Those Who Live in Our Hearts

Sometime you know someone for years
and you still don’t know how to have a convo
beyond hello, how are you? Good? Great…

Sometime you know someone for years
and know each other so well
you can be quiet or rowdy, you’ll have a blast

Then you met someone
who made such a huge impression
that when their time is cut short
suddenly you’re left with a gaping hole
and you know not how to stitch it close

Oh life goes on
laundry not gonna clean itself
nor is dinner
would that they could

then you go somewhere
see something
immediately thinking, ooh need to tell.. oh yeah.. can not.

well dang, ain’t that just peachy
who’s cutting onions near me?

halt!
tissues
ok, moving along now

the problem with that gaping hole
no matter how good you are at sewing
you’ll never completely seal it
darn these microscopic holes!

and still, life goes on

sink or swim?

what you have to remember
life jackets and rafts are always available
seek and ye shall find

we’ll see each other anyway, eventually.

until then,
kusjes

lebak bulus 170816

Grief-recovery

Advertisements

Maternal Musing

blink!
and they walk.

blink!
and they run.

blink!
and they grow.

up
up
up
and wide.

next thing you know,
graduation!

next thing you know,
first pay check!

next thing you know,
“I hereby pronounce you…”

And then there’s three,
if you’re lucky.

And then there’s more,
if you’re really lucky.

Then back to two,
basking in the remaining sunrise.
and sunset too.

Later…

it’s just a roll of dice
who would go earlier
who would go later

To Earth you shall return.

but not right now.

Now let’s savour
now let’s enjoy
now let’s feel

because,
blink!
it’s all gone.

dia.lo.gue. 1/11/14

20141101-132756.jpg

Emily Was Never Being Boring

 

I’ve been in a Pet Shop Boys’s mood lately and with that came a flurry of thoughts I thought long forgotten. A kind of musical pensive so to speak. Now, because PSB are British and I started listening to them during my years in a British based school, I started to remember all things associated with my ‘Brit years’ so to speak which is really the Jeddah and the Uni years.

There I was happily remembering things from way past when cue in Being Boring. For some reason this really resonate with those wonderful 3 undergraduate years spent in that bastion of higher education in the North aka the University of Leeds. Then came that ubiquitous verse:

” all the people I was kissing, some are here and some are missing…
but I thought in spite of dreams you’d be sitting somewhere here with me…”

And immediately, without warning nor fanfare, Emily flashed into my mind…

In my third and final year, no longer wanting to share house with squabbling roommates – I’ve enough of the drama, but not really looking forward to live alone, I opt to move back to the comforts of the hall where the rent includes; food (not great but at least I don’t have to cook everyday), utilities (North of England is COLD for my tropical sensibilities) and laundry (it gets expensive and annoyingly boring to have to wait for one’s clothing lest it be stolen by those ruthless fellow students!). However, not wishing to live in the main building with rowdy, rambunctious freshers, I requested to live in the annex, a smaller 3 story building in the next street or road as it was small.

I caught a rather nasty cold just as the term about to start. Not wishing to fly when my sinuses are congested, I decided to wait and recuperate in the comfort of my parents’. Thus I was a couple of days late getting into the annex. After settling my stuff in my single room (blessedly I got the smallest one in the whole house. Great) I venture into the common lounge. I met Becky first, with her distinctive twang she said, “So you’re Sita! Your friends been looking for you! Hey Em, come here!”
Seconds later, a chocolate-brown eyes got into my view, smiled broadly and said, “Oh good, you’re here, now you can answer your door miss Popular!”

Apparently my friends been calling ever since the first day of term. Since we had to fix our final year lodging by the end of our second year, we pretty much know where everyone is going to live so no surprise that they knew where I live. Becky and Emily, while having the good fortune of getting the largest room in the house, it is also situated up front where, like it or not, they would hear every single coming and goings of the annex inhabitant, thus became the unofficial door person of the annex.

They thought I was popular, I quickly corrected, I’m merely a final year student hence the (not so rowdy) people at knocking at the door. Becky and Emily are quickly known as the Americans duo that lived in our hall. Like any good university, Leeds has exchange programs with universities around the world including Vanderbilt University. There’ll be a group of them and they’d be scattered among the various halls and student residences including the one I was in, Ellerslie Hall. Usually they would be paired with a Brit kid like Maura (the American) and Caroline (the English) and placed in the main hall. Becky and Emily are different in that they’re already BFF, shared a room, and lived in the annex.

