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.
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.
Writing can be an absorbing task. When I write, I need books around me. Sometimes accompanied by coffee and food too. I rely on notes sometimes that I have collected. Or sometimes, idea just came out and I wrote without needing any notes.
When I write, I can go into my own world. Therefore, a place that fits me to write will be my house, or in my room to be specific. Once in a while, I can do it in a coffee shop, but if the coffee shop is too crowded then I have a hard time concentrating. People can be obnoxiously loud in coffee shop, so I have to choose the right one. And I can be picky. I have one that I frequented, with a strong wi-fi, but then the food sucks. The cook seems to like salty food. Then there is another one with good choices of food, but then the wi-fi sucks. In other words, I haven’t found the perfect one yet.
Luckily for me, I always have my home where I can be free to…type away without worrying about noise level. Something to be thankful for.
In addition to the writing task for day 6 above (which I thought was lame and not challenging enough), I must ask the following favor from my readers. I need your suggestion of ideas for me to write which you can put in my Contact section. Write your own contact information and comment there for me to follow up later in my future writing. Your suggestion will be part of my writing task in the future. Thank you.
No, just kidding. My apology if that sounds unkind. Just trying to start my essay with some catchy words.
But putting joke aside, it is to me akin to hearing voices, although not in that sense. I write because I saw, overheard, or read something and then it was as if a voice, an energy, was pulling me toward my laptop (or a piece of paper if I didn’t have my gadget with me) and transferring what I experienced into writing. Sometimes I had to do it right away because if I waited, it would be forgotten later. And when I say it was like an energy, perhaps it was. I wouldn’t feel satisfied or calmed before I wrote it down. In other words, I write because something is pulling me to it. It’s as if I have to. I have to write it down. Just have to share it.
That’s it, share! I write because deep down in my heart, I love sharing. I value sharing, or communication in that matter. Without sharing and communication, this world means nothing or things will not work out well. Of course, we have to be cautious of what we share. Nevertheless, sharing connects people. Sharing is a form of intimacy, and it is healthy, rather than keeping things inside. When I feel afraid or intimidated to share how I feel with someone, it is then that I know I no longer feel close or intimate to that person, let alone trust. Sharing is the fruit of trust.
A friend of mine told me one time about my writing style. She said that sometimes she was amazed at how much sharing I could put into my writing. What a lovely feedback, which appreciated very much. However, the feedback didn’t deter me from continuing my style of writing. I will share a part of me as much as I think it would somehow help others too, but I also believe that every writer has a part of him or herself that will always remain a secret. Writers just know where to draw the line.
True, there was a time when I couldn’t write. I think it was because my attention was distracted and directed onto something else in my life, which now looking back into it, I should have actually still continued writing. Writing and those other things in my life should go hand in hand, instead of those other things taking over my passion in writing. Once I refocused my life, I realize that writing is it. This is the part of my life that I am good at and can be proud of. I’m not an expert in writing, but I’m proud of it. What I have accomplished so far has been self-taught (autodidact). Never took any course, but gulped a ton of books, and that’s how I learned to write. In my previous blog, I challenged myself often to finish writing prompts and poetry challenges. I’m restarting it now. The positive feeling is the reason why I write. I’d like to improve more in my writing skills and produce something.
I am also bilingual — fluent in speaking, reading, and writing in Bahasa Indonesia and English. The bilingual part is both my strength and my weakness, and also another reason why I write. I would like to contribute to the writing world with my bilingual skills. I don’t know yet how I’m going to do it, but I plan to accomplish something in that aspect.
So, these are the reasons why I write. What about you? Why do you write?
There are these three best friends, who always come together at night time, mostly on weekends. It’s hard for them to find time to meet during weekdays because of “other priorities”. Tonight for example, on this late Sunday night, they meet again. And what a moment it is. They sure feel like they are in heaven. What an explosion of sharing between these three old friends — sharing of emotions, sharing of that moment, the here and now. At times no words are needed. They just know what to do, it’s an old dance step that they have rehearsed together for many nights before.
And so on a night like this, I, as the witness to the meeting of these three best friends, can feel the strong emotion between these three friends just by the sheer opportunity to be part of this moment. Thank you for being here. As always, thank you for letting me be a part of this. Thank you for another beautiful night. And as for my token of gratitude, here is a poem to a moment like this.
hissing sound coming from the kettle
it’s ready, I thought
pouring the water over you
and you come alive
inside my cup
exploring your surrounding
Canon in D starting in the background
right about time, I thought
turning it up
and you come alive
inside my ear
tugging at my heart
Lastly, I pull you onto my lap
feet up, glasses on
taking a deep breath
and then you say
are you ready?
my three best friends
leading me on a blissful
into the night
Note: I wrote the piece above without doing much thinking. I just knew that I had to write something for what I am feeling right now, but no inclination or plan on how I was going to write it. And the next thing that happened, the words just came out through my fingers. It was when I started to write the title in the beginning when I knew what I wanted to write. The whole thing felt magical in a way, as if something else is moving my fingers. I know it was me who did it, but if felt kind of unreal. I am savoring this moment because moment like this doesn’t come too often in writing.
I had a very lovely day today and yesterday, and maybe the positive feelings were the ones that initiated the energy that pushed me to write the piece above. I had a very very lovely weekend, and I am so grateful for yesterday and today that I’m almost tearing up rekindling the memories. I have spent these two days interacting with friends either through face to face conversation or by chatting, watching a classical musical recital (which is very rare to happen in my city) with a friend, spending the night at a friend’s house and talking away into the night. The next day we had a lovely breakfast, exploring some stores (our kind of stores, which means no clothing store) and then continuing with lunch while enjoying every minute of our talk. Then I still managed in the end to go to church, made dinner and spent time with my three “other best friends”, which you might have guessed them by now: a book, music, and a cup of hot tea. My corner of heaven, my hiding place, my treasure of contentment.
Solitary and feeling content, it was actually one of the topics that my friend and I discussed today. There is a difference between being alone and feeling content as compared to feeling lonely. I know both situations fully well. I have experienced many occasions of both. While I enjoy the former, I detest the latter. Luckily today it was the first situation. And so while it lasts, I intend to taste every minute of it.
Good night and good day. May you also feel content and be thankful about it whenever you experience it. God bless us all.
Originally published in January 2016 in another blog.