Cita-citaku tak lebih tinggi dari pohon, hanya hidup bahagia berteman senyummu di hari senja.
Juga tak pernah lebih teduh dari rimbun dedaunannya, sebab dadaku kadang didih diseduh cemburu.

Cita-citaku hanya sejauh batang pohon yang merelakan dirinya jadi lembaran kertas tempatku menuliskanmu tiap kali diserang rindu.
Cita-citaku seperti pohon: Untuk diam-diam tak berpindah dan tak pernah lupa mengingatmu.

Ditulis pada November 2014, ditemukan kembali bulan Mei 2017.

hidup kembali

aku merasakan sebagian dari diriku hidup kembali
pada pagi hari itu
di depan wajahmu dan di genggam tanganmu

aku merasakan jantung berdetak kembali
pulang dari kedalaman kesunyian di gelap rongga dada
darah perlahan terpompa
ke mataku, ke tanganku, ke pipiku

dan aku tersenyum
mudah tertawa dan ingin tidur lekas dan bangun lebih cepat
aku ingin segera melihatmu bicara
aku ingin memastikan apa kau nyata

aku merasakan sebagian diriku terjaga lagi
untuk mengingat-ingat rupa lenganmu, suara langkah-langkahmu, cara matamu menemukanku di tengah lautan manusia

aku seperti terlahir kembali
pada pagi hari itu
bersama matahari dan riuh-rendah pengunjung bandara
sambil terus bertanya kenapa bisa

jakarta, maret 2017

I have my father behind me

On this International Women’s Day, I wanna thank one person for making me who I am now: my father.

I hear and read words, comments, social media posts about how women should behave, should act, about devilish and scary career-women or useless stay-at-home ones.

But what my father has been teaching me all this time is how to be a badass woman and how a great man should act.

I always remember what he said when I was still very young, that because I am a woman, I will usually have a weaker body compared to a man so that I have no other option than to be smart.

He always put my education first. I was not allowed to skip classes as far as I could. Although he was busy working, he managed to help me with my homework (he was pretty cool at social science!) when my mother could not, turned the television off when my study time came. He even took a leave and accompanied me during my first day at college, telling me to never be intimidated by and get scared of my seniors because they were actually not always that cool and smart. Hahahaha.

Coming from a farmer family in a small village in East Bali, it is a big pride for my father to be able to finish college and work as a law enforcer. Given the background, he once told me that if he could get his bachelor degree, then I should get at least a master or I should be ashamed of myself.

He encourages me to pursue higher education, so how could strangers tell me the otherwise?

My father told me that a woman had to be independent despite her marital status. A woman must empower herself, building her career if she works and continuing to enrich her knowledge while taking the best care of her family if she stays at home.

A woman should not be powerless so why should I buy the otherwise?

My father is also a kind of man who happily does domestic works.

When I was in school, I often found my father and mother, who is a stay-at-home mom, washed our clothes together at five in the morning. He sets a rule at home that everyone must wash their own dishes after using them and he never leaves his dirty dishes at the kitchen sink.

He also cooks. Sometimes he does not allow my mother to help, partly because he thinks he cooks some food better than her. Hahaha. But he does! And my mother is happy too because she can take some time to relax or do other things.

My father shows me that men and women can share duties. So, why do I let strangers tell me the otherwise?

My father listens to what I say, encourages me to speak my mind up, to be logical, to be critical, to be brave and aiming high. Why should I do the otherwise?

I know my father is my privilege, especially in this situation when several men see women as nothing but complementary objects. Yes, I use the word “object” because I lose count of how many times we are compared to candies, fruits or any other goods for no good.

My father has set the bar high and I have no plan to lower it.

So, happy International Women’s Day! May we all be braver, stronger, tougher and happier in everything we do. Everything.

March 8, 2017.

silver hair

you silver hair
i can help you counting them
reminiscing time you’ve gone through,
all the sweets and bitters, years and tears

your black and silver hair
a harmonious crown of a king
an old soul’s wisdom
the heart beats igniting sunbeams after a long winter

they’re dancing with the wind,
your silver hair on a Sunday morning,
not hiding, not hidden
painting you a humble look, effortlessly,
amid those golds and glitters

i wonder how much the time loves you
since your silver hair is the best thing age can do
you grow older but livelier
kinder and happier
fulfilled and content

your silver hair
i can’t help myself from thinking
that growing old is a gift
knowing you make it matters

January 2017

a late post adressed to you

it’s painful seeing “It’s (your name) birthday today!” on my Facebook notification in the morning of my birthday so i decided to unfriend you.

although I didn’t see such a notification again this year, still my mind came across to you, to how our just-fine relation turned sour — a thing i can’t tell why until now.

some people around me sometimes still talk about you, waking up a dead man from his grave called memory. and i’ll just take some peanuts and munch them or sip my wine, swallowing all the pain.

your presence fades away as the time goes by but i never have the gut to say that i’ve moved on because i don’t always have peanuts or a glass of wine near me to help me digesting all the shakes in my muscles and groans in my tummy every time a thought of you visits me or is brought to me by friends, tv shows or (your) colleagues.

the memories of you are kept at the corner of my brain. they’re dusty, seldom revisited as days and deadlines successfully make me busy. but i can’t say i’ve forgotten you because that particular bus stop i sometimes pass by has the view of your office tower and before i can stop it, my mind has already started guessing what are you doing now.

details about you evaporate layer by layer but i find out that they’re still hanging in the air when my ojek passes by a roasted chicken food-stall where we once had lunch and i watched you patiently slice your steak into pieces before eating it. i just found out, years after the day, how far the place is from the airport, the destination where you would drive me to that afternoon.

