Archive for 2015

So is this how it feels to receive a Christmas gift?

This song is just so perfect. I'm immediately hooked. Sold. This is absolutely blowing Sam Smith out of the water (nothing against you, Sam). By this time I've probably already played this for 20+ times already. I risked the possibility of getting sick of this song in immediate future but the hell I don't care. My current dope. It never quite hit me how.. very Bond-esque Radiohead's music actually is, if that makes sense? It would've been so, SO perfect for a James Bond movie score. This is perfect. So glad they're releasing it anyway. THANKS RADIOHEAD.


A soirée for the bride-to-be, first of the bunch to pretty soon marry. Surprise's surprise; she's always been the most childlike one of the bunch, too. So childlike I used to scold her off "Grow up dong, Na!" How time flies, eh?

Merriest celebration is of course always the privilege for the first one. Just look at those decorations! It might be scrumpy and very last minute-ish but we definitely pulled it off, ladies. Proudly DIY-ed by yours truly the whole gang.

Sometimes it's just surreal to look back, reminisce of where we were the first time we hung around together, and see where we're at right now. Marriage seemed so grandeur back then, wasn't it? But then so seemed college, and we survived it. Then so seemed work, and we're living it. Eventually those so called grandeur things turned out to be just the next turn on the road, and now you're about to take the marriage turn. One that still seemed massive to some of us (ehm me! me!) but a decision that nonetheless would've seemed natural to take for you. We're sending you off to that turn with a bang, being the ribet-ibu-ibu-esque friends that we are ;)

So, here's to you, Na. See you at the wedding!

So, guys,

how have you been?

Can't believe almost half a year had passed since the last time I've posted something here.
(Though to be fair, I quite liked the poem I posted last time around. More than pleased to have it greeting you on top of the posts.)


I am taking forever to measure the distance
between your fingers; counting miles
that stretch across the peaks
and valleys,
the crooks and scratches on the
sea of life that is
your fingers.

I’ve known a few things:
the twists and turns, the intricate
engraved on your tips, the little
spaces where your stories dwell—
the telltale of
every subtle touches.

You’ve let out more from your tips
than you ever did from your lips.

I am dying to know, though,
the secrets you kept
between your fingers:
everything that had tangled
and interlocked in the deepest
of spaces.

“This is where I keep things
that I don’t let out,” you once
said, and of course I was never let

But you let me measure the distance
between your fingers, and
when I get to count the depth
of your abysses,
they were impossibly big,
impossibly deep—

Never in my life had I wanted to lock hands
with someone so badly.

I just want to be another secret,
another inch in your abyss,
but counting distances is the only thing

you let me.

Untuk yang merantau,

Pergi itu lebih dari sekedar meninggalkan rumah satu kamar lebih kosong dan membawa jejak ke tempat-tempat yang lebih jauh, tapi juga
memberi ruang bagi orang-orang terdekatmu untuk menjadi lebih besar, lebih lapang.

semoga jarak memberi ruang, dan ruang memberi lapang.

Recollections of 8/8 and 9/8

I wonder if this very corner
was reserved for people who
did not smear blood on their lips.

I thought baring was not a sin;

I have to remember how my name sounds
in unfamiliar mumbles.

Perhaps I'd have caught it spoken
any other time (if any);

There is something fascinating about
wall-facing seating,
no faces and sceneries, colours

I heard the colour orange is best-suited
for dining;

Detours are tolerable when walking
is the last thing you do while you're walking.

I'd never trust maps though, nor will I ever trust
things that turn miles into mere inches;

People make acquaintances
and I don't,
this time not for the usual reason, though;

The better way
to make people leave, instead of burning flames,
they say,
is to leave them cold,

I thought cold would be something I'd withstand,
but they were shutting the wi-fi instead;

This is the way of telling a long story:

*End of chapter 10*;

A zoophilic, a pyromaniac, a masochist, a necrophiliac
and a sadist walk into a bar--
conversation and witty punchline ensue,

I wonder if a group of people telling stories and jokes on
disturbing and weird fetishism are
fetishes themselves;

Serenades and midnight-sharp surprises
were not something to swoon over,

Yet another reason to never be a heartthrob;

I had peed three times
in the last hour alone,

I had had so many things going over my head;

With a voice like yours,
don't ever say, "thank you,
hope we'll see you again."

