Blog Renovation Plan

You might be surprised at the new look of this blog today.

Yes, I’ve just put on the new WordPress theme. And that’s part of the renovation plan I am implementing for this blog. It’s been years since I tweaked this personal blog of mine and I think it’s time I did something about it.

And what are the other parts of the plan?

Well, I plan to simplify – reduce the number of – the categories of its content. I think I have too many of them here. Some categories have too few posts in them. They are too specific. I plan to delete some of these categories and let the posts be attached to the bigger categories.

Will this rearrangement of categories affect the blog’s ranking? Visibility? Search engines friendliness?

I don’t know. I am not a professional blogger in that sense. I just blog and write whatever I think I need to write and share with my audience. I believe that if they are useful and interesting, somebody will somehow find them there. I am just a voice among millions (billions?) of voices out there. I don’t need to be prominent if anything I say is not of any importance. Besides, this is a personal blog. I don’t think my blog should or would be more prominent than the real contribution I can make to the world. I just need to leave a trace of my existence – that I am here or was here when I die; that I am a feeling and thinking being; that, as a member of the human race, I care about others and the time and place I happen to live in.

Aaah … there you are the lofty and idealist part of me have begun to show off. I have to stop here. Otherwise I’ll go on rambling about inconsequential things.

Anyway, dear readers, if you have any suggestions about what I should or should not do in this renovation plan, please let me know. Thanks.

Small

What if I say, everything begins small?

We might take it for granted that everyday things are what they are: some small, some big, and some are in between. 

Think again!

Everything begins small. Those big things and everything else there is begin small.

Our existence begins with a small dot (much, much smaller than a dot, in fact). The universe that we know – the space and time we live in – was nothing but a small dot, which exploded and has since expanded so enormously that we barely know where and when its edges are.

Everything begins small. And it’s all right to be small. It’s the natural order of things. Just don’t forget to grow or band together with others so that you can be significant and play your intended role in the natural order of the universe.

Pijat

Gara-gara sakit punggung, hari ini saya pijat. Sudah tiga hari ini punggung bagian bawah terasa sakit dan paha terasa kaku.

Saya coba ingat-ingat apakah beberapa hari sebelum itu saya ada mengangkat beban berat atau melakukan gerakan yang salah. Tidak ada.

Mungkin saya terlalu sedenter dan kurang gerak. Mungkin. Saya memang kurang suka olahraga. Pekerjaan saya juga tidak menuntut saya banyak bergerak.

Saat sakit seperti itu tentu saja saya tidak bisa tiba-tiba langsung banyak bergerak, apalagi berolahraga. Badan terlalu sakit.

Akhirnya saya putuskan untuk mendatangi tukang pijat.

Sambil dipijat, saya mengobrol dengannya. Dia bilang tampaknya saya mengalami pengentalan darah. Bekam kering yang dia lakukan menunjukkan tanda-tanda itu.

Gawat!

Dulu saya pernah mengalami itu, dan dokter yang merawat saya bilang, saya bisa tiba-tiba mengalami stroke kalau saya tidak memperbaiki jenis makanan yang saya konsumsi dan berolahraga teratur.

Dua bulan saya diet ketat dan berolahraga hingga kondisi gawat itu teratasi. Tapi setelah itu, cara makan saya melonggar lagi. Saya juga tidak berolahraga teratur lagi.

Tampaknya saya harus mulai mengatur makanan saya lagi, dan berolahraga. Dan kali ini bukan untuk sebulan dua bulan. Makanan sehat dan olahraga harus menjadi bagian penting dari gaya hidup saya. Karena faktor u, saya harus lebih disiplin dan konsisten menjaga kesehatan saya. Saya tidak ingin terkena stroke.

A Torn Page

It’s the rebel in me. And the coward. Both don’t go together, I know. That’s why I look like a ripped page torn from a book. I don’t belong here or there. Not in the book nor alone.

I’m an awkward page in the book, but on my own I’m not a complete page. The writing on it is unclear, disconnected, and without contexts.

Let me know a good writer who can turn this page into a readable piece, a moving prose, a soaring poem, or even just a banal essay.

I need to live. Really live.

Old Bitter Man

I don’t want to be bitter and full of blames when I grow old. I don’t.

I saw that frail old man today. Angry at what the past had done to him. Angry at what he missed. Angry at the man he thought had prevented him from becoming his best. He was bitter. And full of regrets.

“Will I be him?” I asked myself.

“You can’t! You mustn’t! But you just might,” my alter ego said.

