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So I was reading this article and I’m going to quote a few words from there. It goes something like this:

 

The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally inhumanely sensitive. To them… a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, create – so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or building or something of meaning, their very breath is cut off… They must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency they are not really alive unless they are creating.”

 

Now I don’t claim myself to be a creative person. Well I try to create this and that here and there, spending a good amount of hours at it, with a huge amount of joy doing it. But still, me considering myself as someone creative just doesn’t feel right. I get paid taking photographs, but me calling myself a photographer is like giving myself a title good for nothing but burden. I let others do that if they feel I deserve it. If they don’t think I deserve it, I’m just a guy with a camera. But, I LOVE creating pictures.

I could hear a whisper in my ears saying,

“psst, dude, I think this is a great space to post one of your photographs.

You know, so that they know you really love taking pictures.”

Anyways, what mostly caught my interest in those words I quoted from Pearl Buck up there was the first notion. The “a human creature born abnormally inhumanely sensitive” part. I don’t know if it’s even close to pathetic, but I have this tendency: If I fly, I fly high. And if I fall, I fall face first. And that happens a lot! You read Pearl Buck wrote “and failure is death” up there? Friends, I died so many times! To me everything just go way way way waaay farther then they probably should have.

 

Alright, that’s the inciting incident right there. The moment I read the article was when I go, “Horseshit! Someone understands!!” Geez, Dhika. It’s Pearl S. Buck. Of course she understands! But really, it’s when I feel like there’s somewhat a justification for my condition. Being an overly abnormally sensitive human being. Problem is, I have to CREATE to be able to fall into that category which deserves the condition. Other words, if I keep on being inhumanely sensitive like this and can’t in any way, shape, or form change it, then for Pete’s sake, CREATE! Otherwise I’m just a wimp. Hey, I’m good at this. Making a total ass out of myself.  -note to self: create.

 

 

 

 

 

I should probably post a photo of me while taking pictures here to emphasize the point.

Moving on. For at least a year now I’ve been engaging myself with something so amazingly interesting. It started when I feel as if there’s a strong loud noise pounding from within me banging my head in every direction. As if myself or my body or my mind is screaming so loudly but I DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT IT’S SAYING TO ME! Without exaggeration, it could be so depressing at times. Perhaps the overly sensitive condition mentioned above played a good role here. Being depressed is worse than paid sex, trust me. Although I’ve never paid. The sex, not the depressed part. And it’s not because I ran away that I managed to not having to pay for the sex. It’s just. Alright, you got the point. I can’t really figure that out. The depression, not the sex. As we all know, right, shit has a way of happening. So, as a privileged-by-the-overwhelming-access-of-information-living-in-the-21st-century human being, I did my research. I searched for the cure. Of course I found “Pictures Of You” and was jumping up and down for a short while, but then I looked for the real cure.

I scavenged around for anything, anything at all that could help me out. I feel like I need to mention this; at that moment of my life, I was against religion. I decided long ago to get out of Law school because I found out it was a lot easier to become a judge by joining a religion. And then things got ugly. So that’s one place I didn’t go to to find help. But the pounding keeps getting harder and harder! You know what scientists say? In our brains, there’s something that they call the God Spot. You just can’t let that part inside you ignored for too long, friends. At least I couldn’t. Yes there’s new arguments that say there’s no such thing as God Spot, but let me just, if I may, quote Brick Johnstone, a professor who contests this idea of God Spot. He said after his research, “this suggests spiritual experiences are associated with a decreased focus on the self. This is consistent with many religious texts that suggest people should concentrate on the well-being of others rather than on themselves.”

 

Turns out I was doing something not correctly. I shouldn’t equalize God with religion! And furthermore, I shouldn’t look at just one religion! Why don’t I just study them and let them help me find my peace. So I pulled myself out of the chaos, took my moments of silence, you know that breath-in-breath-out-focus-on-the-exhale-and-let-go sort of thing. And I found peace. Remember I was looking for the cure? Well I found peace. So soothing. A vision! Or more like a mission! I felt the urge to get this spiritual hole in me filled!

