Thursday, October 15, 2015

Stop Asking What The Dead Wants

The living live in shoeboxes, unable to stretch their legs or jump without the fear of waking up those below.
One on top of each other.
Stacked up high.
Children grow up in concrete hallways, forbidden to kick balls around or slide through snow.
Trees are no longer climbed, instead they are chopped for another set of shoeboxes.

The living fight to live.
The price of living skyrockets.
As wages freeze or decline.
Even the haves battle over quality of life.
Over the most comforting sanctuary.
Over freedom to live.

The living bury the dead.
Building shrines and taking up fields.
Though a coffin resembles the shoebox they know so well.
The dead are not stacked up so high.
Many even have the luxury of being the first to be stored underground.

The dead occupy the land.
Is respect somehow earned by dying?
Is freedom somehow achieved by dying?
Is privacy somehow awarded by dying?

Tradition reserves lands for the dead.
Let's leave at that!
But what about empty chairs and tables?
What about dusty mugs and ashtrays?
Are we to put them aside once the frequent user dies?

Are we to tiptoe around office space previously occupied by the dead, when there aren't much left?
Are we to reserve seats at the dinner table, as the family continue to grow?
Are the living supposed to provide space that can't be given?

Material, we can do with less.
The living can continue living in shoeboxes, stacked atop each other.
So long as the dead are rewarded their rightful place of rest, the living can live with ever shrinking place of rest.

What about the intangible?
Can the living save all the decision making to the dead?
Should the living live under the shadows of the dead?

And don't even start with asking what the dead would want.

*Images were provided by the author

Friday, October 9, 2015

IndonesiaMengglobal: Scheduling fear in

It's hard to believe that my (nearly) monthly entry to Indonesia Mengglobal took a pause for more than a year. Taking on other responsibilities distanced me from writing, the thing that made it possible for me to be part of this increasingly impressive organization. But, a glitch in one of the Content Director's schedule made it possible for a draft written in early 2015 to be published earlier this month.

"Jangan Mati Kutu Sebelum Mendaftar" was written in Bahasa Indonesia to let readers know that dreams often perish due to a simple loss of faith.

Ironic, isn't it? I should be last person writing this piece because I should be the last person to talk about conquering fears. A constant scheduler, to-do-list writer, and tactic maker, in some ways, I conquer my fears in very minute, yet concrete steps. I am the most frightened wall scaler, as I hold on to rationalized strategies.

Yet, perhaps, this whole issue on authority is better saved for a different time.

For now, know that even the scardiest-cats succeeded in finishing two degrees in four years with a bit of push and a bit of anxious scheduling.

For now, I shall translate the piece for you to further peruse.

*The image was taken as a screenshot from