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Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Come to Me

Come to me oh Hope
Come hither thither with your glowing light
Come bright and unabashed and strong
Come and reside within my soul

Come to me oh Time
Come running and walking at your leisure
Draped me with old wisdom and young innocence
Come and stay within my life

Come to me oh Courage
Break me free from this cage of fear
Armed me with the will to live
Come and rule within my heart

Come to me oh Silence
Comfort me in my melancholy days
Together with darkness and shadow
Come and rest within my mind

Come to me oh Life
I have been waiting for you for so long
You will not be squandered or neglected
Come and reign within my spirit

Come oh spirits of the world
The tunes this earth sing
The elements this earth is made of
Come and be with me

For human is folly but we love them dearly
And spirits are fickle but we love them so much
The balance is thin and obscure
But what's stopping us from finding it

Here lies magic within us
Courage and Hope, Time and Silence,
And beautiful, serene Life
Come and sit with me

Monday, April 23, 2018

Pahit Manis Cinta

"And when we try to push each other away
When we got disillusioned with life and ourselves
When everything feels useless and meaningless
Let's open this book, dear husband"

"Dan saat kita mencoba menjauhi satu sama lain
Saat kita tak lagi merasa hidup dan diri kita indah
Saat semua terasa hampa dan tak berguna
Mari buka buku ini, suami tercinta"

Lelaki itu menatap istrinya, "Aku tidak tahu kamu menulis ini." Sang istri tersenyum pahit, "Itu selalu ada di buku elektronik yang kubuat untuk ulang tahun pertama perkawinan kita, dua tahun yang lalu. Baru sekarang aku cetak." "Oh," kata si lelaki. Seminggu kemudian ia terbang ke Indonesia untuk bertemu kekasihnya.

Bagaimana rasanya? Pahit. Dan ironis. Harga cetak buku itu hanya seharga makan bersama di restoran. Hanya seharga 3 bra diskonan dari Victoria's Secret. Hanya seharga 1 lusin cupcake terkenal disini. Dan jelas lebih murah dari perceraian, apalagi tiket ke Indonesia. Tapi kan kita nggak bisa memaksa orang. 

Reaksi saya tiap kali melihat buku itu adalah: "Coba saya cetak buku ini lebih cepat…" Karena nggak ada harga untuk kebahagiaan, bukan? Siapa tahu kalau saya cetak lebih cepat, kalau itu buku ada dirumah, saya dan dia ingat akan kebahagiaan kita bersama dan nggak terlalu stress akan kehidupan.

Tapi… Buku itu selalu ada kok, walau versi elektronik. Selalu ada bunga untuknya di hari istimewa. Selalu ada hadiah kecil dari saya di saat spesial. Selalu ada tangan yang siap membelai dan memeluk. Selalu ada foto di fesbuk dan tulisan di blog saya. Kurang apa lagi?

Setiap ada yang cerita ke saya tentang kandasnya hubungan mereka, pertanyaannya selalu: Apa yang sudah mereka lakukan untuk mengusahakannya? Dan apakah masih pantas untuk diusahakan? Pertanyaan yang sama yang ada di buku "Dear, Mantan Tersayang."

Untuk saya, jawabannya sudah jelas. Pahit sepahit-pahitnya saat tahu bahwa segala usaha kita nggak ada artinya, karena kita dan mereka memang sudah tidak sepaham lagi. Pahit untuk memilih pergi karena tahu tidak ada lagi yang bisa diusahakan. Tapi saya harus pergi.

Dua tahun kemudian, saya berada di sebuah pesta di atap gedung di Hollywood. Saya dan teman dansa saya berdansa saat mengantri makanan kami, lalu berdansa lagi setelahnya, terus sepanjang malam. Saya merasa bagai putri semalam, dimanja dan dibuat tertawa.

Apakah keputusan saya untuk pergi sudah tepat? Bagi saya, iya. Malam kemarin hanyalah salah satu saat dimana saya merasa saya sangat bahagia dengan hidup saya. Ada kepuasan dan kekuatan tersendiri untuk tahu bahwa saya telah berusaha semaksimal mungkin, walau akhirnya kandas.