The annex is basically a small house, so all the inhabitants pretty much see one another nearly everyday and got to know each other pretty quickly too. Since my room is the smallest and their’s the biggest, it wasn’t long before I start popping down there to chill out on their floor. We talked about nothing and everything. I’m curious about America and they would answer all my questions while I tried my best to answer theirs. I love to hear their accents, so different from the Brits. Their commentaries are amusing too; “I opened this magazine, lords and ladies start tumbling out of the pages!” was one that stuck to my head 😀

We talked, we laughed, we go out, I even helped Emily packed once. She had to go on this trip somewhere and was confused as to how to bring all the stuff she wanted to bring. With all my years of packing and unpacking I got curious and opened her suitcase. Well, no wonder. It was packed rather haphazardly. So I simply repacked it to fit everything in. Then, when summer rolled in, they decided to throw a traditional American BBQ. Or was it a picnic? I can’t remember. What they did was somehow they convinced the ruler or the annex to open the back door so we can have it in the yard. I have no idea how they managed to get a grill out. Or was it fried chicken only? It’s a while ago so details are kinda blurry. In any case, the American duo got a bucket of KFC, I made potato salad, and there were burgers, sodas, and rather stronger drinks later on. It was one of those blissful moment where everything is cool, everything is dandy, we’re all full and happy.

With summer came the end of the academic year. We had our teary goodbyes in front of the annex. The American duo returned home. I graduated, went back to my parents and potter about wondering what to do next. That wasn’t the last I saw of them actually. At some point the following year I got a chance to visit the States for the first time! And I got to see them again! This time in their home turf. So different from Leeds.

dinner_beck_em

Only Southern style cooking would do!

It is now Becky and Emily’s final year at school. They were freaking out about grades. I was freaking out about live in general. They rent an apartment off campus and I marvelled at how they simply drive everywhere. Back in Leeds I only know one or two people who brought a car. Most just use public transportation. I got to eat Southern food, visit Grand Ole Opry, and had a fabulous time with the gals. The next year I was enrolled in grad school in Boston and lost touch with all my American connection. Great. My fault really. I’m pretty bad at correspondence.

Fast forward to 2008, Facebook is now available to everyone so of course I started searching these long-lost friends. Becky! Hi! Where’s Emily?

Sadly Emily is no longer with us…

For someone I haven’t seen in years this news knocked me in the solar plexus. I can’t believe Emily is gone. So soon. I’m sad for Becky too. It’s terrible to lost a friend, a best one at that. Especially since they’ve sometimes talked about the future, how fun would it be to take walk in the park as mothers pushing their babies strollers, how they’d plan to live close to one another so their kids can be best friends too. It’s not like I plan to pack my bags and move to Nashville either, but somehow I fully expect to also see their kids via social media, to wish them happy birthdays from afar.

“And we were never holding back or worried that time would come to an end”

But time does come to an end…

I cried then. I cried again now.

I won’t ever see Emily again. Those chocolate-brown hair and beautiful smile… Guess I’ll never found out what happened to that guy who followed her around back in Leeds eh? Not that it mattered anymore.

Becky, I am glad to note, is happily busy with her beautiful family and friends. I love seeing her photos, following the renovation adventure and all the daily family stuff. Forward and onward!

Someday I hope I’ll have the chance to see them again. Until then, good night Emily and good day to you Becky.

beck_Em

The Beautiful American Duo

 

Changes and Challenges

Nothing jumps starts a new year like fresh new looks and challenges. After reading the handy-dandy report WordPress freely provided about our blogging year, it is sadly rather lacking. Apparently I only post 6. Yes, only 6 new stuff!!! What was I doing? On twitter mostly.

It is extremely easy to just flash off a sentence or two on twitter. So very easy. Although sometimes one found that one starts to write series of tweets since one’s thought on the matter is actually longer than a sentence (or two). And why am I insisting in writing in third person like this? Oh and I’ve been reading too. Crazy amount of time reading.

I got an iPad mini last year. Then I started discovering the bookstore and that there are free, FREE ebooks abound!!! Of course most of these free books were part of trilogies or more. So before I realise it, I started reading, and reading, and reading, and I’ve surpassed the challenge I set for myself on Goodreads! I set out to read 40 books and I think I read closer to 60. Some books were rather crap so I don’t bother putting it on the list. But then I also realised I’ve been feeling somewhat restless…

I’ve read and now it is time to create something. Since I’m not very good at arts and crafts, I’ll resort to writing. I’m no Rowling, but I don’t think my writing is too bad. I can craft words or two and what better way to start than giving myself a challenge?