 

So what in the hell am I trying to say here? First talking about creativity and its melancholy soul who pursues it, anti-religion, God Spot, etc, etc. Here’s this. I find it really calming my mind WHEN I CAN decrease my focus on the self. It’s not as easy as I thought it would be though, hence the capitalized and underlined “when I can” there. *It seems like a waste capitalizing and underlining those words and then explaining it with a complete long sentence. To be able to do this “decreasing my focus on the self” at will really takes a lot of practice. And I am merely a beginner struggling my way there. To receive with simplicity whatever it is that happens to me. No over excitement, no over sadness. To think that whatever it is, good or bad, the universe is always conspiring for my benefit.

 

Now having that said, does that mean I kill this creative nature within me (if I could just once, for the sake of the premise, consider myself a creative person)? Because basically being inhumanely sensitive like how Pearl Buck mentioned above is somewhat inhumanely selfish, isn’t it? Being so self focused? Or should we just go on and say, hey, even one of them, one of the great ones, let alone the wannabes, admitted it herself, that they’re born abnormal anyways? Who cares about them? Horseshit!

 

Can a zen master become a great painter?

 

IMG_7245_LR

~ dk

CONVERSATION WITH DEATH

 

EXT. PARK, WHERE YOU COULD SEE CITY LIGHTS – NIGHT

MICHAEL GRANT, a 30-year-old man, sits on a bench. A little drunk. A bottle of hard liquor is next to him, half empty. The sounds of flowing water and nocturnal animals are distinct. A MYSTERIOUS MAN, walks towards Michael and sits next to him.

MYSTERIOUS MAN

Long night?

MICHAEL

Excuse me?

MYSTERIOUS MAN

Oh, I’m sorry. I can’t help but notice your pain. You look like you’re so unease, like you’re dealing with huge problems.

MICHAEL

Who are you? Do I know you?

MYSTERIOUS MAN

You sure you want to know who I am?

MICHAEL

Well not really, but if you’re being nosy then I think I want to know who you are.

MYSTERIOUS MAN

I’m Death.

MICHAEL

You mean you’re dead! That is if you don’t stop this bullshit. Look, I’m really not in the mood for this kind of joke. Please, just leave me alone. Go scare that old lady around the corner.

MYSTERIOUS MAN

No, seriously. I am Death. THE Grim Reaper.

The Mysterious Man points his finger at a tree and the tree dies. Michael falls off the bench and is greatly terrified.

MICHAEL

Oh shit!! Is this the end for me?

MYSTERIOUS MAN

-from this point forward is known as DEATH-

Ssshhh.. Calm down. Ssshh now. Come back up here.

Death tries to comfort Michael and helps him back to the bench. After a long silence, Michael eventually tries to pull himself together. He tries to accept what’s going on and starts to calm down.

MICHAEL

I guess this is how it goes for me. All alone, drunk, and totally fucked up. What a loser. Can I at least have a cigarette first? This shit is going to be my last one. At least I’m not out because of lung cancer like those people at work always told me.

Death lights Michael’s cigarette.

DEATH

Any regrets?

MICHAEL

Many.

DEATH

That sucks.

MICHAEL

Look, just cut the crap, alright?! Let me finish this cigarette first and then you go ahead and have at me.

DEATH

Easy there, Mr. Poopy Pants.

MICHAEL

Whatever.

DEATH

You know I could come and get you anytime, ya?

MICHAEL

Pfftt! Tell me something I don’t know.

DEATH

Why don’t you tell me about those regrets.

Death talks calmly and pats Michael’s shoulder.

MICHAEL

I feel like I owe a lot of apologies, you know. To all those friends I’ve hurt, I treated them like dirt. All those words I’ve spewed, nothing sacred or true. All the love I’ve lost because I was trying to play boss.

Michael bursts into tears.

DEATH

Tell me what would you do differently then?

MICHAEL

I don’t know. I mean, I thought I was doing what’s right.

DEATH

And sometimes what you thought was right turned out to be totally wrong.

MICHAEL

I guess. I just wish I could get another chance though. To try and fix those mess.

DEATH

Tsss… I don’t know about that. Second chances don’t come very often. And besides, you said you didn’t know how you’d do things differently.

