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Archive for the ‘on me’ Category

Motherhood 101

In Motherhood 101, there’s no grade. You either pass, or you fail. You might barely pass, pass alright, or pass with flying colors. But if you fail…there’s only one way to fail: miserably, irreparably, disastrously.

Every little thing I did wrong makes me question myself: would it permanently harm Puffy? Would he hate me? Would it make him antisocial/self-righteous/rebellious/any other malignant trait I can think of?
Just yesterday, while bathing him, I accidentally dunked his face under water for a split second. He must have snorted some water into his nose or mouth or eyes, for he started bawling. And I felt like I just scored ‘Klutziest/Worst Mother Of The Year’.

I’ve always liked the motto ‘it’s the thought and effort that matters most, not the end result.’ Oho, but would that work for motherhood too? Only if you want your child to be a failed social experiment. He won’t thrive on good intentions alone–you need a mixture of affection, tough love, informed knowledge, common sense, and a willingness to learn new things for the sake of teaching it to your baby. And then you need to find the right amount of each ingredient–put in too much tough love and he’ll grow up rebellious, extra dollops of information makes you one confused parent, etc.

In th end, I am the one being taught by Puffy. When I was worried about him being addicted to swaddled sleeping, he squirmed his own way out of his swaddle and resolved my problem. When I was worried about his frequent spit-ups and acne flares, he suddenly grew out of it and one day just stopped spitting milk and sprouting acne. When I was worried about his crying spells, the next day he returned to his usual angelic self and forgave whatever it was I did that frustrated him yesterday.

I am so in love, in love with you, my baby, my Puffy.
Had never thought myself capable of such love, like a spring that wells up and flows into a gurgling brook, and grows and grows to be a mighty river that drowns my selfishness completely.

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white silence

my tongue is tied
when you hit a barrier where would you go?
if you’re assaulted from above, beyond, left, and right
east, west, north, and south
where would you run?
how would you dodge?
i couldn’t

you laid landmines
in veiled hopes
vague pleas
masked confessions
how could i dodge?
in the end, i lose
i always lose
shattered to pieces,
vanquished and alone

no one wins in
this war, no one wins

it’s me and white silence
i’ve lost
my
voice

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Entah kenapa hari itu, common sense lagi ambil cuti: aku langsung naik saja taksi pertama yang berhenti, tanpa mengecek warnanya biru berlogo burung atau bukan.

Kalimat pertama yang si pak supir ucapkan, setelah tujuan ditentukan:
“Non, saya tanya ya, situ cines kan?”
“E? Maap pak, apa?”
“Cines? Cines, cines, itu loh, orang cina?”
“Ooo..hh, iya pak, kenapa?” Pertanyaannya sudah cukup aneh dan sangat terus terang, sistem pertahananku langsung naik…

Terus dia nyerocos tentang temannya (lebih tepat disebut mantan teman) di Bandung, seorang Chinese, yang banyak si bapak ini bantu saat masih di akademi militer.
“Kalo ada apa-apa dia itu minta bantunya ke saya lho” “Tapi terakhir ke Bandung, kok lagaknya acuh kayak ga kenal gitu lho” “Masa kayak begitu, padahal dulu sudah saya anggap keluarga sendiri”
Aku manggut-manggut dan mengerutkan kening sepantasnya di kursi belakang, tak tahu dia bisa lihat atau tidak. Defense mechanism full sekarang.

Pertanyaan selanjutnya: “Nah sekarang pertanyaan saya, apa semua orang cines itu begitu?”
Setelah menunjukkan sikap tidak setuju dan mengatakan bahwa temannya (ex-temannya) bukan karena Chinese jadi tidak tahu diri, tapi karena memang pada dasarnya tidak tahu diri, orang seperti itu jangan dianggap teman pak; aku agak lega karena kelihatannya si bapak puas dengan jawabanku.

Di tengah macetnya bunderan menuju perhentian bus, dia bertanya lagi, tentang politik kali ini.
“Kalau situ, nanti pemilu presiden, bakal milih siapa?”
(Alarm di kepala bilang, ‘hati-hati’)
“Wah, kalo saya sih, masih nunggu ya pak, kampanye mereka nanti ngomongnya apa.”
“Ah, kalo saya sih ya, jujur aja, udah nentuin pilihan langsung, pasti SBY.”
(Alarm berhenti, lumayan lega denger jawabannya.)
“Ya habis yang laen tuh ya, Prabowo dan Wiranto kan militer, bakal kacau jadinya.”

Tepat hari itu baru dikeluarkan pengumuman daftar harta cawapres, dengan Prabowo memiliki aset paling banyak sebesar 1.7 triliun rupiah. Si bapak bilang, “Ah nggak mungkin segitu.”
“Lebih banyak ya pak?”
“Ya kurang lahhh” (nadanya menguliahi anak SD) “Coba situ bayangin, kalau diperiksa lagi setahun ke depan dan kekayaannya cuma nambah sedikit, kan ga akan dicurigai, padahal sebenarnya lebih banyak tapi nggak kelihatan.”
Dan dia memberikan analogi karung yang seolah-olah gembung tapi isinya udara–saat karung itu benar-benar diisi emas, orang tak akan curiga.
“Menurut saya, asetnya yang saham itu juga tidak benar… pasti dia mbantu pengusaha terus dikasih saham kosong, begitu…”

Saat ini kecurigaan sudah berubah menjadi keheranan dan kekaguman pada si bapak supir taksi.