With a voice like mine, I reckon
it'd be okay, though.

Musik Yann Tiersen beberapa hari ini selalu terputar jadi latar. Terngiang-ngiang terus. Beberapa hari yang lalu aku tonton ulang filmnya, Amélie. Entah kenapa, akordeon Yann Tiersen terdengar terus, suaranya yang ramai bergantian dengan nyanyian sayup-sayup, "What can I do/ What can I say/ Loving you dear like I do". Akordeon yang ramai, terus bergantian dengan lirik sendu.

Hari ini aku pergi ke sebuah mall. Entah kenapa sepanjang jalan aku berpikir akan bertemu seseorang di sana. Tidak tahu siapa, tetapi seseorang yang kukenal. Jarang sekali aku berfirasat, dan aku tidak pernah terlalu percaya pula akan firasat. Tapi entah kenapa malam tadi perasaanku kuat sekali, kalau aku akan bertemu seseorang.

Di mall itu aku bertemu seorang kenalan yang kukenal beberapa tahun lalu; tidak kusapa. Aku lihat saja dia, beberapa anak tangga eskalator di depanku. Orang ini tidak kenal dekat denganku, kecuali beberapa minggu. Entah kenapa aku merasa tepat sekali bahwa orang itu yang berlintasan denganku di hari saat firasatku demikian kuat bahwa aku akan berlintasan dengan seseorang. Orang yang tidak istimewa hingga membuatku menerka (dengan pengharapan?) takdir dari kebetulan, tapi juga bukan orang yang melintas hanya selewat; ia hinggap dan terpikirkan.

Selama beberapa hari dimana lagu Yann Tiersen selalu berputar di benakku, ramai akordeon bergantian suara sayup-sayup sendu, aku tidak pernah benar-benar memutar lagunya di ponsel atau laptopku. Malam ini akhirnya aku putar saja benar-benar lagu-lagu Yann Tiersen supaya terdengar di telingaku, benar-benar di telingaku. Akordeon yang ramai. Lalu nyanyian yang sayup-sayup sendu. "Is it a crime that I'm guilty/ Guilty of loving you."

-entri pertamaku dari ponsel. 12:58.

In Sputnik Sweetheart, when Sumire got a job working for the woman she loved, she stopped writing.

She was a passionate writer. Not a particularly great one, but passionate nevertheless. It defined her; it was as important as breathing to her. Yet she stopped. It wasn't the time, wasn't the business; the words just could not come.

Why was that?
I wondered.

"And it came to me then. That we were wonderful traveling companions but in the end no more than lonely lumps of metal in their own separate orbits. From far off they look like beautiful shooting stars, but in reality they're nothing more than prisons, where each of us is locked up alone, going nowhere. When the orbits of these two satellites of ours happened to cross paths, we could be together. Maybe even open our hearts to each other. But that was only for the briefest moment. In the next instant we'd be in absolute solitude. Until we burned up and became nothing."

- Sputnik Sweetheart

Rekonsiliasi Semu

Settling in a reconciliation just to avoid the (probably necessary) confrontation: thing I am so, so often found guilty of.

It's long past it; it's no longer relevant; but in some way the fact that I shoved all of it at some corner deep within means that no matter how much I claim myself to be 'past it' I will never thoroughly be.

Just face it, let go of the baggages, et laissez-passer ce qui s'est passé, it's no longer time to keep settling in a half-hearted reconciliation.

If there's one thing I can take from getting into what is essentially a 9 to 5 routine without much room to vary your days, it's that you gotta take whatever form of non-work stuff you can sneak into those 9 to 5 hours (and the customary 1-2hrs daily commuting time before and after).

