25 December 2023

Sprawling: An Inherent Trait of New Town Development

We can't expect high density development in our suburbs because sprawling is an inherent trait of Indonesian new town development.

  1. Indonesian suburb new town developments are mainly working on a massive area of land bank.

  2. Their business model usually involves buying the land at a very low price and selling it at an extremely high price to allow a high margin of profit. That price are basically not set by market valuation but instead engineered by the developers.

13 November 2023

The Human Animals

I overheard the sky said to the sun,

"look at the trees. They seem chaotic but they are very logical.

Now look at them, the human animals, they seem well arranged and established but many times lack of logic and reason. Sometimes none whatsoever.

Pity. They buried too many things deep inside their minds."

29 October 2023

The Altar of Wisdom

The lines on his serene face silently tell, there were many things that the old man had endured in life. His soft smile tells that he fought well. His sharp eyes tell that the fire is burning bright still inside him.

He was holding the little hand of his grandson, in front of stacks of books, the source of knowledge, solemnly, like in front of the altar of wisdom.

There he prayed. He prayed through the breathes that he took into his lungs, flowed to his blood with every beat of his heart, into the veins of his hand.

"May my grandson have all the needed knowledge and skill and courage to be great at telling lies, to be an expert in fooling and manipulating and exploiting people, and to profiteer out of them."

18 June 2023

In Defense of Jaywalking (in neighborhood street)

Have you ever being in a car that passes through a narrow strip of street where people seems to have low sensitivity of the presence of vehicles? They walk close to the middle of the street, they cross without looking, children carelessly stroll, in short, jaywalking.

Especially for the person that's driving, it must be an awkward situation or even stressful. The narrow street becomes even narrower with the presence of the people, the vehicle can only move very slowly, and the driver got to make sure that they don't hit anyone.

This piece would argue that that is exactly how a neighborhood street should be: People walk freely, how they want to walk, without fear of being grazed by motorized vehicles.

04 June 2023

Ode to River

Hidden beneath the rocks and behind the thickness of the leaves and roots, the Water Spring asked, "Who am I?"

The Earth replied, "you are the source of life, you are the manifestation of life, you are the life itself. You are the fortuitous miracle of nature."

After it was battered by the hot and dry wind of the unforgiving day, the Creek rested in its solitude of the night, until the Moon said, "you are destined to be the unstoppable sculptor, you are the persistent and perseverant water within, you are the invincible."

Its rays danced on the turbulent surface of the Stream, gleaming and glittering, the Sun said, "you are the inevitable consequence of the contours of the soil, of the mountains, the plains, the valleys, and the hills. You are the inescapable realization of the ultimate certainty of the world."

Sweeping across fast distance and extensive land, over the forests, grasslands, dessert, villages, and cities; as it started to flood majestically, the River declared,

"I am all that.

I am the accidental creation.
I am the inevitable consequence.
I am the undeniable force of reality.

I am the water and everything that flows within.
I am the neverending rediscovery of self and I have never been the same on every heartbeat of my flush."

Embracing the River into the blackness of its depth, the Ocean said,

"You are all that.

But you have always been the same.
We have always been the same.
We are one.

Welcome home."

17 May 2023

A Myth

Far behind the jungle, on the height of the mountain, in the depth of a cave, a young man kneeled down before an old man and desperately denounced the reality of the world and how sad and angry and disappointed he was about it.

The old man replied, "good. I'd question your sanity or your intention if you're not angry. There must be something wrong with one of them if you're not brokenhearted. Now what can I do for you?"

"Master, please heal me."

"Cannot. All living things; from bacteria to elephants, from fungi to pine trees, their adverse physical reality need to be changing for them to heal physically or mentally."

"Master, please change the world."

"Cannot. You worldly creatures got to deal with it. With dignity. Fight what you can fight. Change what you can change. Leave if it's beyond repair."

"Master, please teach me how to be like you. To be enlightened, free from worldly attachment and influence, free from anger and pain and disappointment and all the negativity."

"Cannot. You're only human."

"What are you? Who are you?"

"A myth. Lies."

11 May 2023


A mother and a daughter worked tirelessly, day and night, against all weather, against their pain.

They stacked stone block one after another, one by one, expanding and towering, for thousands of years.

Every now and then it collapsed, crumbling down, and left nothing but ruins. Then they would start again.

They stacked stone block one after another, one by one, expanding and towering, on top of the ruins, on top of their sweat, and tears, and blood, for millions of years.

"Mother, what are we making?" asked the daughter.

"Memories, dear. We are making memories."

07 May 2023

The Stone Fortress

Far far away in the wild ocean, an old pirate and his wrecked ship was stranded on an island where he built his fortress.

Many ships came by and offered to board and set on a journey again. He never wanted it. No, not at all. As his fortress, his heart was formidably impenetrable.

Until one sunny afternoon just before the death of the moon for the eighth time that year, a ship came.
It was different, it was not a ship in its maiden voyage, it was not without scratch and damage. It was different, he instantly knew that there would be an endless glorious journey. It was different, he unknowingly anchored his heart to the ship.

But he was distracted by his fortress.

Another twelve cycles of dead moon the ship waited.

But his map of mind was in disarray.

Only after it was setting far on the horizon of the ocean that he fully realized, that it was not a possibility until it was that ship.

But the ship had sailed away and gone.

The pirate and his shipwreck turned into stone themselves, unified with the fortress.

03 May 2023

The Unquestioning Devotion

In the depth of a forest, an old lady carried out a ritual. She brought an empty pot, a sack of soil, a sack of ash, and a seed in a box made of gold. Very carefully she poured three cups of soil into the pot. Followed by four spoonful of ashes, spread evenly on the surface of the soil. With her index finger she poked a small hole on the soil, she put in a little seed into the hole, and covered it again with a pinch of ash. She closed her eyes, her thin lips smiled full of hope and affection, she recited a passage of chant while giving the soil four splashes of water.

For the past sixty years, she has been repeating the exact same rite on every full moon. It was exactly like how her parents taught her, it was exactly how her grandparents inherited it, as exactly how her ancestors did it. Her pure heart guided her to have an unquestioning devotion and to be faithful, that the glassbead seed that she planted will eventually germinate, grow, and produce fruits of eternal life.

Not far, a group of people gathered and watched. And they debated fiercely.

"It should be ash-soil-seed."

"It should be soil-seed-ash."

"It should be five splashes."

"It should be volcanic ash."

"She chanted too quietly."

"No she chanted the wrong passage!"

29 April 2023

The Lighthouse

Every single evening of every single day, the old man would sit on the same chair by the window for hours.

Every single evening of every single day, after lighting up the oil lamp inside the Fresnel lens, he would accompany the sun to set down, then sit and put his attention to the same spot on the open sea.

Every single evening of every single day, at exactly 10 PM there would be a boat far on the southwest direction, sending out an exact same pattern of blips to the lighthouse. The blips would come and go as the night closed down to the dawn.

Until six months ago, for about a year long, the blips were the beacon for the lighthouse.

Since six months ago, to this day it blipped no more.

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