The Best of 2013

  1. Alive - Empire of the Sun
  2. Definition of Love - 方大同
  3. Shell Suite - Chad Valley
  4. Thin Line - Macklemore & Ryan Lewis Feat. Buffalo Madonna
  5. Get Lucky - Daft Punk Feat. Pharrell Williams
  6. The Last of Us - Gustavo Santaolalla
  7. Let The Groove Get In - Justin Timberlake
  8. Unbelievers - Vampire Weekend
  9. #Beautiful - Mariah Carey Feat. Miguel
  10. 梦想启动 - 周杰伦
  11. 十二生肖 - 王力宏
  12. Everything has Changed - Taylor Swift Feat. Ed Sheeran
  13. Growl - EXO-M
  14. Dance Apocalyptic - Janelle Monae
  15. Sepatu - Tulus
  16. Birthday - Katy Perry
  17. You’re Not The One - Sky Ferreira
  18. Now I See - Tessa Rose Jackson
  19. Aningaaq - Steven Price
  20. Rescue - Yuna

Hey

I know. I know you’re upset. You’re most often like this. The sky was blue today, it wasn’t so humid in the morning. Walking’s good for you. I know. I know. It’s okay, you’ve been here before. You’ve met this empty space before. It was right there all along, right?

You’ve got someone now. He’s been good. You’ve been good to him. Don’t worry, this is all just a start. The line will continue, it won’t stop. You’ll find some songs to share. He’ll understand your sadness.

I know. I know. What of it? Why else would such a thing exist? You have to remember that quite often it is what is beyond your control - what’s beyond your control. I know. You didn’t mean it. It’s not your fault.

Stay strong okay? Forget this and remember the words being written now. Keep coming back to what I’m saying. It’s okay. He wasn’t meant to fill that space, no one is.

Let it go. Live. Live. I know, just go for it. Run. Escape. Live your life. Get what you want, be happy. You’ve got every right to demand it. Because right now the world is changing right beneath your eyes and feet. No, it’s never going to stay this way. But it will never stay afloat either. The world and its people will demand more of you. So go, run. Listen to what ever music. Wear what ever shirt. Play your games, the ones that never stops you from playing. Go for it.

I know. I know. It’ll get better. That’s what he said. And it’s true. It’ll get better. You’ll have better days, just like before. Know why you’re broken down, understand it, then move. Run. Take a walk. It’ll get better.

Dad loves you. Your sister loves you. Mum loves you. He loves you. The world has given you so much luxury. Be thankful. I know, just be thankful. You deserve the most incredible life. This is all part of it. All this black.

Superman

Superman. I never really got to know you. When I was little you never came around, never once introduced yourself. Nor did I. In honest words, I never had any interest. You seemed too distanced, too far into your own space and flight that I never had the time or even the thought to be curious. You had your own way, and the background space that filled your past never once explained itself. You seemed - perfect, back when I was young. And for that, I never cared much.

But yesterday, yesterday was the day when I really saw you for the first time. You’re not so perfect. Those capes didn’t clip onto your shoulders from the moment you walked. You got hurt abit, didn’t you? Maybe not so much in the physical bruises, but more towards the pain of memories, of constant difficulty and second looks. The way a person hesistates your existence simply for being who you are. The way you question how far ahead you’ve already become when everyone else is still about to start.

Things happened when we met. I started to agree. I started to finish your sentences in the exact same way you would. We spoke of the same evil, and our constant yearning to challenge ourselves. We both wanted to know who are, who we are against the society we live in. I liked that.

I’m not saying I am just like you, Superman. In fact, that was never the point of difference. You are just like everyone else. And there are more of you, I know because I’ve met them. The brave that are willing to go out of their circles. The students who never stop learning new things. And the citizens who from sheer hope, leap out of their bodies to help and encourage others for the good of of the future, for whatever it is they solely deserve.

Superman, we both have something in common. You and me, and all the other citizens that continue to fly in their own way. I’m glad I got to know you.

