Rants, Ramblings and Nothingness

A messy collection of random stuff really!!

Celebrating Passion – The Juventus Stadium

What is religion or faith? Is football or other spectator sports the modern day faiths for us suffering human beings? We need an outlet to pour out our passion towards something great, and the ancient religions are facing new challenges from spectator sports. The fanatical, be it for religions or sports, are willing to defend their faith, belief or passion with their body and soul. While the more logical though still passionate crowd who are the majority will still put aside their logic to savor the glorious or passionate moments as a way to comfort their worn out souls.

Passion, for me, is the keyword. As I have fallen victim to the temptation of football for almost two third of my life, I have been longing to meet the gods of football in the holy land of Turin. There lies my revered temple of passion and pride with the warrior gods which eternally bound to fight against their enemies in calcio universe. With the ever-growing power of the dark dominion  of Internazionale, the warrior gods comes and goes through decades of battles to bring glory and salvation to their followers. Some of them are elevated to a higher status of legendary gods and remembered for eternity.

Paolo Montero

Those are the recipe for a cult, and football had established itself as one. It offers everything that conventional faiths have and added many modern twist. Emotional roller-coaster, sense of belonging, camaraderie, rivalry, hatred, the fight against injustices, heroes, villains, light, darkness, glory, disgrace, and finally all of these are coagulated into passion.

Passionate Juventino!!

And to reach a new height, individuals like me and my “pilgrimage” companion visited the center of our passion, the newly built temple of football in the outskirt of Turin, the Juventus Stadium. Though the process of obtaining the ticket was to a certain degree frustrating, but finally we managed to get two tickets for ourselves. The build up towards the game was excellent; the frustration of the ticketing experience rapidly changed into elation and grew into euphoria, while some even mentioned the word “better than orgasm”. The difficulty and weariness to find Mondo Juve, the training ground was erased when we saw Juventus players arriving at the facility. Antonio Conte himself came out and spares his busy time to mingle with the fans for some picture and autograph sessions.

Antonio Conte – Giving Signature at Mondo Juve

The excitement didn’t die at all. The next day we visited Juventus Store at via Garibaldi in the center of Turin to get our gears ready for the night. We arrived early at the stadium and although admission were two hours before the game, we saw many happy-faced-fans touring the outer vicinity of the stadium, taking picture, buying souvenirs and admiring the gorgeous new stadium from four different corners.

The Stadium – Pride of All Juventini

The best is always reserved for the last. After we had an excellent Italian authentic pizza with red wine just nearby the stadium, we decided to get into the stadium one and a half hours before the game. It was truly an amazing sight from within the compound of the “temple”. We were greeted by a couple of juventini girls and “Buffon” for a photo session. The guardians of the olden days were being displayed everywhere. Paolo Montero, my personal favorite was also there, together with the heroes of the most glorious days in the history of the club. Many entertainments were being provided to keep the fans busy before the game. We even got our cheeks drawn to boost our warrior spirits.

Face Painting While Waiting for the Game

The game itself was the crowning moment. We were seated just next to the Fiorentina fans, another old rival of Juventus, almost as fierce as Internazionale in terms of rivalry. From competing to be the loudest to the abusive chants to each other, the equalizing goal by Fiorentina and the reply by Matri and the excellent atmosphere inside the stadium. I still felt dreamy three days after the game. But at the end of the game I knew, that the passion will not die until my end, and I will keep coming back to the temple to celebrate passion and life.

Note: A companion blog entry from my travel mate, Aditya Muharam, written in Bahasa Indonesia:



November 1, 2011 Posted by | Juventus, Ramblings, Sports | , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Woofing log: Summary

My woofing journey in Bitterna Åsa just ended last week. A month (almost) full of many things which I found to be very valuable as well as highly enjoyable. As a reflection for myself, which might also be useful for fellow woofers or future woofers, I would like to summarise my experience in this blog entry.