The challenge actually one of those Facebook tag thingy but instead of the usual list of 10 things I like about Cats or something, you’re challenge to create a small works of art for friends who replied and forward the challenge too. Initially I wasn’t going to do it but then my friend assured me that writing does constitute a work or art. So I plunge forward, says I’m in and copy the status. It looks like this :

I, Sita Sidharta, hereby promise to make a small work of art for the first ten people who comment on this post and say “YES, I want in”. A ‘like’ alone is not enough of a commitment, nor is a comment about thinking Pay It Forward is a great idea.

You must in turn post this as your status update and make something for the first ten who comment on your status.

* The rules are simple: it has to be your work, made by you, and the recipient must receive it before 2014 ends… *

(Thanks to Sara A Chaudhary)

Seems simple but to write 10 things for people you know puts it to another level – at least to someone who only manage 6 posts last year 😉 So far only 5 friends is up for the challenge. It’ll probably stay that way since by tomorrow that post will be a goner, replaced by steady stream of updates from others. That’s ok. That’s still 5 piece of writing to think about. I’m excited about it actually 😀

As for the change, I change my blog theme again. This time I went for something more streamlined, less clutter. Sadly my cats don’t make an appearance despite the blog being called ‘Metro Kitmom’. I guess I’ll just have to post photos about them then. ha!

tile_cat3.jpg

tile_cat1.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yep, those are the Bebels; Bella, Joyyo, and Lila, respectively.

Oh and feel free to take up the challenge. There are still 5 spots left so do leave a comment here and copy paste it onto your blog. I’ll write something for you. It may be a prose, a poem, flash fiction… I don’t know yet but I can promise it will come from the heart.

Have a good and productive year!

Langit Biru Chika

IMG_2570

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Di bawah langit biru Australia
tetiba teringat aku padamu, Chika
bercerita tentang berjuta cita-citamu

Tentang keinginanmu
untuk bepergian ke berbagai negara
termasuk Amerika, tuk bekerja disana

Dan aku, sangat bisa membayangkanmu
bekerja dan tinggal disana
mungkin di Williamsburg, Queens, atau TriBeCa

Aku bisa melihatmu,
dengan boots dan scarf berwarna
berjalan dari blok ke blok bersama para warga

Commuters, New Yorkers, Manhattanites,
you’ll blend right in!
Of that I’m sure  😉

Ah, aku rasa
tempatmu saat ini lebih ok ya?
lebih keren dari penthouse di Upper East Side

Hanya saja,
sangat jauh dari kita semua

Tuhan menentukan, sementara manusia
hanya bisa berencana…

Sangat jelas langit di Australia
gumpalan awan putih dan langit biru
sejelas daftar cita-citamu

Dalam naungan cakrawala biru
secerah lebarnya senyummu
apa kabarmu disana?

Doa pelipur duka
bahagia di nirwana ya

 

IMG_2202

 

 

 

*between Canberra-Lakes Entrance, Dec 2013*

My Beautiful Strangers

So there I was puttering in the house when the playlist, that I always set at random, choose Madonna’s Beautiful Stranger. Suddenly my mind is transported back to Summer of 99… 🙂

Back then I was graduate student living a stress free (yeah right!) life in Boston. My best mates were Rob and Matt. All of us were in the same COM class of ’00 though Matt was in Production like me and Rob was in TV Management. In the first semester we share a fair amount of classes together and we just clicked. Soon the three of us would hang out everywhere together.

Between internship and the already paid rent I decided to stay during the summer instead of going home. Matt and Rob were also staying in town. So of course we spend even more time hanging out together. Of the three of us, Rob is the only one with a proper paying job, that’s how he supports himself through school. Thus he’s the one with a car and during that summer he decided to bought a new car. I don’t for the live of me remember what the car was, all I remember was that it was an SUV, black, with only 2 doors cuz he said 4 doors are for families. Whatever. It means Matt and I were always fighting to ride shotgun. He likes that. Evil!

