14 June 2014

Tabula Rasa

Le crypte a la fin. Le mur est un support et me sert de tabula rasa.
The script has come to an end. (Now) the wall becomes a support and serve me as a blank slate.
A blank slate. Joseph Kosuth memajang tulisannya ini - dengan instalasi lampu neon ciri khasnya- di bagian bawah Museum Louvre. Di lantai dasarnya lebih tepatnya jika kita masuk dari sayap Sully. Bekas-bekas penggalian Kastil Louvre yang megahnya keterlaluan ini memberikan perspektif yang mengajak saya menengok ke belakang, ke penggalian sejarah manusia – khususnya seni -; mengenal masa lalu, demi membantu kita yang secara konstan bingung dan kehilangan orientasi di masa sekarang.
Kebingungan dan disorientasi ini yang membuat saya menulis lagi, dengan cara yang berbeda. Kalau dulu saya menulis diam-diam sambil berharap kalau ada yang membacanya, sedikit senang kalau statistik pengunjung meningkat atau ada yang membagi-nya di media sosial lain; sekarang saya justru ingin ada yang membaca cerita-cerita saya.
Enam bulan ke belakang, saat saya kembali masuk ke dunia belajar lagi, saya kembali ingin bercerita sebanyak-banyaknya tentang apa yang saya dapat, lihat, dan rasakan. Kali ini bukan lagi tentang rasa orang yang saya cintai, tetapi tentang pikiran-pikiran yang membuncah di kepala saya dan saya sudah tidak bisa lagi mendiamkannya.
Semuanya harus saya keluarkan, karena Adorno, Benjamin, dan kue lemon yang dijual nyonya tua di pojokan Borough Market menari-nari di kepala saya dan saya tidak ingin melupakannya; dan saya tidak ingin menyimpan percikan-percikan yang mereka tinggalkan. London, 2014.

6 May 2014

The Doors and Alleys of Appledore

I remember a couple years ago when I just joined Tulisan, Melissa went to Switzerland and came back showing me pictures of doors. Just doors. She told me how they took her to the days of the old, the period of time that these doors had went through, just by standing there. I remember I thought about the images for the weeks that followed, it was one of the most prominent images I have in my head.

There are mysteries in the doors. Some are bound to refuse entrance of strangers, so one could only stand out and wander what it had been gone through. At times, I'd prefer to not know what lays behind the doors, just because I believe there are more magics behind closed doors.

Then, for me, there are the alleys; just as mesmerising if not more. (One of the thing I loved about Jakarta was its labyrinth-like navigating system when no one could ever know the whole scope of Jakarta, if one does not master the alleys - which I believe made Jakarta so charmingly complex to navigate in for newcomers.) Alleys gave context to these doors, and I could just spend my days getting lost and not caring about it.

Alleys lead you to mysterious paths of endless possibilities, end you up in circles, not knowing where to end - if they should end at all.

 Images are taken in the alleys of Appledore, Devon. May 2014.

Appledore and The Moor

Come to think of it, I haven't explored London or England as much in the last six months I have been here. I have been really enjoying exploring thoughts and ideas triggered by classes, people I meet, or even the mundane activities of life in New Cross. But last week, after a couple of week of day-night self-disciplining to write the essays I needed to submit, I packed my bags and went off to join some friends in Devon. We stayed near Appledore, a small quaint port town in the area.

The trip was simply pleasant: quaint cottages and tea houses near the coast line where not a lot was happening but one gets a sense of quiet and serenity; vast moors of Exmoor where emptiness and vacant space became the means of its existence; and wandering drives that took you to tunnels of trees, fences of bluebells, and a coastal cliff of an old military base (complete with a gate that restrict passes and a radar dome!).

A year would be too short to even cover London and its multi-fa├žade characters, and UK is huge with as much surprises and exquisite findings. I'm a bit nervous with preparing dissertation in this last four months while trying to cramp as much traveling as possible. But, oh well, we need to keep moving don't we?

Images are taken in Appledore, Exmoor, Westward Ho!, and Hartland. May, 2014.

20 April 2014

The Words that Change the World

One of the best recommendation to accompany paper-writing weekends, though sometimes it halt the writings and took my fullest attention. It is highly intriguing (sans music) podcast, I warn you. These lads are one heck of storytellers.

This episode is on the sixty words that changed US and the world's course - where one could not confirm nor deny anything today is the most understandable respond upon anything that matters.  If you have sixty minutes to multi-task with, stream it on.

12 April 2014

On Seymour Hoffman, the blurred lines of being alive, and the cherry blossoms

When Phillip Seymour Hoffman passed away, I was baffled. I liked him. I have always wanted to be share a period of time with legends, having people like Kurt Cobain or The Doors to live their music in or or watching Humprey Bogart and feel that he's weirdly real. Hoffman helped me achieve that.

His "Capote" was sick. I loved his every strain of his silver blonde hair; and, "Synecdoche, New York" was just compelling. I love that he was not handsome, that he was subtle. Sometimes you forgot that you have watched a movie with him in it, like The Hunger Games. My friend and I ended our conversation following the news of his death by trying to remember his last movie that we watch, it took us to midnight to recall that we just watched Hunger Games together two months ago.

His death was disturbing yet predictable. It felt like it was almost natural that a person like him would encounter death as such. Sad, but too real. “Foolishness is the main recipe of happiness and long life," so a friend said. The statement annoyed me that I ended up reiterating all this nonsense about happiness is too socially structured. It's a good thing. But like every thing else in this world, once it got to human's twisted thoughts, it became disruptive.

The idea to have one thing better than the other, that life should be lived in a certain way, with a certain emotion; that there would be emotions that worth more; things more worthy to have to help you get to a certain emotion, well, it sucks. Those who want to be happy, who are in the journey of the so-called ‘pursuit of happiness’, are foolish. It is indeed  easier be fooled: letting them show all the positive sides of things, making the world a little bit bearable to deal with, being thankful with what we have and hopefully we’d find that happiness by doing so? Stand by that, on your own sense though because there is no such thing as being happy.

Being happy is impossible because we can't. It's a becoming; when there's no fix form, because it will always, always, find its new shape. 

You know, what I was thinking when I thought of this? Cherry blossoms. They will be gone by September, but man they're pretty. You wouldn't think they're not pretty just because you can't see them then; you know they are awesome. Period. I don't know why I thought of them. I guess, they gave me a reason not to care about the world; and when fall come, they just go.

And so they go. Po-tweet.