Time to learn from the trees: A little review of “The Hidden Life of Trees”

I am sick with all of my social media, so I uninstall some except my instagram (because I love photography), twitter (because it just short and and Linkedn (because some news and information are great there), and I also leave my cellphone off since this week. I want to detox my life from any kind of negativity and hoax! I am not sure whether I am not good with human or I just sociopath. But, seriously… I am tired and what I really want to do is refresh my mind with positive vibes around.

Then I got a very beautiful book: The Hidden Life of Trees
My first impression when I open this book is it is like “Pocahontas” soundtrack

“But I know every rock and tree and creature
Has a life, has a spirit, has a name”
– Color of the wind-

Yes… now we can sure than even tree also has a life, spirit, and name at least after you read the book.

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From this book, we can learn how the tree can cooperate each other, for example the have a specific and special root system and network to “holding” each other in such steep land in order to protect each other from landslide.

They also have their specific mechanism to protect their body and seed from any kind of weather and harsh condition. The way they adapt with the environment also always impressive. We also will notice how they communicate each other and also how the way they nurture their “kids”.

In my opinion, Peter (the writer of this book), deliver some simple and basic information and knowledge about tree in such a philosophical way. For me, it makes me to be a better person after I read this one. I mean, if tree can communicate well each other, help each other, taking care of each other, than by logic we…. human beings can do better!

It is sad for me while we human, sometimes, rather than taking care our environment we broke it… broke it and over-utilize it… and have no time to learn from it. Then, because of lack of contemplation we even hurt between each other. Oh come on! How can trees beat us in character.

Every time I read books about nature and environment, I am thinking of my self… do I really already do a good thing and right thing to my surrounding. My tongue! Oh sometimes it has its specific “venom” and I might hurt between each other.
As an “environmentalist”, I sometimes get crazy by my own research.
While outside there, even trees and plants are try their best to run their role as one of God’s great creatures.

Well! I will take care of you planet! for sure 🙂

A story behind a snowy day

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“Not one word, not one gesture of yours shall I, could I, ever forget…”
― Leo Tolstoy

Just finished my research presentation. In one word: “meh”
I thought it was a little progress, in fact? Nope… I still need to learn another bunch of text books and mathematical modelling.

“No, Marissa… you can’t use this one.”
“Mmm… you should modify all of the model…”
“Well, we should think how to construct everything further. Okay… forget this agriculture part and forestry, move on to the energy sector. Finish it first, one journal, then we construct for the agriculture and forestry”

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“I can see your hard work, well… I know you can overcome all of these. We just need time and we have it, don’t you think so?”

The last sentence, at last,  was warming my heart in the middle of snowy day.

My mom said every person who has achieved mastery has started their journey to expertise by feeling stupid. By feeling green, you know that you need to learn more. To read more. To exercise more.
And I know that, understand that very well.

But, as an ordinary human, I also think “Oh come on, why it took so long for me to master this?”

Then sometimes, I started to complain… to make a question to God “Why you didn’t bless me mmmmm…. more?”
Silently, become more and more ungrateful human being.

Now, in this point, I realize something…
To be success in studying, you are not only need to focus learn about any specific subject…
but also you need to learn about patience
also need to learn about time management
also need to cheer yourself up when you feel down
also need to smile
also need to…. accepting your self.

In the end, it is more like a process to be a humble person. To learn that “Hei, you are not such a super human”,
to learn that we are not perfect, we will always do some mistakes, we need other people to help, and we always have a chance to stand up again and again and again every time we fall.
In the end, it is about a process to develop our maturity.

In my life, I am already got 3 new year cards from my professor… it means I entered my third year working with him, learn from him. It is my third year to study far from home, just bringing a huge box of my family’s dreams and hopes.
In these period of time, I never forget every single words they already said to me.
I believe, in a certain point in the future, I will make them smile and proud of me 🙂

I know I can make it, it is my promise… witnessed by the snow
absorbed by the earth…
Hopefully, delivered and heard to the God.

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.