Thursday, January 31, 2013


I understand you more in silence,
because in silence, I can listen to more things, in nothingness, in the absurdity of existence.

I understand you more in silence,
because words have never been able to contain our truth, the blunt, bittersweet, fearsome truth,
that fills the void between us.

I understand you more in silence,
because in silence we stop protecting each other. Words hurt, and silence can hurt even more,
but we naively believe that it won't.

I understand you more in silence,
because in silence we don't have to impress, we don't have to put each other with honesty test,
I can always let you be, I can put my mind to rest.

I understand you more in silence,
because it's closer to loneliness, and it reminds me that even you're here,
we're too close to hurt, but I'll do it anyway, because you deserve every drop of my sanity.

Monday, January 28, 2013

the boring books are the best.

long boring books are the best. of course books that you can enjoy and understand also make you happy. but long boring books sometimes don't make sense and you can fall asleep to it or keep reading it even when you don't feel like reading. like the words are just meaningless letters floating in the air that can keep you off from the real life. when you don't really wanna understand anything but you wanna run to another world. world of meaningless words. i remember reading a book called "by the time you read this i'll be dead", by julie anne peters, in which the character read a book that she doesn't even like just to run away from the world and from people around her.
my phone has only one book inside it now, anna karenina, that's dead long, and I don't even really like the story, but i like running to it when i feel sad.


some crazy things can happen in your life. you might get a lottery, or meet the love of your life, have a car crash, get broken heart, get raped, your parents get divorced, or anything else.

when you start to write fiction, it's even crazier. you like constructing a world, a simulation of real world. and every single happy and sad moment become part of the fiction world. sometimes when you write it down in fiction, in an event assigned to certain character, you start to see what you went through in more objective point of view. the event seemed to be very personal to you, but when you put it down in words in fiction, when you started to make it as a part of the story line or a backdrop of a character, it becomes less personal. somehow. to me, at least. you understand the feeling or the event better, you feel like you're just a creator looking at it from afar.

i found it pretty strange yet relieving.

Monday, January 21, 2013


If you saw me again today,
when you close your eyes,
I'd be smiling, smiling so big.
I would be there with the white dress that I always loved, the one that captivated your eyes.
You would be able to see me for as long as you want,
make me say things you want me to say.

Isn't it great?

We're not going to be like another lover.
You don't have to worry about how you look in my eyes,
You don't have to worry about whether you say the right words to impress me.
I'd always be happy.
I'd always be smiling, smiling so big,
like when you first saw me.
If you saw me again today,
I'd live another day.

I'd breathe the air you give me in your memory.
As death cannot beat memory,
nor it can beat insanity.
What we always have, is more than time, more than space, more than the distance, my dear.

It was the best time to fall in love,
the right time to keep me in your mind.
Blue sky, tender wind, white dress, two pairs of eyes that couldn't take themselves off each other.

I'm here, I'm with you, and I'll never leave,
as long as you remember me,
and devote your love to me, and me only,
and the blue sky, tender wind, white dress, and my eyes.

21st of January, 2013, in a small piece of paper

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Must I Write?

“Confess to yourself in the deepest hour of the night whether you would have to die if you were forbidden to write. Dig deep into your heart, where the answer spread its roots in your being, and ask yourself solemnly. Must I write?”
― Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

At the moment, I'm reading Rilke's beautiful book, "Letters to a Young Poet". Now, you have your reason why you read certain book with certain theme. Sometimes I read funny book because I feel stressed, other times I read generally encouraging book to motivate myself. Or, I read philosophy book because I'm tempted to know other perspectives other have about essential things in life. Or just want to look like a book snob. Nah. For this book, my reason to read it is pretty tragic but also (maybe) normal. I'm uncertain about my feelings towards writing. I can't lie, I think about quitting, or maybe taking a break from writing.

The book is simple, it's about series of letter exchange between Rilke and a young poet. Rilke talks about literature, art, and basically everything to this young poet. I read the first letter in, and that particular quote I put in the beginning of this blogpost kinda hit me in the head. It asked the question I avoided to answer all these times.

