Thursday, 31 October 2019

All We Sinners

Why don't we just agree that we are all the sinners?

That greed. That lust. That pride. That concupiscence. And those venial sins committed daily.

Why don't we just agree that we are all the sinners?

Sin like gravity. 
Us with the fallacy. 
False felicity.

Why don't we just agree that we are all the sinners?

Lawyer, politician, butcher, teacher and students, all the leaders and the followers, the drunk and the sober - Aren't we all the sinners?

For all of us bear the weight of our sin – priest, pope, and all the chaplains – aren't we all? ________

The sinners.

All We Sinners.

Sunday, 27 October 2019


Credit to Pinterest

My uncle once said that to acquire freedom we need to sacrifice. I didn't fully grasp it as the whole concept, but if freedom here was being considered as someone's goal, hence to achieve the goal we need to sacrifice one thing over another, let say: We sacrifice time for the loved ones or losing the loved ones for the time we spend in achieving our goal. Yet, the dream is being free, so does freedom mean losing your time or your loved ones?
Sometimes, as humans, we're being blinded by the concept of freedom itself. We desire success for financial freedom, time freedom, and excellent health, yet whilst we're on progress, we are only allowed to have one kind of freedom during our lives, or if we're lucky, two is exceptional.

I used to uplift the concept of freedom by being able to do whatever I wanna do, wherever I wanna go. It's whatever, whenever, wherever - and, to whoever judges, it's like why on earth do ya fuckin' care? Yet if freedom is truly based on that concept, doesn't it make us so rough? Because it seems like the world of no rules, and it sounds too selfish. Because eventually if freedom does truly exist in a very literal concept, I guess all we have is just an endless moment of chaotic. Now, it's time to think and ponder: Does freedom make us responsible?

If the definition of freedom is being free to choose any options in life, I do agree that we need to be responsible for the options we chose in the first place. Yet it doesn't mean freedom makes us responsible, but somehow at the end of the day freedom always leads to responsibilities.

Talking about responsibilities, I take this as the obligations, so if we relate it to freedom we're talking about, no matter how or what, between the two is vastly contradictive. The concept of freedom here also becomes blurrier as it becomes subjective. Everyone has their own standpoint toward freedom. Hence, apart from the established definitions of freedom, some people have theirs.

However, everyone is dreaming the freedom. We want freedom for our time, our finance, and our health. As we mentioned in the beginning, yet we are all allowed to have one kind of freedom from the three kinds. Let's take a moment and think, what's yours now? A bunch of money? The wherever and whenever? The fresh and the strong? As for me today, I have the third (excellent (physical) health) while struggling for the time and the money, which often makes me frustrated. No wonder, for I become some kind of walking into the pond of 'grocery list' society has made. The standards that need to be fulfilled. Everyone has the same common dreams - to settle, to have a nice job, to have a house, to get married, to have children, to have a car, to own fancy things, to travel the world with the loved ones, and - you could tell! The grocery list that demands the three freedoms or maybe yes – only two is exceptional enough.

Credit to Pinterest

“Even if what the world demands haven't been yet in my hands,
but the whole world is inside my mind.”

I've shared my ‘obsolete’ version of freedom, but after through some ups and downs these past two years, I guess that today my personal view has also changed. I do agree with the freedom of taking the decisions and being responsible for the options. Yet above all, I am thinking freedom begins from the mind. We cannot be suffering from not having them all, but we can free ourselves from every negative thought, negative trait, and bad habit. Even if what the world demands haven't been yet in my hands, but the whole world is inside my mind. I want to be free from my inner demon, so I could be happy regardless of how shitty life could be. As freedom now begins from the mind, it begins the open heart, and so that begins the happiness. 


My uncle once said that to acquire freedom we need to sacrifice. I guess we do all know what's to sacrifice now. And my freedom doesn't have to be losing what and who I love the most. And I hope that you too - for everyone who seeks for freedom.

Tuesday, 16 July 2019

Solo Life

I don't expect anymore to anyone or anything by killing it all. It's all done. My relationship with my family, all the shams with a broken relationship, all the barriers that limit me from chasing my dreams.

I'm so done with a story of being ruled, of being misunderstood, of being unsupported. I am done with the broken promises, broken trust, broken family, broken home, broken everything. It's been too much pain I suffer this year that has changed my perspective on life significantly. This time they have been tearing me up inside my flesh, and pouring me down with stones until it left no one and nothing. What else then do I expect?

Saturday, 8 June 2019

Today's Muse: Not Your Mother's Favorite

In a country where patriarchy plays exclusively well, the role of a woman sticks to the conventional way. The basic circle from school to getting married, fulfilling your parent or your spouse's parent's expectations in a young woman: feminine (not feminist) by solely upholding the traditional values that become the substantial judgment to what so-called "a good woman." Let's say, the most overused obligations as the good ones are being able to cook, staying at home whilst taking care of the children and the house, serving the husband well. There surely is nothing wrong with that, but it is when it becomes the limit for a woman who is about to chase her visions, making her stuck in her career and potential.

