My Birthday.

Nobody I know knows how I spend the first few hours of my birthdays these past 5 years. Not even my parents. But I’ll make you an exception. Only if you promise not to tell anyone you know. It’s fine if you walk up to a total stranger and tell them my secret. But it must be a complete stranger or else you should stop reading my story altogether.

On the morning of my birthday which is February 25th, I wake up at 2.34. Mom said that was the time I let out my first cry. A cry barely audible, she recalled once. She said I sounded like a kitten gasping for his last breath as it was being strangled to death. As my alarm went off with that eerie ‘sci-fi’ tune, I imagined myself opening my eyes for the first time all over again. Shadows surrounding me claiming me as theirs. The street lamp managed to seep its flourescent orange through my bedroom curtains. A faint cry of an owl reached my ears.

I recited the adzan to myself. Something Dad taught me before I turned twelve. Before I had that ‘sweaty dream’ that left my boxers sticky in the morning. I repeated my faith and complete submission to Allah for another year of trying to be ‘near’. Making sure not to wake my younger brother sleeping in the adjacent bed.

The heater has been turned off. Again. Dad says boys should be able to withstand the cold. Easy for him to say, he gets to sleep with mom who has asthma. And every night around 1 AM when nature calls him, he drops by our room and turns off the heater. A good thing Mom has lovingly provided us with thick woolen bed covers and makes sure we hang our windbreakers near our bedposts, to face the chilly autumn and winter nights.

This year, like the previous, my birthday is covered with snow. The news says it’s due to global warming, I say otherwise. For me it’s just Mother Earth’s way of telling us she’s aging. I’ve spoken to God about her several times to clarify this. I know there is nothing we can do to stop her from behaving out of the ordinary. Just like Mom will too when she hits menopause. She will be sensitive and irritated most of the time. Her body will give out signs that make her feel less useful as a woman, a mother, a wife. But like the earth, it’s just her body’s way of saying goodbye a little by little. The cruel remarks, the sudden outbursts are merely sadness in disguise.

I am 13 years old today and I know these things. Well, I know quite a lot of things, things most people don’t. Like the future, spirits, other people’s thoughts. Mom says I’m indigo, the huge Cherry tree down the street says I’m among the chosen. My teacher at school thinks I’m autistic or might have ADD. “Fuck her.” my older sister said when I showed the ‘note’ that I was supposed to hand to Mom or Dad. She signed it on their behalf and voila! case closed. All my sister did was tell me to act normal around ‘them’. ‘Them’ meaning my peers and teachers at school, which was easy for someone who is actually 300-something years old in wisdom like me.
I love my sister. She’s the only one who makes living here ‘safe’ for me.

***

After praying for another year of ‘Enough’ for my family, enough shelter, enough happiness, enough wealth, enough sorrow, enough love, and so on, I put on my trench coat, a beanie, my hiking boots and grabbed the keys to my bicycle.

I walked down the apartment’s neon-lit emergency staircase, making sure not to step on any other worldly beings or chatting ghosts. Several even gave way an nodded ‘hello’, I swear I heard Weeping Willow sob a ‘happy birthday Kahfi..’ to me. Her voice is always soft and sad like an Autumn wind that sets flight to fallen leaves in the late afternoons. I cheerfully hopped from the 4th final step which startled the Lump Monster sleeping in the corner under the staircase to my right. He mumbles, changes position and falls back to sleep. I apologize sheepishly and push my way through the heavy door.

The sudden change of temperature hit my cheeks as I stepped onto a fresh layer of snow. I gave it a second thought and decided to walk to where I was going to instead.

***

[[[ to be continued ]]]

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Rasulullah Habiballah

Hati umat Rasulullah mana yang tak trenyuh…

Mata umat Muhammad mana yang tak menitikkan air…

Mengingat cinta ikhlasnya pada manusia yang bagai cahaya surga…

Dapatkah kami membalas cintanya secara bersahaja?

YA RASULULLAH SAW… aku merindu…
Love, Dian.