Must I write? Would you die if you were not allowed to write?
And when you say "I must", can you commit on it?

Under the guilt I had for a while, I must admit I kinda gradually have been losing my interest in writing. It's a really weird and torturing feeling for me. I've known writing, especially fiction writing, since I was like 7 years old. I wrote my first short story at that age, about my friend in elementary school. Since then, even though I didn't show it to people, I kept on writing short stories on novels in notebooks, and also in my parents' computer. I kept it on my secret folder. It was for fun. I could finish novels in matters of weeks. I trusted a good friend of mine to read it in junior high school, the only friend I showed it to. I told her all of my ideas on the phone. She mysteriously was just willing to hear all my weird imagination back then.

And then everything changed in high school. I had another dream. I wanted to publish my own book. I saw other teenagers published their own book and I was willing to work hard to get my book published. It was fun as well. I showed the first chapters to my classmates and they were eager to read more of it (I don't know if they mean it but those first chapters of what-soon-would-be-DanHujanpunBerhenti-spread-to-another-classes). I then found out that writing novel wasn't easy. That it took a lot of time and energy, especially to revise it, to send it to the publisher, to overcome rejection and try again. But I never complained. Never once. I really enjoyed the process. I just wanted it to be published. I loved writing to the bone. I wrote a lot of pages a day.

Then my dream came true. A publisher was interested in publishing my work. I was beyond happy. It was the best days of my life. After 3 years of struggle, write, revision, rejection, my dream came true. I was happy to just see my book being displayed in the bookstore. I thanked a lot of people in the acknowledgement section in the book.

The book changed my life, and also changed my writing. I couldn't say it was the best writing I ever had, but since then, it's still the most enjoyable writing sessions I've ever had. The book sells well, I have readers commenting on it, and surprisingly, a recognition from an award committee. And even more, I also had reader who sent me an email to say that the book prevented him from killing himself. I told my mother I wanted to keep on writing my whole life. I wanted to write more books to express myself and to help people.

But after that, writing isn't the same anymore. I try to step up my game. I read a lot, I studied method of writing even more, and I kept thinking, "So, what else can I offer? How can I surpass my first book and satisfy the reader?". It was like challenge. I got stuck for some years, then I came up with the second book. It didn't do as well as the first, but I liked the book even more than the first. But nevertheless, the game has changed.

I noticed one thing after that. I started to feel sick, unhappy, when I write. I'm only happy when I write just random weird things I want to write like "Why I want to change my name", "Things I hate about the mall", and just random things I write in my notebook that will never be a novel or short story collection to "sell". I feel unhappy and uninspired to write things like short story and novel. It becomes like work, labor, without love. I don't mind working and laboring, but it feels hard when I don't love it. And at one point, for months, I could not write at all, except in Twitter or Facebook, which doesn't count. I tried to keep up with writing by attending the writing club I have joined for years. It worked, but after the session, I just still didn't want to write anything.

Maybe other authors will comment, that's another side of being a writer. To keep the discipline when you don't wanna write at all! To keep working when it's tough, when the words don't come out! I know that, but somehow it's not enough.

I have ideas in my head, but I think, "What for?". I doubt myself, I doubt my writing. I try to reminisce about the old days, how I enjoyed writing more than everything. Writing was my escapism, when things go really wrong, when I want to have fun with the stories and the characters in my head, when I want to tell people about something. Now it's more than that. It's more like I need to escape life and my feelings and go through the story. Shouldn't I pour my feelings and life experiences into it?

But must I write?

What will happen if I stop writing? How much would I hurt? I've been chasing other things in life and I've avoided writing for a while, and it felt safer. But I don't want that to keep on happening.

