Something 'bout tree. A quote.

"For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche.

In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree.

When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farm-boy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow.

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life.

A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail.

A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live.

When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all.

A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one's suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother.

So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness.”

― Hermann Hesse, Bäume. Betrachtungen und Gedichte

Sorry doesn't simply fix things

I'm the kind of girl who says sorry too much or not at all. But for the friends, maybe the first one suits me better. I always say sorry. I don't know if I really mean it. I think I do. I hope I do. But for saying sorry that much, I guess, sometimes ... I don't. 

Maybe I hope that sorry is a magic word that can make things all rainbow and sunshine. I remember when I was 2nd grade in elementary school I faked a bit tear and I cried for having 40/100 for the math test. And I said sorry to my mom. And she forgave me. And to be fair, I wonder if all those who hurt me in the past lined up and said sorry. I know I would forgave them, too. 

And maybe I've never realized it but I took sorry for granted, sometimes. Even worse, sometimes I'd rather not to say it at all. Especially to my closest ones. I'd keep it and suck it, and hope that they'd forget it. But they didn't, did they. They'd remember. But maybe they treasured the relation too much so they chose to stay. 

Recently someone said sorry to me. But the sorry kept spreading to the next questions. What does the sorry stand for? Does it real? Is it for ... this... for is it for everything? Can't you see that it doesn't fix things? And I remember I said these words: 

A 'sorry' without the solution or the resolution to be better is just an empty word.

I know fairly it isn't. Sometimes it only takes a bit sorry to heal things. But in this case, I don't think it is. What difference a sorry can make? It's just a word. A word against thousands actions.

And now these words coming back to me like two-edged sword. I made an awful mistake to someone. Really. Awful. And he's actually being kind about it. He kept saying it's okay. But it's not. I kept saying sorry for countless times. I kept telling him that it bothers me also. I kept telling him that I'd seek it and find it.

But once again, sorry doesn't simply fix things. 

It doesn't. Life is not the computer with the Ctrl+Z. Life is anything but it. He still needs the solution for the mess I've made. I still need to fix it. I still need to be responsible to him. And I still have to think until it's found. And no matter how I say or convince him, or even writing this, it simply doesn't matter. It really doesn't.

It actually makes me frustrated. Seriously I know I've tried. And I'm tired. But I can't just face it and say sorry. But I seriously have no idea what to do. Duh.

So while here me trying to fix things. I pray hard, to see a bit miracle.


(Our) Coffee Shop

It once happened like that,
You brought me to the coffee shop near where you lived
We sat there for hours and hours til late and it was supposed to close
We walked outside, slowly, and my tummy felt weird
Not because of the caffeine that I consumed
But simply because of how you made me feel 

Then it used to be like that
We would sit there for hours, at the same corner
I would open my laptop and you would open yours
You would try to finish your task 
You would try your best not to be too distracted
As you couldn't resist not to talk with me 
But even if we sat in the silence, we both felt comfortable 
There was no gap to be filled, we respect each other's space
Back then we would talk about everything except that gap between us

Now it happens like this, 
I would sit on the same corner, I would order the same coffee
They never have to ask for my coffee nor my name again 
I will still open my laptop, and I will try my best not to be too distracted
As everytime I hear the barista spells a name like yours
I will sit straightly and I can feel my heart is pounding once again 
What a curse, as your name is a common name 
There must be thousands! 
But they weren't you. They aren't you. 
For you once left. And never come back again 
And I will sit here, once again, 
With a slight hope
How I hope to see you open that door again!

So here I am. 
5.26 am. It's just a work of fiction inspired by hours that I spent doing my deadline once on a coffee shop nearby.