————————————————————————-

Alkisah. Ketika Rasulullah terbaring sakit dikelilingi istri-istri, anak-menantunya dan para sahabat…

Tiba-tiba dari luar pintu terdengar seorang yang berseru mengucapkan salam. “Bolehkah saya masuk?” tanyanya. Tapi Fatimah tidak mengizinkannya masuk, “Maafkanlah, ayahku sedang demam,” kata Fatimah sembari membalikkan badan dan menutup pintu.

Kemudian ia kembali menemani ayahnya yang ternyata sudah membuka mata dan bertanya pada Fatimah, “Siapakah itu wahai anakku?”

“Tak tahulah ayahku, orang yang sepertinya baru sekali ini aku melihatnya,” tutur Fatimah lembut.

Lalu, Rasulullah menatap puterinya itu dengan pandangan yang menggetarkan. Seolah-olah bahagian demi bahagian wajah anaknya itu hendak dikenang.

“Ketahuilah, dialah yang menghapuskan kenikmatan sementara, dialah yang memisahkan pertemuan di dunia. Dialah malaikatul maut,” kata Rasulullah,

Fatimah pun menahan ledakan tangisnya.

Malaikat maut datang menghampiri, tapi Rasulullah menanyakan kenapa Jibril tidak ikut bersama menyertainya.

Kemudian dipanggillah Jibril yang sebelumnya sudah bersiap di atas langit dunia menyambut ruh kekasih Allah dan penghulu dunia ini.

“Jibril, jelaskan apa hakku nanti di hadapan Allah?” Tanya Rasululllah dengan suara yang amat lemah.

“Pintu-pintu langit telah terbuka, para malaikat telah menanti ruhmu. Semua surga terbuka lebar menanti kedatanganmu,” kata Jibril. Tapi itu ternyata tidak membuat Rasulullah lega, matanya masih penuh kecemasan.

“Engkau tidak senang mendengar khabar ini?”  Tanya Jibril lagi. “Khabarkan kepadaku bagaimana nasib umatku kelak?” “Jangan khawatir, wahai Rasul Allah, aku pernah mendengar Allah berfirman kepadaku: ‘Kuharamkan surga bagi siapa saja, kecuali umat Muhammad telah berada di dalamnya,” kata Jibril.

Detik-detik semakin dekat, saatnya Izrail melakukan tugas. Perlahan ruh Rasulullah ditarik. Nampak seluruh tubuh Rasulullah bersimbah peluh, urat-urat lehernya menegang.

“Jibril, betapa sakit sakaratul maut ini.” Perlahan Rasulullah mengaduh.

Mata Fatimah terpejam, Ali yang berada di sampingnya menunduk semakin dalam dan Jibril memalingkan muka.

“Jijikkah kau melihatku, hingga kau palingkan wajahmu Jibril?” Tanya Rasulullah pada Malaikat pengantar wahyu itu.

“Siapakah yang sanggup, melihat kekasih Allah direnggut ajal,” kata Jibril.

Sebentar kemudian terdengar Rasulullah mengaduh, karena sakit yang tidak tertahankan lagi. “Ya Allah, dahsyat nian maut ini, timpakan saja semua siksa maut ini kepadaku, jangan pada umatku.”

Badan Rasulullah mulai dingin, kaki dan dadanya sudah tidak bergerak lagi. Bibirnya bergetar seakan hendak membisikkan sesuatu, Ali segera mendekatkan telinganya.

“Uushiikum bis-shalaati, wa maa malakat aimaanukum – peliharalah shalat dan peliharalah orang-orang lemah di antaramu.”

Di luar pintu, tangis mulai terdengar bersahutan, sahabat saling berpelukan.

Fatimah menutupkan tangan di wajahnya, dan Ali kembali mendekatkan telinganya ke bibir Rasulullah yang mulai kebiruan.