I have a writer friend who told me the same thing, "I just... stopped. I just lose the interest to write. I don't have it anymore. I don't know why". I don't know if the feelings to write just come and go. Some writers, like Harper Lee, doesn't even write any new book after her tremendous success of "To Kill a Mockingbird". Does being published kill the joy of writing? I don't know. I don't know if I can blame it to that.

It was my thing, it was my own secret, and now I give access to people to read it. It was my dream, indeed, to have my works read by people. It still is. It's fun to share your feelings and thoughts with people. But to what length? What if I start to be stressed with that? With the feelings that I'm being watched and judged?

I know I'm in a race to finish my third book, which, even the first draft has been finished, the second hasn't. These questions and doubts, and the lost of interest, keep bugging me, keep knocking me on my head.

Why did I write, back then?

I want to make sense of my life. There are some moments that I can't bear myself, and I need to express it. I want to capture others' lives too, and the feelings, the nuances, the beauty, the ugliness, human, and interaction between them, in a simulation of real world. I want to express my thoughts. I want to amuse, scare, interest, sadden, and stimulate the readers. I want to leave my mark in this world. I want people who experience the feelings or situations like depicted in my writings not to ever feel alone anymore. I want them to enjoy the words.

I still love writing. I really do. Even when I declare that I'm sick of it, I'm writing this to you now.
But must I write?

Maybe it's a question I need to answer, sooner or later. Maybe I'd feel it, how it feels not to write. Or not to publish what I write. Like the one quote in that same book:

“I beg you, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

biru tahun baru

Hanya di malam itu jam 12 begitu ditunggu-tunggu. Tak ada yang benar-benar spesial. Jam 12 telah diulang berkali-kali. Tapi malam itu, untuk menyambut pukul 12 dan waktu setelahnya. orang-orang keluar dari rumah mereka, terompet ditiup kuat-kuat, musik dipasang keras-keras dari setiap sudut kota, dan ledakan-ledakan berwarna-warni mewarnai angkasa seperti coretan krayon di atas kanvas hitam.

Apa yang membuat malam itu spesial?

Apakah malam itu sebuah awal? Apakah malam itu sebuah akhir? Apa arti tahun-tahun yang mengalir, hari-hari yang membentuknya, jam-jam dan menit-menit yang berenang kencang di dalamnya, dan detik-detik yang menjadi partikel terkecilnya?

Taman di tengah kota lebih berdesakkan dibanding biasanya. Orang-orang tiba-tiba membanjirinya, duduk di pagar temboknya dan kursi-kursi, memakan gorengan dan meneguk minuman manis. Tertawa keras pada lelucon paling tak lucu sekalipun dari teman-teman mereka.

Laki-laki tua itu telah berjalan mendorong rodanya sejak sore. Berpuluh-puluh jalan telah dilewatinya, diiringi oleh mobil-mobil yang bersahutan tak sabar di belakangnya. Kakinya terasa mati rasa walau ia telah beristirahat berkali-kali. Tapi ia tak peduli. Inilah satu-satunya hidup yang ia tahu. Waktu terasa seperti air yang mengalir melewati kakinya ketika hujan mengguyur kota. Mengalir dengan begitu cepat; hanya diselang oleh panggilan yang menghentikan langkahnya.

Warna-warni di angkasa dan tawa meledak di sekelilingnya, dia tetap berjalan tanpa melihat ke atas langit atau ke sekitarnya. Waktu terus mengalir di kakinya, bukan pada jam dan tahun.

Perempuan itu duduk menatapi laki-laki tua itu, sambil menyandarkan kepalanya ke bahu kekasihnya. Ia sudah lama tak melewatkan waktu selama ini dengan kekasihnya. Mereka melewatkan banyak waktu di tahun sebelumnya terpisah dari satu sama lain, tersedot oleh pekerjaan dan pertengkaran-pertengkaran yang menjadi bagian terbesar dari percakapan mereka. Ia melirik kekasihnya, laki-laki tinggi, berkacamata, dengan mata paling dalam dan indah yang membuatnya tak bisa melepaskannya, seburuk apapun kata-kata yang telah mereka lemparkan kepada satu sama lain. Malam ini mereka pun bercakap-cakap, di antara keramaian. Menurut keduanya, ini adalah percakapan terbaik yang pernah mereka miliki, terutama karena mereka tidak bisa mendengar suara masing-masing, dengan riuhnya taman dan ledakan di angkasa.

