an exploration of the expression of sorrow. a visual diary of emotions.

I find it quite beautiful and fascinating that our body and mind is able to conjure up a range of emotions. And even to jump from one emotion to another when triggered by a particular memory or an external event. Often I find myself having a very vague memory of a certain past event but the emotion is still incredibly intense.

Perhaps the mind remembers more of the emotion that it has endured rather than the memory of the event itself?

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lonely walks.

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That I am fascinated with the world, with the universe, the stars glittering on the canvas of nothingness, the trees swaying being roared by the rough winds, the grey heavens above me crying endlessly for hours only to give birth to the blue skies, I am fascinated with people and their beautiful faces, beautiful hearts and their beautiful minds.

I am in rapture, in bliss, in perpetual elation when I sit under a tree on a fine sunny day that nothing matters except that very moment itself. That brief, short-lived moment when you close your eyes and your body shivers of madness towards the beauty of the now.

And you inhale deeply a breath so fresh, that you know that what you inhale is life itself.

I am in ecstasy when I experience the new and I love learning anything new.

But I’m also afraid of failing, of looking stupid, of doing things incorrectly or not doing it on how it’s supposed to be but I just constantly push m yself to get through it. 

Every time this fear comes up, I quietly say to myself, “carpe diem.” And i’ve been using these simple personal, words of self encouragement before it was downgraded into a meme. Now perhaps for many it’s been turned into “you live only once”, just a humorous slogan that people use to accompany a rotating chicken GIF or getting a hello kitty tattoo on your forehead. But for me, those words are the basis of my life and this is why freedom is essential in my life. 

I need to be free in order to live, I need to be free in order to love. Because freedom and love go hand in hand. And what is life without love?

My life has been filled with taking risks, chances, living in the unknown or whatever one chooses to call it. Yes, looking back on all the things I’ve done, these risk taking actions, has hurt not only myself but also others. The people I care for. 

I’ve tri ed my best not to, but I also have this firm belief, a very, very firm belief. 

A firm belief that if I don’t take chances, if I don’t risk anything, I will do nothing, I will have nothing, and I will become nothing.

And for now the only thing I want to become is to understand the misery that I have struggled for the past year with, a misery that I have yet to let go.

But if you think about it, why are we so afraid being nothing? Don’t we all come from nothing?

Carpe Diem, Ben.

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Btw I’m learning me some ukulele!

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Starting a personal project on documenting Wellington’s nightlife. More to come in the following weeks.

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Storytelling-philosophy night. 

Sharing stories with beautiful people and their beautiful minds.

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Sunset at Punakaiki beach, NZ (pause video to let it load).

Let’s talk a bit on life, my life.

A few weeks ago, 11th of July to be precise, was my 26th birthday. Twenty six years of living on this beautiful planet called earth. And throughout that twenty six years of living I, like many of you reading this, have experienced an extensive range of emotions, of tragedies, of smiles and tears, of anger and despair, of regret and of unrequited love, of happiness and joy. And all that I have experienced in my life, has made me into what I am today. I am nothing but an accumulation of experiences that I have subjectively experienced.

I have changed in a year, but again since I am nothing but an accumulation of experiences, a year is nothing but the accumulation of that change. The actual change itself happens in a day, an hour, a minute, a second. 

If someone were to ask me where do I see myself in 10 years time? I would tell them that I do not quite know and perhaps will never know. I have downsized and yet also broadened my goal in life to “to help people”. If I were asked the same question one year ago, I would answer this question with specificity. Something determined and fixed. Some particular non-vague goal that I wish to obtain in the future with deep hopes and desires embedded within it. 

People want vision, people want some sort of future that they can hold on to and imagine themselves living that future. For many it gives hope and it gives meaning to one’s life. But I have experienced something profound that has changed on how I see tomorrow. I have experienced loss and loss changes you. It changed on how I see life and it changed my priorities in life. What I once deemed important has now changed.

To actually experience loss of someone I love, my father, whom I cared for deeply and have often imagined his death of , has refined, reshaped, refashioned, redesigned, metamorphosed and forcefully evolved on how I view my relationship with people, this world and ultimately myself. I don’t expect anyone to understand this, to understand me, because I understand ultimately that this deep inner and profound change within me can never actually be explained to someone else and can only be experienced by me and me alone. 

But I say this to you, this is what it means to mature and that is to experience and embrace misery. The road to adulthood is often a lonely, painful path that must be taken, filled with uncertainties, fear,  disappointments, sadness and even anger. It’s not that we have not experienced all this when we were younger, but to be an adult is to face these head on and often alone, standing on your own two feet. 