I am at this junction right now. Doubts abound. And there are no directions or signs to follow. Blindfolded by my own thoughts and ego, I must take the step and make a choice. Will this be? Or will that be?

No, I can’t afford to grow old bitter and full of blames. Like that frail old man I saw today.

Idul Fitri, Mudik, dan Macet

Kejadiannya setiap tahun sama, kan? Well, mirip mungkin kalau dilihat dari angka-angkanya. Tapi bagi saya, sama: Idul Fitri, mudik, dan macet – tiga serangkai yang selalu terjadi setiap tahun. 

Tahun ini tampaknya kejadiannya lebih parah daripada tahun yang lalu. 20 – 30 jam macet di satu titik? Sungguh mengerikan! Kehabisan bensin, tak mandi, buang air di mana, makan apa saja yang ada … Masih bisakah dianggap sebagai romantika?

Ingin aku membongkar tradisi. Tak perlu mudik! Pasti tak akan ada macet!

Tapi siapa aku? Tradisi adalah kekuatan maha dahsyat yang tak mungkin dilawan. Ia mampu mengendalikan orang-orang seperti remote control mengendalikan robot atau mobil mainan. Rasio, pengalaman empiris, dan analisa sungguh tak ada daya.

Tapi, hei! Ini bukan salah tradisi juga! 

Mudik adalah air bah yang tumpah ruah dari bendungan-bendungan bernama kota. Ia seperti banjir yang datang setiap musim hujan. Apakah musim dan hujan dapat kita salahkan?

Tentu kita tak dapat menyalahkan musim yang memang seharusnya bergulir, atau hujan yang sudah waktunya datang, bukan? Tapi kita tahu apa yang perlu kita lakukan untuk menyambutnya: membuat, memperbaiki, membersihkan saluran air, bendungan, dan sungai agar air yang datang bisa menjadi rahmat dan bukan justru bencana.

Aku pikir seharusnya  mudik pun diperlakukan seperti itu, bisa dihitung. Apalagi kejadiannya berulang dan berpola setiap tahun. Berapa kapasitas bendungan? Berapa kapasitas jalan-jalan air yang bisa menampung luapannya? Berapa jumlah mobil dan motor di kota? Berapa persen yang kira-kira akan keluar dan dalam masa berapa hari? Manage that! Bikin regulasi, atur. Aku kira bisa. Paling tidak, diantisipasi lah biar tidak sampai menimbulkan bencana dan kesusahan.

Perbaiki transportasi umum, batasi penjualan mobil dan sepeda motor, perbaiki dan perbanyak jalan … Saya kira bisa dilakukan. Kadang-kadang rumit dan agak sulit memang, karena kepentingan-kepentingan yang mendapat keuntungan dari buruknya transportasi umum tentu tak mau kehilangan keuntungan itu begitu saja. Tapi kalau ada banyak negara yang sudah bisa melakukannya, kenapa kita tidak? Di mana ada kemauan, di situ pasti ada jalan, bukan?

Bukan? Aaah ….

Why Convincing Yourself Can Be More Difficult Than Convincing Others?

Sometimes convincing yourself can be a lot harder than convincing others. I did not realize this until quite recently when I had to make a difficult decision about myself, about which direction to take at a pivotal junction in my life. Part of me, the driver, wants to go this way; the other part of me, the passenger, wants to go the other way.

It would have been easier if these conflicting parts were two separate entities. Unfortunately, of course, they are not.  Both are me. The driver and the passenger are one and the same person who wants nothing but the best for himself.

But the best is often a contested ground even with ourselves. The best according to whom or what?

The obvious answer is of course the best in my own perspective. However, more often than not, our perspective is not a singular and unified entity –  it can be divergent and split.

We’d often like to think that we and what we are, that is the person and the identity, as a single and inseparable entity. Alas, we are not.

We the person is an unknown and unreachable noumenon. We can only know what it is through the identities that it has come to assume through the formative experiences that we have experienced. Our identities are phenomena both in the sense of observable symptoms or manifestations and the formative forces that shape them.

In the above sense, our identities are dynamic because they are subject to the forces that shape them. Their manifestations are reflective of those forces.

I think it is these forces that are actually in conflict when it comes to making the decision about what is the best for ‘me’. It is basically a phenomenon or symptom in which an element force of our identity does not agree with another or some other element forces within the ‘I-me-my system’. And because a system is supposed to be a whole in which its  parts are linked and work together in support of the whole,  disagreements between or among its elements become disruptive; and because they are supposed to support the same system, such a disagreement become more difficult to reconcile.