Monday, May 22, 2017

INCUBUS


My eldest brother perished before I was born. I did not feel any attachments to him. I only saw his picture lying in his coffin, while my mom and dad were sitting beside the coffin. I noticed the sadness was deeply carved on their faces.  The next image of my brother was his grave. My mom took us to the grave a couple of  times. I remember the marble on which there were my brother’s picture and name. My grandfather’s name was also carved on the marble. Apparently they shared the same graves. I also remember the granite gravel on both sides of the cemetery. The beautiful glittery tiny stones shone as the ray of the morning sun reached the cemetry.

Time goes by,  the memory of my brother was forgotten. My mom had a rough time after my dad left her. The pain  of being neglected by someone whom you wanted to share your life with was deep. I did not know which one was deeper but they definitely kept my mom occupied. The story of my brother was hardly mentioned. His existence has turned into ashes...as to his body. We have never  heard anyword about him anymore.

On a fine day, early in the morning, my mom passed away.  She had been lying in bed for more than a year, trapped in a box called silence. We were all sad, but deep down in my heart I was happy for her. She had recorded a long-standing  life. She was almost 95. After her burial I went through her cupboard and found a pile of documents. It was hidden at  the very bottom of her cupboard. I said hidden  because they were covered with multi layers of old newspaper and plastic bags. I had no comperehension whether  the documents were a treasure or torture  to my mom.

I opened the documents carefully for they were dull, discoloured and full of stains. I was affraid I might damage the papers.  At the very top there was a tainted envelope. I did not need to open it for the glue that kept the sides together had lost its power. A pile of cards fell out. They were condolences cards, sent for my brother in 1948. One card was from my parents, they wished him to have a safe journey. One card was from my sister and brother who called my brother Boeng, which means brother. Then one card was from my father. It was the shortest condolences card ever. “My King.” The cards were beautifully hand written. My mom also kept his  medical record, including  the handwritten graph of his health. A feeling of agony thrust my chest and my heart turned sore.

My mother must have tried very hard to burry her sorrows. Underneath the envelope I saw other documents. Those were the court documents. I opened the filthy documents with the tips of my finger and the smell of mold and mildew stroke my nose. The horror struck and I was repelled.  the content inside the documents were a real nightmare. They  ripped apart my heart. I cried silently for my mother, for all the pains that she had to go through. My father called her names and accused her of things  that even the devil would have abandoned them.   I needed fresh air... I needed to get out of this dreadful, traumatic, horrendous incubus.

As night fell my eyes were widely open. As the curfew fell I decided to talk to my mother and prayed. I wanted her to know how much I adore, worshipp, and love her.

Nb. My mother had always claimed that she had a beaitufl life with her children.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

WAITING ROOM

We all sat there in rows. Silent with no word spoken. The waiting room was rather dark and chilly. I noticed the empty faces. One will never know what's inside our mind. We were there waiting for our turn to come.  The air was full of uncertainties.
A lady with two white wings appeared from the room next door. She called a name. My aunt stood and walk slowly. We followed her with our eyes. She walked and vanished into the upper room. I  noticed lines of sadness in everybody's faces. We knew that she would never came back to visit us. If we are lucky we may see her in  our dream. My mom, she wiped the tears from her eyes.
The clock was again ticking. So many seasons had gone by. My grey hair began to appear like the soft snow in winter. We were all still in the waiting  room. The squeaky door was suddenly opened. We were all startled. Another name was announced. My sister! No...no....no.... she was still so young. I expressed my anger for an instant.... but went back to my seat as I saw her go. She turned her head and looked at me... me specifically... with her eyes full of love. My tears dropped. I could hear the sound of my tears smashed against the  hard floor.  Then silent.....as my sister has faded away....turned into nothingness.
The edgy  moments were again dangling  in the sky. Nobody had the patient. My uncle began to make movements. He called for the lady and told her...let it be my turn. But nothing happened. So he gave up and waited impatiently. Luck was on his side.... the door was suddenly opened. The lady appeared. She flapped her wings while calling my uncle's name. He jumped of his seat and went to the upper room. He looked as if he knew all the way there. He forgot the fact that he left his sister in the waiting room. His sister  which  is my mother watched him closely. He left a deep cut on her chest. The cut was so deep that her heart jumped out and fell on the floor, laying ... before it turned dry within seconds.
The room has turned so cold. I noticed my mom was shivering. I knew she cried out for the  lady. But her voice got stuck  in her throat. I spotted her weary eyed. She sat in thousands of  silence. No movements. Her pulse was louder than the the west wind. Her eyes has gradually weakened. Starring to a point until there was no light anymore. She beat the lady. She ran to the upper room before the lady called her name.
I.....am waiting......Everybody's waiting..... we are here in the waiting room.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

ARE YOU THERE?

