Kenapa saya menulis?

Menulis itu melelahkan.
Menulis butuh ketenangan.
Menulis butuh kesendirian.
Menulis butuh jam terbang.
Menulis butuh konsentrasi.
Menulis butuh wawasan yang luas.

Menulis adalah mencipta.
Menulis adalah berbagi rasa.
Menulis adalah mengajak berpikir.
Menulis adalah meninggalkan warisan.
Menulis adalah menyatakan bahwa kita pernah ada. Pernah melakukan hal-hal di atas.

Mungkin tak seindah atau sesempurna yang sanggup orang lain lakukan.
Mungkin pilihan kata kita tak selincah si A.
Mungkin riasan analogi dan metafora tak semenor si B.
Mungkin tema yang kita usung tak sepenting dan segenting si C.

Tapi yang pasti menulis harus datang dari hati agar selamat tiba di hati.

*: Tulisan ini ditulis dalam rangka menyambut 100 Koproler setia. Monggo pinarak. Make yourself at home. :*

Good night. Sleep tight. See you in the morning light.

I’ve heard people in sitcoms and movies mention this movie several times in my adult life. In Seinfeld you got this guy named Kramer. Not really good looking, like everyone else on Seinfeld to be honest. And for the first time in my life did I see this movie. After 32 years of living. Thanks to Home Box Office, I get to see quality movies every now and then. Quality movies, you see, have no expiry dates. Unlike milk. Unlike credit cards. Unlike cosmetics.

I’m not ashamed of seeing this movie this late in my life. After all, I am a late bloomer. The late bloomer sees the sun when all the other flowers have begun to wither. Seeing Kramer vs Kramer at a certain age, after all sorts of experiences have happened in life, give one’s self a better understanding of the story. I’m not saying that when I’m 45, I will not find something else in the story I didn’t realize the first time around, perhaps something new.

Before Kramer vs Kramer aired I was watching 13 Going On 30 for the umpteenth time. Still very much in love with Mark Rufallo and envious of Jennifer Garner’s body. Compared with Kramer vs Kramer, 13 Going On 30 is just child’s play. But I still love it. Kramer vs Kramer on the other hand really displays Meryl Streep and Dustin Hoffman’s superb acting. A movie about everyday life gives a huge burden on the actors. No gimmicks, no armies of native Indians to hide behind. In such plain settings the actors and actresses’ talents are on display. The main event, so to speak. They have to act naturally and convicingly as well. Something expected from Oscar Winners at the time.

Without further ado, let me just put a couple of dialogues from the movie I found very moving.

This was the scene after Ted and Billy fought because of Billy’s disobedience.
Ted went to his son’s room to tuck him in. And they apologized to each other.

Billy Kramer: Daddy?
Ted Kramer: Yeah?
Billy Kramer: I’m sorry.
Ted Kramer: I’m sorry too. I want you to go to sleep because it’s really late.
Billy Kramer: Daddy?
Ted Kramer: Now what is it?
Billy Kramer: Are you going away?
Ted Kramer: No. I’m staying here with you. You can’t get rid of me that easy.
Billy Kramer: That’s why Mommy left, isn’t it? Because I was bad?
Ted Kramer: Is that what you think? No. That’s not it, Billy. Your mom loves you very much… and the reason she left has nothing to do with you. I don’t know if this will make sense, but I’ll try to explain it to you. I think the reason why Mommy left… was because for a long time… I kept trying to make her be a certain kind of person. A certain kind of wife that I thought she was supposed to be. And she just wasn’t like that. She was… She just wasn’t like that. I think that she tried for so long to make me happy… and when she couldn’t, she tried to talk to me about it. But I wasn’t listening. I was too busy, too wrapped up… just thinking about myself. And I thought that anytime I was happy, she was happy. But I think underneath she was very sad. Mommy stayed here longer than she wanted because she loves you so much. And the reason why Mommy couldn’t stay anymore… was because she couldn’t stand me. She didn’t leave because of you. She left because of me. Go to sleep now because it’s really late, okay? Good night. Sleep tight.
Billy Kramer: Don’t let the bedbugs bite.
Ted Kramer: See you in the morning light.
Billy Kramer: Daddy?
Ted Kramer: Yeah?
Billy Kramer: I love you.
Ted Kramer: I love you too.