The Unsent Letter

"The pain that you've been feeling, can't compare to the joy that's coming."
- Romans 8:18

To you, 
I try to wonder how the finish line will be like 
Right now, with the upcoming deadlines and all, 
It's harder than ever to imagine it that way
I imagine it will be a day with a light rain
You will attend on my graduation day 
I can finally say to you, "I've made it"

But now, it's hard to imagine it that way
As I called you in the middle of the night with shaky voice
Exhausted as I've been, sick as I am, being vulnerable and weak
Admitting silently that you're right. That you're always right. 
Too often I am too focused on my own track I forget about myself
Too often I am too focused and forget about you, too 

Sorry that my dreams may not align with yours
I'm not even ready to ask or to tell you that
I'm still trying to figure it all out
I know you'll always be annoyed with my choices
You never understand me the way they do 
You may never get it why I do what I do 
But in the end, when they all leave and forget me 
You'll always be the one who will stay
You'll always be the one who will pray
You'll always be the one whom I turn to

So I can't promise I can make you proud
But with all these tears and struggles, 
I simply want you to know.... in every step,
I'm doing this with thought of you
and I hope you know that


The Year of Wonderful Unknown

"Here we go, going in alone into the dark and wonderful unknown, let us go, let us go"
- Wonderful Unknown, Ingrid Michaelson

Every December for the last few years, I will start reflecting what God has been doing my life throughout the year and seeking for what He's going to do for the upcoming year. Last year made no difference. I had chickenpox at the end of November and I had extra 2 weeks to stay at home, doing nothing. That was the time when I got the chance to think and rethink everything.

I did not know why but somehow I got a blurry vision. For me at that time, 2016 seemed so blurry with every change I'd face and all. I couldn't explain it why. But all I knew, 2016 would be a leap of faith for me.

Then through the devotions and all. I was reminded over and over again of this sentence "I will be with you" from Isaiah 43. And somehow I got out of nowhere the Valley of Vision's prayer for new year:

"I launch my bark on the unknown waters of this year,
with Thee, O Father as my harbour,
Thee, O Son, at my helm,
Thee O Holy Spirit, filling my sails.
Guide me to heaven with my loins girt,
my lamp burning,
my ear open to Thy calls,
my heart full of love,
my soul free."
- part of Praying for A New Year - Puritan Prayers

then later I got this prayer from Sir Francis Drake that inspired me so much:

"Disturb us, Lord, when
We are too well pleased with ourselves,
When our dreams have come true
Because we have dreamed too little,
When we arrived safely
Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when
With the abundance of things we possess
We have lost our thirst
For the waters of life;
Having fallen in love with life,
We have ceased to dream of eternity
And in our efforts to build a new earth,
We have allowed our vision
Of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,
To venture on wider seas
Where storms will show your mastery;
Where losing sight of land,
We shall find the stars.

We ask You to push back
The horizons of our hopes;
And to push into the future
In strength, courage, hope, and love."

Somehow, I got the vision and I used the words "Wonderful Unknown" based on Ingrid Michaelson's song title (the lyrics didn't mean a lot except a story about newly wed). I barely see anything for 2016.... all things seemed so unpredictable. But I know it will be wonderful. The only predictable thing is that I know my God is good.

I think God always has something interesting when it comes to sea. Whether to find disciples, walk on the water, part the sea, calm the storm, by faith to throw the mountains in the midst of it, put someone in the belly of the whale, cast our sins, or even to describe His love. It's just the wonder, the fascination, the mystery of it. As I'm facing the uncertainties and sailing to the unknown this year, I let Him be the captain.

So basically the vision is to embark and embrace the unknown journey with known God. So the emphasis will be TRUST, EXPLORE, and REVEAL all the way of this pilgrimage. So however it will end up, whether in the belly's whale, walk on the storm, calm the raging seas, cast our sins, or even part the sea.... I will be valiant enough to go on if I'm with Him.

And through these last 4 months, I can say it's more unpredictable than ever. So many experiences that have made me to trust God more than ever. My plan got mixed-up. I had to schedule and reschedule everything. I have to trust and surrender more than I thought it would be.

