Monthly Archives: January 2007

The longest journey

The longest journey, is the one from your head to your heart.

Beautiful, is it not? I heard this in one of those Discovery documentaries and I promised myself to put it in the blog.

The journey to shift ourselves from depending too much on our logic to your feeling. The journey to learn how to walk the path of life using our intuition and conscience. The journey to learn how to use not only our physical eyes, but also the eyes of the soul.

And I agree, it is a long journey indeed. I mean, how many of us are brave enough to trust our instinct and live life without thinking too much? Will we ever dare? When was it exactly when we start losing our courage to dream and to be spontaneous, because of all the ‘pragmatic’ and ‘realistic’ thoughts we have?

We say we have grown up. Perhaps we are going in the wrong direction. It’s that way, not this.

The next time we see a child cry, let’s not think of how he/she has distracted us, feel the sadness and the need for love. The next time we see the rain falls, let’s not think of our way home, feel, enjoy. The next time we sip our morning coffee, let’s not think about our day schedule, feel the warmth of the coffee.

Start walking that longest journey. Perhaps we would then realize, it is not as far as we initially thought it would be.

Belated happy birthday, mom

I cannot believe I have forgotten to write this.

During the last muslim’s festive season, my family did our traditional sungkeman – where we kneel down before our elders and ask for forgiveness and blessings. During my sungkem to my mom, my mom whispered and thank me for my kindness.

Thank me for my kindness? Honestly mom. If only you realize the magnitude of love and kindness you have poured to me throughout my life. Obviously she does not realize that. Typical mom. Love her.

Belated happy birthday, mom. Thank YOU for your, um, everything.

Pic: me, sis and mom. Straight from the bed. Sis and mom – the two mother figures in my life. I could not ask for a better role model. I wish I can be half as good as they are.

PS: Happy birthday to you too, Ndien. We did not nickname her princess (TP-Tuan Putri) for nothing.

Yoga for chicken

I love yoga. Many friends can tell you that. And I have a chicken stuffed animal that have been with me since I don’t know when and often speaks on my behalf. Many friends can tell you as well. And I love books. Almost any kind of books. Many friends can tell you that too.

So what did a friend of mine do? She gave me a book titled Yoga for chicken. There was not any particular reason – it was not even my birthday and she was not even returning from a trip.

She said she saw the book and straighforwardly thought of me. So she just bought the book as a gift for me. Such a simple gesture from a dear friend that shows she really knows me. Love the gift to bits. And it was a hilarious book too.

This thread is dedicated to you Ri. Wherever you are right now. Whatever you are doing. No particular reason. I have just returned from my yoga class and saw Chicken and I thought of you.

Such a sweet character. I cannot think of one single person who does not like you.

The avian flu

Have you been following the news on avian flu? I have. Well, how can I not if they are always on the headlines and on the radio or tv?

The endemic has gotten to a stage where we need to kill thousands of chickens, ducks, and pigeons for the sake of humanity.

Killing thousands of being in the name of humanity. That does not sound right, does it?

I am not against the move. Perhaps it is something we ‘need’ to do.

My friend’s father is a bird lover. I can’t imagine him killing his birds. Must be hard. Even harder for those who make a living out of it.

Granted, it is something we need to do. The question is how did we get to this stage? We have killed our forests. Now we are killing the animals.

How can nature not strike back? Perhaps its something THEY need to do as well. An eye for an eye.

High school reunion, high school reunited

My sister has just returned from her high school reunion. They also invited the teachers. 200+ students attended, 34 teachers came.

They sent a chartered upper-class taxi to pick up each and individual teacher. They provided donation to the teachers (you know how poor the welfare of school teacher is in Indonesia). They greeted the teacher as if they were heroes. They are.

Students and teachers blended in. They ate, laughed, sang, dance and talked about old times. I cannot imagine how happy that time must have been – especially for the teachers – the often forgotten heroes of our lives.

My sister’s Class of 82 is truly amazing. They gathered together every two months – for a quran study, a bible study, a social gathering, do some sports or even go out of town together.

They collect money – 40% to fund their activities and the other 60% for social cause. The social cause is either to provide scholarship for some of the current students in their high school or to provide scholarship for the children of their class mates who are not so fortunate financially. Some also volunteered to teach in the high school.