Rob’s job involved him going out-of-town for a couple of weeks or so, then stay in town for a few. He’s in union too so it was a very well paid job compared to the rest of us (yeah so say the trust fund baby with the monkey servant and elephant showers – ok that’s an inside jokes 😉 Now that he has a car, whenever he’s in town he likes to pack us up and go somewhere. So off we go. Sometimes we just go to chill out around Boston, sometimes we go further like to New York or to the Cape. He’d lug us there, took us to his favourite place to have clam chowder then we’d hit the beach.

It was during one of these sunset session at the Cape that we really opened up to one another. This sounds really cliché but we talked about our hopes, our dreams, our fears. We have another year of school then off to the real world we go. Matt and Rob (no, they’re not a couple) were planning to move to NYC and I was not sure where to go. I don’t want to go home just yet, I want to go to LA but neither of them wants to go there. Rob because his job’s HQ is in NY so if he wants to move to management it makes more sense to be there rather than somewhere else. Matt, well he’s from the NY State so it’s like going home for him. They were trying to persuade me to come with them, pointing out the benefit of being in the Big Apple, “We could live together like Friends!” Err… as much as I love you guys, I really don’t want to live with you. No thank you.

As the moon rose, the sea gets really dark. I suddenly quipped, “To think, my family is on the other side of the ocean…” and it hits me, sooner or later this is just going to be a memory. I am going home eventually. I am going to miss my two best friends very much. We joked that I should get married to Rob (cuz Matt already have a girlfriend somewhere) to get a green card then split immediately. Haha! Now that would be really funny. My parents would kill me for a start…

What has this got to do with Beautiful Strangers? Well, it was in Austin Powers, a movie that came out that summer, that we watched together and have a good laugh. It was on the radio during our trips, alternating with Ricky Martin and J-Lo. So yeah, here we are more than a decade later. I’m firmly at home and those two are firmly at NY. I kinda lost touch with Matt, last I heard he’s doing just fine. I hope so. Rob updates his fb every now and then so I know he’s definitely doing good.

Here’s to my beautiful strangers, may you stay well and beautiful. Cheers!

The Beautiful Strangers in Boston

To my girl in need

Dear Girlfriend,

First of all, know that I love you. I love you and I want the best for you. So please don’t take this the wrong way, okay 🙂

Dearest, he is not the answer. Yes, you read that right. He’s not the answer.Let him go.

He’s just a sign that all is not right in your paradise. He’s an escape. He can’t help you, if anything he’ll make it worse. Don’t throw away your paradise. We don’t even know what his feelings are for you. For all we know, he just regards you as a friend. Nothing more.

Your paradise, now him, that’s the one you should be worrying. He loves you. That much we know is true. The thing is dear, relationship is hard. It is difficult and you gotta work at it. How could it be so difficult if your love each other? It’s because we’re human. We grow, we change, we’re dynamic and constantly evolving. Anyone who told you that love is easy is delusional. That, or in denial.

Love is never easy. It’s a constant battle. My parents been married for nearly 50 years and they still fought every now and then. But they also show me the rewards of being in love for that long. They are happy, healthy, busy, with solid working mind. Oh yes there’s sign of aging here and there, they are in their 70’s after all. My Dad is my Mom’s fiercest supporter and vice versa. If you cross one of them, then you’re messing with both of them.

So yes, it is normal to have problems. It is normal to feel that all is not right. What you need to do is talk to him, figure it out. Don’t run away from him. Don’t run to the other guy. He can’t do anything for you. He’ll just creates more problems and you don’t need more problems. If after trying it out you still can’t solve it then we’ll talk again. But for now, try it out. Okay.

with love,

The Exes Parade

I don’t get it when people talk about being friends with their ex-boyfriend, ex-husband maybe, particularly when there’s kids involved. But mere boyfriend?

I don’t have a lot, and while I no longer feel like harming them, nor do I feel any particular needs to be friends with them, even with those who parted amicably. It just seems to me that once you moved on, which I have, they then belong firmly in the past. Unless you have to work with them or has the luck of being their neighbor then I don’t see the need to be chummy.

Having said all that, I do think about them every now and then. I would be lying if I said I’m not at all curious about how they are now. Of course I do. They once occupy a big space in my life! And once they’re in my heart, they stay there even in diminishing real estate. I don’t want them to be miserable either, I’d want them to be happy.