MICHAEL

Maybe I should probably stop trying to be right. Since many times I didn’t know what’s right anyways. I should just try to be happy instead. Be satisfied in giving and not focus on taking. Especially because you are tailgating me all the time. I’m really working on this ego-centered side of me, you know. I really am. I despise that value in me so much. I heard we don’t get many chances in doing good deeds. I just hope I recognize them anytime they come my way. So I don’t waste my opportunities.

DEATH

I thought you’ve known about all this for a while?

MICHAEL

Yes! Yes, I have! But I was just a novice, OK! My ground was merely weak. I got carried away with all those expectations again and I forgot everything about this! Gosh, why was I so stupid? It’s all too fucking late now. You’re here. Is this really my stop?

DEATH

Nah, this is not your time yet. Some other time. I was just checking on you, Kiddo. Go on and live by what you told me just now. Next time I see you again and I ask you if there’s any regrets, what will you say?

MICHAEL

No regrets!

DEATH

Good boy. Remember, I’m always next to you.

 

END “CONVERSATION WITH DEATH”

 

~ dk

MEMENTO

pl –tos, -toes

Noun: Something that reminds one of a person or event.

Synonyms: Souvenir, Remembrance, Keepsake, Token, Reminder.

 

Fullerton Station – July 2012

 A man looking at a passing train – July 2012

A gardener on his tractor – July 2012

Waterfall at the entrance of Fullerton Arboretum, California – July 2012

It’s July already?!

Can’t believe it’s July already. Time flies oddly faster when you’re older.

Just an update, I’ve been keeping myself busy with photography lately. You know, that 1 billion dollar worth of application called Instagram. Seen a lot of great pictures there and it kinda pushed me to work on my photography as well.

I’ve also read about this cinemagraph thing a while back. Seen a few great cinemagraph and I thought that thing’s pretty cool! I wanted to learn how to make one. So one afternoon I decided to get myself a bamboo drawing pad and mess around in photoshop with my stock footage.

So here goes, my first cinemagraph. A picture of a friend and her family from a footage of their family video which I’m still not done with editing yet.

~ dk

Solitude

DELETED

~ dk

It’s been a while. Was gone for over 2 months. Went back to my hometown. Had the time of my life. Met a special someone. Enlightened, about how I’ve lived my life, and how I should’ve, and what I need to do to try to fix things.

Within the past 9 weeks, I flew for not less than 11 times. The most exhausting ones were the last 5 of them, since I did that in only 3 days. Those were when I was on my way back here. Home, away from “home”.

And now I feel like crap. Runny nose, been coughing hardly that sometimes my head aches when I cough, chest pain, still suffering from a jetlag, and the worst part is, this feeling of longing for that special someone, terribly.

I left hometown with some kind of a plan. I knew it’s gonna be hard, but I never thought that it would be this hard. I could’ve stayed. Or probably I should’ve? Ah, wild thoughts.

Guess that’s it for now. Never been too good at wordings. Just didn’t know what to do. Completely clueless.

It’s 3 AM, I must be lonely.

~ dk

Curious George

This is how (the initial plan of) this post is going to be.

George happened to be a very curious monkey with a lot of questions. Many times George couldn’t find the answer to his questions, so this is where he is going to put his two cents in. Most of his thoughts are trivial though, hence the two cents. If they’re not, they would probably worth two grand each.

From time to time, George will keep on coming up with new questions or thoughts. Therefore this is (hopefully) going to be actively updated. This entry is going to be both in (broken) English and Bahasa Indonesia. Yes, George is taking both classes now.

So here goes.

– If Darwin’s theory regarding human and ape is true, who then should feel more offended by that? Humans who supposedly have apes for ancestors, or apes who are accused to have humans as their descendants (seeing what humans are doing these days)? Speaking of which, I pretty much can understand George’s confusion in this matter. He more or less doesn’t know where to stand now. It’s hard being a talking monkey, huh, George?

