Desiderata by Max Ehrmann

“Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.”

Desiderata by Max Ehrmann.

Definitely posted under “things I wished I had written”.


Tuhan mungkin gemas. Dia lantas memberikan jawaban-Nya: Kamu

Entah sudah berapa lama aku ingin menulis ini. Aku merasa tidak tahu bagaimana menulisnya. Bahkan ketika aku menulis kalimat ini pun aku tidak tahu apa yang kumaksud tentang “ini” – apa yang mesti dan akan kutulis. Aku hanya tahu bahwa aku menuliskan ini kepadamu.

Kubiarkan tulisan ini bergulir.
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I used to think that we were just opening child-friendly libraries …

[Bahasa Indonesia]

PSX_20180218_180619Hard to digest that it has been more than eight years since I started accompanying the Rainbow Reading Gardens (Taman Bacaan Pelangi, TBP) in its journey. Each year, I set aside time to visit our* libraries. For me, personally, those visits are crucial. They serve as a reminder of why I am doing all these.

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Dulu saya berpikir kami sekadar membuka perpustakaan ramah anak …


PSX_20180218_180619Tak terasa, sudah delapan tahun lebih saya mengiringi Taman Bacaan Pelangi bertumbuh. Setiap tahun, saya selalu menyempatkan diri untuk mengunjungi perpustakaan kami*. Bagi saya pribadi, kunjungan-kunjungan tersebut penting. Mereka mengingatkan saya kembali kenapa saya melakukan semua ini.

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To my sister on her birthday

[English below]

Hari ini, kakak saya berulang tahun.

Ketika bulan lalu kamantara mengadakan acara, kami diminta merespon skenario ini: Bayangkan bila semua sudah melanjutkan perjalanan dan kita tinggal sendiri di bumi. Kita diberi kekuatan untuk membawa kembali lima orang. Siapa saja dan kenapa? Orang pertama yang saya tulis adalah kakak saya ini.

Kenapa? Pikir saya, kalau ada Andien, saya pasti tenang. Dia akan tahu mesti melakukan apa. Dia selalu bisa berimbang dalam membebaskan dan merengkuh. Dia akan tahu maunya saya apa; tapi akan memberi ruang bagi kegalauan dan keunikan saya.

Saya juga tahu dari hati terdalam, dia selalu menyayangi saya apa ada saya dan menjaga. Aman dan nyaman rasanya. Berlaku dua arah. Masih banyak lagi yang bisa saya katakan untuk menjawab kenapa.

Sejujurnya, tidak ada kata yang bisa mengungkapkan betapa berharganya dia bagi saya; betapa bersyukurnya saya bahwa dia ada dalam hidup saya.

Hari ini kakak saya berulang tahun. Selamat ulang tahun, Andien. Semoga sehat dan bahagia selalu. Dijaga baik-baik oleh Tuhan yang Maha Pengasih, Maha Penyayang.

Semoga saya bisa menjadi adik yang lebih baik lagi.


Today is my sister’s birthday.

When last month kamantara held an event, we were asked to respond to the following scenario: Imagine everyone else have continued their journey away from earth. You are alone on earth. You have been given to bring five people back to earth to help rebuild the earth. Whom would you bring back and why? My sister was the first person that came to mind.

Why? I thought, “If she is around, I would be at peace. She would know what to do. She can always balance between freeing and embracing. She would know what I want/need. She would provide space for all my uncertainties and uniqueness.

I also know deep in my heart that she would always love me as I am and care for me. It feels safe. It feels comfortable. And it works both ways — me to her.”

There are many more words I can say to respond to why. In all honestly, however, there is no word to express how precious she is to me; how grateful I am to have her in my life.

Today is her birthday. Happy birthday, Andien. May health and happiness be ever yours. Well cared for by God, The Compassionate, The Merciful.

May I be an even better sister to you.