Back then, the only way to find out was through the grapevine. These days you can snoop around to check their online trace. Mind you, if they’re Luddites or are not socmed freaks it could get a bit difficult 😉

So yeah, I confess, I’ve googled them. Some I find, some seems to vanished. Oh well. Those that I dead able to track seems to be doing ok. They seem to be where they want to be so that can’t be bad. Am I envious? No. Do I want their life? No. Is my life better? I dunno, I certainly have a good life, I’ve been blessed. Theirs? Just different.

I do believe it works out for the best in the end. I could probably do without the heartache but hey, that’s life right?

So my dear exes, have a good life. Take care 😘

Oh Those Camera Dads

When it comes to cameras, most moms don’t really care as long as the camera takes good pics of their children then they’re happy. The dads however, now that’s interesting.

Now that I’ve observed several school events, there 2 camp of dads. One camp don’t care about it happily snapping away with their cameras, and then there’s the photo journos wannabes. These dads would come to a school event carrying huge camera bags, which would carry at least 2 lens to go with their DSLR’s. Sometimes they’ll jostle with the pocket cam dads, but often they just stay in their chair cuz they can use their powerful zoom lens to take pics of their kids just from where they are sitting. Oh there’s a third camp, the video dads. Now, video dads usually use general consumer video cam, I’ve yet to see a dad using a procam for their kids kindergarten events. Sometimes they stay in their chair, other times they’ll stand in front for the whole duration of the show. They don’t jostle, they’re calm… Until you walk in front of them. Then they give you a scowl. How dare you block my child!

Ah dads. On school shows they’re amusing. Unchecked, they can be annoying especially those who hog the spot in front of the stage. Yo! I want to see my child too!

Anyway it wouldn’t be school shows without all the hustle and bustle. Just don’t forget to take pics of my cute and wonderful child ok! 😉

Them I Miss

As an expat child, I know that when I move there will be things I’ll miss. I will miss my friends, I usually miss the house (I’d like to say my house but it was never mine to begin with), my room in Amsterdam is still the best bed room I ever had and the public transport. That’s usually the case when I move cities.

Now, I’ve moved back home for good. Obviously I moved back to my parental home, I used to have a room there but because I moved around so much, my room been re-arranged, re-decorated, re-owned by various siblings, nephew, nieces, that by the rime I moved back it doesn’t feel like my room anymore. I ended up using my sister’s room since my nephew and nieces claimed it as their weekend room. Yes I know I could kick them out and make them use the other room but somehow it was easier just for me to change rooms.

Then I got married and moved to our apartment. I miss my parent’s but I’m there so often anyway I don’t really miss it. I got a child, then another and soon our two-bedroom apt is cramped and full. We need to move.

So, in short we’ve moved from our apt to a somewhat larger, spacious house (it’s still not ours yet, so it’s still a house not a home). And yes, I miss our friends from the apt, we don’t bump into each other in the pool, the market, the lobby or the elevator anymore. Good thing we’re still in the same region so we bump into the local mall aka our local townsquare. But here’s some people that I didn’t think I miss; the people at the local grocery store. The neighbourhood Hero in this case.

Who’s thought they miss their local grocers? I didn’t miss any of the grocers in my previous cities. Ok maybe I miss some stores but I didn’t stay anywhere long enough to truly know the people in my neighbourhood. But I realise that the people that worked in the local Hero, they’ve known me almost as long as my husband. See, that Hero is also my mom’s local store. She goes there to do the weekly shopping and guess who’d accompany her or sent on such errands? Yours truly of course. If I’m not busy I would definitely go with her to the supermarket, its a childhood habit. If she’s busy and I’m not then she’d send me armed with a list and some notes to do her shopping. My apt is practically a stone throw away from her house so it’s really no brainer I’d continue shopping for my weekly groceries there too.

It’s a strange thing, this relationship with your friendly supermarket workers. I realise I may not know their names – but I know who works where. She’s in fruits and vegs, he’s at the meat, he’s a stacker, and then there’s the cashier gang. They see me going as a kid tagging along, as a young homemaker, pregnant with my first child, as a mom with a little baby, with a baby and a toddler in tow and finally with a toddler and very young girl. They’re with me in most stages of adulthood. And not only that, they know my mom too!

My friend once said that if you stay in a place long enough and keep going to the same public place or using the same public transportation you soon ‘know’ the people. I guess in 7+ years, going there once sometimes twice a week, that means I see them at least 60 odd times in a year! Wow.

Wonder if I’d feel the same ‘bond’ with the local supermarket people where I live now.