I talk to her while  she's asleep . She has been sleeping for almost a year. I wonder what is boggling in her mind . She's going to be 96 this year. She has missed her last birthday, because that was the time when she began to enter her long sleep. We all gathered together. A birthday cake with candles. We put it gently on her side. Hoping that the birthday cake would wake her up. We took turns to  wish her a happy birthday. On my turn I asked her:"Are you there?"

MOVE ON!

The election  to vote for the new governor  of Jakarta was conducted two  days ago. The quick count result has  indicated the winner. As a citizen I do vote, whoever I vote is not important to be discussed for it is my own personal choice. I am more interested to discuss the long term effect of the election. The election is over. There is a term that has been used on the net referring to those whose championed does not turn to be the winner: Move on!. “Everything is easier said than done. Wanting something is easy. Saying something is easy. The challenge and the reward are in the doing.”
The election is indeed over, but the hatred that has been spread around to support each  champion remained. Let  me take you back to  the Presidential election that occured in 2014. So much hatred were in the air. Those who claimed themselves to be the wisemen, the knowledgable person, the powerful people stood firmly to support their own champion. They threw irresponsible statements in the air, hoax and hatred speech.  The general public becomes the object. Those who have sufficient education and time selected the information they read, but those who did not have time  nor sufficient education relied heavily on the provided information around them, especially when they are readily served on your plate continously.
A philosopher claimed that the two group mentioned later are the object of power. The power is not the  ordinary power that has been  claimed so far. The power runs in  the relationships. The  injection  of power goes through discourse. The will to know brings the audience into truth of knowledge. In  simple language, their mind set is constructed by discourse, because deep down inside there is the will to know. Whatever served by the discourse will be considered as the truth.
Using race, religion, gender and discriminating people might be an excellent choice to win  the election. After the election  is over we claim that the situation is back  to normal. It is not as simple as that. The hatred that has been sown along the campaign remains in the public heart and mind. The Presidential election  is a proof. People never settles down and  remains boiling with hatred. Whatever the elected President does is always an object of  criticism of the opposing parties. Rumours spread around not less better than during the election. A rumor is a social cancer: it is difficult to contain and it rots the brains of the masses. However, the real danger is that so many people find rumors enjoyable. That part causes the infection. And in such cases when a rumor is only partially made of truth, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly where the information may have gone wrong. It is passed on and on. If one tries to go against the current, be ready to be called by any names that can amputate your hand and brain not  to mention your life.
The recent Governor election is another event that add to the process of creating new classifications among the public. We now face new classifications based on ethnic, religion, aside from the political parties, gender  issues and regional issues have prospered during the previously held Presidential campaigns. The next campaign will definitely be based again on those classifications and definitely new classifications will be added, a severe ones, the ones which will bring the public closer to the graveyeard. It is just a matter of time before the opposing views among groups will trigger the fire and burn the country. Move on.....easier said than done.

Monday, June 13, 2016

GOOD BYE TO THE PAST

I used to be a hunter. A hunter who hunts for money. I was so so afraid that my children would suffer. A hunter never gets home, not until he/she has managed to catch an animal. So I work from morning till late at nite. By the time I arrived home, the kids were all asleep and my husband as always sat in front  of the television set. We did not say much to  each other. I cleaned myself and say one or two words before I felt asleep. Sometimes I even slept in my son's bedroom.
Retirement has brought a new chapter into my life. The hunter instinct was still there, but it was not boiling as it used to. I began to carefully observe what I had achieved. We have all what we need, in fact sometimes more than what we need. However, those belongings have never taken me anywhere. The house felt  so cold and yet it felt so hot.
I sat quietly in the garden and let my mind wonder. I began to see the picture of my life turning into holes. So many holes that make it impossible for me to fix them one by one. Not when I'm alone. I began to search for my companionship. I found him sitting with another companion. Laughter and happiness were crafted on his face. Apparently that was how he spent the empty days. I looked in dismay but my heart was crying. I had to fight for my right.
I patted him on his shoulder. Both of them looked at me with surprise. His companion startled and tried to escape. I hold her hand and reminded her not to come back. Then I turned my face to my husband. I saw two hollow eyes were looking at me, craving for my touch. Thousands of guilts swiped over my mind. What have I done to him, to them, and most of all to myself. I held his hand and we walked to the  garden. The garden had been neglected for so long. The bushes were all over. We began to clean it although we know it's not easy. Some of  the trees have died and turned into a solid stone, some are nothing but a thorny bushes.
We sat together in the garden tonite. We watch the fire burn some of the waste, but we realize that heaps of waste were waiting for our hand to fix them. May God forgive us and bless us as we decided to continue our journey. The stop was a bit too long. It ends without us realizing that we have never moved an inch.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

