Selasa, 22 Desember 2015

Article#497 - Nadir

Hening bersambut gigil menyapa keseluruhan jalan.
Langkah kaki yang menapak di malam itu bukanlah langkah yang tangguh. Terseok ragu, tersipu meniti kerikil tajam bernama kelanjutan hidup.

Mendaras ragu gemintang yang gemilang menaburi tirai malam, akan lebih dari cukup untuk memberitahu sesiapa di jalan itu akan waktu yang menderu. Sesiapa yang tetap bergerak menantang beku bertalu. Tetapi sosok itu, sosok yang bertopang di atas kaki goyahnya itu, tak mau tahu menahu.
Malam terus menukik terjerembab menuju gelap. Rerumputan di pinggir jalan pun menderik keriut. Hijau yang menatahinya di masa jaya telah lama pudar diterkam raksa yang terus terjun. Dicabik-cabik angin barat yang membeku. Dihunjamkan ke tanah oleh tapak-tapak lugu.

Sosok itu terus menapaki seantero jalan. Menghadapi malam yang paling panjang. Menghadapi tergelincirnya Matahari ke kedudukan terendah dalam medan pandangnya. Ia menapaki kenyataan ketika ia mengalir perlahan menuju gorong pikiran yang tak terselamatkan. Ia menghadapi kebekuan yang terus menggurat rekah tajam menghias kulit keringnya. Sayat yang terus menganga, makin dalam menjerat pinta manusia menuju datangnya semburat surya.
Ia menyapa pagi yang segera tiba, menggamit tirai malam angkasa menjelang fajar. Secercah sinar yang menyinari lansekap dunia sekitar. Sama sepertinya, dunia sekitar itu kering, menggigil, dan bertahan dalam kerapuhan bangunnya.

Ia memaki. Persetan akan segala macam buai angan! Jika yang bisa mereka semua lakukan hanya memicu delusi berkepanjangan dalam kepala. Lupakan segala macam kalimat pemanis soal adanya arah atas. Lupakan segala penyemangat yang didengungkan dengan menguras harta dari mereka yang gelap mata. Lupakan segala basa-basi yang tak kaudengungkan sepenuh hati, berpura-pura simpati, memasang tampang peduli, setelah itu pergi, tiada sekali kembali.

Menjelang sebuah pagi yang sunyi, tiada nadir sudi merambat naik.
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Minggu, 20 Desember 2015

Article#496 - Screw Finding Your Passion

by Mark Manson

Remember back when you were a kid? You would just do things. You never thought to yourself, “What are the relative merits of learning baseball versus football?” You just ran around the playground and played baseball and football. You built sand castles and played tag and asked silly questions and looked for bugs and dug up grass and pretended you were a sewer monster.

Nobody told you to do it, you just did it. You were led merely by your curiosity and excitement.
And the beautiful thing was, if you hated baseball, you just stopped playing it. There was no guilt involved. There was no arguing or debate. You either liked it, or you didn’t.
And if you loved looking for bugs, you just did that. There was no second-level analysis of, “Well, is looking for bugs really what I should be doing with my time as a child? Nobody else wants to look for bugs, does that mean there’s something wrong with me? How will looking for bugs affect my future prospects?”
There was no bullshit. If you liked something, you just did it.
Today I received approximately the 11,504th email this year from a person telling me that they don’t know what to do with their life. And like all of the others, this person asked me if I had any ideas of what they could do, where they could start, where to “find their passion.”
And of course, I didn’t respond. Why? Because I have no fucking clue. If you don’t have any idea what to do with yourself, what makes you think some jackass with a website would? I’m a writer, not a fortune teller.
But more importantly, what I want to say to these people is this: that’s the whole point — “not knowing” is the whole fucking point. Life is all about not knowing, and then doing something anyway. All of life is like this. All of it. And it’s not going to get any easier just because you found out you love your job cleaning septic tanks or you scored a dream gig writing indie movies.
The common complaint among a lot of these people is that they need to ‘find their passion.’
I call bullshit. You already found your passion, you’re just ignoring it. Seriously, you’re awake 16 hours a day, what the fuck do you do with your time? You’re doing something, obviously. You’re talking about something. There’s some topic or activity or idea that dominates a significant amount of your free time, your conversations, your web browsing, and it dominates them without you consciously pursuing it or looking for it.
It’s right there in front of you, you’re just avoiding it. For whatever reason, you’re avoiding it. You’re telling yourself, “Oh well, yeah, I love comic books but that doesn’t count. You can’t make money with comic books.”
Fuck you, have you even tried?
The problem is not a lack of passion for something. The problem is productivity. The problem is perception. The problem is acceptance.
The problem is the, “Oh, well that’s just not a realistic option,” or “Mom and Dad would kill me if I tried to do that, they say I should be a doctor” or “That’s crazy, you can’t buy a BMW with the money you make doing that.”
The problem isn’t passion. It’s never passion.
It’s priorities.
And even then, who says you need to make money doing what you love? Since when does everyone feel entitled to love every fucking second of their job? Really, what is so wrong with working an OK normal job with some cool people you like, and then pursuing your passion in your free time on the side? Has the world turned upside-down or is this not suddenly a novel idea to people?
Look, here’s another slap in the face for you: every job sucks sometimes. There’s no such thing as some passionate activity that you will never get tired of, never get stressed over, never complain about. It doesn’t exist. I am living my dream job (which happened by accident, by the way. I never in a million years planned on this happening; like a kid on a playground I just went and tried it), and I still hate about 30% of it. Some days more.
Again, that’s just life.