So here is my daily cup of tea: podcast. Tried to get into it the other day when every song in my music library didn't seem to be clicking, and reaaaaallly got into it! Seriously, I wondered how the hell did I just get into podcast stuff right now and never really cared about it before. But as the cheesy idiom so cheesily put it: better late than never, huh?

I am really still getting a hang of this stuff so I'm still pretty sure I've only just discovered the tip of the mountain. But so far, those are my subscriptions, my daily dose of audio comedy / news / design bits / linguistic bits. Looooove having those thrown in my day every now and then!

For the past couple of weeks, moving about the city on mornings and evenings has been interesting. You try to muscle your way past people, who are trying to muscle their way past other people. It's like there's a rope dangling around their neck, there's a ticking clock numbering their time left; they're moving as if their lives depend on it. And when their lives depend on something, humans are inherently a predator - a mightily feral one, too.

Each time I find myself in the crowd, pushed and bumped to no ends, I am wondering to myself: just what are we contesting anyway? Just what are we turning feral for? A space earned? Some time saved? The sense that you manage to escape just in time before the rope clings around your neck tighter it starts to suffocate you?

We know it is there, the invisible rope dangling around our neck. But sometimes I get the sense that the more we run to escape it, the tighter it held onto you. Some of us thought it is a race against time, maybe it is not; after all, when we're at our own pace, it is just a rope dangling around our neck. Perhaps, we only feel the stranglehold because we're stretching it to its limits. Perhaps, it is a threat us only because we let it be.

Sastra dan fotografi sama-sama memecah-mecah aliran realita ke dalam unit-unit yang bisa disimpan. Dengan cara demikian, unit itu bisa dikuasai, dipergunakan, disusun ulang, dikembangkan. Memang, sastra tidak punya problem etis yang ada dalam fotografi, karena bahasa tak pernah betul-betul menyalin realita. Tapi persis di situlah problem utama bahasa. Ia tak pernah betul-betul menemui realita. Ia adalah sepenuhnya sistem tanda, yang tak pernah bersentuhan langsung dengan kenyataan. Fotografi mencuri, menjiplak, menyalin realita. Bahasa membangun model sendiri tentang realita, tanpa persentuhan dengan realita. Para linguis era modern telah lama memetakan bahwa tak ada kontak langsung antara kata dengan referensinya. Apapun yang diketahui melalui bahasa adalah palsu belaka. KW dari suatu ORI yang tak terjangkau.

Ayu Utami dalam Estetika Banal dan Spiritualisme Kritis, bacaan singkat yang menarik.

Kalau katanya Nietzsche, one must have chaos in oneself, to give birth to a dancing star.

I spent all my life going through a stream. And when you spent so much time moving along the stream, you'd inevitably long for the ocean; the open, calm water where you're the one who lead your own way.

But when the stream eventually ended, when the river I'd been floating in eventually met its ending ocean, suddenly I was idle, and unmoving, and it scared me. I was always led by the stream, I was never the one who swims; like every amateur swimmer, I curled up in fear in view of the ocean.

I couldn't be still, though, lest I want to be drowning, and I had no choice but to swim.

It was scary, I was afraid, and I was frantically trying to swim in this vast ocean, trying to reach the distant island. And it wasn't at all pleasant; it was unsettling, but it was the chaos I had to have. It was the chaos I had to have.

Maybe a tad too ambitious, maybe this is created just to be left hanging dry a year or so down the road. But there's no shame in trying, and sometimes to do that you need a clean sheet, a new beginning. Right now there's only one little writing, not even a story, but you get the idea.

Untuk cerita-cerita kecil yang bukan sehari-hari, silahkan ke lantai kedua.

Buatku, percakapan-percakapan paling menyenangkan selalu terjadi antara tiga orang.

Dua orang dapat bercakap, tetapi setelah beberapa lama mereka menginginkan suara ketiga. Sebab dua tidak membangun; dimensi hanya terbentuk saat ada tiga sudut.

