Archive for August 2014

Travel footnote (1)

Surabaya - Trawas, August 19-20

Cities I've never been in, two hours apart yet worlds of difference between: Surabaya's scorching, punishing heat to Trawas' shivering chill. Enter cozy bed, nicely parquetted floors, warmth trapped inside the folding glass door. Board games, barbecue, free-flowing food; if we were guilty of any deadly sins it was surely gotta be gluttony. I'm sure we'd be forgiven though, we're yet to start the journey. This was the inaugural feast.

Baluran, August 20

Six hours trip on the road. Perhaps it was early days excitement, we didn't sleep much on the way. We chatted, bought snacks, played silly games, made math problems out of car plates. The mundane became interesting: mistyped billboards, hilarious truck arts, and wiggly road markings easily became talking point. Self-navigating our way through the phone apps and watching where the green boards' arrows were pointing. It was one of the easiest six-hour road trip I had, truthfully.
Six hours and we made it there.

It was another day of scorching heat - with a mix of dry wind gently brushing the skin, though. The animals were having a lazy day in Baluran - aside of deers, peacocks, birds, monkeys and chickens we didn't see much of them. Nevertheless we were blown away by the savannah, the vast, dry land, the solitary trees, the evergreen. The scenes were picturesque.
It was a scene so feral, so wild, so inhumane. The emptiness, it felt almost surreal, almost as if it had never been touched by mankind before. Strange, foreign, intriguing. Most importantly captivating.
The beach was also nice - most beaches are nice, though. We didn't spend a long time there - mostly because we looked like a bunch of misfits leaving home their beach gears, instead coming there all long jeans and hiking shoes. The only thing we did at the beach was confirm that indeed, men do not have much power at this land - we lost a battle with a group of monkeys. Us a group of seven, versus monkeys. They had been eyeing up our lunch, wickedly lured us to bring our lunch to their territory, and successfully robbed us of it. It was genuinely scary. Monkeys 1, human 0. What human superiority?

As the sun was setting and the day was getting progressively darker we made our way out of Baluran. Two friends joined in, braving the night on their motorbike. Next stop would be Ijen.
But not before a few bites first.


Aku rindu saat dimana antara kita, ruang terdefinisi
dalam sudut, garis,
bingkai-bingkai pintu dan jendela,
sebuah meja.
Dimana cakap memantul-mantul
memukul dinding, kemudian mengendap -
mengisi celah, menyekat jarak.
Di dalam ruang ini tidak ada satu yang keluar. Semua tinggal.

Sekedar presensi itu dangkal,
kalau ruang kita dibangun
tanpa sudut, garis,
tanpa pintu dan jendela,
tanpa meja.
Semua menyelinap keluar,
percakapan yang hambar,
tawa yang datar,
tak ada yang tinggal. Kita tidak punya ruang.

From the poetry book I read (and posted about yesterday) I came across one titled Brother last night; and today is my brother's birthday.
I almost swear I saw his name printed in between the curves of letters, the spaces distancing the lines. I squinted my eyes and I could almost see his image formed in peripheral vision, his features distinct.
I quiver through the words as I read, his resemblance growing more and more uncanny. This is him. This is about him.

Happy birthday my dear brother.

There have never been any seatbelts on your side of the car.
You have always known the better magic tricks.
You told me once that I was just the first draft,
and I'm inclined to believe you, but you came
with a lot more pieces to assemble and
Mom and Dad never got the manual. 
You are my favorite stick of dynamite.
You are the opposite of a rubber band.
There are so many things I would tell you
if I thought that you would listen
and so many more you would tell me
if you believed I would understand. 
I hope you know that you were never meant to wear my shadow.
In fact, I'm the one who always steals your shoes.
But is that my sweatshirt you're wearing? It's okay, you can keep it.
I won't tell your secret. In fact, it really does look better on you. 
[Brother - Sarah Kay] 

Poetries are best savored in silence, or over white noises, true.
But living room scene with footsteps and chatters, clings and clatters, the television noise, while not favored,
is teasing my senses in an interesting way.
How they are so loud at first, then slowly fades into background noises,
to white noises, faint and distant. But you're not going anywhere.

Transforming the ugly ducklings,

Going for simpler and cleaner look. This blog decidedly needs some refreshing - change of layout to bring back my writing mood again.

It's a bit messy and uninformative right now, but maybe a few of online crash courses and I'll be fine to do some little CSS changes to tune the look into what I had in mind. Or maybe I'll give up and settle for this layout.

In the meantime, I really appreciate the fact that some people somehow still find their way to read this blog despite the serious lack of publicity. As much as I am a fan of solitude, knowing that I am not thoroughly neglected is a very good feeling. Thank you guys and keep coming here :)

When everything failed to build, eventually there's only guilt
left within the ruins, tidbits of things
we tried to make something from.

To me it's the least I can get,
the scraps I feed myself off.

To you, it's the thinnest of threads you can't cut,
your own personal brand of karma.

First off, let me start this by saying selamat idul fitri dan mohon maaf lahir batin untuk teman-teman semua. Kata-kata yang gak aku ucapkan selama hari raya itu sendiri, kecuali secara personal ke beberapa teman terdekat. Aneh memang budaya meminta maaf di hari lebaran ini. Di satu sisi, momen yang diciptakan hari lebaran itu sebetulnya sangat, sangat berharga. Kata maaf yang diucapkan di hari lebaran seperti kulminasi dari usaha 'pembersihan diri' yang sudah kita lakukan selama sebulan, sepanjang Ramadan. Refleksi diri menyatakan dalam diri kita masih banyak kesalahan, maka kita meminta maaf di hari lebaran. Sebetulnya cukup puitis, kan. When you think about it, it kinda hits you how profound the moment of Eid actually is.
Di sisi lain, aku punya stance yang cukup skeptikal juga mengenai momen ini. Skeptis dengan kata maaf yang rasanya maknanya jadi tidak lebih dari jargon lebaran. Semua kata-katanya seperti hanya mengambang di permukaan. Tidak dalam. Padahal dipikir-pikir, kata maaf yang mengambang itu masih lebih baik daripada yang tidak diucapkan. Setidaknya ada niatan.
Jadi mungkin walaupun terlambat, dan walaupun rasa-rasanya maafku pun masih sebatas di permukaan, rasanya usaha perlu dihargai dan akhirnya pun perlu dilakukan. Jadi mohon maaf, teman-teman. Dan semoga dengan maaf yang saling kita tukar, pintu-pintu kesempatan dibukakan.