Monthly Archives: April 2010

Both Sides, Now

Bows and flows of angel hair and ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere, i’ve looked at cloud that way.
But now they only block the sun, they rain and snow on everyone.
So many things i would have done but clouds got in my way.

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now,
From up and down, and still somehow
It’s cloud illusions i recall.
I really don’t know clouds at all.

Moons and junes and ferris wheels, the dizzy dancing way you feel
As every fairy tale comes real; i’ve looked at love that way.
But now it’s just another show. you leave ’em laughing when you go
And if you care, don’t let them know, don’t give yourself away.

I’ve looked at love from both sides now,
From give and take, and still somehow
It’s love’s illusions i recall.
I really don’t know love at all.

Tears and fears and feeling proud to say “i love you” right out loud,
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds, i’ve looked at life that way.
But now old friends are acting strange, they shake their heads, they say
I’ve changed.
Something’s lost but something’s gained in living every day.

I’ve looked at life from both sides now,
From win and lose, and still somehow
It’s life’s illusions i recall.
I really don’t know life at all.

Joni Mitchell, Both Sides Now

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No, you know nothing, neither do I.

So please, just stop. Stop assuming, stop putting someone you know in a rigid frame.

Even if you think you have already seen it in different perspectives. No, you don’t know, you will never know.

Feel It When It Comes & Let It Go When We Can

Grief

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According to Elizabeth Kübler-Ross, when we are dying or suffer catastrophic loss, we all move through five distinct stages of grief.

We go into denial, because the loss is so unthinkable, we can’t imagine it’s true.  We become angry with everyone, angry with the survivors, angry with ourselves.

Then we bargain, we beg, we plead, we offer everything we have, we offer up our souls in exchange for just one more day.

When the bargaining has failed and the anger is too hard to maintain, we fall into depression, despair.

Until finally we have to accept that we have done everything we can, we let go. We let go and move into acceptance.

Grief maybe a thing we all have in common. But it looks different on everyone.

It isn’t just death we have to grieve, its life, its loss, and its change. And when we wonder why it has to suck so much sometimes, has to hurt so bad, the thing we gotta try to remember is that it can turn on a dime. That’s how you stay alive.

When it hurts so much you can’t breathe. That’s how you survive. By remembering that one day, somehow,  impossibly,  it won’t feel this way,  it won’t hurt this much.

Grief comes in its own time for everyone in its own way. So the best we can do, the best anyone can do is trying for honesty.

The really crappy thing, the very worst part of grief, is that you can’t control it. The best we can do is try to let ourselves feel it when it comes and let it go when we can.

The very worst part is that the minute you think you’re past it, it starts all over again and always everytime, it takes your breath away.

There are five stages of grief. They look different on all of us, but there are always five; denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.

***

Taken from Grey’s Anatomy “Good Mourning”

Tanjung Priok

Gerombolan orang berkopiah, beberapa memakai helm-polisi-yang-entah-darimana-didapat, bersenjatakan celurit, samurai, bambu, batang besi dan batu mengerumuni sesuatu yang tertutup oleh tameng polisi. Makian dan pekik kebesaran Tuhan bersahut-sahutan saat mereka melemparkan batu, memukul,  menendang dan menusuk sesuatu yang tertutup tameng itu.

Di depan televisi, Saya memperhatikan dengan hati pedih, berharap sesuatu itu bukan seperti yang dibayangkan. Ketika salah satu remaja tanggung itu mengangkat tameng polisi, Saya hampir menitikkan air mata, ternyata betul, itu adalah anggota Satpol PP. Remaja itupun mengangkat kepala aparat yang sudah tidak dapat bergerak dan terluka parah itu kemudian meneriakkan sesuatu yang tidak dapat saya tangkap. Sesaat kemudian terdengar bunyi dentuman yang disusul dengan asap putih. Ya Tuhan, mereka menembakkan gas air mata ke aparat naas itu dari jarak yang amat dekat…

Pedih rasanya. Tak terasa air mata saya menitik, dada saya terasa sesak, perasaan saya tak karu-karuan. Bagaimana mungkin? Bagaimana bisa orang-orang itu menganiaya petugas yang sudah terkapar, bergelimang darah dan nyaris tak bisa bergerak itu. Saya tak mengerti, bagaimana jika kakak, adik, sahabat, orang tua atau seseorang yang dikenal diperlakukan seperti itu. Tidakkah terbayang oleh mereka perasaan orang-orang yang menyayangi petugas itu. Pasti pedih sekali melihat orang yang disayangi diperlakukan seperti itu.

Tidak jauh dari gerombolan tersebut, Saya bisa melihat gerombolan lain melakukan hal yang tidak kalah brutal. Lemparan batu, tendangan, pukulan benda keras dan makian-makian tertuju ke satu objek membuat hati saya semakin tersayat-sayat.  Entah, padahal bisa saja Saya mematikan televisi dan pergi, tapi saya tidak mampu. Mata Saya seperti terpaku di depan televisi, berdoa supaya ada seseorang yang masih punya rasa kemanusiaan dan menyelamatkan dua petugas naas itu.

Pada akhirnya, dua korban itu dibiarkan teronggok begitu saja, seperti mainan tua. Para warga yang beringasan pun beralih ke mainan baru yaitu membakar truk-truk milik polisi dan Satpol PP. Mungkin bagi warga, bunyi ledakan dan api yang menjilat-jilat jauh lebih menyenangkan daripada menendang-nendang tubuh yang sudah tidak bisa bergerak itu.

