Kuala Lumpur: A Meeting After Eight Years

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Bhumy first trip overseas, the boy excitement at 12.30 AM

I haven’t seen my ex-housemate, Bebe, after eight long years. Or even more. I just remember the first time he met his now-wife, Ili. The stormy process of their love and suddenly photos of their first daughter, Sidra. And when I had my own son, Bhumy, they had theirs, Atari. Then not long after, Bima. I saw all the process of their family through pictures, facebook and blogs.

Then suddenly we’re doing our own gardening in our own lawns, his in Selangor – Kuala Lumpur, mine in Nitiprayan – Yogyakarta. Skype chats suddenly involves the updates of our latest garden design and trying the latest experiment based on the permaculture principles. We share ideas and updates on our kids, daily in the social media.

Excitement came when the Yogyakarta – Kuala Lumpur new routes are getting as cheap as going to Jakarta or Denpasar. So it was decided that in the end of March, we will have our reunion. There is also an international street art festival happening in KL which we could see while we are there. I had to take care my son’s first passport and it is our first trip overseas together. Things went well, preparations was simple.

It was just the three hours flight delay that makes Ili and the boys pick us up in the airport at the most ungodly hours especially for the children. Somehow Bebe looks the same, accept with the very fact that he is a punk dad with the additional three kids. I remember Ili with the long hair, but nowadays she cut it short. I guess I agree with Bebe, that this trip felt like a dream, or a long wake after a dream. The long years that separate us seems make the distance feel far away and unreachable physically. But then, we are here. Me and Bhumy together.

Suddenly the trip to KL felt like a time machine. Suddenly we are all above thirty and our kids are already knocking as our next generations. Suddenly our interest met with our hope of the future: our children’s lives. We talk about raising kids, domestic issues, healthy food, recipes to cook, urban gardening, permaculture, our old friends, art scene in KL, politics in general (blah), sustainable living and basically the latest update on anything.

The next five days felt so short but it create something huge. Time always passes by. But moments are  eternal. Despite all this technology convenient mobility thing, meeting your old dear friends and family is always become the best thing that we always treasure.

UntitledOur first morning: Munching roti canai in the garden

Our kids play together, share foods and toys while us the parents sharing all the stories of our lives. I didn’t develop the interest to explore KL that much this time, accept more to seeing Bebe and Ili. While Bhumy joining the Gang Chaos: Sidra-Atari-Bima. We also have the trip together with the kids to the Padang Jawa: Street Art Festival. The children are excited to take the bus and train. Play on the streets and under the rain with the kids in Kampung Padang Jawa. It’s a refreshing side of KL. It is the other side of urbanisation never advertised in any tourism pamphlet on Malaysia. But things feel connected, the reality is real, our problems are familiar and our discussions are to search the solutions together.

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Bhumy and Atari at Padang Jawa

UntitledThe boys practicing body surfing under the rain of Padang Jawa

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Taking the bus trip with Gang Chaos

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Bhumy being nice with the local kids

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Sidra, the big sister :)

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Sidra and Bebe in the garden after a moning rain

I somehow change my perspective on visiting Malaysia after this trip, the joyful trip to Kuala Lumpur this time really makes me to look forward for further of the many trips to the home of my dearest friends and their kids :) Miss you all!

If Tomorrow We Disappear

564329_10150669284377043_1967720761_nIf tomorrow we disappear, I want to remember life as it is. As a cycle of life.

2012 has been a year of calling. And now I recall.

P1040227Of remembering my first step arriving in Dharamsala, the first snow that fall in my face and saying to myself that it is not a dream.

IMG-3815Of remembering the sea and remembering the mountain.

P1060347Of remembering the many sunrise and many sunset all over the places.
IMG_6026Of remembering the feel of home and the feel of going away.

IMG_6474Of remembering the good times and the bad ones.

IMG_6911Of remembering the death and be among the living.

IMG_5304
Of remembering to let go of your hate to feel loved.

IMG_5379Of remembering to share to feel rich.

IMG01216-20120402-1727Of remembering to throw all your emotional baggage in the exact bin.

P1040372P1040344Of remembering what is important and who really matters.

P1000564Of remembering in order to reconstruct you have to deconstruct and it’s a pain, and all of it goes away in the end.

mpOf remembering that the past help you to move on to the future and to be in the present.
P1010038Of remembering your own darkness and to make it your best friend in peace.

_MG_0014That going outside is merely to go deep inside yourself.

P1060212And in the end remember your balance.

_MG_0253That in the end, beauty stays. No matter what.

The last two months, after my trips from Rembang, I fall sick. I stop everything. Turn out I also need for my wisdom teeth to be pull out. Turn out also wisdom did not left me although it prolong my sickness. Sickness also is not always physical.

I’ve been sick, tired and overworked. I’ve been broken from time to time. But I have learn that I could heal myself. That the hardest thing when you feel dark is to wake up to the light. And that the undying light itself is within yourself. I learn that my parents name me, Dian, not for nothing. It mean to be the candle that never died.

