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Showing posts from April, 2017

The 3 Things I Was Afraid to Write About This Week (Or, How to Truly Live)

This week, I experienced writer’s block for the first time.

I sat down—multiple times—to write my weekly blog post, and I couldn’t bring myself to start typing. I panicked—multiple times—but then I decided to follow my own advice and take a breath or two.
A few breaths in, I realized, I did have words inside of me. Plenty of them. But the words inside of me were simply refusing to exit through my fingertips, as they usually do. There wasn’t an absence of words; there was an abundance of stubborn words.
No, not stubborn words, scared words.
For instance, I wanted to write a blog post about the month of March in our family, in which my son acted in his first community theater play and my wife ran for the school board and I published my first book. I wanted to write about how success is unrelated to ticket sales or book sales or vote counts. Success is about making our true self our lived self, regardless of who shows up to applaud.
But the truth is, my son’s show was sold out, my wife won he…

Penghubung

Kata-kata yang menghubungkan bagian-bagian kalimat sangat penting juga untuk mengetahui arti sebenarnya.
Lihat suatu kalimat yang sederhana. "Aku makan daging dan aku kuat sekali."
Dua fakta ini dapat berdiri sendiri. Sekarang "dan" akan diganti dengan kata penghubung yang lain.
"Aku makan daging oleh karena aku kuat sekali." "Aku makan daging ketika aku kuat sekali." "Aku makan daging supaya aku kuat sekali." "Aku makan daging walaupun aku kuat sekali."
Perhatikan betapa penting kata penghubung di dalam setiap kalimat.
—Alan D. Cox














Rest in Me

Rest in God by resting your mind one day a week. In this busy, fast-paced, technological society, we must learn to rest our minds. I try to rest my mind one day a week from social media, tweeting, Facebook, emailing, and even texting. I try to take a day off, just to rest.
When I started practicing this principle, about a year ago or so, trying to rest, and disconnect from social media, I found myself acting like an addict quitting cold turkey. I was frantic for my phone. I imagined someone was texting or emailing me and couldn’t get through. I wondered what universe-altering events I was missing on Facebook. Yet I discovered the world went on just fine without my constant, obsessive attention. I found out I wasn’t nearly as important as I had been thinking I was. People got along without me for twenty-four hours. And I returned rested and better able to help them.
—Herbert Cooper




Grammar, story, or words?

I have a close friend who loves grammar. Loves to study it, use it, think about it, and talk about it.  Once she tried to get me to talk about it.  I demurred.  Because to me, grammar is a big snooze.  I know it well enough in an intuitive sort of way (I did ace the grammar test I had to take to get into journalism school) and that’s enough for me.

But my friend was shocked.  “You’re not into grammar? I thought every writer was.”

Uh-uh. Not this writer.

And then there are words.  I subscribe to the Word A Day email but most days it remains unopened. I use a thesaurus almost daily, but I don’t obsess about finding just the right word.  I’m interested in words (after all, they are the main tools of my trade), but I’m not a word geek.

Ah, but story.  Story lights me up—reading a good one, talking about aspects of it, pulling one apart to see how it was put together.  I’ll read a novel with questionable grammar if I’m into the story.  And while I admire books with beautiful words strung t…

What Is Success?

To laugh often and much;

To win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty; To find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived;
This is to have succeeded.

—Ralph W. Emerson













Anda nulis apa?

Wiesenthal was often asked to explain his motives for becoming a Nazi hunter. According to Clyde Farnsworth in the New York Times Magazine (February 2, 1964), Wiesenthal once spent the Sabbath at the home of a former Mauthausen inmate, now a well-to-do jewelry manufacturer. After dinner his host said, "Simon, if you had gone back to building houses, you'd be a millionaire. Why didn't you?" "You're a religious man," replied Wiesenthal. "You believe in God and life after death. I also believe. When we come to the other world and meet the millions of Jews who died in the camps and they ask us, ‘What have you done?,’ there will be many answers. You will say, ‘I became a jeweler,’ Another will say, ‘I have smuggled coffee and American cigarettes,’ Another will say, ‘I built houses,’ But I will say, ‘I did not forget you’."
Simon Wiesenthal Center
(Dari kutipan di atas, saya menarik kesimpulan, Simon Wiesenthal lebih memilih untuk menulis ketimbang …

O J N

Beberapa hari yang lalu, entah lupa kapan mulainya tepatnya, tiga tuts di keyboard laptop saya tidak bisa dipencet. Yaitu, O, J, dan N. Entah kenapa hanya 3 tombol tersebut. Lalu, saya mencoba bertanya kepada seorang teman, yaitu Ho Jimmy Arnold yang memiliki keahlian McGyver untuk memperbaiki, tapi mungkin kalau untuk urusan laptop belum bisa.