No one teaches you how to become an adult, we learn by seeing, by mimicking those whom are older than us, people whom we see as the ideal i ndividual(s) to mimic. “That’s what an adult is”, we silently and perhaps unconsciously say to ourselves. 

And I hope that as I mature, the child within me, that I know is often hiding behind a barrage of so called matured logical notions of how this world works, is here to stay. Notions that often prevent us in taking chances, welcoming fear and turning that fear into curiosity.

I want to remain curious, to ask questions, to see the world anew and fresh. Perhaps this is what carpe diem means. To seize the day. To understand wholeheartedly that you live only once.

To take chances and never look back.

To embrace the child within me is to be brave. To be brave was never about being fearless or having no fear whatsoever. But it is about finding the courage to break the barrier of fear that has often imprisoned us in a box of imaginative probabilities that we have no way of knowing the certainty of. This is part of the chal lenge of life.

The challenge in living life is not only to cope with life but to thrive in it. Not only to accept life, because you have been forced to accept life, but to actually live life. Revel in it. Find meaning and joy in it. To find purpose, personal subjective purpose in life. Not to run through life. 

And I realize now that the journey towards my goal, whatever that goal might be, is the one that I long for. It was never the goal in itself, it was always about the journey.

Because what is the end without the process of ending?

And that process must be filled with love and the dedication of the individual service towards others.

Because love has always been about giving. To give what you can give, to give to see others grow, to lift others out of their misery or sadness or confusion. It is to take their hand and to show them that however bleak and desolate this life is there will always be hope.

Hope for happiness and happiness gives p urpose in living one’s life.

So who took my hand, many months ago, when I was lost and confused when I saw the body of father laying on his death bed, soulless yet still seemingly filled with life? Everyone that cared for me. Even though these people had a vague understanding of what I was going through or perhaps was going through the same ordeal as I was they showed empathy and compassion for me. And this is where your deep connection with anyone plays an important role in life, whomever that person may be. Your family, your lover, your friends, your anyone.

But was this ever good enough to lift me out of my painful lesson on understanding loss? 

No. It never was.

That lesson must be understood by me and me alone.

I realized after a few weeks accustoming myself being fatherless, where empathy of the people around me slowly faded away and their desire for me to accept reality started kicking in, that I must learn to be compassionate towards myself. I needed to love myself. I needed to actually work hard and free myself from my desires, hopes, intents that I had for my father. 

I needed to learn to let go.

And to learn to let go, however simple it may sound, however tediously and monotonously it has been repeated in self-help books, or by Oprah Winfrey, Deepak Chopra or even in nonsensical popular magazines, is not and will never be an easy matter to do.

And I write this, for you the reader, because I want to share my experience. Although my intent in sharing my life’s story is to give a description, perhaps a rather vague one, on what life is, at least from my current point of view, you can never actually understand what I am experiencing.

Because experience is personal, subjective and unique for every individual.

My deep intent in sharing this is to show you on what life has to offer. Beneath its quirkiness, beneath its sadness, and suffering and misery and even more sadn ess and every other negative emotion you can think of.

There will always be hope. The hope for happiness. 

Some perhaps find it in faith of certain a religion, some in faith in science, but I, my dear friend, have found faith in my love for humanity. No, not only humanity but perhaps the universe. 

To sit underneath the stars and actually reconnect yourself with what is essential. It is in actuality to find that connection of something beyond your field of thought, incomprehensible, unfathomable. Is to find that deep reconnection with yourself. 

No god in between, no ideology, no complex philosophy or political agendas. Just you.

I have a torn and tortured soul. I am broken and shattered. I sometimes wake up in the morning here in my lonely room, befriended by the unforgiving Wellingtonian rain that only adds depth to my sadness. Filled with tears longing for my father, wishing this was all a sick and twisted dream. I ac knowledge this and I accept this as a part of me.

I sometimes lose my desire to do anything productive, to do anything useful for myself. I sometimes feel lost, dazed and confused. Frustrated and angered. Sad and despondent. Desolate and on the verge of insanity. Insanity caused by sadness entwined with hopes and dreams that I know can no longer be fulfilled. 

My salvation, lies within me and never outside me.

I have to learn and learn by myself. 

And here at a cafe in a library, I guzzle my mediocre and forgettable coffee. Devour my breakfast, my meal and my only one for the day. I question and rethink again on what I want. Not with the world but what I want for myself. 

I am at a very fragile moment in life. That I must admit.