And that every lesson are trying to teach you the same thing until you learn. That by learning to listen and see the universe, you realized how things are connected. Now and again. You learn and grow. And even, if tomorrow we disappear, I choose to wake up to the light.
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Sam: I know. It’s all wrong. By rights we shouldn’t even be here. But we are. It’s like in the great stories, Mr. Frodo. The ones that really mattered. Full of darkness and danger, they were. And sometimes you didn’t want to know the end. Because how could the end be happy? How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad had happened? But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow. Even darkness must pass. A new day will come. And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer. Those were the stories that stayed with you. That meant something, even if you were too small to understand why. But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand. I know now. Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back, only they didn’t. They kept going. Because they were holding on to something.
Frodo: What are we holding onto, Sam?
Sam: That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo… and it’s worth fighting for.

The Lord of the Rings – J.R. Tolkiens

Photo caption:

[1] 2012 – My first sunrise in Ternate, turn out that Sultan Tidore just passed away and the coffin come out right under my seat. Photo courtesy of Labodalih Sembiring.

[2] 2012 – Me in my Kashmiri slippers while drying my boots after a snow fall the night before, at Ladies Venture, Mcleod Ganj – Dharamsala

[3] 2005 – My long time converse sneakers, on a ferry boat trip from Merak to Bakauheuni, on the way to Lampung, it was my family last trip together before my mother got sick

[4] 2012 – Sunset in Sale, Rembang among the teak forest

[5] 2006 – My mother on her 60th birthday, two months before she died, we were from the hospital from her last chemotherapy and ate lunch in her most favorite restaurant of her lifetime, Trio Restaurant, Cikini, Jakarta

[6] 2006 – Farabi’s farewell dinner to Netherland and sleepover, minutes before my flight to Jakarta when both of my parents were critical in the hospital

[7] 2006 – My father with my brother, reading a birthday card from me, my father first birthday without my mother

[8] 2012 – Me and my son, Asabhumy, at our house in Jogjakarta

[9] 2012 – The AMAN Media team going home from Dodola Island, Morotai

[10] 2012 – Me in North Java Sea, Lasem coast

[11] 2012 – The books from New Delhi and my son, Asabhumy. My soul mates and best friends in Sangam Restaurant on Losar 2012, Labodalih Sembiring and Abmi Handayani, photo taken by Jean Pascal Elbaz

[12] 2010 – Finishing my tatto series of Om Mane Padme Hum, with Munir Toxic Tatto, Jogjakarta, photo taken by Megan Ryan

[13] 1965 – My father at 24 and my mother at 19, Buitenzorg, the photo taken by my father’s best friend who become a photographer later on (I forgot his name). It was the year when they started going out, it is also the year when darkness swept Indonesian contemporary lives.

[14] 2005 – Buddha in Borobudur Temple

[15] 2012 – Me in my journey from Ternate to Sofifi, Mount Gamalama at my back. Photo courtesy by Labodalih Sembiring

[16] 2012 – My son at the back of Inna’s house, Nitiprayan – Jogjakarta

[17] 2012 – My hot pink nails and a small white butterfly in Tobelo, in the middle of AMAN Congress. Photo courtesy by Labodalih Sembiring.

[18] 2012 – Me doing a warrior yoga pose at the dock of Dodola Island, Morotai. Photo courtesy by Labodalih Sembiring.

ending breastfeeding and parenting crisis

No one knows what they’re doing as parents. We’re all faking it, and hoping we’re getting it right. Some people obsess about the details, and miss out on the fun. I just try not to mess them up too much, to show them they’re loved, to enjoy the moments I can with them, to show them life is fun, and stay out of the way of them becoming the amazing people they’re going to become. That they already are. ~ Leo Batuta (zenhabits)

My son have gone for five days without breastfeeding. He is thirty four months old. I was meant to stop it when he reaches two years old. But things got carried away. I mentally think breastfeeding is our privilege bonding. Especially since I decided to become a single parent for my son. I had to work and could not spend time 24-7 with him. It become some sort of my emotional compensation. Getting closer to his birthday next July, I somehow experienced some wake up call. Things had been going on all over the place, the pace of life has been rolling unexpectedly. Some things are near completion, some things are just started.

Being involved emotionally again with someone, somehow had put my feelings to be out in the open. I realized I still kept my fears if things did not work out. A wound that had not yet heal properly. I felt vulnerable in the same time. When I was just myself, I had nothing to lose. Nothing at stake accept myself.

I endured my worries and decided to chuck it away. Fears, worries and anger would not get me anywhere. I just had to believe life is a never ending process. The only security you have is that you belief in yourself, no matter what happen. I learn to conquer my fears. I resolved all my past, letting go my anger and pain. Be aware with my own self and my emotions. Heal. Forgive. Move on. Live on.

I was worried with Bhumy sometimes, being a single parent has never been an easy process. It’s easy to fall into the prey of people who did not understand what they are talking about and got hurt by it. I don’t care anymore. Others does not responsible with my own happiness. My son in the end would learn about life, all the good things and all the bad things. I could not stop things from happening, but I could give him all the understanding, knowledge, wisdom and above all, my undying love.

There is no right or wrong in parenting sometimes. There’s no manual or blueprint for it. I teach myself to become a mother which I never picture myself before. I make mistakes. I learn from them, over and over until I felt I got it right. Motherhood had become my own version of myself. The only faith that I have is that I’m what my son needed the most and the best he have. I should not let other things disturb that faith. I believe at my own way of raising my son.

Ending breastfeeding is like seeing my son stepping out from his comfort zone for the first time. Like all things in life. Your children grow amazingly.