I spent almost the whole July with a really nice couple Erland Carlsson and Carina örarbäck and their family. Both of them were master mariners from Gothenburg’s archipelago and have decided to run a farm in Bitterna, around 50 minutes of train ride to the northeast of Gothenburg. The farm is around 15 hectare and the main produce is rapeseed oil (rapsolja – in Swedish). The couple shared that confusion sometimes arise when orders were made due to the name of their enterprise (Oliviaeko). First customers tend to associate the name to olive oil, but the origin of the name was actually taken from their youngest daughter’s name instead. It’s nice to hear that this has not stopped them from getting loyal customers though.

The farm itself grows many different things, such as: raspberries (hallon), sea buckthorns (havtorn), rhubarbs (rabarber), red beet (rödbetar), potatoes (potatis), spring onions (gräslök), and some flowers that I can’t remember the names. They also have sheeps (får) that are raised for their skin and meat, as well as bees (bina) for their honey. This is actually my first time working in a farm, so the experience was quite overwhelming during the first few days. I have learned to appreciate things like organic produce that I used to have taken for granted from this experience.

To be able to eat the food that you have grown or raised yourself feels really good. They are not only fresh and taste better, but since you grow them for your own consumption (as well as selling of course), you want them to be as natural as possible, devoid of any chemicals and poisons that haunt the food that are produced by industrial farms. To be able to put the food you are eating into your mouth without worry is worth the small jump of price we are paying, in my opinion. I remember that watermelons used to be very sweet with a lot of seeds in it, but nowadays, the common ones are the ones with almost no seeds but they are not as sweet as the ones that I have tasted during my childhood. It is time for us to start to understand how food is being produced, only then we can appreciate the value of organic food. This is one of the most important lessons I have learned during my woofing journey.

So what do I think about woofing other than learning to appreciate farming and organic food? Well, of course not all is rosy, and the work is not for everyone. It is a hard and tiring work which requires physical endurance or strength. The work itself can be boring since a lot of them are very much repetitive. You will be far from the entertainment centers that you might be used to. If you are a non-laborious type of person, dislike being under the sunlight for hours, afraid of small wiggly worms and pesky bugs, and very dependent of your latest gadgets, this is definitely not for you. But if you are still interested, then please continue reading.

Beside all of those unfavorable conditions, woofing can be truly fun. Of course I can only testify from my experience in Bitterna, but according to fellow woofers that I have met in Bitterna, the conditions are generally the same, with some minor differences here and there. So what can I benefit from woofing, you might ask? First is meeting different people along the journey. I have met a lot of people that I normally will not cross path with, and it is a really great feeling to be able to listen to their stories and their perspective of life. Oh, of course if you don’t like to be social, this is really not for you.

If you are interested in learning about different cultures, woofing offers abundant opportunity for you. I have lived in Sweden for almost a year but I can only say that my exposure to Swedish culture is very limited. I am studying in an international programme (although half of my classmates are Swedes) and almost at all times, I heard English. Swedes are generally good at English and this condition will force someone lazy like me to progress slower in learning the language. In Bitterna, majority of the conversations were in Swedish. Although I was only able to listen to them without understanding more than ten to twenty percent, it was a learning opportunity that I won’t get anywhere else. It is now easier for me to listen to Swedish compared to a month ago. I don’t understand most of it of course, but the experience helped me hugely. Besides the language, I’ve learned a great deal about Swedish culture. From their appreciation of fika (coffee break), their tasty cuisine, interesting habits, ethics and so on.

Woofing can also be an economical way of travelling to different parts of the world. Food and housing is guaranteed, just sweat for a little during the day, and you are up for a real treat. WWOOF (Worldwide Opportunities on Organic Farms) website has a lot of opportunity in many parts of the world. You just need to register and pay a small amount of annual membership fee, choose your preferred country (ies) and communicate with farm owners for vacant spots at their farms. In Sweden, the busiest period is during April/May to October, but there are still works need to be done all year round. In the end, it is still you call. If you are ready to work hard and open you perspective, there are a lot of things to be gained and learned.