– Seharusnya kata “TIDUR” tidak dikategorikan sebagai kata kerja. Kalau seseorang kedapatan sedang tidur dalam jam kerja, sangat mungkin dia akan mendapat masalah. Sekiranya dia berkelit dengan mengatakan bahwa dia pun sedang “bekerja” ketika tidur tadi, maka dengan dasar “tidur adalah kata kerja”, seharusnya dia bisa dibebaskan dari masalah. Tetapi kemudian dengan itu bisa dikatakan orang tersebut “makan gaji buta”. Terminologi tersebut mungkin akan dibahas di point selanjutnya. Untuk catatan, George pernah menjadi mahasiswa hukum selama 3 semester di sebuah universitas swasta di Jakarta. Di sana George belajar berdebat. Seandainya George tidak keluar dari sekolah hukum tersebut, barangkali sekarang dia sudah menjadi pejabat. Setidaknya pejabat pembuat akta tanah.

– Perempuan ekspresif adalah perempuan yang tidak tahu malu! Alasannya, dalam setiap interaksinya dengan perempuan-perempuan ekspresif, ketika mereka sedang sedih mereka akan dengan mudah menunjukkan kesedihannya. Ketika mereka sedang marah, mereka akan mudah pula menunjukkan kemarahannya. Ketika sedang bahagia, sangat terlihat kebahagiaannya. Ketika takut, perempuan-perempuan ekspresif itu akan menunjukkan ketakutannya tanpa ragu. Itu sebabnya George yakin perempuan-perempuan itu tidak tahu malu. Karena mereka tidak pernah dengan begitu saja menunjukkan kemaluan mereka.

– Penemu listrik, penemu bola lampu, penemu mesin uap, dan penemu-penemu lainnya, mereka itu bukan manusia-manusia hebat! Mereka hanya berada di waktu dan tempat yang tepat. Orang-orang hebat adalah para pencipta. Penemu-penemu itu hanya kebetulan saja menemukan benda-benda tersebut. Contoh sederhana, ayah George sering sekali “kehilangan” kacamatanya. Kadang George atau ibunya menemukan kacamata itu tergeletak di sekitar rumah mereka. Apakah George dan ibunya kemudian menjadi monyet-monyet hebat? Tidak. Sudah saatnya anak-anak disajikan manusia-manusia hebat untuk dikagumi. Hentikan pembodohan publik!

– Did they come up with the city’s name first, then the humongous sex industry rose to match it? Or was it the other way around? Which one’s first? What were in their minds when they came up with the name “Bang-Cock” for their capital city? I wonder if the person who came up with the name “Your-Anus” for a planet lit up this whole mess. I know that’s not how those words are correctly spelled, but I have a feeling that the puns were intended.

– Okay, this one is not originally George’s thought. He just happened to find it somewhere and thought it’s questionable enough to share it here. See what we’re talking about earlier? So this is also to emphasize the point George’s trying to make there. Just to find it doesn’t make you a great guy. Anyway, here’s the question. If you spin an oriental girl around for several times, will she then become disoriented?

~ dk

Disclaimer: I don’t own that picture of Curious George posted here.

It’s Been Wonderful

October 6th. It should be proper if I could come up with something about this particular day.

Exactly this date, two years ago. I thought I was making a huge leap by leaving Indonesia for America. Bear in mind that the plan was to move, not to visit. Got excited and nervous as well with the thoughts of having to deal and adapt with different language, culture, weather, and whatnot.

But it’s far beyond that.

It’s the opportunity of getting out of my comfort zone (which by that time wasn’t too comfort anymore anyhow), and the opportunity of seeing what the world outside has in store (which I’ve only seen a minuscule part of it and still need to browse around to another sections of the store).

It turned out the old saying is indeed true. “The more I see the less I know”.

Looking back at my old self, I see a huge difference. The least of what I’ve become now, is a grateful son of a gun. A scavenger hunting for reasons to smile about and be thankful. Such a harsh word I used there, but that’s how I see it. Sometimes I do need to scavenge around for those reasons, specially when the going gets pretty rough.

Not to be twisted with the similarity of “acceptance” and “taking things for granted” though. Somewhat I think they’re different.

Cliche as it may sound, but I seem to find peace of mind from this discovery. This is working pretty darn well at the moment.

It probably took me too long to find this out. Perhaps way longer than others. Lots of others are probably learning some many chapters ahead of me. But I’ve found it. Hopefully that is what matters. It’s a lifetime learning process anyway. And as of now I’m still a novice in this chapter. In fact, I might always be.