It feels like a race. You’re ready, just like everybody else beside you. There’s nothing that makes you more or a winner, or more prepared. We all have legs, we all know how to run. We’ve done this all before. It’s that moment where the gun’s about to shoot and the entire world’s waiting for you, silent. People watch, your family’s on the right wondering if this race was even necessary, but they still come and watch you, you for the sake of you. Not questioning, not even reminding themselves of the brutal life ahead, they watch and cheer you on.

Race starts and everyone’s running. It’s there right in front of you, you’ve seen it before, you’ve watched your old friends pass it on. It’s there. The finish line. That space between you and the past. You’re running for your life because you know that’s what you want and you know you’re willing to go that far. The others start running too.

But what happens next, is left for definition. Space, as it turns out, homes in to question who you are against everyone else. Speed leaves you running to a point of delusion. And even though you’ve worked hard to go this far, you’re left wondering why on earth didn’t they run as fast.

And as you run ahead of everyone else, you’re the winner. You’re closer to the goal. But you soon realize, that you’re the only one there to feel it. And in a flash, the race turns into a simple road. Races don’t only have a single winner, no, not when it’s life that becomes your stadium.

The good and noble Hero

Maybe it might never be true. But all I’m sure of is that there was always that one moment, where i thought everything seemed so clear and understood. That moment for me was right in between night and day. Windows were closed so no sunlight could appear. And I was there, lying on the right hand side of the bed, awake and still. No one was with me, and yet I was so sure that this was not a kind of loneliness. It was perfect. Nothing moved, nothing changed. The only wind that passed was time.

Moments of clarity to me becomes a room inside, a walk through the grass, or a stare against the landscape. There was never really meant to be someone there to share it with. Though my words may seem naive, it’s as they are now. I’m watching my own sense of beauty.

Maybe it might never be true. Maybe, the saddest part of all this is that one day I will have to share it with someone whether we like it or not. Be it destiny or love. Why can’t loneliness be the good and noble hero?

The Best of 2012

  1. Good Morning - Norah Jones
  2. Call Me Maybe - Carly Rae Jepsen
  3. Take Care - Drake Featuring Rihanna
  4. Bad Boy - Big Bang
  5. Ain’t You Tired (End Title) - Thomas Newman
  6. Set Me On Fire - Missy Higgins
  7. Looks Like Sex - Mike Posner
  8. For All Dancers - Peppertones
  9. U.F.O - Coldplay
  10. Wreck-It Ralph - Henry Jackman
  11. Strip - Chris Brown Featuring Kevin K-MAC McCall
  12. Payphone - Maroon 5
  13. Nascence - Austin Wintory
  14. The Riot’s Gone - Santigold
  15. Gasoline - Alpine
  16. Millionaires - The Script
  17. Shadow - Wild Nothing
  18. That XX - G-Dragon
  19. 춥다 - 에픽 하이 Featuring 이하이
  20. The A Team - Ed Sheeran
  21. BB88 - 方大同
  22. Pi and Richard Parker - Mychael Danna
  23. The Walk - Mayer Hawthorne
  24. 재회 - Urban Zakapa
  25. 22 - Taylor Swift

Taking the winds’ stride

Tomorrow the goodbye begins. I prepared myself for it, putting an extra cartridge of film just to grab another long-lasting picture. There’s a reason I stick on the walls, for me and my entire space to look and miss. Every semester the same goodbyes arrive in different shapes, forms, people and memories missed. Though I know it never stops, why is it that they seem to shoot me every single time?

I’m still not used to it. I’ve always been a victim of the future and the past, but I never seem to embrace the present. What happens now, that moment where things are happening instead of being already happened. Maybe that’s why my future isn’t as ideally structured so far, they’re only based on one or two goals that live a span of three or four years. Before it was a profession, before it was living in Australia all my life, before it was knowing we’ll be together forever somehow. But now it’s living in China, memorising mandarin songs and travelling around as many places as I can without losing friendships.

I try hard to redefine my goodbyes and turn them into something like an answer or a temporary offline message. I try to make sure that I won’t continue to look at my photos to remember and instead see them in front of my eyes. It’s a big cliff to climb but I’m sure it’s worth it.

Tomorrow the goodbyes begin. I’m going to give them a hug, wish them all the best, take a photo for keepsake, and promise them that we’ll see each other again. Not holding onto what might come ahead, but taking the winds stride day by day, inch by inch, closer to another intersection.