With this blog entry, I would also like to give my deepest appreciation to Erland and Carina and their family for the opportunity given and their warmth and kindness. It was also really great to have known fellow woofers such as Valentin, Emmanuelle and Marion. It was a moment that I will always cherish and appreciate. Vi ses senare!!

P.S: Some pictures will follow!!

August 4, 2011 Posted by | Eco, Farm, Sweden, Woofing | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beasts of the Farm

Yes, I am talking about the beasts, instead of the farm animals. I think a lot of people should have covered sheeps, cows, chickens, sheeps, etc. So I am going to talk about the beasts instead, the wild things, the untamed!! Ok, before things got a little bit too exciting, I have to admit that I will just write about those creepers which inhabit the vast farming ground.

I basically started to notice them as soon as I touch the soil for some weeding during my first day here at the farm. At first, the sight of various creepers popping out from the ground or just roaming around the surface was not that exciting for me since there was not only bugs, but also centipedes, earth worms, and some unidentified creatures from the belly of the the earth… hhhmmmm… sorry, more like the skin of the earth maybe? 😉 Well, for the record, I don’t mind bugs at all, but when you have to be on all four or sometimes just sit on the ground when you’re tired, the idea of those critters creeping into your clothing was not that great for me.

After a short while though, I got used to them. Now I pay more attention and even get excited on new creepers that I encounter whenever I am weeding. I realize that they are part of the ecosystem that helps the plant in one way or another or it is a blatant proof that this is an ecological farm. I admit that I haven’t been to an industrialized farm, so the previous statement might not be true at all. But I understand that they use chemicals to deal with unwanted living beings around their crops, based on this, I assume that those creepers might not really enjoy the living condition being provided in the industrialized farms. Don’t take my word for granted though, it is just a utopic thought of mine 😉

Before I end this, I want to touch a little bit on the more normal farm animals. Today three cows were just sent to feed on one of the field. They are really big!! Erland, my host, said that they are not that big since they feed on grass. The ones that feed on some additional nutrients are bigger than those. For me, they are already very big.

Since I have almost always related my thoughts with self defense /martial arts, I began to think about their power. With that kind of mass, they don’t need any technique to fight with a man. Being close to them made me feel really small. But self defense is not only about power. It is a combination of power, wit, technique and the ability to adapt to your environment as soon as possible. We’re lucky that humans are more capable to use those to our advantage for our own survival. That’s why cows and sheeps live in fenced fields while we can enjoy the luxury of free movement.

Oh, btw, we finally moved seven sheeps from one field to another yesterday. The previous field had run out of grass so we needed to move them to another place. How long do you think were needed to move all seven of them? It took us easily half a day!! They are coward creatures although very curious as well. We had to move very slowly so as not to scare them away and bait them with some grains and leaves. It took patience and wit 🙂

July 20, 2011 Posted by | Eco, Farm, Sweden, Woofing | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Woofing Log: Rhubarb and a Shitty Day

These few days have been a really good learning days. Two of the most exciting activities that I’m going to share are rhubarb harvesting and the other one is quite shitty… not as in having a bad day, but dealing with actual shits!! Oh well, more like compost actually 😉

Rhubarb or rabarber (in Swedish) is one of the plants that are not so common in my birthplace. In fact, I’ve only seen it when I started my study in Sweden last year. Furthermore I’ve only seen them in the form of juices that are sold in stores. Yesterday I happened to have the honor of harvesting them together with Valentine. The method of harvesting is by pulling the stem by the length of it so as not to break it. The leaves are then thrown away as they are poisonous. At the end of the day we managed to harvest one full wagon of rhubarb stalks. They are going to be processed for marmalade and juice. I’m quite excited to taste it when they’re done, as this is my first time harvesting something.

Today is full of shits!! What a shitty affair!! I’m standing on a pile of shits!! Shits, excuse my language, was the main theme of today 🙂 We were transporting the shits that had been composted for a year to the field to fertilize it. The shits or also known as manure were from the sheep house that was used during winter time. The shits are mixed with straw to produce good fertilizer.  At this farm, I see for myself that most of the things that are done here are always connected to one another. The sheeps are not only raised for their meat and wool, but the manure is also very useful in producing fertilizers for them plants. Fertilizers are not cheap at all, so by using the waste of the farm animals, the farm can cut down the cost of operation. This also contributes a lot for the farm to be more self sustaining.

