Thursday, December 31, 2009

Till We Meet Again, Gus

Artikel dibawah ini ditulis oleh Duncan Graham, seorang jurnalis Selandia Baru di blognya Indonesia Now.

FAREWELL GUS DUR: President RI 20 October 1999 - 23 July 2001

I interviewed Gus Dur for a book on Indonesia and spent most of the time laughing at his jokes. There's one below. He was an extraordinary man, a true democrat, liberal, learned and impossible to dislike. History should treat him kindly - just as he treated others. His impact on Indonesia endures leaving it a far better country after the ravages of Soeharto.

By Abdurrahman Wahid (Gus Dur)

Back 10 centuries ago, just before the Crusade was launched, the Pope decided all Muslims had to leave Jerusalem peacefully or there’d be bloodshed. Naturally there is a big uproar from the Muslim community. So the Pope strikes a deal. He proposes a debate with a member of the Muslim community. If the Muslim wins the debate, all the Muslims can stay. If the Pope wins, all the Muslims will have to leave.

The Muslims realise they have no choice. They look around for a champion who can defend their faith. No one wants to volunteer, it's too risky. But they finally pick their representative, an old Mullah who unknowingly agrees without understanding what he’s getting himself into. He agrees on the condition that neither side is allowed to talk but communicate by miming, as he’s almost deaf. The Pope agrees.
The day of the great debate comes. The Mullah and the Pope sit opposite each other for a full minute before the Pope raises his hand and shows three fingers. The Mullah raises his middle finger. The Pope waves his fingers in a circle around his head. The Mullah points to the ground and stamps his right foot. The Pope pulls out a wafer and a glass of wine. The Mullah pulls out an apple. The Pope stands up and says: ‘I give up. This man is too good. The Muslims can stay.’

An hour later the cardinals are all around the Pope asking what happened. The Pope says: ‘First I held up three fingers to represent the Trinity. He responded by holding up one finger to remind me that there is still one God common to both our religions. Then I waved my finger around me to show him that God was all about us. He responded by pointing to the ground and stamping his feet, telling me that God was also right here with us. I pulled out the wine and the wafer to show that God absolves us from our sins. He pulled out an apple reminding me of the first sin. He had an answer for everything. What could I do?’

Meanwhile, the Muslim community has crowded around the old Mullah in total astonishment. ‘What happened?’ they ask. ‘Well’ says the Mullah, ‘first, he said we Muslims had three days to leave Jerusalem. I told him - up yours! Then he said this whole city would be cleared of Muslims. I told him none would leave this land!’

‘And then?' asks a woman. ‘He took out his lunch and I took out mine,’ says the Mullah.

The power of the mind lies in perceiving differences; the power of the heart lies in perceiving similarities
Kekuatan pikiran terletak dalam menerima perbedaan; kekuatan hati terletak dalam menerima persamaan.

Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raji'un
انّا للہ و انّا الیہ راجعون
We indeed belong to God, and we indeed toward him are returning.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hedy Epstein

From Mondoweiss.

The sweetest and bravest grandmother ever.

You're Not Done Yet, Neither Are We.

A Message to World Leaders from Global Youth.

In daily life, buy local and reduce our domestic waste.
My kids know now that they can start helping our world by recycling kardus susu and burying the kitchen scraps.
Small actions. Big changes.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Emperor's Clothes

"The Emperor's Clothes"
by Invincible

Phase 1: Air strikes all day and all night
Phase 2: Rockets hit the Gaza strip with phosphorus
Phase 3: Ground attack how we gonna counteract?

Boycott Divest and Sanction

Israel– you should be ashamed
Kill and maim 1,000's of civilians in our name
Claim you hitting terrorists but children in your aim
Even murder relief workers blood spilling from they brain
While they tried to drive the ambulance, damn they couldn't stand a chance
Even bomb students, hospitals, mosques, Rafah, and Khan Yunis
Shot em in the back like the cops to Oscar Grant…
And in each case the good ol' united states sponsored that
7 million a day that we pay tax and AIPAC's lobbyists is robbin us
Sometimes it feels like they're ain't no stopping this
BUT now no body can deny it cuz you made it too obvious
Naked truth exposed like the emperor's clothes
The struggles getting hotter and the temperature rose
Since 1948 when you formed the state
Palestinian people still defending their homes
They aint been surrendering, NO