"

So this is what’s gonna happen. I’m going to wake up at fifteen past seven and snooze. Half past eight and snooze. Finally, eight thirty wake up and try to walk to the bathroom in less than three seconds whilst the freezing cold swims through the blanket. I take a piss, at the same time grab my toothbrush to dab some toothpaste. Rinse, flush, brush. Half past eight now and I will have turned on the water heater. One hour more and I’ll already be going for a shower using only ten minutes of hot water that took that single hour to heat up. And then I’m gonna barbeque myself in front of the heater and wear my undies, longjohns and shirt before I really decide what to wear.

And then I’m ready. Ready for the day to bash me out cold with bullshit and minus temperature winds, just in time for me to sleep again. That, is how my morning will take place.

"

Me

朋友们,你好!

好久没联系,对不对?不好意思我不经常发送给你一封信!希望你还好:身体不错,生活很热情也跟你的爱人还在一起。今天我本来有早上课,但我的老师突然病了,所以我们不用去上课。上次我们聊天的时我告诉你国庆节快到了,是吧?那现在已经十月中,我跟同学们都回来宁大学习了。

其实,国庆节以前我什么计划都没安排,因为我想在我的房间里天天睡觉,打游戏又吃方便面。我的朋友全部去旅行。有些朋们友去华山爬山,有些朋友们去广州购物。临国庆节到前,他们叫我一起去,但那时候我真没有钱,所以不行了。

可是虽然我没去旅行也没有计划,但是我还有些故事。国庆节的时候我经常跟个朋友一起打羽毛球。他叫青葱彬。他是中国人,住在万达的旁边。他非常喜欢打羽毛球,因此我打羽毛球打得没有比她那么厉害。因为这学期我有七门课,所以我没有时间玩游戏。当国庆节来了,我每天玩游戏,特别是暗黑破坏神3. 我喜欢那个游戏可是听说暗黑破坏神3越玩越无聊。昨天晚上我终于把那个游戏通过了,感到很满意!

对了,这个是我国庆节的活动。我没有计划但至少有好玩的故事,可以把我的生活变好点,哈哈。半夜快到了,我应该睡觉。晚安!

-Pigar 马明强

The idea of memory

The feeling resurfaces once more. Between now and my graduation will be short of a handful of months. My final year has indeed reached itself into the present tense and I am feeling any less heartbroken than before.

This isn’t a new repertoire of contemplation. Two weeks before leaving Australia, I was sitting down on a bus on the way to meet my friends. Four months before my flight to China I was surrounded by good friends for my birthday party. And now, seven months before my final year ends, I am drenched with the memories and the thoughts of where the future will take me.

To accentuate the date and distance would merely underestimate its true importance. What lies beneath these words, and these feelings, are the small fragments of memories shaped once more. It’s as if the concept of the ever-reviving phoenix transposes itself to our lives; memories sought after and remembered, come back to us in new forms, with new people to love, and new experiences to share. We never, ever take the same photograph. There was never a point of stagnation, all those years of wasted time thinking that what we had would never arrive in our lives again. How wrong I was to think that memories were singular.

Dinner with a friend. Talking with your loved ones. Broken hearted at the sight of your unrequited love holding hands with another. Mother flying into the sky. Memories aren’t singular, but instead constant, a flow of transforming oceans that live amongst the road of life we take.

Sitting on the bus thinking, Looking at all my friends around me pondering, sitting alone in my room writing, were all moments of recognition towards a life that’s constantly in motion. We will never stop remembering, and yet in irony, we will never stop continuing to reshape them. Know this, and you will see light forever.

"Like the song, I’m the one that’s willing to open the door slightly, leaving the keys intact with the lights on. I won’t wait, because life seems to lead us into more complicated roads nowadays, but it’ll be open. And you friend, lover, family - you’re welcome to come back in anytime"

Death does nothing more than allow the desperate side of us to overcome our actions. What we’ve come to know as our own forever gets lost six feet under, spirits diffused within the universe. The house, the one house that fails to ignore our times shared will weep when strangers come to claim its acceptance. Territory, the apocalypse. 2012 truly was the end of the world.

