Thursday, October 24, 2019

western lands.

Dang, I really haven't updated for awhile.

Anyways, I've moved from the house that I was in last year, and was lucky enough to be able to go to Europe for three weeks. Just came back around a week ago. It's a bit difficult to explain why I went to Europe, since it was initiated by my Jazz teacher who in fact, is still having her ongoing tour as we speak. For me it was a mix of studying Jazz in the real world –in a more Western setting, to be specific –and sightseeing as a slow traveler. I also paid my duty to the country by taking pictures for an Indonesian traditional-fusion band who got invited to Sevilla and Granada. That helped with the visa processing by a tad bit.

I had so many things that I wanted to type down last week, but as I eased in into the Ubud pace, I've let all of those fascinations float away. Well I thought maybe I'll just do what I usually did back when I travelled more often; post some images.

It's weird to state 'posting images' without relating it to Instagram these days. I like Instagram as a more casual platform for sharing images, but visual blogs gave you the freedom to post in larger sizes and stroll without having the obligation to tap 'like'.

During this trip, I've learned as a slow traveller to see things at my own pace, and not to plan so much in my personal time. I walked and observed, not only taking mindless glimpses, but really took my time to stare and geek out around autumn, even architectural/interior choices that seemed to complete the lifestyle of the warmly-dressed citizens around me. I've learned so much about myself, and listened to beautiful music, met amazing strangers, and was reunited with my beloved friends whom I haven't seen for a year or so. Meeting people in a completely different setting also gives a tinge of surreality. It's a great reminder to not take your time and money, in the present, for granted.

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

been awhile.

Rebirth.

I would probably name this post that word if I'm in the mood to be pretentious enough. But nope, I think for the last two and a half months, I peeked out to a world where letting go, letting in, broadening possibilities, keeping myself occupied, I mean I see myself taking care of myself. This is something I've lost in New York; I was a total tube man flailing the shit out, somewhat out of control. Even in Jakarta I've tried and failed to go back to where I used to be in terms of photography. I was adamant that I can do 'this', but never see the possibility of 'that'.

So, I went back to the basics today: light-hunting, animal-preying, simple appreciations, and smiling while doing the photography. All unedited. All just there to be a part of a narrative, just like how this blog have started. Back then, it was just me, and no techniques, no clients, no pressure and expectations.

As a fake bum with chronic mental health issues, I just want to filter it down to that person that appreciates and play with the camera that her parents gave to her.

The Whys have changed to Why Nots. Bad days visits but not everyday. Mornings come and go but always ready to greet the sleepy 6 AM Olen. And I have never felt the deliciousness of a full-day day off when I was a freelancer.

Here we are then. I will stop rambling and this post is a g'mornin from Olen and her little Poleng troops; Penny and Molly the kittens, JoJo the puppy, Ganesha the housekeeper, Lucy the ginger cat (but she was sleeping inside the house), also featuring my neighbor slash fellow photographer Krisna and his dog Bule.

S'wastiastu!

P.S. You can click the picture to put them on slideshow mode :)


Friday, January 26, 2018

essay.

Hello. It's been awhile, as usual.

Can I ask for a permission to be more vulnerable today? If not, don't scroll down.

If yes, then let me do this short photo essay with a few sentimental sentences/paragraphs that shows how even with light basking into a room in Bali that I got to stay in for free, still, I did question my existence and values just like how I always did back home. Just like how I always did back in the waterfront stony seatings alongside the river at Chelsea Piers. It's just that somehow on the morning of 2nd of January, I got enough sanity and energy to take my camera and document this 'routine'.




Hands.

Have you ever seen those movies when the first thing people do when they transform into something, they always check their hands, move them around, and all that?

I stare at my hands, most of the time while laying on my back and raising them up. Checking the fingers --still got ten of those. Checking the shape, of how it doesn't look as dainty as other women's. Checking the nails, which I considered as brand new due to stopping my longtime habit of biting them around eleven months ago.

What would I be without these hands?
How can I still feel so worthless and useless when I still got these hands?
What am I without these veins, lines, fats and muscles that wrap themselves around my bones?
And how can I still be so mean to them, for being there for me, for proving that existence can always be proven when I look at them?


Catching light with these hands, manually, combined with my eyes, and a camera that I barely can hold properly, are these all supposed to be enough to make me feel at least a bit of feeling of being allowed to accept --and later, to love --myself?


With this self-centeredness, I was thrown into chaos. "You are one ugly hell of a human being," I heard some of those abstract voices inside my head telling me as I document all of this. Yet then there's those who said "Wow, that's not bad. You still got that thing you lost inside of you a long time ago."



The battle starts.

I tried to catch those 'not bad' abstract voices to lead me out of the cave of questions, guilt, and assumptions. I've held my bladder for about a few minutes or so. I wanted to get out of the bed, get of of the room, and start my day. To start my day. How simple is that?

And I figuratively bled, scarred, scabbed.



But scars seems to be the double-edged swords that I kept with me every time I got out of each battle. I feel like I was punished properly, yet disappointed for not being able to protect myself today. Sometimes I forgot my shield on purpose, sometimes I just let the battle not happen at all and white flagged all of my body to the sacrificial table; the bed that I will have to stay in for the next eighteen hours or so.

In the end, we all have to get out of bed.


And get dragged, and do things, and try and try and try and try again.
The fucking game of life for the human that rarely photosynthesizes, even when she needs to.

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Photosynthesizing around the world.