Boycott Divest and Sanction
Cuz they even bombed the United Nations

Look, i'm Israeli, my government's so arrogant
War criminals who call Palestinians terrorists
For resisting extinction and occupation
Comparing this to genocide and reservations of Native Americans
Its a massacre! Kick out they ambassadors!
Divest from their apartheid like South Africa
Boycott em like King to Montgomery buses,
Show them we want peace but only with real justice
They murdering the media and witnesses left
We gonna stop shopping at all the businesses that invest
In building they settlements and gentrifying our corners
Illegal walls over there and the US-Mexico border
Build a worldwide movement til the truth is heard
And supporting the Israelis who refuse to serve
All the C.O.s who AWOL when deployed to Iraqi stations
All the people rallying while the cops are chasing
If we enlisted in the system we got an obligation
We ain't got the patience, time to stop the occupation

Boycott, Divest, and Sanction
Til there's right of return for displaced and reparations

We Remember

Khulood Ghanem's diary.
My father told us that we have one god and it is one death either by rocket, by car, by gun, there is no difference and you have to die with your dignity and get rid of your fear.

The Tragedy of Gaza, the West Bank and Israel by Chris Hedges. Full text inThe language of death.
The incursion into Gaza is not about destroying Hamas. It is not about stopping rocket fire into Israel. It is not about achieving peace. The Israeli decision to rain death and destruction on Gaza, to use the lethal weapons of the modern battlefield on a largely defenseless civilian population, is the final phase of the decades-long campaign to ethnically cleanse Palestinians. The assault on Gaza is about creating squalid, lawless and impoverished ghettos where life for Palestinians will be barely sustainable. It is about building ringed Palestinian enclaves where Israel will always have the ability to shut off movement, food, medicine and goods to perpetuate misery. The Israeli attack on Gaza is about building a hell on earth.

The use of terror and hunger to break a hostile population is one of the oldest forms of warfare. I watched the Bosnian Serbs employ the same tactic in Sarajevo. And I watched the Bosnian Serbs, like the Israelis, attempt to justify their systematic destruction of the city, with thousands of dead and wounded, on a few paltry Muslim mortars and light arms fire. Those who orchestrate such sieges do not grasp the terrible rage born of long humiliation, indiscriminate violence and abuse. A father or a mother whose child dies because of a lack of vaccines or proper medical care does not forget. A boy whose ill grandmother dies while detained at an Israel checkpoint does not forget. Families who carry the broken bodies of their children to hospitals do not forget. All who endure humiliation, abuse and the murder of those they love do not forget. This rage becomes a virus within those who, eventually, stumble out into the daylight. Is it any wonder that 71 percent of children interviewed at a school in Gaza recently said they wanted to be a “martyr”?

A poem, by David Radavich

I confess: I didn’t really see
the grief-stricken girl
by the seashore.

I didn’t know her suffering.
I’ve only seen pictures.

That’s why it
didn’t seem real.

But I felt for her
genuine pain.

And images came
to me—

just as they are
not now

unlocking their shapes,
their unforgettable

You will please
forgive me.

Honesty is best.

Even dull honesty
with no ripped-off heads
bloody and toy-like

that only have
been imagined by

the privileged
who in their silence

and oppress.

I am safe and warm.
I have food. And money.
I don’t see bodies

torn by war
for breakfast.

The blind can
never do justice.

a sleeping angel of Gaza (

Do not forget.
Act. Don't mourn.

Friday, December 25, 2009

D for Damar, D for Dimas

Facts about Dam and Dim.

Damar adalah si early bird, atau early worm, orang yang bangun paling pagi dan langsung nyanyi-nyanyi keliling rumah. Tapi kalo dah capek dan kena bantal langsung pingsan.
Dimas adalah si gudel (anak sapi-dee), karena kalo tidur ngebo. Udah dibolak-balik, digendong keluar kamar, dinyalain kartun kenceng-kenceng, ditimbun bantal, dikitik-kitik, diuyel-uyel, dicubit-cubit...semua
kecuali disiram air, ngga bakal bangun. Pantesan pipi Dimas ngga kempes-kempes. Rekor bangun pagi jam 11 siang.

Damar suka nyanyi dan joged. Panggilannya di sekolah? Jacko. Sekarang lagi suka nyanyi jingle bells dan paling suka berbahasa indonesia yang baik dan benar. "Mamah, aku sangat kecewa." atau "Aku mau mengambil spidol untuk menggambar tetapi spidolnya terlalu tinggi aku tak bisa menggambilnya."

