It is never easy to far from home….


It is never easy to far from home… This month, I got many shocking stories. There was my junior in university who started to continue his study. Something happened, God called him a bit earlier than anybody else. 

There also my friend, almost finish her study…. cancelled her marriage plan. 

There is my friend, in so sudden… admitted that he is a gay. 

There is my friend, who decided to stop continue her study because she thought she couldn’t getting well with the class in her university. 

Some people even finding help, telling that they got mental health problem. 

Some just lonely but don’t know what to do. 

Far from home, every person might hide their own pains behind their happy selfie photos on facebook and instagram. 

For years I write my blog, sometimes I got lots of email from my reader. They told me many things. Sometimes there are people who asked me “are you a psycologist” (and trust me I got that kind of message several times). 

To be honest, when someone told me their problems, I can’t solve their problem. Never… I just can understand that everyone have their own “fight”. I can understand that. 

But, just like any other human in this planet. I also have my own war… my own problem… my own secret. But, I have a great family. I have people I really love and I know they want to see me as a great person. Not such a grumpy weak woman. So, every time I want to cry… well, I cry! But then wipe it as soon as possible. 

Today, I got a news… my mom in the hospital. And then I run as fast as possible to the airport. Finding a flight tonight. 

I feel tired, worry, panic, 

But… my brother, ish he must be felt that more than me. 

To be far home is hard… it such a big lie that “distance is never a matter”. Distance obviously a matter. 

So, for all my friends who far from home…. take care. Something might be happen. But God know that you can pass it, then we… in another leap of time, might be a better and stronger person.

Really… take care. For your good, and for all people you love and love you. 

(Haneda Airport, August 2017) 

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Re-interpreting Rumi’s poem

In a book, I found one Rumi’s poet:

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” In generosity and helping others, be like a river
In compassion and grace, be like the sun
In concealing others faults, be like the night
In anger and fury, be as if you have died
In modesty and humility, be like the earth
In tolerance, be like the sea
And either appear as you are, or be as you appear”

I don’t know whether it was truly spoken by Rumi, while from what I read it was presented in such oral tradition something. I read lots of books, including Rumi’s but as I remember, I never read that one (although it is everywhere in pinterest and internet). But, whatever… I think that’s sweet enough.

I was thinking, why I should be a river in the term of generosity?
why should be like the sun in term of compassion?
why?
why?
why?
I mean, lots of things in the world if you just want to make the poet beautiful you can put any world on it. Then, I believe there must be a “philosophical” insight on it. So I tried to re-read it again, and find another place to satisfy my curiosity.

I found a simple explanation from one Indonesian writer, Maman Suherman in his page:

1. In generosity and helping others, be like a river, flows endlessly and never expect back
2. In compassion and grace, be like the sun.Giving warmth to anyone, regardless.
3. In concealing others faults, be like the night. Covering tightly without ever leak any of it.
4. In anger and fury, be as if you have died. Silent, don’t do anything
5. In modesty and humility, be like the earth. Always put yourself “lower” and elevate others.
6. In tolerance, be like the sea. Be tolerant. Ready to accommodate the views of a different view
7. And either appear as you are, or be as you appear. Just be yourself, as authentic as you are. Consistent between inner and outer.

Well, I don’t know.
I believe that understanding Sufism is not such an easy work to do. It is like me reading the Odyssey, usually I sleep after read about 1-2 pages. It is more effective than a sleeping pills to make you feel tired and sleepy :p

But, just like any other forms of art and culture, I believe that Rumi’s works also try to give another advice and insight to the community in that period, and even for today’s people.
The main problem is, we… we already access every good quotes, poems, advice, and so on from everywhere. But do we getting better? Do we change?  Some yes… some nope.

I remember, once in Indonesia there was an ulema* who had a speech in a prostitution. He simply asked “Ok, everyone.. raise your hand if you don’t know that prostitution is prohibited”
No one raised their hand.
Then the ulema said “See? Then every bad things done by us mainly not because we don’t know it is bad, but more because ‘exogenous’ variables. It can be social, economics, or cultural factor”

Back to the Rumi’s sweet quote. Take for example:
” In anger and fury, be as if you have died.
Well, sorry Rumi… in fact, sometimes we should to show that we angry. There always people who will keep doing their mistakes again and again and again if we just do a silent. A mom should get mad sometimes to her kids when the kids do something bad or dangerous.
A best friend should get angry to her friends sometimes, to remind them if they are on the wrong track.
Sometimes, we need to get angry for someone we truly love. Just to make them getting better.
Although, personally I prefer anger as the last choice after you discuss and give your advise.