The issue here is, once again, expectations. If you think you’re supposed to be working 70-hour work weeks and sleeping in your office like Steve Jobs and loving every second of it, you’ve been watching too many shitty movies. If you think you’re supposed to wake up every single day dancing out of your pajamas because you get to go to work, then you’ve been drinking the Kool-Aid. Life doesn’t work like that. It’s just unrealistic. There’s a thing most of us need called balance.
I have a friend who, for the last three years, has been trying to build an online businessselling whatever. It hasn’t been working. And by not working, I mean he’s not even launching anything. Despite years of “work” and saying he’s going to do this or that, nothing actually ever gets done.
What does get done is when one of his former co-workers comes to him with a design job to create a logo or design some promotional material for an event. Holy shit, he’s all over that like flies on fresh cow shit.
And he does a great job! He stays up to 4:00 AM losing himself working on it and loving every second of it.
But then two days later it’s back to, “Man, I just don’t know what I’m supposed to do.”
I meet so many people like him. He doesn’t need to find his passion. His passion already found him. He’s just ignoring it. He just refuses to believe it’s viable. He is just afraid of giving it an honest-to-god try.
It’s like a nerdy kid walking onto a playground and saying, “Well, bugs are really cool, but NFL players make more money, so I should force myself to play football every day,” and then coming home and complaining that he doesn’t like recess.
And that’s bullshit. Everybody likes recess. The problem is that he’s arbitrarily choosing to limit himself based on some bullshitty ideas he got into his head about success and what he’s supposed to do.
Another email I get all the time is from people wanting advice on how to become a writer.
And my answer is the same: I have no fucking idea.
As a kid, I would write short stories in my room for fun. As a teenager, I would write music reviews and essays about bands I loved and then show them to nobody. Once the internet came around, I spent hours upon hours on forums writing multi-page posts about inane topics – everything from guitar pickups to the causes of the Iraq War.
I never considered writing as a potential career. I never even considered it a hobby or passion. To me, the things I wrote about were my passion: music, politics, philosophy. Writing was just something I did because I felt like it.
And when I had to go looking for a career I could fall in love with, I didn’t have to look far. In fact, I didn’t have to look at all. It chose me, in a way. It was already there. Already something I was doing every day, since I was a kid, without even thinking about it.
Because here’s another point that might make a few people salty: If you have to look for what you’re passionate about, then you’re probably not passionate about it at all.
If you’re passionate about something, it will already feel like such an ingrained part of your life that you will have to be reminded by people that it’s not normal, that other people aren’t like that.
It didn’t occur to me that writing 2,000 word posts on forums was something nobody else considered fun. It never occurred to my friend that designing a logo is something that most people don’t find easy or fun. To him, it’s so natural that he can’t even imagine it being otherwise. And that’s why it’s probably what he really should be doing.
A child does not walk onto a playground and say to herself, “How do I find fun?” She just goes and has fun.
If you have to look for what you enjoy in life, then you’re not going to enjoy anything.
And the real truth is that you already enjoy something. You already enjoy many things. You’re just choosing to ignore them.
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Rabu, 16 Desember 2015

Article#495 - Mari Kembali

Ada orang yang sibuk mencebur raga pada persimpangan Shibuya
Ada orang yang meluapkan jiwa mengembara Matsushima
Tapi aku ingin ceburkan hidupku menyandingmu
Ceritakan senarai serdadu nurani yang linglung
Hadapi perginya hari yang masih misteri
Dari kerlip berkas mentari di muka danau Kawaguchi

Ada gembok yang meranggas karat di Guru Kinayan
Ada martir menua di selasar jalanan sepi Suriah
Tapi aku ingin alurkan tua hidupku hinggamu
Setelah segala warna dalam perjalanan panjang
Menertawakan dunia beserta diri kita di dalamnya
Menuju akhir dari segala yang tak satu nyatapun semu

Mari kembali, dekap mimpiku
Kita yang bertukar canda, yang pernah bahagia, menghidupiku
Tegaklah menantang masa depan yang orang bilang kelam
Menggapai langit tinggi di balik kabut
Kita tidak merugi karena sesiapa
Kita tidak meninggalkan apa-apa

sumber gambar
Diadaptasi dan dimanipulasi secara serampangan dari puisi karya Soe Hok Gie, 1969.