I have chosen this path of directly facing my sufferings not because it is easy but because it is hard. Pushing yourself through grief, is perhaps my sign of maturity. 

I am glad my father died. Not glad to see him suffer if he did, or my family suffer or anyone else that he left suffer. But I am glad because it has taught me a lesson on being lost. On questioning myself and my intent or place in this world.

The moment my father died I became lost, disoriented like many other experiencing death of a loved one. But I am glad, because it is one of the harshest lessons anyone is forced to learn. The lesson of acceptance of a deep rooted heartbreaking tragedy.

Because it is only when we are lost do we begin to truly find ourselves.

Happy birthday Ben.

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rarasekar:

Selamat ulang tahun, sayang.. Mungkin tahun ini bukan memang tahun terbaik buat kita berdua ngerayain ulang tahun kita, kita sama-sama terpisah jauh jarak dan waktu, dan rasanya susah juga untuk bilang bahwa ini semua bukan apa-apa. Jauh ini apa-apa, walau memang cuma sementara. 

Tapi anehnya, di sela-sela lara dan sepi hari aku, banyak hal yang meningatkan aku tentang kamu, tentang kita; harum lembaran kertas majalah B&W di Periplus, bau khas kamu di sweater Fisip Unpar kesukaanmu, wangi teh pandan di Kedai Teko, hujan rintik di Selasar Sunaryo, kursi depan cermin di restoran vegetarian favorit kita, buku-buku Krishnamurti yang ditandai banyak post-its berwarna-warni, tanaman kita si Bodhi yang semakin tinggi besar, lensa 50mm yg retak di atas lemar i kameraku, pohon-pohon di Taman Lansia dan Cisangkuy, matahari pagi di Pasar Cihapit dan harum nasi panas Warung Ibu Eha, beberapa dialog di Before Sunset, dan di atas segalanya, lagu-lagu yang secara tidak sengaja memainkan dirinya di iPodku:

1. The Sound of Silence - Simon & Garfunkel
Masa kecilku mungkin sekitar 60% aku abisin untuk dengerin Simon & Garfunkel karena Bapa. Berharaplah suatu hari ketika aku masih SMP untuk seseorang bisa mengerti bahwa Paul Simon & Art Garfunkel adalah bagian dari proses kehidupan seorang Rara Sekar, dan akhirnya aku bertemu dengan orang yang bisa mengerti keindahan musik mereka ketika masuk kuliah, dan orang itu bernama Ben K. C. Laksana :p

2. Partita in D Minor for Solo Violin (Chaconne) - JS Bach
Kadang kita cuma diem di mobil untuk meresapi Chaconne, sampai nangis terharu.. Hahaha duo sensitif. Tapi inilah salah satu hal yang aku suka dari kita, ketika diam mendengarkan musik bersam a bukan menjadi momen kosong yang tidak nyaman, justru energi pada saat itu seperti mengucap kata nyaman tanpa harus berkata. 

3. Girls - Takagi Masakatsu
Di bawah pohon-pohon Taman Lansia, dan matahari pagi yang hangat. Cuplikan momentum yang masih terekam jelas dalam memori visual dan ingatan indera rasa: surrealis, itulah hari itu. 

4. Postcards from Italy - Beirut
Adalah lagu yang saat ini seringkali mendeskripsikan perasaanku dengan tepat. Bukan liriknya 100%, bukan juga setiap nadanya, hanya seluruh perasaan yang terbangun ketika mendengarkannya mengembalikan aku kepada banyak hal yang telah kita lalui bareng, seperti soundtrack untuk perjalanan kita menyusuri kota tua Ani di Kars, Turki. Bebas. 

“And I will love to see that day
That day is mine
When she will marry me outside with the willow trees
And play the songs we made
They made me so
And I would love to see that day
Her day was mine”

5. I Don’t Want To Set The World On Fire - The Ink Spots
Terlalu banyak kita berharap pada lagu. Yang terjadi? Sebaliknya :p

6. Heartbeats - Jose Gonzalez
Lagu perjalanan kita, di bus, menuju Trabzon, Turki. Sambil menyenderkan kepalaku di pundak kamu, kita melihat pergantian pemandangan dari padang pasir, pegunungan, lapangan kuning berisi ribuan bunga matahari, sampai ke hutan hijau yang lembab.

“Ten days of perfect tunes
The colors red and blue
We had a promise made
We were in love” 

7. Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want - The Smiths
The Post-500 Days of Summer-Euphoria. Merasa segalanya adalah sempurna. Walau akhirnya kita melepas persepsi itu dan menggantinya dengan kesadaran bahwa apa adanya adalah sempurna.