Sedang empat orang dalam percakapan bagiku sering terasa satu terlalu banyak. Terkadang percakapan terasa penuh ketergesaan, dan kehilangan bentuk sebab ditarik dari terlalu banyak arah.

Hindu punya tiga dewa, Kristen lekat dengan trinitas, Filsuf menyukai trikotomi. Buatku ini bukan kebetulan; tiga adalah keseimbangan, kontinuitas, jumlah yang lengkap dan tak berlebih. Segala kualitas yang kucari dari sebuah percakapan.


I hope whatever lies ahead will be worth the bumpy ride.

Kamu tahu, kamu tidak pernah berjanji. Tidak pernah berhutang. Tidak pernah bersepakat.

Tapi setiap tahun, marka di kalendermu terasa seperti janji yang harus dipenuhi. Hutang yang harus dibayar. Kesepakatan yang harus dijalankan.

Mungkin kamu merasa bersalah. Karena itu kamu lingkari tanggal hari ini. Entah untuk berapa tahun sampai rasa bersalahmu habis. Janjimu penuh. Hutangmu terbayar.

Aku setuju; kata maaf terlalu klise dan membuat canggung percakapan. Karena itu di kalenderku sendiri, aku punya tanggal-tanggal yang aku lingkari.

The combination of the cause of phenomena is beyond the grasp of the human intellect. But the impulse to seek causes is innate in the soul of man. And the human intellect, with no inkling of immense variety and complexity of circumstances conditioning a phenomenon, any one of which may be separately conceived of as the cause of it, snatches at the first and most easily understood approximation, and says here is the cause. In historical events, where the actions of men form the subject of observation, the most primitive conception of a cause was the will of the gods, succeeded later on by the will of those men who stand in the historical foreground—the heroes of history. But one had but to look below the surface of any historical event, to look, that is, into the movement of the whole mass of men taking part in that event, to be convinced that the will of the hero of history, so far from controlling the actions of the multitude, is continually controlled by them. It may be thought that it is a matter of no importance whether historical events are interpreted in one way or in another. But between the man who says that the peoples of the West marched into the East, because Napoleon willed they should do so, and the man who says that that movement came to pass because it was bound to come to pass, there exists the same difference as between the men who maintained that the earth was stationary and the planets revolved about it, and the men who said that they did not know what holds the earth in its place, but they did know that there were laws controlling its motions and the motions of the other planets. Causes of historical events—there are not and cannot be, save the one cause of all causes. But there are laws controlling these events; laws partly unknown, partly accessible to us. The discovery of these laws is only possible when we entirely give up looking for a cause in the will of one man, just as the discovery of the laws of the motions of the planets has only become possible since men have given up the conception of the earth being stationary.

Opening paragraph of Chapter I, Part Thirteen of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace.

To those who seem ready to give up,

There was a saying I heard once that goes more or less like this: "In a relationship between A, B, and C, if A dies, B loses not only A, but parts of C that only A can bring out."

I don't know much about losing, but this much I know: human beings are not numbers. Our dynamics is not a constant, a given. You subtract one out of five, you do not necessarily get four. There's a good chance you'll end up with zero.

And if you think you're prepared to lose one, ask yourself if you're really ready to end up with none. Because when it comes to people, sometimes that's just how the math works.


I must not be the only person who has this irrational fondness of certain words, truly by the virtue of how they sound and the way they roll off your tongue. To begin with, I really like rhyming phrases, for example: hustle and bustle, hither and thither. I love words like ease, cease or seize, ones of very few single-syllabled words you don't rush into - you take time to go through the vowels, not merely leap on the word in hurry to arrive to the next word. I like through because of the 'th'; the intricate way to produce the sound, teasing your tongue just slightly between your teeth, exhaling some air, and the sound it produces has an airy, feather-light quality to it. I like words that have the tricky 'double-s' endings like assists or consists because it's really tricky to pronounce; the 's' kind of stops briefly, but then you pronounce another 's' again just as briefly. It's hard to pronounce it correctly, but when done right it sounds beautiful.