There are at least two impacts when the tradition becomes the barrier: underdeveloped emancipation, and opposition. The former indicates behavior that tries to mix the feminist concept to the old system but turns out to be failed. It causes the woman to eventually accept the fact that the tradition is too robust to be changed. Thus, sticking to the rules becomes the only choice taken even if the obedience is half-hearted as it blends in the woman's mindset which occasionally being practiced on her daily basis. As a consequence, it's what leads to the underdeveloped emancipation. The woman is lost to the system, tradition, and society that force directly or indirectly to be followed, but at the other times being unfollowed.

Meanwhile the former tends to show obedience, the latter presents absolutely the other way. Opposition makes the woman seem to be having a reckless behavior which is actually misunderstood by the society who commits substantially with the patriarchy system. Preceded by critical thinking toward the surroundings, the woman who is categorized to the opposition is finding the answers to her questions in a bid to fulfill the balance in her life. Sound egotistical? Maybe yes, probably nope. Unlike the first one, the woman here tends to be stubborn, unfollows the rules that limit her from achieving her purpose, seeks to find herself to be somebody she desires. She doesn't view the tradition with conventional values as the only choice instead she sees it as a challenge. She's doubtlessly a handful creation until she finds out why and how.

Not Your Mother's Favorite talks about the opposition - the woman who opposes, who against, who fights for her projections. I want to limit the scope of the women, solely those who tend to have an alpha male's traits. This type of women is inclined to have a prospective career, higher education as well as social occupation. For her, life is not simply graduating from school or college, then apply for any job or getting married. Life must go on with purpose. What to do and where to go begin with what is my passion, what I do really want to be, and eventually, what contribution I could make for the society? A bigger picture is put into her mind, thus she has visions to acquire, dreams to chase, plans to execute.

Amongst those all, hence - what is the problem?

It takes time to build an empire, so does it with her plans. Within the society with strong patriarchy system demands the women to follow the tradition as well as the rules. Getting married soon after graduation is still lucky, consider them who is forced by marrying the man she doesn't love under the age of seventeen - good heaven. The earth keeps rotating and nature is doing the revolution, why some traditions couldn't be changed? It sounds so unfair. The parent forces her daughter to get married when she wants to chase her dream first, and it becomes complicated since the opposition begins to play the role - she is now against her parent, the tradition, and the system.

Not intending to even break the norms but the voice inside says a different thing, what is wrong with her? A number of characteristics that she has are considered uncommon in most women, or even worse - assumed as having inappropriate traits for a woman. Oftentimes is debating; oftentimes is a misunderstanding. She cannot cook but she plays the Mozart, she cannot sew but she could have flown reaching the stars, she couldn't fulfill her parent's wish just to follow the rules, making her like a bad girl. Yet she is the queen bee who won't let anything pulls the reign while she is chasing her dreams. And that's unfortunately what makes her... not your mother's favorite.

Not Your Mother's Favorite
- Lista

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Jakarta Sarat Makna (Short Story)

Jakarta sarat makna. Terkadang saat aku berjalan di pinggiran kota, hempasan angin seakan memainkan potongan-potongan cerita di masa lalu. Kabarnya Jakarta adalah episentrum dari sejarah yang kini tersaji dalam berbagai macam karya audio, literasi, dan visual. Aku senang mendengarnya dan akan lebih bahagia jika aku bisa merasakan atmosfirnya secara langsung. Terkadang aku berkhayal dapat berkunjung dan bertemu Mr. Time di kerajaannya untuk menjelajah masa lalu seperti Alice in Wonderland. Bedanya aku tidak ingin mengubah suatu kejadian apapun, hanya melihat-lihat dan menikmati kehidupan Jakarta di masa lalu.

Bangunan-bangunan Belanda yang berdiri megah di Kota Tua menjadi saksi nyata dari sepotong kisah yang pernah ada di Batavia. Lantunan lagu Firasat karya Dee Lestari yang kudengar saat itu menambah melankolis suasana. Aku memesan secangkir kopi hangat di sebuah kedai seni hanya untuk menikmati langit senja di Batavia dan melihat orang-orang yang berlalu lalang menuju lapangan Fatahillah. Tempat ini adalah tempat yang paling cocok untuk bernostalgia di Jakarta. Bangunan-bangunan tua, museum, dan berbagai macam dagangan tradisional yang terjaja di pinggir jalan menambah kental nilai-nilai historis di kota ini. Atraksi seniman pinggir jalan dengan pakaian eksentrik dan cat diseluruh tubuh juga menambah balutan estetika di tengah hiruk-pikuk kota yang selalu sibuk itu.

Jakarta. Batinku. Aku suka kota ini. Meski panasnya seringkali membuatku menggerutu, aku tetap suka kota ini. Jakarta menaruh banyak cerita. Jakarta menoreh banyak cerita. Jakarta punya alur kontras yang bervariasi dan menyimpan banyak makna di banyak jiwa. Jakarta sarat makna.

"Have you done?" Tanya seseorang yang menemaniku dalam hening sedari tadi. Aku sontak tersadar dari narasi yang terbentuk sendiri dipikiranku.