Then, for exploring.... I can say I have fun doing that wkwkwk. I start it from the simple things. This year, I start eating foods from places I've never been. Or reading the books from really different point of views. Or even watching movies genres I used to dislike. Try new experiences more than ever. Talk to people I've never talked before. And I start liking some people who were once strangers. For this point, maybe all I can say I'm grateful ;)

Frankly to say, there are so many uncertainties this year. I have classes without my usual classmates, which means I have to work with new team and to meet my juniors. I have to leave SFS and my organization life and start a new campus ministry I've never known before. I have to find internships much sooner just when I thought it would be in early 2017. I have to made myself clear about my Christian worldview in order to find new place to grow in new community. I also have these never-ending questions for God about whether should I stay, should I go. It became clear that I have this heart, whether it's for traditional one, or for youths, or for Christian media. At this point, I feel like I have to leave everything that I've known to sail to the unfamiliarity. It feels like going from Jakarta & high school to moved to university all over again. I have to adapt. And to be honest, leaving comfort zone is never easy. Fighting against flesh is also not easy for me. It's hard. It's uncertain. It's so much easier said than done.

Last year I had one-word-resolution, which was : "Love". And at first I thought this year would be all about Faith. But.... however, as this year unfolds, I also learn and re-learn about love. And hope. It's just never-ending process, I guess.

If you want to know more what this year is all about : Pinterest

Here's a playlist to accompany me throughout the year :

  1. Amanda Cook - Voyage
  2. Amanda Cook - Shepherd
  3. Josh Bates - Never give up on me
  4. Steffany Gretzinger - Steady heart
  5. Steffany Gretzinger - Getting there
  6. Delirious - History maker
  7. Hillsong worship - Here with you
  8. Hillsong United - Oceans
  9. Hillsong United - Captain
  10. Hillsong Y&F - Sinking deep 
  11. Jamie Grace - You lead
  12. Bethel Music - You make me brave 
  13. Bethel Music - God I look to You
  14. Bethel Music - It is well
  15. Bethel Music - In over my head
  16. JJ Heller - This year
  17. Casting Crowns - Follow me 
  18. Casting Crowns - Voice of truth
  19. Ginny Owens - No borders
  20. Ginny Owens - Deeper 
  21. Ginny Owens - I am Yours
  22. Selah - Be thou my vision
  23. MercyMe - You know better
  24. Moriah Peters - To leave it behind
  25. Jhene Aiko - Eternal Sunshine
  26. Joe Mendick & Kyle Selig - Sailing again 
  27. Yiruma - Lord, hold my hand
  28. For King & Country - Steady
  29. For King & Country - Shoulders
  30. Sidewalk Prophets - Homeless Heart
  31. Sidewalk Prophets - Help me find it
  32. William McDowell - I give myself away
  33. Ingrid Michaelson - Wonderful Unknown
  34. JPCC Worship - More than enough
  35. Sovereign Grace - Gladly would I leave behind me
  36. Aurora - Half the world away
  37. Ivan Handojo - Pada waktunya
  38. A Great Big World - You'll be okay
  39. Worshipmob - Dream again
  40. Hall & Oates - You make my dreams
So here's to the trust without borders, to the wonders of the adventure, to the stillness of soul through the storm, to the hope as the anchor, and grace that will sink me deeper. So here's to the steady voyage as a pilgrim.  So here we go. God has been faithful then. He will be faithful still. 

