all through our live. We can choose to get out of it, but it doesn’t mean that we will never encounter vulnerability again in the future. How long will we feel vulnerable or how sooner we come out of that feeling vulnerable depends on how much support we receive from other people in the form of — and here is where we come back to the beginning of the circle — love and belonging, the two aspects of worthiness that Brown said in the beginning.

My goodness, I love this topic of vulnerability, but it is complex. What I discuss above is only a smidgen of many more aspects of vulnerability. It is indeed a complex one. I realize now after writing this essay that when we encounter a vulnerable moment, whether it is because we come into a situation, meeting new people, experiencing a changing in our needs and priorities, it is perhaps a blessing. It is an opportunity for a change, for something bigger and better, as long as we can win the fight against shame and fear. After all, Brown also said the following about vulnerability, “…that it [vulnerability] is also the birthplace of joy, of creativity, of belonging, of love.”

A Solemn Reflection

For my gratitude note today, I wrote down an event that happened today and I felt a tug to share it here.

Towards the end of my day, I spoke to one of my students. This female student has been having a rough time for the past few months. She had had an episode of mental problem to the point that she had to receive help in the form of psychotropic medication from a psychiatrist.

This student used to fear me too. Perhaps the word fear is too harsh, but it was more about unsure on how to face me because I might have been too stern on her previously. Not that I meant to be stern, but I think her perception of me back then was confounded also by her episode of mental illness. She is much better now, even though she recognizes that she is not fully complete with the illness yet. At times, the mood and anxiety are still trying to come back. And so she struggles, but also manages to continue.

We had a good talk. We started the meeting actually talking about academic stuff because that was the main reason why we met in the first place. When we were done with that topic, I started going into the other direction by asking her how she feels. I was hesitant at first to ask her about it for fearing that it may make her uncomfortable, but I took the chance. The opposite happened. She opened up. We ended up talking for additional half an hour just about her struggle. It was very courageous of her for talking about it in an honest way, and it was very heartbroken for me to hear her story. She looked very fragile sitting in front of me, while at the same time, tried so hard to appear strong. The contrast made me even feel more heavy hearted, but I was also amazed by her effort.

From listening to her story, we went to a discussion on what to do in the future as an anticipation if the episode comes back again, such as how to know the early signs, increase social support (which is very important in all treatment of mental illnesses), and some other important activities that she can do in her down time. In this opportunity, I offered her some of my own insight. In overall, the whole conversation went well.

But what’s left in my mind until now are those eyes. They’ve been haunting me. Because in those eyes, I see myself. For the first time, it’s as if I was seeing my self from a different perspective, and it was a humbling opportunity to be able to see it from a new angle. I was her, I knew that person well, I knew what her struggles were like daily. My last message to her was, “No matter what it is, you have to fight it. No matter how hard it is, just remember that you have to fight it. Don’t give in to those thoughts. I know it’s hard for you to maybe understand all of this now, but just remember that I said you have to fight. And when you  get tired of fighting, that’s when you find help from people that you trust.”  I hope she got the message. I think she did.

Eyes, I understand it now, they can’t fool you. It’s all written there.

May God take care of her and guide her always. May she find strength in Him to ease her suffering. May God be with those who are suffering alone. And may God bless us all.

48e7b39b506f1a850b697d4506d85d20

 

 

Originally published in January 2016 in another blog of mine.