MY DEAREST SISTER

It was such an awful feeling. I was so restless yesterday. I went to my husband and told him. "I feel like crying for no reason. I want to get mad to I don't know whom."
Yesterday felt like the longest day ever. I cried and fought a lot. I heard the windchimes, but did not pay too much attention. The windchimes always play the music of the wind. That's what they are  there for.
I sat quietly again this  morning. On my own, facing the garden. The garden that me and my sister love to share. Somebody texted me. I opened the phone and read the message. I was stunt for a while and remember the sound of the windchimes. Yesterday was just like today. There was no wind. There was only silence. How could I hear the windchimes?
Were you talking to me Sis. It was just like the day you passed away. The windchimes were playing the  music of the night. I could not sleep. The following morning I received the news that you went away.  What message are you trying to tell me Sis?
This morning a mail came in. A postcard, my first postcard from your daughter. Is this your message Sis. Let me do my part, the part that a sister needs to do on behalf of her dearest sister. I know your language, the  language of love. Rest in Peace dearest sister. We all love you, no matter what.

 

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

STRANGER

So  close yet feel so strange. I have never known him, not until I land my feet in the year of 2015. He's always around, like all the objects around  me. He's like the window pane, the wooden  doors, the white ragged love seats. He's  not even close to the white lilies or yellow dandellions in my garden.
The magic of New year has brought a new perspective. I  saw the entire situation with a different perspective. I suddenly feel so lonely. The  object that has always been around me, is gone. He has turned into a real stranger. A person I have never known for 29 years.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

O CHRISTMAST TREE

Christmas as regularly celebrated is over. The crumps are still in  the air. The Christmast symbols, tree, ornaments, wishes are everywhere. Soon, very soon, they also have to go away, elapsed by time. Our christmas tree is still standing haughtily in  the living room. Brown and gold are the chosen color. I was expecting that this Christmas will be shining like gold.
 I love this Christmas, the kind that I had in my childhood. On Christmast Eve, the entire family gathered together, not to mention some friends who were also invited. This is the best Christmas present I have had within these last couple of years. Family, the feeling of having a big family, of being a part of so many people, has lofted me with tons of happiness.
Soon, very soon I have to take all the ornaments down and keep the tree in the box. A kind of refusal occupies my heart. They are symbols, for the real one is in my heart. Still I feel sorry that I have to put them down soon.