Lessons Learned

terbanglah bersamaku dan belajarlah jatuh
bermimpi dan menarilah
selagi es krim stoberi itu masih tersisa di ujung bibirmu
nikmatilah hidup, sebelum hidup itu meleleh di sela - sela tanganmu
sebelum waktu memisahkan kita dari taman bermain yang bernama hidup ini

bacalah dan resapilah
obrolan di sela pelajaran sekali tak apa 
duduk bersebelah, dua tahun bersama 
berbagi kisah dongeng yang diam - diam disuka 
karena sebelum dirimu beranjak dewasa dan sadar bahwa dongeng tak pernah ada
dan realita tidak seindah di cerita - cerita orang tua 

mainkanlah frisbee itu sejauh - jauhnya
bermain selagi kau bisa, 
beranilah untuk memulai, berani untuk mengakhiri
sebelum frisbee itu kembali dan menghantam duniamu keras
seperti kenyataan pahit yang kau tahu suatu saat akan menusukmu di sisi itu lagi. 

duduklah ketika ia menawarkan bangku
atau membawa bunga, 
atau ketika ia memberi pujian 
sebelum ia pergi jauh dan mengikuti panggilan hatinya
karena sekejap saja ksatria itu akan bertandang, sebelum ia hilang
hilang selama tahunan, tanpa kabar, tanpa kejelasan 

dan temuilah dirinya di depan gereja ia menunggu
berpayung dan ia akan terus menunggu
datanglah di saat yang tepat, saat ia masih menyimpan rasa
karna apa artinya, datang di saat ia sudah tak lagi menunggu disana? 

dengarlah suaranya yang menyelinap di malam - malammu
atau suara musik yang mengalun sengaja 
sekali lagi perbedaan yang menghambat langkah 
maka sebatas sahabat sejauh itu saja 
berhentilah sebelum kau menunggu terlalu lama 
karna apa artinya, berharap sesuatu yang kau tahu tak akan bisa? 

dan perhatikan saja dari jauh
sekali - kali ia tak akan pernah tahu
jika bertatapan saja membuatmu malu
diam, dan biarkan itu berlalu

pejamkan matamu saat ia mengenggam tanganmu 
dan menarik tanganmu keluar dari ketakutan yang menghantuimu
pejamkan matamu dan tak usah kau lihat 
ketika ia kembali kepada dirinya
pejamkan, kali ini pun tak akan lama 

maka menunggu menjadi sesuatu yang biasa 
jika dari semula kau tahu perpisahan tak dapat dicegah 
tunggulah, walaupun ia takkan kembali
bersabarlah melewati hari - hari sepi

berhenti sejenak dan berefleksi
berhenti untuk tak mengulang lagi
beranilah untuk mengakhiri
berhenti ketika kamu tau itu kisah tak berujung
seperti kembang api di malam itu, ia pun akan pergi

maka ketika kamu berhasil melewati semuanya
berhentilah sejenak
dan lepaskan

lalu usai masa itu terlewati
belajar untuk memahami
belajar mensyukuri
belajar menerima sepenuh hati
belajar untuk terus memperbaiki diri
belajar untuk bangkit kembali

Dan memulai lagi. 

(Dedicated to my 11.11 :) 11.04.2016) 

And this is now.

Standing at the water's edge
I dropped my dreams when I dropped my nets
No hesitation, no regrets
I followed You
But that was then
And this is now

You washed my feet and You changed my name
I swore I'd never be the same
But just like the tides, I guess people change
Cause that was then
And this is now

I wish I could go back but I don't know how
I remember when I stood my ground
I swore I'd never let You down
I want to be that man again
But that was then
And this is now

I watched the blind man lift his head
And look his Savior in the eyes
I heard a dead man take a breath
Dropped to my knees as I watched him rise
And I felt the sea beneath my feet
As I stepped out on the angry waves
But You saw the storm raging within
You reached out and calmed me then
But this is now

Just when I thought my sin has closed the door
I see my Savior standing on the shore
With arms wide open
Just like the first time You called my name
You said that was then
And this is now

My child, I bore your cross, I wore your crown
When you couldn't come to me, my love came down
So take My hand, I'll lead you out
Cause that was then
And this is now

My child, I bore your cross, I wore your crown
You couldn't come to me so my love came down
Take my hand, I'll lead you out
You'll never be that man again
Cause that was then
And this is now
- This is now, Casting Crowns