And this is my second favorite line by Ted Kramer, his courtroom plea, his speech:

There’s a lot of things I didn’t understand, a lot of things I’d do different if I could. Just like I think there’s a lot of things you wish you could change, but we can’t. Some things once they’re done can’t be undone. My wife, my ex-wife, says that she loves Billy, and I believe she does, but I don’t think that’s the issue here.

If I understand it correctly, what means the most here is what’s best for our son. What’s best for Billy. My wife used to always say to me: ‘Why can’t a woman have the same ambitions as a man?’ I think you’re right. And maybe I’ve learned that much. But by the same token, I’d like to know, what law is it that says that a woman is a better parent simply by virtue of her sex? You know, I’ve had a lot of time to think about what it is it that makes somebody a good parent? You know, it has to do with constancy, it has to do with patience, it has to do with listening to him. It has to do with pretending to listen to him when you can’t even listen anymore. It has to do with love, like, like, like she was saying. And I don’t know where it’s written that it says that a woman has a corner on that market, that, that a man has any less of those emotions than a woman does.

Billy has a home with me. I’ve made it the best I could. It’s not perfect. I’m not a perfect parent. Sometimes I don’t have enough patience because I forget that he’s a little kid. But I’m there. We get up in the morning and then we eat breakfast, and he talks to me and then we go to school. And at night, we have dinner together and we talk then and I read to him. And, and we built a life together and we love each other. If you destroy that, it may be irreparable. Joanna, don’t do that, please. Don’t do it twice to him.

Do what you love and love what you do

Kalau boleh jujur, aku ingin hari-hariku seperti hari-hari Papa:

Bangun tidur – sholat – mengaji – olah raga – sarapan – menulis – tidur – baca – nonton berita – sholat – makan – baca – nonton film tv (jika ada) – tidur – sholat – sholat – mengaji – makan – menulis – nonton tipi – sholat – tidur. (note: sequences may vary depending on mood)

Kalau boleh jujur, aku ingin berhenti dari pekerjaan ini dan menjadi penulis. Penulis yang pekerjaannya adalah membaca. Buatku itu pasti surga. Dear Semesta, mohon dicatat dalam agendamu ya!

Tubuhku takkan kekurangan olahraga sebab, jogging bisa dilakukan di kompleks rumah. Haruki Murakami adalah seorang pelari marathon malah. Bangun pagi selepas sholat Subuh dan mengaji tinggal pakai baju training dan sepatu lari. Telinga disumpal musik RnB atawa hip hop dan bergerak seiring musik yang menderap. Atau jika bosan jogging, kolam renang Tirtamas letaknya dekat sekali. 7 lap atau 10 sanggup kujabani. Kalaupun bosan dengan pemandangan dekat rumah, selalu ada sepeda yang setia digenjot kemana-mana. Dalam setahun aku bisa jadi atlit triathlon, mengalahkan Murakami-san.

Sesekali mengayuh sepeda ke Taman Suropati yang jika pagi dihujani cahaya matahari kaya vitamin D. Menertawakan mereka-mereka yang duduk cemas di atas bis kota terjebak macet yang tak berujung tak berpangkal. Sekusut kasus korupsi, serimbun kumis Foke. Setelah puas tertawa aku akan membuka buku yang punggungnya telah retak, di tempat terakhir pembatasnya terletak. Di bawah rindang daun disertai tupai yang sesekali melintas di atas, aku akan membaca buku mengerami ide-ide yang belum waktunya menetas.

Kemudian aku akan menggenjot sepeda kembali ke rumah. Sesampainya di sana, aku sudah cukup lelah lalu bergumam, “Tidur bentar ah!”

======= penulisnya lagi tidur, jangan diganggu! =======

Verily, verily your God is One

It is a fact intimately connected with our own life and destiny. ‘ Your Lord is one Who cares for you and cherishes you ; you are dear to Him, And He is One : it is only He that you have to look to, the source of a goodness, love, and power. You are not the sport of many contending forces or blind chances. There is complete harmony and unity in heaven and you have to put yourselves into unison with it -by discipline in ranks, by God. Here is the mystery of the manifold variety of creation verging into the absolute Unity of the Creator. 

Commentary on Verse 4 Surah Saffat of the Holy Qur’an by Abdullah Yusuf Ali.

Agar Disayang

Keep writing it over and over until it resembles a foreign word.
Until you don’t know why you began writing it down in the first place.

Singapore, January 2nd 2012