Dimas suka maen sepak bola dan lompat timbun. Lompat timbun itu lompat dari kasur atas ke kasur bawah, sebelum lompat ngambil ancang-ancang sambil mbaca mantra, "lima tujuh lima tujuh...", maksudnya mau ngitung satu dua tiga tapi versi dimas. Last step, lompat jauh sambil teriak, "TIMBUUUNNN!!!" Malanglah orang yang kebetulan lagi di kasur bawah. Ketimbun 14 kg pipi dan lemak.
Si Park Dimas Sung ini kalo maen bola ancang-ancang larinya bisa sampe 50 meter. Kalo lari kayak ada per di kaki.

Damar lagi ribut minta pohon natal. Karena ngga dikasih ganti pengen menghias pohon cemara kecil di halaman depan rumah.
Dimas lagi heboh minta ulang taun, soalnya dijanjiiin baru dibeliin maenan lagi kalo ulang taun. Next month.

Damar rambutnya lurus jegrak. Kalo disuruh potong rambut mirip disuruh nyemplung sumur.
Dimas kriwil-kriwil. Kalo lagi keringatan kepalanya jadi mirip rambutan.

Damar bisa diminta matiin tipi, dengan catatan sudah dibilangin sebelumnya, "setengah jam lagi matiin ya" atau "habis little einstein matiin ya".
Dimas harus pake sesi nangis, rebutan remote, kejar-kejaran, dan terakhir saking malesnya pindah dia ngompol di kasur di depan tipi. Padahal aku dah ngga inget kapan dia ngompol di kasur. Wew. Red Alert.

Damar lagi seneng bikin kue, nyetak dan ngasih hiasan. Yang paling nyenengin, dia suka makannya juga.
Dimas...yaahh, masih tahap ngremes-remes adonan sambil ditambahin eces disana-sini.

Damar suka susu strawberry. Dimas susu coklat.
Damar suka es krim conetto mini rasa blueberry. Dimas suka rasa strawberry. Mamahnya suka dua-duanya.

They're both the same, but they're not.
They're both D, but as different as A and Z.
Their hugs are the best cure for a weary heart and a wandering mind.
They keep me connected and disconnected.
They're my Planetaia, my wandering stars.
They teach new things and new point of views every single day.
They remind me of the who,what,where,when,why and how.

The best of all, their face never fail to send a sign,
"everything's gonna be okay, mommie, it always is."

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Spirit of Christmas

December this year reminds me of two sad things.
December 26th 2004, The Sumatra tsunami.
December 27th 2008, Gaza bombing.
*I'll leave century, kpk and lunmay thingies out of this note, sorry.

This is how christmas was in Gaza before the bombing, December 25th 2008 :

Christmas in Gaza: No Trees, No Celebrations

For the first time, Hazem Al-Jilda, a Christian from Gaza, and his family could not light the Christmas tree at their home because of the electricity black-out caused by the lack of fuel, due to the Israeli siege on Gaza.

'We only have electricity for six hours a day because Israel is not letting any fuel supplies into Gaza's only electric power plant,' said Al-Jilda (34). 'We missed the happiness of lightening the Christmas tree this year.'

'I have never seen such a sad Christmas,' he said. 'This year, there are almost no traditional Christmas celebrations in Gaza because of the siege and Israel's refusal to give Gaza's Christians permits to visit Bethlehem.

About 4,000 Christians live in the besieged Gaza Strip. Most of them belong to the Greek Orthodox Church, while the rest follow the Latin Church Christmas calendar, which falls on December 25.

Yea, as a matter o' facts, there are christians in Gaza. And they're suffer the same, since they too are Palestinians.

Anyway, we all know the story of Gaza after that christmas day.

This year, a true spirit of christmas
Christmas In Gaza by Fr John Dear, National Catholic Reporter

Into this world, this demented inn, in which there is absolutely no room for him at all, Christ has come uninvited. But because he cannot be at home in it, because he is out of place in it, and yet he must be in it, his place is with those others for whom there is no room. His place is with those who do not belong, who are rejected by power, because they are regarded as weak, those who are discredited, who are denied the status of persons, tortured, exterminated. With those for whom there is no room, Christ is present. -- Thomas Merton

In the true spirit of Christmas, on Christmas day I'll leave for Gaza to join some 1,300 people from 40 nations -- as well as an expected 50,000 Palestinians -- and together undertake a nonviolent march to the Erez northern border crossing leading into Israel. We'll arrive on the first anniversary of the diabolical Israeli bombing attack in which 1,400 Palestinians perished, the vast majority civilians.