“Ummatii, ummatii, ummatiii!” – “Umatku, umatku, umatku”

Dan, berakhirlah hidup manusia mulia yang memberi sinaran itu. Kini, mampukah kita mencintai sepertinya? Allaahumma sholli ‘alaa Muhammad wa baarik wa sallim ‘alaihi. Betapa cintanya Rasulullah kepada kita.

note: Aku menemukan posting ini di web beberapa tahun yang lalu. Aku lupa mencatat sumbernya. Jika ada yang merasa ini tulisannya, please tell me. Posting ini sempat kena edit sedikit oleh saya, untuk menambah rasa khidmat pada kisah yang menyentuh ini. segala yang benar adalah milik Allah SWT semata.

Foolish Games – Jewel (a crappy interpretation)

FOOLISH GAMES, A CHEAP INTERPRETATION.
August 1, 2006, 11:25 pm
Filed under: Music
Foolish games
Jewel

You took your coat off and stood in the rain,

You were always crazy like that
<– Spontaniety, not caring what other people think. Not caring even about how other people feel
I watched from my window,

always felt I was outside looking in on you
<– I can never get what’s going on inside that head of yours. You never let me in.

You were always the mysterious one

with dark eyes and careless hair <– scruffy lost puppy, without a care in the world

You were fashionably sensitive, but too cool to care
<–  knows how people should dress, whats cool, whats lame… but playing aloof tops it all.
Then you stood in my doorway, with nothing to say
besides some comment on the weather
<– you want me, I know you do. But you’re to caught up in your stupid act, and fumble on your words. Suddenly, you’re no longer a mystery.

Well in case you failed to notice,

In case you failed to see,

This is my heart bleeding before you,

This is me down on my knees <– you oaf!!!! enough with the pretending already… I can’t stand it… why can’t  you just look my way and tell me how you feel?

CHORUS:

These foolish games are tearing me apart
<— your lies, not being true to yourself, not being true to me
You thoughtless words are breaking my heart
<— you speak not of what you feel, and it hurts
You’re breaking my heart
<— I’m telling you once again, it hurts

You were always brilliant in the morning
<— when we first met, you were easier to understand
Smoking you cigarettes, talking over coffee
<— we could talk about anything, time would fly.
Your philosophies on art, Baroque moved you,
<— you’d be open, enthusiastic, and I loved ‘that you’.
You loved Mozart and you’d speak of your loved ones <— totally yourself, nothing to hide, comfortable with each other…
As I clumsily strummed my guitar
<— even when I couldn’t play my guitar this good yet
You’d teach me of honest things
<— you’d want me to understand how you think, so we could walk the same path
Things that were daring, things that were clean
<— to take my chances, to be brave, to be honest to be free…
Things that knew what an honest dollar did mean
<— because the best things in life are free…

So I hid my soiled hands behind my back
<— I made mistakes, I’m only human… like you…
Somewhere along the line I must’ve gone off track with you
<— But we’ve wronged together too…
Excuse me, think I’ve mistaken you for somebody else
<— I thought you’d understand… you’d forgive.. you’d forget
Somebody who gave a damn,
<— I thought you’d care…
Somebody more like myself
<— I thought I cared…

REPEAT CHORUS

You took your coat off and stood in the rain

you were always like that <— you stupid fool, you’ll catch a cold!!! come back inside!!! SHIT!!!

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Renungan Jum’at : Yang Lebih Saleh

Seseorang yang kukenal bercerita tentang kenalan kami yang lain. Seorang perempuan yang sebaya denganku dan juga sedang ‘mencari’ pasangan hidup. “Kenapa sih, kok aku ngga dikasih-kasih jodoh ya sama Allah?” keluhnya. Kenalanku menjawab, “Yah, berusaha dan berdoa aja terus mba’. Kan Allah Maha Mengatur dan Tahu yang terbaik buat hamba-hamba-Nya. Atau, mungkin saja ada hamba-hamba-Nya yang lebih saleh dan khusyu’ memohon, jadi proposal kita dipending dulu…” jawabnya tenang.