Teriakan bosan "kita pulang yuk!" dari kekasihnya terdengar menjadi "peluk aku!", dan perempuan itu dengan terharu memeluk kekasihnya yang mengerut kaget. Tapi laki-laki itu tak menolak pelukan naifnya yang begitu spontan. Seperti ciuman cepat di pipinya ketika mereka pertama kali berjalan bersama sebagai kekasih.

Jarum jam menunjuk ke angka 12. Terompet-terompet bersahut-sahutan ribut. Ledakan kembang api dimana-mana.

Ia menyapukan ciuman cepat di pipi kekasihnya. Gadis itu tersenyum.

Di sebuah hotel di belakang mereka, di lantai 4, seorang gadis sedang terisak dan menghindari tatapan laki-laki yang duduk di sebelahnya. Suara ledakan dan terompet menenangkannya, karena itu memberinya harapan bahwa tangisnya tak terdengar. Laki-laki itu, kekasihnya, menyatakan tahun ini adalah tahun baru untuk mereka dan ia ingin membuka lembaran baru di hubungan mereka. Ia ingin melakukan sesuatu yang baru, pertama, bersama, dengan gadis itu. Tapi gadis itu memukulnya keras ketika dia hendak memulainya.

Ia mengeluh, menyatakan gadis itu tak siap melakukan hal baru di tahun baru ini. Gadis itu hanya terisak. Kalau begitu hari ini tidak usah tahun baru, teriak gadis itu. Dia tak bisa membuka sesuatu yang baru. Dia ingin segalanya tetap sama.

Ia bahkan hampir memanggil polisi yang bertugas di bawah sana.

Polisi yang sedang bertugas mengatur arus kendaraan di dekat taman kota itu terhenyak melihat angkasa. Masa bertugas di malam seperti ini adalah yang terberat, karena istrinya terus mengiriminya foto-foto anak mereka yang baru lahir dan bagaimana dia berusaha meniup terompet. Ia ingin melewatkan malam ini dengan mereka. Tapi melihat ke langit, ia diam-diam teringat masa kecilnya, ketika ia menatapi langit pada pukul 12, 20 tahun lalu, ketika ia pertamakali bermimpi untuk menjadi dirinya sekarang. Untuk menjadi polisi seperti ayahnya, yang saat itupun tak ada di sampingnya. Mungkin ada di posisinya sekarang, dulu. Pukul 12, 20 tahun lalu.

Seorang anak kecil berlari-lari menghampiri polisi itu. Ia menarik-narik kakinya. Matanya merah, dan ada air yang mengucur deras dari sana. Bibirnya bergetar. Ayah saya hilang, Pak, katanya. Kemana Ayah? Polisi itu menepuknya dan bertanya kapan dia terakhir bersama ayahnya. Seperti apa Ayahnya. Anak laki-laki itu berbisik,

setahun lalu, di sini. Pukul 12 ini. Ayah saya di sini. Sekarang dia tidak ada.

Kemana dia Pak?

Dia mungkin ditelan waktu, ia ingin menjawab. Tapi itu tak pernah masuk akal untuk siapapun. Tak ada yang ingin mengaku bahwa mereka ditelan waktu. Mereka ingin merasa bahwa mereka mengendalikan waktu dan menamainya seingin mereka. Januari, Februari, Maret, April, Mei, Juni, Juli, Agustus, September, Oktober, November, Desember. 2011, 2012, 2013. Mereka ingin menamainya dengan segala hal.

Tapi waktu tak pernah punya nama, tak pernah punya angka.

Mari, saya bantu kamu mencari, katanya akhirnya.

Selamat tahun baru teman-teman :)