Well…
But no one from us can guess what really inside Rumi’s head. There always more than one commentary for every poet. That’s why it becomes one branch of art, because it become sweet and beautiful base on your own interpretation. It is like your read a good book and your imagination tried to figure out all of the situation and people in that book. Once there is a movie try to adapt that book, you will started to say about how bad that movie was… not really because the movie is bad, it just because it different with what you already imagined.

So, let this poet flows beautifully in our calm mind, soul, imagination, and interpretation.

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ulema: Islamic scholar recognized as having specialist knowledge of Islamic sacred law and theology.

Is it”useless” to be a good reader [?]

Language is to be spoken not to be read. That’s what my friend said to me. Very “motivational”

Then it become the worst news for a person like me. I just learn new language because (at first) I really want to read books :’D
I get bored with my English and Indonesian books, then I started to buy French books…
then in Japan I found lots of interesting magazine and books, so I started to buy them and read them.
Am I able to speak Japanese or French fluently? no, not at all 😦

my lovely magazines and a nice electronic dictionary I got from second hand shop :p


And because I don’t really like speaking and very quiet, so at first I feel that’s not such a big deal. I mean, I have books I really want to read, everything are set, and perfect!
Until I am working in one research center in Japan, and I feel sad because I can’t communicate very well with them except by e-mail!
Yes I can read their e-mail… (well beside there is also very kind, nice, and handy google translate)
but when it comes to speaking? A…A….I….I….E….E….

Arrrghhhhhh~~~

It slaps me a lot when I failed on my Japanese proficiency test. I just got “A” in reading, but the other? pfffftt…..
And I just fail by ONE SCORE! Yes, one score!!! So I assumed, maybe…., I got perfect in reading but somehow die in listening and so on. But fail just by lack of one score is nothing but kill you so much.
So, if you want to learn a new language now, here… I will give you a very wise suggestion DO NOT START FROM READING!

No, no… close your novel now… go outside, and speak! speak! speak!
今から話しましょう!
読書は便利ですが、日常の中であまり役に立たない

The problem is, I am so afraid if I am talking in such not polite way hahhahhaa. Working as researcher makes me communicate with professors more often. And it is intimidate me so much, I can’t talk to them in such casual daily conversation 😱

To be honest sometimes I feel envy with my friends who have better auditory skill, that’s  more convenient if you want to learn language. I think I am very visual person, I can remember everything I see and read. I feel like avatar now, already learn 2 elements: wind and water, but still zero in mastering fire and earth.

Well, cheer up Marissa

Keep your head up…. In my office there is a “theme song” for us, it always sing by our choir club every year. The title is 何度でも(なんどでも).

The refrain part if the song is:

10000回(かい)だめでかっこ悪(わる)くても
10001回目(かいめ)は何(なに)か変(か)わるかもしれない

If I am not mistakenly translate it (and you always can doubt my translation 😋): even if you already fail for 10000 times, and it makes you look so bad, keep trying because in the 10001st trials, something will change and it will be better.

That’s my tafsir version hahhahaha. But it motivates me very much. 

I remember my dad told me “Kak, if someday you feel tired for what you already fight for, just try again before you decide to give up. Just try again and again until even God impressed with what you are doing”

World, good luck 🤗

 

 

Home sweet home stuff: Meeting my guitar again!

There is no place as beautiful as home. I thought a week went to Tokyo and enjoy my school life will be a good idea. In fact? Pfffffttt… I can’t endure crowd anymore. So many people… pollution…I still love the train and some beautiful shops I can’t find in Tsukuba. But to be honest, Tokyo made my condition worsen. I think get more stress here. It is weird, because I was living in Tokyo for 2 years.

I really miss home, I really want to back to Tsukuba. And it was a great relieve when I arrived home. Tsukuba is not as convenient as Tokyo, but it is so quiet and full with great park and open space. And for me that’s very beautiful.