thoughts of you sometimes pop up in my mind when i see a signboard of a securities firm, whose name bears yours, near a place where i usually have events to cover. but sometimes i was just running late so i didn’t have a chance to land even a glance to the signboard and your ghost didn’t visit me at the time.

beside the time, living in the city might also heals the wounds as special things and places become common things and places if i see them on a regular basis.

and now, as we’re close to the end of january, i will have no reason to think about you anymore (and i should be thankful about that) for the rest of the year. we’re walking our different paths, so close yet so far away, keeping them out of crossing each other so lives can go on.

finally, allow me to wish you happiness, peacefulness.

and happy birthday.

jakarta, january 2017

Hari yang Gugup

Seiring bertambahnya usia, saya semakin merasa ingin menghindari hari ulang tahun saya. Bukan karena saya takut atau tidak mau menjadi tua, tapi karena kecanggungan yang saya rasakan tiap kali orang-orang mencurahkan perhatiannya pada saya, yang biasanya memuncak ketika hari ulang tahun tiba.

Berdiri di bawah lampu sorot membuat saya gugup dan tak nyaman. Tidak berbeda dengan ulang tahun kali ini.

Saya melewati detik pertama hari ulang tahun saya dengan menonton pelantikan Donald Trump sebagai Presiden Amerika Serikat ke-45 sambil dengan cemas berharap tidak ada kawan atau sanak keluarga yang dengan sengaja begadang untuk mengucapkan selamat ulang tahun. Saya akan merasa sangat tidak enak. Hahahaha.

Untungnya sampai saya selesai baca-baca berita mengenai pelantikan tersebut sekitar pukul setengah dua pagi, notifikasi di telepon seluler saya sepi!

Baru pada paginya seorang kawan baik yang sedang bertugas di Bali menelepon saya. Dia bilang dia lihat InstaStory saya yang berisi foto-foto pelantikan Trump termasuk screen capture halaman indeks pasar saham dunia dari aplikasi Bloomberg saya ketika kemudian reminder-nya mengingatkan kalau hari itu adalah hari ulang tahun saya.

“Hari ini lu seneng-seneng, ya. Jangan kerja. JANGAN KERJA,” katanya. Hahahaha.

Setelah itu, aplikasi pesan singkat mulai dipenuhi ucapan selamat dari kawan kuliah dan rekan kerja (terima kasih, Facebook!).

Jujur ya, teman-teman, saya sengaja tidak segera membuka pesan-pesan itu karena merasa perlu mempersiapkan diri untuk menerima segala curahan perhatian kalian yang begitu baik. Terdengar berlebihan tapi begitulah adanya.

Ketika kawan-kawan dekat saya menelepon dari Bali dan Yogyakarta setelahnya pun, saya berusaha mengalihkan pembicaraan ke urusan pekerjaan atau menanyakan bagaimana situasi liburannya. Ketika rekan-rekan kerja memberi kado, saya menunda-nunda untuk membukanya.

Saya sungguh payah memang.

Tapi pada akhirnya, malam ini, saya membaca, mengingat-ingat kembali pesan-pesan yang kalian kirim dan sampaikan secara langsung dan mulai menghitung kalian sebagai juga anugerah-anugerah yang sampai dalam hidup saya.

Sungguh bagi saya yang pelupa, menemukan fakta bahwa banyak orang mengingat saya adalah suatu hal yang sangat besar, yang mungkin saya sendiri tidak mampu mencernanya. Hati saya mungkin masih kurang lapang, hati saya mungkin terlalu keras.

Sepertinya hanya itu penjelasan yang masuk akal untuk kecanggungan dan gugup yang saya rasakan tiap kali hari ulang tahun tiba. Tetapi, sungguh, saya sangat mensyukuri kehadiran dan perhatian kalian: keluarga, kawan, rekan kerja.

Saya percaya bahwa setiap perbuatan dan harapan akan kembali pada diri sendiri. Karenanya, semoga segala harapan dan perhatian baik kalian segera menemukan jalan kembali ke diri kalian sendiri.

Terima kasih.

Jakarta, 21 Januari 2017

Prissa, teman saya, mengirimkan ini pagi-pagi dan, voilĂ , there was my first cry of the day.

Malam ini saya menemukan IBG Wiraga (Hege) mengirimkan gambar ini lewat Facebook. Terharu lagi. :’) Terima kasih. 

Antara Slipi dan Fatmawati


Di ruas Jalan Sudirman
Di pundak jalan melayang
Sepasang Slipi dan Fatmawati bergandengan.

Itu rumah kita, kataku
Dan kau meledak dalam tawa,
bunga api yang sama yang meletup dalam dada ketika kau menyelipkan jemarimu di antara jemariku, atau ketika menemukanmu tersenyum menanti di halaman kantor selepas jam kerja.

Tapi itu pula penanda kita akan segera berpisah jalan.
Aku harus berbelok ke kiri, kau lurus ke Fatmawati.

Kau memandangku — aku teringat mata Ibu yang tabah dan penuh pemahaman — lalu memilihkan jalan memutar untuk mengantarku pulang.

Aku masih menyimpan jernih matamu, walau selebihnya telah menguap seperti mimpi bertemu pagi.
Di hari-hari ini, kota telah jadi makam teramat luas tempat kenangan ditanam, luka dirawat, dan ziarah dijalankan di jalan-jalan utama, kadang tanpa sengaja, seperti setiap kali aku melintas di bawah Slipi dan Fatmawati.

Jakarta, Oktober 2016