This is also the reason why I tend to pick the word perhaps over maybe, or probably, or any other words with equivalent meanings. Because perhaps, that is how I always imagine how hopes, chances, and promises will take form in sound - it starts with p, the dead, close-mouthed consonant, then you go through its two vowels separated by the tricky r and the airy h, and right when you thought the word would end the same way it started, with the same dead, close-mouthed consonant, it gives you the subtle hissing, perhaps slightly buzzing, s, and just like hopes, chances, and promises, it doesn't leave you right away, it lingers.

In every case of losses there is left a sort of hanging thought. Of what it is, it's hard to say; perhaps of missed chances, of wrong turns, of closed doors, of cold shoulders. Of all these things my thought is intruded: one scene after another like a bad slideshow on loop, its brightness obscene against the pitch-black of its surrounding.

For what it's called - a hanging thought - I can find no way escaping. Turn my head and it's in my peripheral vision. Close my eyes and the colours' still printed in my vision. And contrary to the expectation, never will I get used to the condition.

It is bitter, and it is painful, and it is okay. Losses are meant to feel bitter - and the ensuing thoughts, those hanging thoughts, they are meant to be intrusively painful. But it's okay, you know? It never feels more okay. It is even liberating, to some extent. And despite all the thoughts of missed chances, of wrong turns, of closed doors, of cold shoulders, I get this weird feeling of knowing that this loss, it is right. And I am right.

There certainly won't be a nice dream, but I think I can sleep well tonight.

Nine Kinds of Silence

Not speaking and speaking are both human ways of being in the world, and there are kinds and grades of each. There is the dumb silence of slumber or apathy; the sober silence that goes with a solemn animal face; the fertile silence of awareness, pasturing the soul, whence emerge new thoughts; the alive silence of alert perception, ready to say, “This… this…”; the musical silence that accompanies absorbed activity; the silence of listening to another speak, catching the drift and helping him be clear; the noisy silence of resentment and self-recrimination, loud and subvocal speech but sullen to say it; baffled silence; the silence of peaceful accord with other persons or communion with the cosmos.

- Paul Goodman

Oh ya, bulan kemarin ponsel saya hilang, dan saya belajar banyak tentang penerimaan dan keikhlasan. Berapa kali kemarin saya selalu menyangkal, "Gak hilang kok, cuma ketinggalan, gak ketemu aja, gak mungkin diambil orang" saat ditanya perihal kehilangan. Setelah beberapa lama waktu berlalu saya sadar, keikhlasan tidak mungkin diraih saat pertanyaan selalu dijawab dengan sangkalan. Memang dia hilang, begitu saja. Sulit mengatakannya dengan datar dan menahan keinginan menambahkan sangkalan-sangkalan. Tapi untuk menerima, kata-kata itu harus diucapkan. Memang dia hilang, begitu saja.


Untuk sebuah pergantian tahun yang ditunggu dengan ekspektasi, disambut dengan selebrasi, dan terlalu banyak disertai resolusi, momen itu anehnya terasa biasa saja.

Tahun baru yang kemarin saya rayakan bersama teman, berjalannya seperti ini: pukul dua puluh mulai menyalakan arang, pukul dua puluh satu kami makan, pukul dua puluh dua bersantai di sofa dan bermain entah kartu atau tebak-tebakan, pukul dua puluh tiga mengobrol sambil terus melihat jam. Kemudian saat menit menunjukkan angka lima puluh kami keluar ke dak beton melihat langit dan menyulut kembang api. Tiba-tiba di tengah sulutan dan ledakan ini, tahun berganti. Begitu saja.

Sebagai momen, kita selalu ciptakan tahun baru sebagai sesuatu yang besar. Tapi jalannya waktu tidak memberikan keistimewaan yang sama. Tidak ada menit yang tiba-tiba panjangnya digandakan, atau detik yang tiba-tiba berjalan lambat. Ternyata momen yang ditunggu dengan ekspektasi itu berjalannya biasa saja.