8. Idyllwild - Trembling Blue Stars
Kalau aku lagi ga megang iPod, pasti kamu pasang lagu ini dan nyanyi sendiri, penuh semangat. Kangen rasanya ada yang nemenin nyanyi di mobil, sambil dengan gaya sok asik kamu dan ngeliat ke arahku hanya untuk afirmasi ke-sok-asikan kamu. Kangen. 

9. Priceless - Copeland
Saat-saat itu semuanya masih seperti mimpi. Seperti belaian lembut di kepala ketika sedang tidur terlelap. Hingga saat ini, lagu itu masih membawa aku ke masa-masa di mana kita masih layaknya sebuah ide yang sempurna, tanpa cela.

10. The Cave - Mumford & Sons
Aku selalu bilang lagu ini lagu balapan kuda kalau kamu lagi pasang on repeat di mobil dari playlist iPod kamu yang kamu kasih judul “mum” karena kamu malas ngetik. Tapi tetep, setiap lagu ini diputar, kita pasti nyanyi bareng di mobil sampai serak satu album Mumford. Bahkan sering kita tunggu sampai lagunya selesai, baru kita turun walau udah sampai tempat yang dituju. Hahaha.

11. Fix You - Coldplay
Lagu lari pagi kamu semenjak kuliah, dan lagu yang sering kita pasang kalau malam lagi menuju rumahku. Di jalan Supratman, kosong, terkadang kita hanya ada di mobil untuk mendengarkan bagian klimaks dari lagu Fix You, dan berandai kita sedang berlari menuju suatu tempat yang tinggi. 

12. Senyum dari Selatan - SORE
Di jalan Setiabudi Atas, di depan Daeng Tata, berdua kita hanya diam mendengarkan Ports of Lima. Tidak ada kata yang bisa mendeskripsikan malam itu selain subliminal. Malam itu adalah penanda dari semua dari kita yang seperti sempurna, menjadi nyata.

13. Pink Moon - Nick Drake
Setia menemani perjalanan dari Bukit Jarian - Arcamanik. Setiap malamnya.  

14. Oh Ohio - Lambchop
Lagu ini adalah salah satu lagu yang kamu kasih ke aku pas awal-awal kita pacaran. Sampai saat ini, lagu itu masih ngasih atmosfir yang asing, dreamy dan mengambang. Seperti berdiri di jembatan kaca dari ketinggian 2000 kaki di atas permukaan laut, indah tapi hati ga bisa berhenti berdebar.

15. Naked As We Came - Iron & Wine
Salah satu dari sekian lagu perjalanan kita. Berpelukan, di atas salah satu puncak bukit di Cappadocia, menikmati gerak matahari tenggelam ditemani Cappy. Hangat luar dalam, rasa yang menyisa setelah lagu ini selesai.

16. Keep it Loose Keep it Tight - Amos Lee

“But sometimes, we forget what we got,
who we are.
Oh who are not.
I think we gotta chance,
to make it right.
Keep it loose, keep it tight.” 

Lagu untuk merebahkan kepala aku di pahamu, sambil kita berdua membaca buku setela h hujan reda pukul 2 siang di Teko. Pesanan camomile tea kita pun datang, udara Bandung sore itu tidak lagi mengenal dingin. 

17. Honeymoon on Ice - The Trees and The Wild
Dulu kita pernah ngetweet “the trees, and the wild and the rain” dalam waktu yang bersamaan padahal kita lagi di tempat yang berbeda. Haha, kejadian yang sering terjadi lebih dari satu dua kali, sampai sering bikin kita berkhayal yang nggak-nggak tentang makna di baliknya. 

18. Chicago - Sufjan Stevens
Seperti rasa yang dibawa lagu ini, bersama dalam kebebasan adalah kita. Seperti melangkah bersama bukan untuk mengungkung diri dalam sebuah kotak, tapi untuk melangkah maju bersama menjelajahi hidup.

19. The Build Up - Kings of Convenience
Kamu selalu nyanyi bagian Erlend, dan aku bagian Feist. Bukit Jarian. Jendela yang sedikit terbuka. Matahari sore dan hanya ada lilin aroma therapy yang menerangi meja.

20. Sweet Disposition - The Temper Trap
Di tengah kerumunan orang kita ada di situ, saksi atas pengalaman musik yang sublim: lampu-lampu panggung dalam slow motion dan totalitas musik yang tanpa cela.