"Suntikan emosi?" Ucapnya lagi.

Aku tertawa mendengarnya menyebut frasa itu. "Well… not really, but surely you just interrupted me from being immersed into “suntikan emosi.””

Kini giliran dia yang tertawa, "Hey, kau tidak bisa mengabaikanku seperti ini. Aku juga butuh perhatianmu, tahu!" Protesnya terhadapku. Wajahnya sangat menggemaskan saat dia berkata seperti itu. Padahal umurnya sudah nyaris beranjak seperempat dari seabad.

Aku menyeruput kopiku.

"Alright Capt, what do you want?"

Dia menyeruput kopinya.

"I want you."

Ada jeda di sana - yang membuat kalimatnya terdengar romantis. Apalagi dengan tatapan tajamnya yang seakan menghujam jantungku dan seketika membuatku bisu. Tapi, semua kesan itu runtuh saat ia melanjutkan kalimatnya dengan: "I want you to talk to me now, tapi please jangan sampe baweeel." Ucapnya sambil menjepit kedua hidungku. 

Aku berusaha melepaskan tangannya dari hidungku sambil berkata, "I hate you to the moon and baaaaaacckk"

"I hate you too. To the moon and the Saturnus, to the black hole and never going back."


Hidungku menjadi merah.

"Sekali." Sahutnya melanjutkan kataku sambil melepaskan jepitan tangannya di hidungku.

"Kau. Kejam sekali." Tekanku. Dramatis.

Dan dia hanya tersenyum kecil.


Kala itu, dibawah naungan langit senja kami digelitik dengan hembusan angin yang datang dengan lembut. Membuat kami ingin berlama-lama sambil bertukar banyak cerita. Tentang hari-hari lalu, tentang emosi-emosi, juga inspirasi-inspirasi.

Satu cangkir Vanilla Espresso lainnya. Sementara itu, kami bergurau tentang diri kami sendiri. Melayang tinggi berbicara soal mimpi. Dan menambah daftar kenangan untuk kota yang penuh dengan makna ini.

"You seem to love this city a bunch, uh?"

"A bunch combined with lots."

"Apa yang paling kamu suka dari Jakarta?"

"Jakarta." Ucapku menggantung dan pandanganku pun menerawang.

 "Jakarta menaruh banyak cerita. Jakarta menoreh banyak cerita. Jakarta punya alur kontras yang bervariasi dan menyimpan banyak makna di banyak jiwa. Jakarta sarat makna."

"Suntikan emosi?" Tanyanya sambil tersenyum.

Dirinya sudah pasti tahu, jawabanku adalah sepenggal dari ritual suntikan emosi yang kugarap dari observasiku terhadap dunia sekitar.

"Ya, hasil dari suntikan emosi."

"Aku sudah tahu." Ucapnya.

Dan kami menyeruput kopi kami sampai habis.


Suatu hari nanti. Angin akan menyapa saat semua telah menjadi pecahan memori. Semesta akan menampilkan potongan-potongan kisah yang kita lalui hari ini. Karena aku dan kamu telah menuliskan secoreh makna di sini. Di kota ini – kota sarat makna.



Tuesday, 12 March 2019

A Whole Day with You

Played the silly games
Washed your cats
And cooked the noodles
We rode throughout the night 
Savoring the vista of the city light.

We made colors like the rainbow
By sharing stories and anecdotes
Enjoying those everlasting 80s' songs
Our eyes met as though it's locked
Wondering, "Are we heaven-sent?"

A whole day with you
Was the moment I never pursue
But ever since I knew
You didn't need to be in the queue
For I was quite assured it's true
The feeling sparked off between us two.


Thursday, 28 February 2019

Love is Sacrifice

Illustration by @oztheartist

Love is sacrifice.
That's the reason why it's called falling not reaching.

In odd moments, you dwell on why you still love him – or her, while you get all the whys inside your head, all the what-ifs, and all the whens to leave. The waiting, the sacrifice, and the pain you suffer, all these things are just so insane. It's all out of your mind. It needs to stop. Yet you don't know how to stop – by the reason of love.

It’s love. And somewhile love seemingly works that way. Even if it's killed you already - once, twice, third times, and countless, you ignore the whys, the whens, and the what-ifs without feeling hopeless. You risk on everything. You remove all the hesitation. You relish in being in love. You never give in. That's it. You're just falling and falling. With all your senses. Even if you realize it all makes no senses.

For love is sacrifice, it’s not reaching, it’s falling.

Love – is sacrifice. 

- LR

Friday, 25 January 2019

If You Find a Good Girl

Illustration by @oztheartist

If you find a good girl,
I'm the girl who'd love to hear something crazy.

If you find a good girl,
I'm the girl who'll ask you why and how and then disagree. 

If you find a good girl,
I'm the one who'll pull your hand to break in someone else's party.

If you find a good girl,
I'm the girl who's good in ignoring the rules abundantly.

So, if you find a good girl,
I'm definitely not the girl chosen to be in your story.

- Lista R