Jadi, saya biarkan saja selama beberapa hari tombol O, J, dan N tersebut tetap susah diketik. Sehingga, setiap kali saya mencoba mengetik tulisan di laptop, butuh kesabaran ekstra menanti O, J, atau N itu muncul. Terutama yang kecil alias bukan CAPS LOCK.

Saya sempat berpikir, apa hal itu terjadi karena suatu kebetulankah, ataukah ada hal-hal lain, yang menarik mungkin? Misalnya, untuk huruf O: karena selama ini saya masih belum mengerti apa rencana dan maksud Tuhan bagi kehidupan saya secara pribadi, mungkin kesempatan tuts O susah dipencet adalah untuk mengingatkan hal itu. Bahwa saya harus benar-benar mengerti. Tombol J: (masih) adakah Jesus…

Bicara tentang kematian

How does one become a butterfly?” she asked pensively. “You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.” —Trina Paulus
Bicara tentang kematian. Mungkin itu seperti ketika kita sedang berenang dan berada di dalam air, lalu mencoba membuka mata (syukur-syukur kalau memakai kacamata renang) dan melihat ke atas. Agak buram mungkin, tidak jelas pemandangannya bukan. Dan setelah kita mengeluarkan kepala ke atas permukaan air, barulah jelas pemandangannya (apalagi kalau kita melepaskan kacamata renang).
Teman—atau yang mengaku begitu—saya pun bercanda apakah kalau mati mendadak itu enak? Ada teman lain yang juga bercanda, atau mungkin setengah bernada serius, bahwa bisa saja mengurus akta kelahiran sendiri, asal jangan mengurus akta kematian sendiri.
Kalau tidak salah, Norman Vincent Peale, penulis buku-buku berpikir dan bersikap positif, pernah juga menulis buku tentang kematian—atau tepatnya, kehidupan setelah kematian. Berjudul Life Beyond Death. Di dalamnya…

Love is on the way

Keindahan-Mu pagi ini mengalir menyentuh sanubari. Kehadiran-Mu menyejukkan jiwa dan mengembalikan semangat yang sempat tertahan di leherku dan tak mau keluar.

Aku tak akan mengizinkan jiwaku hancur karena kesombongan.
Semua adalah baik, dan semua dipakai Tuhan untuk kebaikanku.

Aku memang tidak bisa menyenengkan semua orang, bahkan ketika aku sudah memberi yang paling maksimal dan paling tulus dari yang kumiliki, ketika orang masih melihat ada kekurangan. Aku tidak akan membela diri. Aku senang sudah diingatkan. Paling tidak, aku masih dianggap manusia, manusia yang tidak mungkin ada yang sempurna.

Dikritik tidak enak, tapi saat aku lulus ujian kritikan, aku selangkah ke depan menuju yang Tuhan kehendaki supaya aku capai.

Ketika aku diperhadapkan dengan keadaan yg menghancurkan pride-ku, sesimpel apa pun itu, aku mau belajar senang... mengucap syukur... karena Dia masih mengasihiku. Dia mau aku tetap sadar kalau aku masih manusia dan tidak boleh sedikit pun mencuri kemuliaa…

A conversation no one else is having

While people are walking around, here and there, without even once noticing the beauty of the afternoon or morning sky with its clouds, whether on the streets or at the highways, a conversation takes place.

Stratus: "What are those things that go around like that, seemed not enjoying anything? I guess they're just ordinary things, unlike us that are unordinary."

Cirrostratus: "No, they're not ordinary. They're called human beings. They're special, and extraordinary as well. While they should enjoy us more often, they're kind of making themselves too hectic to enjoy us even just at a glance."



"You paint the morning sky." —Lincoln Brewster

Rugi

Pagi ini pukul 08.00 membawakan sharing di bawah ini di kebaktian pagi kantor.
***
Merugi—mengalami kerugian—untuk hal atau sesuatu yang kita sukai, misalnya hobi atau sebuah keahlian, itu kita senang melakukannya dan terasa gampang. Misalnya, waktu awal-awal berlatih bermain saksofon, rela merugi (istilahnya “membayar harga”) yaitu bagian luar jari jempol kanan bengkak, agak rusak karena luka, dan sampai kapalan. Bibir juga mengalami yang sama. Atau, ada juga teman yang pandai bermain drum (Pak Gently Tiwa), dia pasti juga mau mengalami kerugian telapak-telapak tangan lecet atau luka dan kapalan agar bisa bermain drum. Ada juga seorang teman yang rela dan merugi tidak makan goreng-gorengan (sebab tidak makan gorengan adalah kerugian besar!) atau makanan yang mengandung garam lagi demi menjaga bentuk tubuh karena rajin nge-gym.
Nah, kita mau merugi atau rela “bayar harga” demi sesuatu yang kita senangi. Dan sering merasa mudah melakukannya, walau sakit atau luka.
Kadang susah juga merugi…