Though it seems that life will continue, it shall divide paths by choices, and by the mere desperation of us all. We know we’re lonely. They know too. Families look at us with strange eyes questioning our very struggle in living a life without the one we love. Well it’s all understood. It’s human nature: loneliness kills the brave, and the way we were.

So as we set our paths down the track that was told, you can continue to walk around in circles. Make the choice, understand the perspectives of everyone, including your children. Ensure that the dead, and the one you married, will give you your silent blessings as well.

This isn’t towards the person I know. This is towards the person overcome with empty space. Oh lonely father, I hope you make the choice that’s right for you. I’ll be ready, with my things packed in boxes and my life headed toward the final stages of independence. For it is not the lack of company which defines it, but the brutal pain that came before it.

A flight out of the bubble

Relative #1: I'm sorry for your loss, dear.
Son: Thank you.
Uncle #1: I'm sorry. Truly am.
Son: Thank you.
Relative #2: So incredibly touched by your strength.
Son: Thank you.
Relative #3: Look at you, all grown up with time.
Son: Time has helped me grow, aunt.
Relative #1: I truly cannot believe we're all here, together. For a long time, I haven't seen so many of our beloved relatives side by side on late evening talking about each others lives. Look at what death brings us: a family reunion. There's our second cousins over there running about the paddock. The husband's end in a circle of discussion with their warm tea and wooden stools. Here we are sitting on the floor of your home, reminiscing -
Relative #2: Now now we must not steer off from what really brought us here. This is not a reunion this is a funeral. Mother, your amazing mother, she was an amazing woman. What time did you arrive here, darling?
Son: I came late.
Relative #2: Oh dear, what a shame.
Relative #3: Absolutely awful.
Uncle #1: She was looking for ya y'know, your poor mother. Screaming your name. "Son, son, where are you! What will he wear tomorrow?" You should've bought an earlier ticket.
Relative #2: "What will he wear tomorrow?" What a strange question.
Son: Well I am a strange son.
Relative #3: Strange? In what sense my dear?
Son: Fruity.
Relative #2: I beg your pardon?
Relative #3: Fruity, I think he said fruity.
Son: It means -
Uncle #1: I'll tell you what it means. These Balinese grapefruits and just absolutely to die for!
Relative #3: (laugh) Oh you always knew how to make me laugh. Isn't my husband such a goofball?
Relative #2: Indeed, indeed. Truthfully.
Son: I'm sorry, I really have to go see my dad.
Relative #2: No don't go, sit down! Sit down, we're not done yet.
Relative #3: We need to talk to you about something very important.
Relative #2: Extremely important.
Relative #3: Son, my dearest. Don't take this the wrong way. Of course what might come out of it will be a hard cringe in the cold but in all honesty, I'm only speaking for the family. I'm not the only one, love. We are all you have, and if that doesn't seem of such importance, then this, this night should make things more clear. You see it's all about being together nowadays. We've all gone that road for individual excellence and all those sorts - no point in boring myself - but when it comes to success, you need someone to share it with.
Son: I still have my dad with me.
Relative #3: Yes, that is correct. He's there, doing his own laundry and ironing. Folding his own clothes and making his own bed.
Relative #2: Wait, what? Excuse me, Maids -
Relative #3: With your mum gone things will change. Your dad won't have anyone to accompany him anymore. Don't you feel sorry for him?
Son: Well, I'm not sure..
Relative #3: Let me just put it bluntly, dearest. We all need to be together. You and Dad. Dad and I. Me and you. All of us. Right here. Do you understand that?
Son: Yes, aunt. Yes, I do.
Relative #3: Good.
Relative #2: Thank the gods he received it well!
Uncle #1: It's for your own good boy.
Son: My own good. (starts to laugh)
Relative #3: What's so funny?
Son: Nothing, aunt. It's nothing.
Relative #3: No tell me, what is it?
Son: No, it's just - Mother was right about everything.
Relative #2: About what?
Son: About you three! About who I am, about my dad, about the world and the holes in between it. She always seemed to figure out the fragments that were hidden in the middle of everything that we could see. And hearing you three tell me that I should stay here and take care of my dad instead of continuing my study overseas just proved that Mother ran further ahead than anyone else around here. She overlapped the borders, and progressed, a flight out of the bubble, out of this cowardly take you call 'Family'. Well I'm sorry Aunt. Don't take this the wrong way. But my family needs no constant visits and infinite togetherness to prove its existence. Now if you'll excuse me, I'd like to go speak to my Dad and spend some time with him before I head back overseas. Adieu.