The journey represents my attempt to break through the commercialism and sentimentality of Christmas. By this journey I’m trying, in a modest way, to enter the Gospel story itself, mindful that Christmas celebrates the God of peace having come to the poor, having emerged from among the poor. God emerged from among the marginalized, the homeless, the refugees, the outcast, the occupied, the targeted peoples of the world. I journey in the Christmas hope that "peace on earth" comes first of all in places like Gaza.

So, while most of us have already forgotten, some people remind us what humanity is all about. It's borderless.

There are too many people, and too few human beings. ~Robert Zend

Merry christmas, my friends.
May peace and justice prevail on earth.

Quote of the day : " When you are greeted with a greeting, greet in return with what is better than it, or at least return it equally…Surely, Allah takes account of all things.” (An-Nisa’ 4: 86)

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Happy Anti Corruption Day

Kemarin aku menjemput Damar ke sekolah. Akhir minggu nanti akan ada pentas di mal (-.-'), memperingati (so-called) hari ibu. Selain nyanyi si Jegrak juga bakal baca puisi. Dan tidak ada yang lebih menghibur selain anak-anak umur 2-5 taun yang berlatih untuk pentas.

Ketika akan pulang dan membuka pintu mobil, seorang ibu tua berbaju lusuh dan menggotong karung menyapa, "Dek, mau mangga?". Jarang-jarang dipanggil dek..
Akhirnya aku dan Damar jongkok di pinggir jalan ngobrol sama ibu itu.
Rumahnya jauh. Satu plastik berisi 5 butir mangga dijual 12 ribuan. Sekarung mangga tadi dibeli dengan harga 85 ribu. Sekarung berisi belasan plastik.
Akhirnya kubeli mangganya seharga sebuah majalah national geographic traveller terbaru yang memuat 55 gunung terindah di indonesia.

Mahal? Tidak kalo mengingat si ibu tua ini naik-turun bukit-bukit di Balikpapan di bawah terik matahari Desember sambil menggotong karungnya.

Sebelum pulang aku dan Damar ke Hero dulu, mau beli jamur. We're addicted to mushroom lately. Seplastik seharga 15 ribu. Di persimpangan menuju Balikpapan Baru seorang anak berkulit hitan legam menawarkan korannya, "Cuma 2000, buk!". Di pinggir jalan ada anak lain yang lebih kecil, duduk sambil menyipitkan matanya karena terik.

Aku menyesal tidak membawa susu kotak di tasku.

I was just like any other hypocrit who felt sorry for them but didn't do a think to make things better.
That old woman, those street children, would they still be doing what they're doing if we're not one of the most corrupt country in the world?

I guess there's only one thing money won't buy, and that's poverty.

“Heaven is above all yet; there sits a judge.That no king can corrupt.”

Happy Anti Corruption Day.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Question of The Day

Pernahkan kamu membaca quote ini,
Children find everything in nothing; men find nothing in everything.

Penulisnya adalah Giacomo Leopardi, seorang penyair dan filsuf Italia yang hidup pada tahun 1798-1837.

Ingatkah kita masa-masa kecil ketika hari dimulai dengan pertanyaan dan diakhiri dengan pertanyaan? Aku ingat pernah berpikir bahwa di salah satu bintang di atas sana ada seorang anak perempuan kecil yang sedang menatap ke bumi. Aku ngga ingat apakah pernah benar-benar bertanya pada orang lain.

Atau ketika saat ini kita cukup diberkahi untuk memiliki manusia-manusia kecil dengan tenaga kryptonit tak kenal lelah yang tak berhenti bergerak dan berbunyi, sempatkah kita berhenti sejenak merenungkan pertanyaan mereka?

"Mah, kenapa laba-labanya terbang?" ketika melihat laba-laba turun naik di dekat kasur mereka, tanpa terlihat benangnya.

"Kenapa kita ngga punya christmas tree?" sewaktu melihat pohon natal plastik di mal.

"Kenapa sampah dapur dikubur?" saat melihat rutinitas menggali-gali mamahnya.