July 13, 2011 Posted by | Eco, Farm, Sweden, Woofing | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Woofing Log: Costly Food Worth the Pennies You Spend

My second and third days at the farm were filled with the same task, weed removal. Got more used to it and I have managed to increase my speed in removing those pesky weeds, but Valentine, the French with amazing beard, can remove those weeds much much faster than I am. He might have some secret technique or he is just used to remove those weeds or maybe it is just his beard power!! Sorry Valentine 😉 I grew more appreciative with ecologically grown food because of this. Weed removal is a tedious job and requires a lot of patience.

On my previous post, I said that I am going to enter an idyllic farming experience. In fact, it is not as idyllic as I have imagined before. The idyllic life begins just before dinner, but before that, there are so many things need to be done in the farm. I have basically spent three days plucking weeds from the farm for almost three hours a day. Although the busiest season in Sweden is early May to June where people starts planting and August is the harvesting season, but in July all the other chores should be done. Things like fixing road, barn, transporting goods, cooking, cleaning and other manual labors. Making oil is done all year round.

If you compare with regular farm, the work is more than doubled. In regular farm you can use pesticide, poison and other chemicals to get rid of pests, weeds and to help enhance the probability of good harvests. But in eco-farm, no chemical or poison are allowed. So the odds of having good harvest are reduced by many unpredictable factors. If you understand this, you will also appreciate that eco-labeled food is more expensive than mass-produced food.

But even though many campaign are raised, majority of people don’t really bother with this. I, for one, already knew about the benefits of this but I just didn’t give a damn. I do have the lingering curiosity about why people get really into green living, sustainability, eco-friendly, vegetarianism, etc. That’s one of the reasons why I decided to do this. Just reading about these issues is not going to move me. On the other hand, experiencing things by myself works so much better and to be able to eat what you grow yourself is pretty awesome 🙂 I’m just a practical person; I will not jump into bandwagons by simple preaching. Besides, experiencing something is much more fun right?

July 9, 2011 Posted by | Eco, Farm, Sweden | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Real Life ‘Farm-Ville’

Finally after a long absence I got into my blogging mood again. I know that I should have written about my life in Sweden, but what I find interesting during my second stint as a student might be too boring for most… But of course it is just another excuse for my laziness 😉

So why do I decide to write again? First and foremost is that I finally get a volunteer work in an ecological farm through WWOOF at Oliviaeko in Bitterna, Västra Götaland, around 100 km from Gothenburg (Göteborg in Swedish). The family farm mainly produces organic rap seed oil as well as raspberry, sea buckthorn and honey that are sold within the local community.

So, this morning I took the morning train to Herrljunga, the closest station to Bitterna and reached the station by 9am. Erland, my friendly host, kindly picked me up and my idyllic farm life finally begins. Erland introduced me to his wife Carina, the lively mormor (grandmother) and Valentin , another volunteer from France.

After a short tour around the farm, I was assigned my first day duties which include: road and pavement leveling as well as weed removal. But working in Sweden is not complete without their famous ‘fika’ or coffee break. We had two nice fika sessions with the renowned kanelbulle, Swedish cinnamon bread and fresh berries. It just took me a couple of hours to realize that it might be idyllic but it surely is not a walk in the park. The work is not the easiest, but to experience Swedish farm life is a chance that I will enjoy as much as possible. With this much inspiration, I am pretty sure that this will not be my last blog on Bitterna. Stay tuned!! Hej då!!