21. Chasing Cars - Snow Patrol

“If I lay here
If I just lay here
Would you lie with me
And just forget the world?” 

22. Since I Fell For You - Dinah Washington
Lagu pertama yang kamu sok-sok putar di handphone setelah 1 tahun kita ga saling bicara. Juga lagu yang sering kamu ajak aku slow dance di kos kalau lagi sedikit gila. Good times :)

23. First Days of Spring - Noah and The Whale
Jam 6 pagi kita berangkat menuju Ciwidey, melalui jalanan Lembang dengan jendela mobil terbuka kita berandai-andai jauh ke sana. Pada awalnya kita memahami lagu ini sebagai lagu cinta biasa, n amun belakangan, lagu ini lebih bercerita tentang kehilangan orang yang kita cinta. Sedalam luka, seindah sebuah ide akan bahagia, lagu ini tidak pernah gagal membuatku dan kamu meneteskan air mata.

24. Blue Skies - Noah and The Whale
Untuk kamu. Untuk aku. Untuk kita, dan perjalanan kita yang masih panjang.. :) 

25. You Are The Best Thing - Ray LaMontagne
Love and miss how we used to dance to this song, over and over again. Those sweet, sweet moments, unforgettable.

26. To Build A Home - The Cinematic Orchestra


“There is a house built out of stone
Wooden floors, walls and window sills
Tables and chairs worn by all of the dust
This is a place where I don’t feel alone
This is a place where I feel at home

And I built a home
For you
For me.”

Happy 26th Birthday, Ben K. C. Laksana! 
May all your dreams come true, for when they’d do, I’d be with you.
Love you with all my heart.

(This photo looks so much like this one, don’t you think? What are the odds ya..)

Hugs & Kisses,

Rara Sekar 

Terharu bacanya, karena jadi kangen kamu dan inget kita dulu di Bandung maen bareng terus, ketawa2, nonton konser, baca buku, tiduran di taman dll. Thank you and love you!


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Mountains and hills of South Island, New Zealand. Hiking around the South Island has its rewards. 

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Punakaiki, South Island, New Zealand Punakaiki, South Island, New Zealand Punakaiki, South Island, New Zealand Punakaiki, South Island, New Zealand Lake Tekapo, South Island, New Zealand Lake Tekapo, South Island, New Zealand

Long exposure night photography around South Island, New Zealand. Standing endless hours in the freezing winds, alone and in the dark finally paid off.

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We grow weary of those things which we most desire.

— Samuel Butler�
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Flowers, trees, or plants in general reminds me of home and my white Hyacinth bloomed just when I was about to go backpacking down to the South Island. Beautiful isn’t it?

Flowers, trees, or plants in general reminds me of home and my white Hyacinth bloomed just when I was about to go backpacking down to the South Island. Beautiful isn’t it?

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Eddie Vedder - Rise (OST. Into the Wild)

To be born, to grow old, to study, to get a job, to buy a house, to get married, to have children, to have grandchildren, to retire and to die at a very old age. How shallow one’s life is.

Tracy Delicious eats pussy from the bottom in a 69
Mellanie Monroe & Xander Corvus in My Friends Hot Mom Blindfold fucking on banquet table (La Punizione) Lesbians Double Hot Fisting vs Latex Harcore Sluts
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Conan O'Brien at Dartmouth (2011). One of the best commencement speeches I have ever heard.

“For decades, in show business, the ultimate goal of every comedian was to host The Tonight Show. It was the Holy Grail, and like many people I thought that achieving that goal would define me as successful. But that is not true. No specific job or career goal defines me, and it should not define you. In 2000 — in 2000 — I told graduates to not be afraid to fail, and I still believe that. But today I tell you that whether you fear it or not, disappointment will come. The beauty is that through disappointment you can gain clarity, and with clarity comes conviction and true originality.”

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Wes Anderson Mixtape

Moonrise Kingdom coming in August woohoo!


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I was watching a contemporary dance performance a few days ago performed by the people from Footnote Dance. There are those moments when you become so immersed when watching an art performance that your mind blocks everything around you except, of course, the performance itself. Your mind experiences tunnel vision. And when you remain in this state for some time, there arises this connection with you and the performance. You become incredibly absorbed in it, that you start observing and become attentive towards the subtle movement of the performers.

And when I was watching these talented light-footed human beings move about so gracefully a nd fluid, I could see, no I could feel, that their body became their mind.

The body engulfed the whole self. The self is the body, and the body alone. There is no separation of body and mind.

The body is the mind and the mind is the body.

And it was beautiful to witness such rarity.

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