Mendengar perkataannya aku tertegun. Tak terlintas dipikiranku, seorang yang cenderung dilecehkan orang lain ini, punya pemikiran seperti itu. ‘ada yang lebih saleh dan khusyu’ dari kita’. Teringatlah akan sebuah doa yang kutemukan di buku kumpulan doa souvenir dari pernikahan anak kenalan mama: ‘Doa agar Dijauhkan dari Permusuhan Dengan Sesama Muslim.’

Doa tadi dan perkataan kawanku timbul-tenggelam dalam lautan akal.

Adikku tersebut telah membuka mata sekaligus membuatku menyadari beberapa hal sekaligus. Pertama, bahwa di atas langit masih ada langit. Kita boleh saja ‘merasa’ ibadah kita telah sempurna. Sedekah tidak pernah alpa. Berbakti pada orang tua. Rajin menabung, baik hati dan tidak sombong. Tapi, bisa jadi ada yang jauh melebihi kita dalam keikhlasan dan ketulusan beribadah. Sebab kadar dan jumlah jarang menjadi determinan dimata-Nya. Orang-orang yang bersih hatinya, tidak pernah menyimpan dendam, dengki maupun iri kepada orang lain. Orang-orang yang menjalani hari demi hari berusaha memperoleh restu sesama demi menggapai ridlo Allah. Yang senantiasa berkaca pada diri sendiri, mengeliminir kekurangan dan meningkatkan kebaikan. Orang-orang yang lebih segala-galanya dari kita akan selalu ada dan berusaha untuk jadi yang paling bercahaya di mata Allah, lebih bercahaya dari para malaikat yang terbuat dari cahaya sekalipun…

Berkaitan dengan doa agar dijauhkan dari permusuhan dengan sesama muslim, ada hubungannya dengan kenalan yang menyesali nasibnya tadi. Aku dan dia bukanlah teman. Aku sekedar mengenalnya sebagai rekan sekantor dan tak jarang merasa jadi sasaran tatapan-tatapan tajamnya. Garis-bawahi: ‘merasa’. Yang mengherankan, kita sering berbagi tempat ibadah. Wajarlah jika ku kemudian meragukan ‘jarak’ yang ada di antara kami merupakan jarak yang nyata. Bisa jadi itu hanya akal-akalan setan yang senang melihat sesama muslim bermusuhan. Maka, wajarlah doa itu kulafazkan.

“How do you know?”
“Know what?”
“That you love me. You don’t even know me.”
“I just know.”
“Hah!”
“Hey, whats with the attitude?”
“Either you’re a liar or you’re easy. I bet you can say you hate me in the next couple of weeks and tell me its just coz you KNOW. Do you even know what LOVE is?”
“Nope..”
“See? there you go again, without any reason, without any rhyme.”
“One thing, I’m not a liar. The other thing, I’m not easy. I’ve known you for a week…”
“See? A week? What does that make of me? I could’ve just been pretending to be someone else. Relying on my communicative skills, playing and tricking you into believing I’m something you want. Want to love, that is.”
“Must you always cut people when they’re talking? That’s one thing I’ve known about you within this week. Although, just now you said you could be faking, your tendency to interrupt when somebody else is talking is in fact, somewhat consistent. *chuckles*”
“Okay, now what’s to love about that?”
“Nothing. But the person behind that trait must have a lot in mind. A rich mind is what I love.”
“There’s a fine line between rich minds and stubborn skulls, know-it-alls and I-just-wanna-have-the-last-say-in-everything people.”
“Indeed, and should someone who knows that fine line betray their conscience?”
“Whatever. *rolls eyes* Now tell me, if really, you love me, and I tell you I don’t love you, what would you do?”
“I’ll tell you… I no longer love you.”
“*laughs*”
“I’ll tell you that, so that if you laugh and you are convinced that I really AM a liar and easy, I’ll get away with still loving you without having to burden you. Love isn’t about keeping, its about giving. And giving love is LOVE itself, even if the recipient is oblivious to any of your gifts.”
“I don’t get you.”
“You don’t have to.”

-fin-