July 7, 2011 Posted by | Eco, Farm, Sweden, Woofing | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Lost Citizens

How do you feel when you lost your home and something you were fighting for betrayed you? Imagine if you are in a foreign country and you lost your passport somewhere, what’s your first reaction? Some people will be panicked and some other will be worried a little then start using their head to look for some help from your embassy. Next scenario, what will you feel when you lost your passport and you have a really important business meeting which will get you the promotion you’ve always wanted but the meeting will be on Monday but it is Friday night and the embassy will only open on Monday? Hmmm… things are getting interesting isn’t it? Let’s go to the next situation what if all those happened in a country which people speak a language that you barely know and they don’t even have a formal diplomatic relation with you country? If this doesn’t get to your nerves, try the next one!!

It’s in the middle of cold war between western bloc and eastern bloc, your country torn between those two blocs but as of now, it leans quite a lot to the left. You are a brilliant and patriotic student and your country noticed your talent and giving you a chance to study in a foreign country (from the eastern bloc). You are expected to come back and contribute to the development of your emerging and bustling country as a good citizen. This is very much in line with what you want to do with your life, to help building your country and have a good career with the government. So, fast forward for maybe five years, you are finished with your study, feeling very proud with your newfound skills and ready to contribute to make your country wealthy and strong. You have got the ticket which will assure you of a plane seat to go back to your beloved country, but you receive shocking news!! Your government (a newly formed nationalist government) has annulled your passport and citizenship due to your involvement in leftist movement!!

Out-of-nowhere, from a brilliant student serving your beloved country you’ve become someone without any nationality and left stranded in a foreign country without any chance of going back to your country again. You will definitely question yourself with thousands and thousands of questions, what the heck was wrong? Your grades are good, your skill is really needed in your country, you have a knowledge that few people have in your country, and you can definitely contribute a lot to develop your country and so on!! What have I done wrong, you might asked. Well, you have only one vault in the thought of the new government which has wiped out the leftist due to the alleged coup by them, that is studying in an eastern bloc country. For them, you are a revolutionary, and you are deemed more than capable of reviving the leftist idea and influence a lot of people and lead the leftist to take over the country again. But you were there to study engineering you said. For them, one bad apple will ruin the whole tree, so they cut down the tree and it will never grow again although there were still a lot of good apples produced by the tree. You will feel betrayed, angry, disappointed, infuriated, enraged, forsaken, abandoned and all sort of bad emotions obviously?

The story above was true, and it didn’t happen to just one or two students, who are now past their productive age, but to thousands of students who were sent by the leftist regime to the eastern bloc countries because education was cheaper there and the government happened to have good relationship with them. A lot of them had been forced to take an asylum to other countries, mostly in Europe and eventually accepted the citizenship from those countries. Of course with the new passport they can now visit their own country as FOREIGNERS and meet their families, but they have been robbed of their nationality and the freedom to visit their own homes and families during those times. Although there have been talks with the government to settle this issue, but so far nothing concrete has been produced. Will the government wait until all of them die and will just let this issue be forgotten? Hopefully not…

September 14, 2010 Posted by | Ramblings | , , , | 1 Comment


I’ve just read this blog entry by Therry which reminds me that I’m still a vagabond, a lost soul searching for its body, a wanderer… I was born in Jakarta and lived there until six years ago, when I moved to Singapore to work. I was still very naive or maybe not as fucked up as now. Home, for me, was Jakarta, my parent’s house, where my mom, dad, sisters, and my closest friends are. It was my identity, and it was easy for me to say, whenever anyone asked, that it was my home.

Singapore has a lots of great things which are known to most people, but even with all those, I don’t feel any attachment to it. Well, of course there’s a fragment of it stays in my heart, but even if I stay longer, it will never be my home.  Another issue is my old home, Jakarta. Whenever I went back, I’ve always feel more and more detached, maybe there’s just too much changes on the landscape or maybe because the people I know aren’t the same anymore or maybe it is just me that changed. I really don’t know the answer to this, sometimes it feels like a dream-like surreal world in a fast forwarded movie. Maybe I’m just one of those ancient Bedouins or a feather riding on a breeze. Or maybe I just being too nostalgic today, longing for something I’ve lost which will never comes back.  Anyway, life is a journey, not a destination, I’m sure the answer will come someday.