Kita nggak bisa bergantung pada orang lain, berharap orang lain akan membuat kita bahagia. Yang bisa kita lakukan adalah membahagiakan orang lain, membuat orang tersebut merasa dicintai, merasa disayangi; walau belum tentu perasaan itu sampai pada mereka.

Nggak kenapa lho kalau nggak sampai. Pahit memang, menyebalkan, bikin frustasi. Tapi kita, sekali lagi, kita nggak bisa memaksa orang. Itu seperti memaksakan sepatu kaca Cinderella di kaki saudara tirinya. Bagi orang yang tepat, nggak dipaksain juga pasti muat.

Sampai saat ini saya masih dihantui dengan "Coba kalau…" walau sudah jauh berkurang frekuensi/ keseringannya. Saat itu terjadi saya akan terus mengingat: "Coba kalau saya tidak pergi, saya tidak akan sebahagia ini sekarang. Walau dulu saat pergi air mata tumpah, sekarang gelak tawa yang pecah.

Kata orang move on itu merelakan. Move on itu melupakan. Tapi jangan lupa, move on juga berarti menikmati hidup kita yang sekarang. Dunia akan terus berputar walau tanpa kekasih hati. Angkat dagumu dan tersenyumlah, pembaca tersayang. Hidup itu indah lho.

Friday, April 20, 2018

The Change We Need

I suppressed a smile when I watched my date struggled to eat the Indian meal with a spoon. I found it incredibly endearing. And because I am an ass, it is exceptionally liberating, as I had my share of weird look when I struggled with fork and knife. 

World is a lot more diverse and way, way bigger than we can ever perceive. Even in Los Angeles where it is supposed to be a melting pot, you can still be surprised on what people do or think, of different cultures and tradition.

But changes do not come easy. Nor acceptance. As a species, change is bad because it can eradicate our way of living. In any change, there's always a question: "Can we adapt to it?" "Can we handle it?" "Should we just eliminate it?"

Having my feet firmly planted in two vastly different countries (Indonesia and USA), with friends from various race, religions, and social status allow me to see that resistance and fear for change can be found everywhere.

I saw the "no homo" in more rural place of US, and "yes homo" in places that are more diverse like Los Angeles. I saw the "Death to Infidels" in a more rural place of Indonesia, and glorified western culture in cities like Jakarta. Each side vehemently defends their life choices and attack those who disagree.

Is it wrong? Is it right? What if it is not about right or wrong? What if it's just about not getting used to things and fear of changes? What if, compassion and willingness to see from other people's perspective is the way to go?

But it's hard. Especially if you are surrounded by people who think like that. For the first few years, I lived in the USA, I was made to believe that black people are psychos, Hispanics can't be trusted, and burger flippers are bad. Free from that toxic influence, my life is so much better.

And if you put violence into the equation, it gets progressively harder. Why should we calm down and look at their perspective when they [read: people with opposing view] viciously attack us and disregard our perspective?

It then creates this endless cycle of "Well, they should go first", the refusal to back down or listen to what others have to say before the others back down and listen to us first. A giant messed-up catch-22, so to speak. Change is an impossibility.

Just like everything else, it can only start with ourselves. Each of us can learn to agree to disagree internally. Each of us can learn to see things objectively, and always ask: "How does the other person feel about this?"

Prejudice can only take us so far, we've established this. How we think and feel is not necessarily how others think and feel. In this divisive world, compassion and empathy is the answer: the cure and the shield from insanity, the agent of change.

I know it sounds so dreamy, so full of moral BS. There are bad guys out there, bad guys that will not be stopped by kind beautiful words. We need to stand up for ourselves, don't we? Yes. Yes, we do. But not with hatred and fear in our heart.

Given enough time and practice, my date will master the use of spoon and fork together. The next time he had to do it again, it won't feel as weird as the first time. This is what change is all about: the subtle transition into something new, the acceptance for what is previously unknown, the willingness to do what is unheard of.

It's an oversimplified analogy for such complex problems, but it is a start. We are more similar to one another than what we previously think, down to reaction and response to change regardless of where we stand. It's time that we unite.

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