Iya, pasti beberapa dari anda menganggap Saya terlalu menaruh hati pada Satpol PP yang sekarang dibenci masyarakat itu. Memang, Saya juga tidak setuju dengan gaya militeristik yang sering diterapkan Satpol PP kepada pedagang kecil. Tapi terlepas dari ketidaksetujuan Saya terhadap Satpol PP yang memang arogan, hati Saya selalu bersama orang-orang yang tertindas dan teraniaya apapun latar belakang suku, ras, agama dan kepada siapa mereka berpihak.

Pagi hari ini Saya mendapatkan kabar itu; korban tewas berjumlah tiga orang berasal dari pihak Satpol PP yang bernama W. Soepono, Ahmad Tajudin dan Israel Jaya. Ahmad Tajudin adalah seorang muslim taat yang berencana menikah bulan Oktober tahun ini, Soepono adalah seorang warga Tanjung Priok sedangkan Israel adalah penopang ekonomi keluarga.

Soepono, Ahmad Tajudin dan Israel Jaya, sungkawa terucap untuk keluarga yang ditinggalkan. Semoga kalian diberi tempat yang pantas di sisi-Nya. Saya selalu yakin kalau Tuhan Maha Adil.

What’s with Social Networking?

It has been a while since I wrote in english, umm well, since I updated my blog actually.  I have been terribly busy recently, not to mention my procrastinating act. Thus in the past month my blog has been neglected.

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So, in this peaceful weekend I would like to write about social networking. Im sure you guys are familiar (if not obsessed) with social-networks. Of course, as a part of Gen Y (are you familiar with the term baby boomers, gen X, and gen Y? if you aren’t just google it), I have several accounts in those sites, though my active account is only facebook.

Gen Y

Gen Y

If you are a frequent visitor of facebook, take a look at your friends. From thousands of contacts, how many friends actually you know in person.  My guess is not more than a quarter or maybe less. Your sea of contacts might be a clue to your motive. Why would you have to put so many friends in your contact? Do you wanna show to the world how your friends are scattered throughout the world? Or if you are single, does more contact means bigger chance to get a boy/girlfriend to you? Or maybe you just have the lust to show off about how good and successful you are now.

According to Scientific American Mind Magazine January-February edition 2010, the newest thinking highlights how social-networking sites affect the expression of human traits; loneliness, self-esteem, narcissism, and addiction.

Let’s start with loneliness. We used to think that loneliness is physical isolation from other people. In this mobile era, the definition is no longer relevant. Nowadays people feel distress when they believe that their social relationship have less meaning than they should. People who try to get rid of loneliness by piling up contacts to replace face-to-face interaction with online relationship would likely end up to be lonely. Research conducted  by Andrew Campbell and his colleagues from University of Sydney showed the time spent interacting online is unrelated to higher level of anxiety or depression – typical symptoms of loneliness. In other word, you will get no psychological benefit from social networking only by forming relationship online.

If so, how to gain benefit from social networking? Study by gerontology doctoral student Shima Sum and her colleagues from University of Sydney found that using social networking diminished loneliness when online contacts are also offline contacts. It is not surprising is it?

The next interesting thing about social networking is it allows you to show off.  Social networking offer an easy way to show yourself; you can put your vacation photos, shout smart and reflective status updates, or maybe make a good writing or poetry and tag as many friends as possible.  Nah, the question now, is it true that social networking can boost your self-esteem? Or it is just a media to feed your narcissism? Apparently, according to study conducted by psychologist from Michigan State University showed facebook use actually boost self-esteem, conferring better social skills, and greater feelings of contentment. The groups who gain profound positive effects were teenagers, yes teenagers who are craving for world’s attention.

Well, not only teenagers who are craving for world’s attention, social networking is also becoming new havens for those who overly pleased with themselves. You can easily spot a narcissist from facebook pages, usually those who have huge number of contact as their object to their narcissistic lust and glamorous appearance.

Then we come to the most dangerous effects of social networking; addiction. Let me give you a figure; Nielsen Online reported that the 70 million facebook members in the U.S spent 233 million hours on the site in April 2009, up from 28 million hours by 23 million members previous April— 175 percent increase. Let’s assume they go online during work hours, can you imagine how social networking can reduce productivity?

Social Networking

Why social networking has such a pull? In Scientific American Mind, they explained how social-networking become a magnet for people with obsessive-compulsive tendencies. Social networking offer instant gratification without so much effort. The reward serves as energy to keep doing it. As a result the effect is hard to resist. It is like gambling, video games and watching porn, somehow we couldn’t resist the temptation.

Oh, one more, have you realized recently that many couples these days arguing on facebook? Don’t they realize it is a public space? Sometimes I also found people who instead of discussing disagreement with their boy/girlfriend, they passive-aggressively showed their disagreement  via facebook with nagging wall post or constantly change their relationship status only to mess with their boy/girlfriend.

Why do people tend to bring their private relationship problems to public space? I think they are trying to let their supporters and friends know about what his/her boy/girlfriend put him/her through, both sad and pathetic in my opinion.  It is true that relationship will do much better with friends and family support. But constantly arguing on facebook just to point out who’s the bad guy, will more likely convince their friends they shouldn’t be together in the first place.

lamebook

Like it or not, social-networking will invade even more areas in our lives. The distance between online and offline will eventually disappear. The challenge is to keep our sanity. No matter how online activity has diluted our real-world, social connectivity is still lacking of essential element of communication such as body language and touch. That’s why face-to-face interaction is still important to our brain, because it needs richness from real interaction, not only virtual.

Loneliness, self-esteem, narcissism and addiction are expressions of human traits that can get worse with the blooming of social-networking sites. However bad the effects of social networking might have, it is interesting to see the paradigm-shift and cultural transformation. Well, soon we will enter the world of connectedness and it would change the way we feel and the way we see ourselves.

P.S: If you have free time, rather than facebook, try to take a peek on lamebook.com. they record the funniest and lamest from facebook.  Seriously it is soo hilarious !! it always gives me a good laugh.