Archive for January 2015


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.