Moreover, my friend realize I am a bit force my self too much recently and voluntary visited me. She really  surprised looking at my home was super messy “Marissa-san, this is not you!” Oh I know, and with her help we tidy up my beautiful home. I feel bad because she help me so much, so I ask her what should I do to “entertain” her. I mean, helping to tidy up my home is not such an entertaining activity you can do on Sunday.

ギターを弾いて… そして、歌を歌う” (please play guitar, then sing a song)
“Oh no… I never play it for such a long time”
聞きたい!” (I want to hear that)
“Oh… fine”

It is funny because in Tsukuba, my friends from the office are usually talking in Japanese but I answer them using English. I should stop my Passive Japanese Ability.

I really miss playing guitar, I was a vocalist for a band when I was sooo young hahahaha. But something happened I “retire” so early. I am not really good in guitar or any other musical instruments, but I know the basic of those.

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We record my performance this year, I don’t know it is nice enough or not… but kindly enjoy it 🙂

” I never gonna stop the rain by complaining….” << my quote of the month 😀 hahhaa

“Smarter Indonesian marry faster”, really?

I don’t understand why but there is always random person who come to me and ask something or just do a random chit-chat. Except to my family and best friends, I am very quiet, so sometimes I am impressed by people who started conversation to me. But, I am not in a mood because I need to prepare my presentation, and as I told before I need to recover my health. I should cook healthy meal, have a healthy lifestyle, and warm my room so I can recover fast.

Tadaaaa… then I got a short chat from someone tonight. About what? About marriage. It is not my first and second time people talking about this thing with me.  So, he shows me a recent study that people in Indonesia, whom more educated, marry faster.
Mmm… so I am not really educated Indonesian because my only boyfriend is my fat fluffy yellow cat in my home (he has obesity problem now, so my brother always bring him to do some exercise :p I still love him). Because I am lazy to write about it so I simply made a comic strip to describe our conversation.

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It is worrisome about Indonesian health condition.
Whenever you go in Indonesia, they will be proud “We are so healthy and strong, although there are lots of street snacks mixed by textile dyes, formalin, borax, etc.”

I remember when my mom entered hospital, there was also foreigner from Japan who entered the ICU after ate meatballs :’D Of course, in Japan everything are clean and hygienic. I am not kidding, you can see me as an example, I feel good but I am sick inside. You should be very careful to choose street snack in Indonesia.

So, are Indonesian healthy and strong? Not really, our life expectancy rate only 65-67 years old. While in developed countries it is already 70-80 years old. Here in Japan, you can see elderly above 80 years old still healthy and do their activity as usual.

I don’t want to debate my nice friend but, I have another two points to criticize:
1. Making conclusion in scientific research is not easy, especially in social science. You need to consider every cause and probability. So, be mind about that.
2. I am not an expert, but marriage…. ah marriage. I think people should marry when they are ready, not because they are lonely, or because they afraid of sickness in the future. You want to make someone happier isn’t it? So, I think if then I decide to marry someone, it might be because he can persuade me that he can make me happier, and in the same time I am ready to make him in better off condition, it is about a long term commitment to be friend forever. I am not sure this “heart” things can be quantify by statistic or any quantitative research.

However, if you already love someone, you ready, kindly marry her/him, be happy. When you really in love sincerely with someone, you will have no reason to leave them 🙂 trust me…

 

Days after holiday is over…

New year holiday is such a very serious holiday for Japan people. It is one of the longest banking holiday in this country. In my office and any other offices throughout Japan (including bank) are off from 29th December- 3rd January. Some restaurant even closed until 4th or 6th January. I can understand that while new year holiday is precious “family time” for all people in this workaholic country.

Holiday may refresh your brain, but in the other hand, it is also can make your brain in such hibernate mode for a while.

I really enjoyed my holiday… although I know I spent lots of money this year 😦
When you enjoy something, you will feel time pass so fast, so do my holiday.
I realize I will have an important interview, research presentation, journal draft review, and lots of homework. My brain started to panic, yeph panic! But still too lazy to work. I can’t understand why our body always choose to work near the deadline rather than prepare everything in advance. It is obviously panic, but still can’t focus… and choose to look every random pictures of cat and so excited with the “Sherlock” series this January.

I think I am better to sleep then.
I hope tomorrow I can be back to my active productive mode and ready to face everything ahead.
2017…. I am rarely say this cliche thing but seriously “please be nice” and bloom beautifully like every flowers in tropical climate.

POOOF!

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Wish me luck!