All in all, it’s not merely about America and whatever bittersweet excitements it has to offer. It’s about the lessons learned along the way.

If I may ever use that word just for once, I’d use it now. IT’S BEEN FUCKING WONDERFUL!

~ dk

Money Saved, Money Spent

Honestly, I tried to bury this matter way in the deepest ocean. But I can’t let the hatred go just yet. Hoping this entry can be some kind of a “share the pain” thing.

So I blogged about how I luckily managed to get out of my speeding ticket last month. And just about a week after that court date, another speeding ticket with my name on it was sitting there nicely inside my console box. Yes, apparently me, relatively empty road, the accelerator pedal, and the cops, just don’t get along very well. It was around 6.45 AM on a nice Monday morning (how can I not hate Monday even more after this?), in a freeway with 65 MPH speed limit, as I was driving 80 MPH, I saw a highly dedicated cop who was pointing his speed gun towards my car made a quick move and got into his car. The next thing I knew his car was right behind mine and his red-blue lights came on.

I stopped the car whilst trying to recall what some animals are called.

No argument came from my mouth this time. I was going to tell him that I was avoiding another car that was driving recklessly next to my car. But I didn’t. I knew that wouldn’t help me at all. Just hoped everything would go fast so I won’t be late for work. Didn’t happen as well. My car still has a California license plate and the law is you have to use the one that’s issued by the state you’re living in within a maximum of 30 days you’ve been living there. I was fortunate enough that he didn’t bring that up. Not that I’m dodging the law here. I just thought it would take even longer to try to explain this and if he needs to run through his computer for some more information. He just said it took him longer cause he had to trace the car’s information from California’s data or something like that. Four points went to (or out of) my driving record, and $167 was the total fine. Again I tried to recall what other animals are called.

Interestingly enough, I didn’t come up asking myself with questions like “Why did I speed?”, or “Why didn’t I wake up just a little earlier so I won’t have to worry about getting late for work?”, or “Why did that cop have to point his speed gun at my car?”, or “Why couldn’t that cop just give me a warning instead?” None of these questions came to my mind. I could only ask the question “Why did they call this a FREEWAY?” Don’t they know what FREE means? They took my freedom as the cop stopped me right there right then!

If it’s my call, I would’ve named it LIMITEDWAY. Or I can go a little more creative and name it LIMITEDWAYSODONTYOUDARETHINKTHATITSAFREEWAY! Or just a little tiny bit further, LIMITEDWAYSODONTYOUDARETHINKTHATITSAFREEWAYWELLYOUCANTRYBUTYOUWILLBESORRY!

There. I’ve spat my anger. Now let the healing process begin. Or continue. Whatever.

My Penalty Assesment

~ dk

Searching for a cure

The last day of summer. Robert said it never felt so cold.

We were in my room. I was sitting on the floor, leaning against my bed. Enjoying this scene when that cranberry juice was chasing over that poor smirnoff. Robert and his unpredicted-ingenious-if-not-sick mind suggested cloudberry instead.

Robert started to write a letter. He said it’s for Elise, whoever she might be. He’s got a strange attraction toward this mysterious girl, I said to myself. I wondered what’s with the make-up, but I didn’t ask. He has his own thoughts.

This is tranquilizing. Sort of put me in trance a little bit. Just like heaven.

I began to wish impossible things. If only it’s that easy. If only it’s just as simple as looking her in the eyes and say, “I love you more than I can say, why won’t you just believe?”

Pictures of you help me keep myself together. I would’ve lost it had I didn’t recall what Robert said: “Boys don’t cry.”

“But I want her, Robert…” I could hear my voice trembled. “…close to me.”

“When was that?” He asked me after a long awkward silence. I replied, “When was what?” He went on, “When did you fall for her?” That question caught me off guard. I didn’t know the answer to that. Randomly I answered, “It’s Friday, Robert. Friday I’m in love.” He smirked.

He promised to take me on a ride in his mint car. Thinking that it would comfort me a bit.

Robert knew I was having quite a struggle. He teased me by playing a love song on his iPod. The end of the world.

~ dk

Disclaimer: I don’t own that photo of Robert Smith posted here. (but I sure would make an identical copy of that for a beauty shop promotional tool)