SIX DAYS OF AUTUMN


Autumn is the time for me to finish all  unsettled questions.  The real autumn is over, in  fact this is summer. But I have reached the autumn of my life. There is one big question in my mind. What’s gonna happen to me when I grow old? Will somebody look after me? I knew the answer was no. But that was my assumption. A six-day-journey has brought me to the real answer.
I did not see anything strange upon my arrival. But on the way I began to feel the symptons.  Unpleasant frown on  the face as I wanted to do my shopping list on the first day. It’s only six days, if I could finish my shopping list on the first day, I still have five days to go. It was not my personal shoppinng, it was for the school that I am going to establish soon. Anyway... I did not do the shopping on the first day. So there goes my first day.
On the second day, that was Wednesday. I stayed home the whole day. I clean the kitchen a bit and noticed that there was almost nothing to cook. I stayed  home and ate a piece of bread. Suffer from hunger a bit the whole day. In the evening, I said...let’s go out and eat. So we went out and dined. The food was so so...but i was starving and that was probably the best food I have ever tasted in my whole life.  We did some shopping a bit, for I need some fruit to balance all the junks that went into my stomach to ease  my hunger. Today I was informed that friends would come over to eat. I will cook for them.  I love to do it, it made me feel appreciated.
On the third day, that was Thursday, we went out shopping. I bought lots of books for my library. Another frown. I pretended I did not see it for this is my third day, I have to do something for myself. I took a taxi home for If I did not, the frown would probably stay forever. In the evening I feel like going out so I went out on my own, and wondering, dont you want to do some shopping for  tommorow? Anyway...I’m willing to do more and more, but I am older now, I can not carry all the shopping list myself. So I dont know how things are going to be tomorrow.  I leave it to the master. I wanted to finish my project but I could not. I need some resources, and I asked her to borrow a book from the library. But she forgot it. I asked her if I could use the electronic digital library, she said there is no such thing. I remember last time back home, I used her electronic digital library resources. Maybe the  policy change or maybe...I dont know what.
On the fourth day, Friday. I took a shower earlier that day, because I know that invitation had been sent and people would be here in the afternoon. No food? It was after lunch, the initiative to do shopping turned up. The invitation was at four, and we went out at 12 something. So I could figure out what’s gonna happen next. We arrived home around 2 and I began cooking. At 4 people are turning up. I’m still cooking. A question popped up. Why did it take me so long to cook? My goodness, who do you think I am. A genie or what? She asked for rendang and this is the longest food to cook. I turn the stove higher to make the process faster. Lucky, the rest of the guests arrived late and I could finish around 5. Right after I went inside the room to sit, she popped up and said, the food need more salt, it is tasteless. The hurt and pain was mounting and I went out to apologize to the guests. After dinner, they all went out and I was again alone in my room. Anyway... I have heaps of work to finish, but the pain in my heart hurt so much. I told myself, you are older and you turn to be more and more sensitive. Okay. I admit this fact.
On the fifth day, i was left alone from early in  the morning until late at night. That’s okay. I kept myself busy and cook for the day. At night she ate the  food and gave some negative comments on  the meat. Well, I dont have any excuses to say. Let it be. The pain and hurt have already been there anyway.
On the sixth day, which is my last day. No moves, nothing. So I stayed quiet in the room. Feeling abandoned, feeling sad, everything altogether. It was almost twelve when I was asked if I wanted to go out.. That day was not my day. I received bad news from home. On the way I thought I miss my bus card. We missed the bus, I could not draw cash and we got lost.  Finally we decided to go to the city. Again. An aimless trip, not knowing what to do there. Anyway.... just do it. My mind was at home actually. So in the city while we were having  late late lunch, I was trying to bring her in to find a solution. She did not say a word. I know what’s in her mind. “It’s none of my business”.  The hurt  was so deep. I was unstable myself, she did not have to carry the burden. I do, I was just asking her for an opinion. Anyway... I stayed quite the whole night. She came to me and apologized. I tried to explain my reasons. You dont need anybody when you are happy, but you will definitely need somebody when you are sad.  She smiled happily. It’s not because of my words, but simply because she could make me speak again. I tried to make the best out of my last night. I asked her to order pizza and we ate and had a conversation together with her friend. I went to my room. She stayed outside and slept on  the bench. I might be the virus that made her affraid of sleeping in her own bed.  She was affraid that I would ask her opinion about the problem back home. Anyway...she moved into her bed, late at night, and went to sleep right away. Some important phone calls were ignored.  After lots of complain and after receving lots of promises to visit the  library, she finally let me use her electronic digital library. I did not really use them in  the end, the mood is not there anymore.
My departure day, Monday. I was mad yesterday, so I said, I didnt want nobody to take me to the airport. Yes, she made it happen. Okay.... you dont know me then. No matter how heavy my suitcases were, I was not going to complain. The pain did not stop there. I was in the bathroom, she shouted at me telling me that the taxi was downstairs. I knew it, but that was not 6 o”clock. That was a bit early, so I still can use the bathroom. The pain was so unbearable, I cried a bit in the bathroom and I told her that i can’t wait to leave myself.  I went out of the toilet and grabbed my bag. She followed me. My suitcases were already downstairs. I am more than ready to leave. I kissed goodbye and I jumped into  the taxi. I did not turn my head, not even once. I left the memories of my six days behind.
I finally have to thank her for answering my questions. Winter is almost here, I will be ready to be on my own. You can  count on my words.