If only each of our small community gather together and do what we can to help those who are linked to our community, those in our immediate surrounding. It does not really take much.

I am just talking here. They are already doing. I am nothing compared to them. Hats off.

38% increase in unemployment rate in E.Java

This article was taken and summarized from today’s Kompas East Java edition.

Kompas Surabaya, January 10, 2007

East Java’s unemployment rate, which was expected to lower in 2007, is actually growing high. According to the latest data released by the East Java’s Provincial Office of Manpower, the increase is about 38% compared to last year’s rate of unemployment. Lapindo Brantas Inc’s mud flood may be attributed as one main factor that triggered such rise.

The unemployed are largely low educated people (primary and high school graduates) and around 3,000 of them are victims of work termination due to operation shutdown of manufacturing companies affected by the Sidoarjo mud flood.

Unemployment Rate in East Java
2005 : 1,082,221 people
2006 : 1,498,131 people
2007 projection : 1,385,252 people


Communal karma?

My sister has just returned from her hajj pilgrimage. She is fine, thanks for asking. She talks a lot about the journey. Very positively, despite of all the practical challenges she had to face. Good for her.

She also told us about how most of the Indonesian pilgrims were starving when they were in Arafah desert. Which reminds me. They say that you will receive your karma more directly when you are on hajj pilgrimage. So for instance, if you are arrogant enough to say that you will not get lost, you will be lost. If you complain that your food tastes awful, then for the whole journey your food will always taste awful.

Now in this case, the whole Indonesian hajj group are starving. I know on one hand the organizer was responsible for it and should take up the responsibility for it. But I wonder. Can this be one of those karmas as well? Instead of to individuals, this time it applies to the whole nation.

The whole group was starving. And back home, the whole village were swept away by landslide, the whole aircraft vanished without a trace. The whole hill was burnt by a forst fire. The whole ship sanked. The whole region was filled by hot mud. The whole seaside area was blown away by hurricane.

Communal Karma. They say it is the next step. When individuals do not listen to the call of nature, the nature will call harder. To the whole community. Until we listen. Until we have no choice but to listen. Sooner or later.

Back to what I used to be?

I told my friend about what I do in my current job. He was surprised and said, welcome back, old Eva. Are you sure you want to be back to that stage again? I asked what stage? He said to those times when I was so busy doing small little things at work.

He was wrong (I hope). That was not the problem. The problem was the fact I had no sense about where I was going in my life. I have no sense of purpose. The problem was I was so caught up at small things in life, worrying about everything, that I lost the big picture. The problem was I was being a perfectionist at work, and I tried too hard to stay connected to everybody. It was eating me up.

Now I feel different. My work has my time from eight a.m. to five p.m. The rest of the day I use for my family, friends and myself. It has my time but not really my soul. My soul stays centered (or at least I try).

Don’t get me wrong. I am still with my high standards. I give my best, I still push for the best, but I am not obsessed by it. I let go off many things. I do not feel the burden anymore.

And I have a sense of direction. This is how I function in the society. For the development of my country. For the betterment of my people. I am just starting. I have a long way to go. But I have a sense of direction.

The childhood and my school years for my basic attitudes. The seven years I spent in the consultancy for my skills and a taste of real life. The one year sabbatical for my soul. The half a year as a freelancer to land me down gently at work life once again. All these lead up to this.

I am ready for this stage of my life. And I thank all the teachers and friends I have met along the way.

My friend was wrong (I hope). I am not really back to where I used to be. I did not do a full circle. It is more like a spiral. Same point – in some sense – but not really.

The only full circle I want to have is when I finally return to God.

Life as one grand solution

Love this expression to bits. From my Quran study teacher.

Remember God in His widest sense in every second of our life. Not only through the religious rituals but also in every breath and move that we make. Not only with our lips but with all our heart and how we do things.

Be conscious all the time. Be aware that this body is not ours, it belongs to God. Be aware that this soul too belongs to God. God will then strenghten our soul.

Only after that we will achieve true peace. Our intuition will grow stronger. Our life will be ‘guided’.

When we reach this stage, we do not need any solutions to all our problems, because life in itself is a solution.