Jadi teringat suatu siang waktu aku dan anak-anak nonton KBS, channel Korea, tentang multikultural family. Si istri berasal dari Bali dan tinggal di Korea Selatan mengikuti suaminya yang asli sana. Suatu saat berliburlah mereka ke Bali. Waktu ada adegan keluarga itu mengejar-ngejar babi untuk di-babi guling, anak-anak takjub. "Kasian!", kata Dimas waktu si babi diiket di tongkat.
Kemudian sampai ke adegan ketika si babi sudah matang kecoklatan dan mulai diiris-iris untuk dimakan bersama.
Tiba-tiba Dimas bilang, "Mamah, mau makan ituuu!!!", sambil nunjuk ke tipi.

That was an awesome moment.

"Kenapa ngga boleh?"

Ketika kita menghadapi pertanyaan-pertanyaan ajaib seperti itu, sebagai orangtua, dan manusia, kita diajak membuka kembali cakrawala pikiran kita. Dan keyakinan kita. Kita kembali dipertemukan dengan keraguan-keraguan yang dulu sebagai seorang anak kecil pernah kita rasakan.

Jika beruntung, kita akan bertemu dengan pertanyaan yang bahkan kita sendiripun masih mencari jawabannya. Bukan cuma pertanyaan kenapa adek bayi ada atau gimana tivi ada gambarnya..those are some pretty challenging questions too >.<

Tapi seperti ketika Sam, 11 tahun, di Ways to Live Forever (versi Indonesianya berjudul Setelah Aku Pergi, terbitan Gramedia) mempertanyakan Pertanyaan-Pertanyaan Tak Terjawab, The Questions That Nobody Answer, No. 6. "Kenapa sih orang mesti mati?"

Why Do We Have To Die Anyway?

Atau pertanyaan nomor dua, yang dicoba dijawab oleh Sam dan temannya Felix.

Questions Nobody Answers No.2, Why does God make kids get ill?
[proposed solutions]
1.He doesn’t exist. (Felix)
2.God is really evil. (Felix)
3.God is like a big doctor. It doesn’t matter to God if you die, because you just go to heaven, which is where He lives anyway.(Sam, to which Felix responds, “That is the biggest load of crap I ever heard. God gives you cancer to teach you how good riding a bike is?)
4.There is no reason. (Felix)
5.There is a reason, but we’re too stupid to understand it. (Sam)
6.We did something awful in the past life and this is punishment. (Felix, who insisted it be included as not to discriminate against Buddhists)
7.We’re perfect already. Being ill is like a present. a Get-Into-Heaven-Free Card. (Sam)

At the end of the day, nenek Sam menjelaskan bahwa kematian adalah seperti berubahnya ulat menjadi kupu-kupu. Bagaimana ulat merasa takut menjadi kepompong yang tertidur dan sendiri.

Menurut Sam,

What she means is, it’s the next stage in a life cycle. Like turning into Spider-Man was the next stage in Peter Parker’s life cycle. So you shouldn’t be frightened, you should be excited. But I’m not frightened anyway. It’s only going back to wherever you were before you were born and no one is frightened of before they were born.

All those quoestions.

Pertanyaan-pertanyaan 'aneh' yang ketika kita beranjak dewasa mungkin masih akan muncul di saat-saat yang sepi. Ketika menatap langit-langit kamar menjelang terpejam. Ketika menengadah ke bintang di langit kelam. Ketika terdiam dan menghela nafas panjang.

I really didn't mean to make some rhyme here. Bad habit -.-'

Tidak semua orang cukup beruntung untuk mempunyai tempat bertanya. Terutama pertanyaan-pertanyaan ajaib yang mengerutkan kening 99.99% orang yang mendengarnya. Dan kemudian menyarankanmu ke ustad atau ke psikiater dengan wajah khawatir.

We were often told not to ask anyway, when we were younger.

ketika manusia-manusia kecil itu bertanya, dengarkan dengan sepenuh hati. Semoga mereka mengantarmu ke jawaban dari keraguanmu sendiri.

"Kenapa kamu menikah?"
"Kenapa kamu punya anak?"
"Kenapa kamu beribadah atau tidak beribadah?"
"Kenapa kamu menangis atau tertawa?"
"Kenapa kamu mencintai atau membenci?"

"Untuk apa kamu hidup?"

Maybe I will make my own questions nobody answer one of these days.

Where am I? Who am I?
How did I come to be here?
What is this thing called the world?
How did I come into the world?
Why was I not consulted?
And If I am compelled to take part in it,
Where is the director?
I want to see him
~ Soren Kierkegaard