Hari 7554, meresapi dingin pengembaraan.
Rabu, 16 Desember 2015, 06:48 (UT+9)
38°16'48.49"N, 140°50'54.71"E
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Minggu, 13 Desember 2015

Article#494 - Pyrocumulus

The ultimate reason behind the generation of this particular post is simple: I was awestruck by the picture of Etna (upper) I found while I was doing my daily activity. (When I said "activity", in reality I refer to my daily schedule of rolling and whatnot on the bed as if there's no tomorrow, but it is not up for discussion here.) Granted, I have been strolling around photos of volcanic eruptions from years to years. But it seems that as time progress, either volcanic eruptions become more photogenic, or daredevil photographers had enough of its time to hone their skills to perfection. Well, technically nothing was perfect, but it seems that this particular photo was more than enough to help Etna build its own monument of volcanological honour.

Ultimately, a single post dedicated to an eruption column would be so blatant that it can be considered a form of worshipping. Therefore, I reckon that it would be a nice gesture to introduce another eruption column—which, albeit is different enough to be distinguishable, is still worthy of its own might. So there it was, Calbuco (lower), which precedes the eruption of Etna by about 7 months.

I didn't manage to find another display-worthy eruption column from this year's eruptions to be put into this exhibition, so I'll leave you guys up with these fellows. Enjoy while it lasts. Gosh, of course I 'm not talking about the eruption.

It has been a while since the last posts bragging about any sort of volcanological expertise in this web log. So, to spice things up, I let a nice chunk of etymological approach to end this post: while many of us will easily draw the lines connecting the term pyrocumulus to the somewhat more infamous pyroclastic flow (which, then again, scientifically is a pyroclastic density current) due to the pyro- prefix, the term simply comes from the bilingual compound of Greek pyro ("fire") and Latin cumulo ("heap" or "pile"; subsequently used to refer to "cloud"). Which translates to "fire cloud", and yeah, it means any kind of fire, not exclusively of volcanic origin.

But they look awesome, though. I won't argue on that.

So see you on the next posts, perhaps.
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Kamis, 10 Desember 2015

Article#493 - Reparasi

Melangkah dalam ketergesaan, mengambil rehat dalam keterpaksaan.
Ketika kau memutuskan untuk mengambil sebuah tajuk yang teramat umum didengar untuk digunakan mengawali sebuah karya tulisan, barangkali kau akan tergelak dalam sembarang saat, memandangnya sebagai usaha melawak. Usaha melawak untuk membuat orang tertawa mungkin adalah salah satu cara yang terdengar menyedihkan bagi seseorang dalam meraih atensi atau eksistensinya di sebuah komunitas. Tetapi, menilik kenyataan yang terjadi di awal tulisan ini, sebuah situasi yang agaknya lebih menyedihkan—khususnya dari sudut pandang kepenulisan—memang sedang merambahi diri.

Kita bisa saja menghabiskan sekian waktu membual akan perlunya masa reses setelah keaktifan yang sekian lama, demi menjaga kelangsungan kualitas dari karya yang ditelurkan. Tetapi, seringkali ia didapati sebagai kalimat jitu pengelak dari kebuntuan yang sedang dihadapi dalam menjaga ketekunan. Entah makhluk bengal dari mana ketekunan itu, dan kenapa dia perlu mendapat serapahnya di dalam tulisan ini, bukanlah sesuatu yang perlu dibicarakan secara dalam. Tidak ketika ada isu yang lebih besar untuk diredam: isu menjaga harga diri dengan terus memproduksi.
Kita bisa saja berkilah bahwa kita telah terlarut dalam berbagai kegiatan beraneka rupa. Silakan saja deskripsikan dengan terang, bagaimana tiap kerut dinamikanya mengerat sepotong demi sepotong dari waktu berharga yang bisa dihabiskan untuk sekian banyak hal. Kemudian kita sibuk menghabiskan waktu yang tersisa untuk menyalahkan segala macam kesibukan dalam hidup; hal yang jika dipikir, tidaklah layak masuk dalam daftar kegiatan tiap-tiap kita manusia yang jernih akalnya.

Di kemudian cerita, kita mendapati sisa waktu yang terus mengerucut menuju pemberhentian, sebagai pemicu berkobarnya nyala. Kembali memantik secercah sisa semangat yang telah lama pudar sinarnya, terbuai oleh kita yang berdelusi akan ketidakbisaan dalam menguatkan tekad. Membakar segenap alasan, menjadi awal dari robohnya dinding tunakarya yang selama ini kita singgahi, kita permaki, kita sandari sebagai fondasi. Fondasi gila yang menemani diri berfantasi, melenakan diri dari apa-apa yang menjadikan tiap detik berarti.
Tiap-tiap kita menggeber diri terlalu rupa. Hingga membuat jiwa terlupa akan raga.

Maka izinkan tiap-tiap kita untuk mengambil nafas. Menghirup molekul-molekul yang bergelimpangan membetulkan segala macam rusak yang tercipta dari kita yang terlalu memaksa. Memberi jiwa yang terejawantah dari sadar yang mengampu cita.
Menjalankan kembali roda kehidupan dalam warna yang terbarukan.

And all the roads that lead you there were winding
And all the lights that light the way are blinding
There are many things that I would like to say to you
But I don't know how

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