You can’t ask for much, can you? There’s always the common ground that the past will always be the past, nothing more. No more sidesteps, no more drawbacks or exceptions. And maybe it is the mere part of my rationality that ceases to accept such ruling, but nevertheless, I miss.

I miss a lot of things. Things that don’t seem so important to me now, things that seem so far away. They’re always the same feeling, but never in the same direction. Everyday it finds its way into my line of thought, so fresh it leaves no traces of time or dust. Like it was just yesterday. 

I spoil myself too much with the hope that someday things will happen the way it once did. And I never seem to marvel with the complacent definition that now, it is best to look at things, and at people, beyond what they’ve given, and instead look at what they’re giving now.

The now. The lack of conversation. The lack of wanting to know how you feel. The lack of understanding how much took place within a weeks’ instance. Maybe the problem is all about care as well. I care about you too much, and I’m the only one that manages to find something to stick by whenever another attempts to destroy it. Everyone else, all our friends with their one-liner “terbatas”.

"Terbatas". A fixed line. The now, can also be the time when that one person who absolutely cares for you, gives up and finds someone else. And you will have no one. Not one, congratulations.

I don’t know how to feel. Sometimes I feel upset, like an entire wash of current hitting against the back of my neck. Sometimes I feel nothing, like nothing’s changed, as if to say that the emptiness were nothing but minute distance. It’s been seven days and I still don’t know whether to cry or move on.

It’s an unusual feeling, having death pass by you so intimately. The plane felt longer than it needed to, and throughout the journey I was always holding a photograph of her, dad and I just outside the porch smiling before I was headed out to meet with my friends. It was always that sacrifice that she gave me, all in the name of a happy life, a strong education, an independent mindset and of course - a successful future. There is no parenting without sacrifice, and when it came to my mum, sacrifice was as easy as folding napkins and sheets. From being five to being where I am right now, she never stopped giving. 

I arrived late, though in certain eyes I probably arrived on time. Maybe not being able to see her breathe her final breath was a good thing after all, maybe it would’ve helped me deal with all this much more quietly. But I arrived with whispers of family relatives telling me how many times my mum screamed out my name on the final night, and worried about what I would wear come the following morning. And my aunts, with their depressing recounts and tearful stories,  would never stop telling me how much my mother loved me. That I knew from the very beginning. And so we all just sat down with out own stories, our own narratives of what we saw, in front of my dear mum lying down in peace covered with her favourite Batik.

But it all came to a corner when the funeral arrived. After seeing her buried, her fragile face faintly touching the soil of the earth, flowers rained above her along with the covering ground soil. As everyone left for their final farewells and goodbyes, I was left pressing my hand on the soil, pretending like I was touching her.

"I love you, Mum. Goodbye. Thanks for looking after me, for teaching me how to be selfless, empathetic, caring, kind, determined and hard-working. Everyone here’s gonna miss you, especially since you’re always the one helping others and believing the best of us like it’s something true. Most of the time it is, but whenever you meet the bad kind you always seem to handle things well, protecting us. I’m sorry I never got to share with you all the stories that I wanted to. Of love, of being alone, of experiencing new adventures. But I just wanted you to know that you are the reason I am kind. You are the reason I give so much to others and you are the reason why I know how to love and care for others. I promise I’ll take care of dad, and everyone else you’ve helped out. I love you, good bye, I love you Mum."

I left, leaving every bit of sadness I had in me. And so now here I am, seven days passed, back to the beginning of where it all starts. Late nights, writing with music, the usual activities. 

There was a reason why mum put the Indonesian word “Tegar” inside my name. I might not be able to carry as much as you, punch as hard as you. But I believe my heart, and the kindness my mum has given me, is able to overcome so much more than what people think. This is my kind of strength; the kind that bounces back, the kind that’s able to stand up again.