“Coba saya tanya, situ kerjanya di bidang apa?”
“Properti pak.”
“Nah coba pikir, kalau situ ada proyek bagus, terus JK yang pengusaha mau juga, dia bisa pakai kekuatan militer buat ambil dari tangan situ. Kan jadi situ yang rugi.”
“Ya iklan boleh bilang dia bantu rakyat kecil, tapi buktinya mana, malah kekayaannya yang nambah.”

Aku manggut-manggut. Mengiyakan. Sepanjang jalan, sepanjang 45 menit kemacetan jam bubar kantor di Jakarta, aku mendengarkan, manggut-manggut, dan belajar banyak tentang politik militer Indonesia.
Dari seorang supir taksi sederhana.
Yang ketajaman pikiran dan kehausan akan pengetahuannya lebih dalam daripada kebanyakan orang bergelar sarjana yang kukenal. Yang kecintaannya pada bangsa tidak membuatnya berpahit-pahit dalam kesulitan hidup. Yang dalam pekerjaannya mencari nafkah, membuat perubahan dalam hidup orang-orang yang ditemuinya. Salah satunya, aku.

Aku menanyakan namanya, kalaupun tidak akan pernah bertemu lagi, setidaknya untuk disimpan dalam hati.

Di manapun bapak sekarang, pak, semoga Tuhan pelihara selalu. Mari sama-sama berdoa semoga presiden baru nanti bisa membawa Indonesia lebih baik lagi.

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The last time I went to visit my boyfriend, somehow I managed to get engaged.

I said “I managed” (instead of “we managed”) because of a theory I recently thought out. I hypothesized that:

  1. The culture we belong to influences our dating style (for the sake of simplicity, I made a Great Cultural Divide between West and East)
  2. Western guys (the bules) tend to resist falling in love; Eastern guys tend to find ‘the one’ fairly easily
  3. Eastern guys, however, after being in a relationship, tend to shy away from lifelong commitment; Western guys fall into that status fairly easily (provided they already found their lifemate)

I know a bule who dated an endless line of girls during high school and college, and resisted staying in a relationship for longer than 6 months. Then suddenly he met a wonderful girl, decided she’s his love of a lifetime, fought for her, overcame differences (and his allergy for ‘exclusive’ relationship), and off he married her. The chain of events seemed to go in an uninterrupted flow.

I also know a Chinese guy who dated his high-school sweetheart for 11 years, never experiencing on-and-off periods (like other puppy love couples), but still felt he’s not ready to commit himself to marriage. In the end the girl got tired of waiting for him and married another guy.

So, the next stage of my hypothesis goes as follows:

  1. Western guys stay in their boyish mindset UNTIL they meet their lifemate; only then would they start maturing up
  2. Eastern guys stay in their boyish mindset UNTIL they decide to get married; only then would they start maturing up
  3. (Although, to be honest, I never believe that boys can be anything other than boys

Going back to my opening statement: because I haven’t figured out the real reason both categories of guys decide to ‘take the next step’, I concluded that it must be due to some external force. In my case, the ‘external force’ would probably be me. Although what exactly did I do, I don’t know…

Ah… but all is well.

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Tell me then, does love make one a fool or do only fools fall in love?

Love is the ability to make the invisible visible and the desire always to fell the invisible in one’s midst.

From “My Name Is Red”, Orhan Pamuk

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butterflies

I saw a school of butterflies, flitting up and down around a tree crowded by red blossoms. Sunlight filtered through the leaves, blinding me sometimes, shielding the delicate yellow wings from my sight. They flipped, flirted, three-some-ing and enjoying the gentle breeze that almost seemed to blow them away from their flight.
I don’t know what they meant. More than anything, they’re a good omen for me. It’s not weather change. It’s not good weather. It’s not pretty blossoms. It’s not fragrant flowers. Maybe it’s a foresight of a good day ahead that attracted them.
Their wings sprayed pollens of tenderness, every flap a tranquil whisper of peace. They know only to fly and feed on sweet nectar. They know not despair, or sadness, or envy. And at least at that instant, they know not pain. If only we could live like the flight of the butterflies. Weightless, carefree, a mirror of happiness, total surrender to God, at peace with everything.

Recently I’ve been thinking about all vanities in this world. Fashion, status, knowledge, even health. Accumulation of which doesn’t mean a thing. At the end it will be a straight line, a nothing. Zip. And what matters is not who we are for others, not who we are for ourselves, but who we are in front of Him who judges everything with justice.

You gotta know / this much is true / I love you / to my best knowledge / of what love means
And I’m learning / to love you more / but this love of mine / is for who you are at heart / not outwardly / not emotionally
I love you

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be careful what you wish for

Yesterday I prayed the Jabez prayer:

Oh that You would bless me indeed
and enlarge my territory
and that Your hand would be with me
and that You would keep me away from evil
that I may not cause pain!

And then it came about in the most unexpected way.
Today I learned the second part of the sentence “be careful what you wish for” in the most profound way possible. “It may just come true.”

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