[APLFD] Traders of Life


Dear Maera,

 Aren’t we all traders? Each day, we trade a piece of our existing selves with what becomes memories. We trade, piece by piece, a home built by our family and childhood friends and little monsters on the backyard. A home built of fairy tales and laughter, hugs and prayers, day trips to the beach and zoo. My home; by my Ayah and Bunda and hours of commuting to the capital by bus. Yours; by us and the untold stories and letters that are never finished, never sent.

As we grow, our hearts go into tiny pieces by wanderlust, by books we keep rereading, by dreams we were taught. As we grow, we go. Often when we go too far for too long, we take too many memories with us. We capture La Giralda, it replaces our first sand castle helped by a favorite aunt. We stroll around London, and miss our fathers’ hometown less and less. We fall in love with strangers and out of love with another. We trade and trade and leave so little of what defines home.

Most of the time we just lose that little piece on our way home; we trade it on the airport or with the smell of the sea and its infinite possibility. We get all the boarding gates and seafloor we want, but no more home.

As we grow, we trade.


Sometimes, late in the afternoon while you took a nap and I was too tired to prepare the dinner, I sat still and questioned myself, “Did I trade too much when I was young?”




[APLFD] Gracious & Merciful

Dear Maera,

In life, you’ll meet a lot of kinds of Moslem. You’ll meet nice ones, you’ll meet the not-so-nice as well. They all have their own reasons. Sometimes we can understand them but most of the times we can not. You might ask for more explanations later, and I might have so little to offer.

However, please remember this: from all God’s names, we use the Most Gracious and Most Merciful the most. We constantly remind ourselves about that: gracious and merciful. So God is. So we should be.

May peace be upon us.

Always, P

Annual Time Machine

Dear Rahayu,

It’s strange how we meet anually and you always turn into such time machine, bringing back childhood memories of family holiday, younger me swinging pool stick that was too big for my hands or how I hated myself appearing on the video captured by the only handycam I ever remembered. How you remind me of late afternoon sunlight slipping through the windows, pine trees outside and everybody’s favorite dysfunctional seesaw. How you remind me of the first time I learned about having irrational hopes, occasional disappointment and divorced parents.

It’s strange that we actually never talked that much but I always looked at you the same way; for a while then I looked away after you smiled.