January 25, 2010 Posted by | Ramblings | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Yang Hijau-hijau

Dini hari lepas tengah malam tahun baru 2010 ini saya merayakan-nya dengan menonton film yang sedang populer baru2 ini. Film ini berkisah tentang ekplorasi manusia ke sebuah planet yang mirip dengan bumi dan dihuni orang manusia berwajah seperti kucing dan berkulit biru. Tema ceritanya berkisar tentang konflik kepentingan diantara kedua spesies yang berbeda ini, di satu pihak, para manusia bumi yang tidak mengerti mengapa para penghuni planet tersebut tidak mau maju dan tetap tinggal di pohon yang mana sebenarnya di bawah tanah pemukiman mereka terkandung kekayaan yang sangat luar biasa berharga nilainya berbentuk logam.

Di lain pihak, manusia kucing tersebut punya pemikiran lain yang tidak dapat dipahami manusia bahwa mereka harus menjaga hutan tersebut karena di hutan tersebut memang terkandung harta karun yang memang sangat berharga, bahkan jauh lebih berharga dari logam yang dianggap manusia bumi sangat berharga, harta tersebut adalah identitas diri mereka sejak awal mereka ada di tanah tersebut, dengan kata lain ‘kemanusiaan’ mereka. Pada akhirnya konflik tersebut melahirkan peperangan, dan banyak korban di kedua belah pihak.

Saya tidak ingin membahas tentang film tersebut, cuplikan di atas hanyalah sekedar informasi untuk anda yang belum melihat film tersebut. Bagus atau buruknya film tersebut masing2 punya pendapat, tapi dalam segi efek grafis, tidak ada yang berani menyangkal bahwa film tersebut merupakan salah satu tonggak bersejarah perfilman dunia dalam hal efek grafis. Saya juga tidak ingin membahas tentang pesan moral yang berkaitan dengan perbedaan spesies/ras/kelompok/golongan yang melahirkan konflik berdarah. Saya lebih tertarik melihat pesan moral film tersebut dari sisi agama. Oh, pertama2, saya sama sekali bukan ahli agama, dan apa yang saya sampaikan cuma pendapat orang awam yang logikanya sangat sangat mungkin melompat2 🙂

Di mata saya, ada dua kelompok agama yang terwakilkan disana, kelompok agama modern dan kelompok kepercayaan tradisional/kuno. Manusia bumi sebagai wakil agama modern, yang walaupun tidak terlalu kentara ditampilkan dalam film tersebut, akan tetapi kalau ada yang kebetulan jeli, ada setidaknya satu kali dialog yang menyatakan akan hal itu. Sedangkan manusia planet yang berwajah mirip kucing tersebut tentunya mewakili kepercayaan tradisional yang lebih banyak berkaitan dengan fenomena alam.

Saya percaya munculnya agama sejalan dengan munculnya manusia di muka bumi ini, dan salah satu bentuk awalnya adalah kepercayaan tradisional tersebut. Biasanya kepercayaan kuno ini mengkaitkan banyak hal dengan kejadian2 alam yang terjadi, salah satu contohnya adalah adanya kepercayaan bahwa kalau ada gerhana bulan, artinya raksasa sedang berusaha menelan cahaya yang menerangin malam tersebut dan niscaya kalau berhasil akan menimbulkan kegelapan total bagi manusia. Memang banyak hal2 yang berbau mistis dan sulit dipercaya nalar manusia modern, akan tetapi salah satu inti dari ajaran mereka adalah untuk berharmonisasi tidak saja dengan Tuhan ataupun dewa-dewi mereka dan sesama manusia, akan tetapi mereka juga harus berharmonisasi dengan alam sekitar mereka untuk dapat mencapai kesempurnaan hidup.

Hal inilah yang mencuri perhatian saya, dimana manusia modern dengan agama modern mereka, yang tentunya kita percaya lebih dapat dinalar, datang dengan menawarkan segala macam bantuan untuk manusia kucing tersebut agar mereka tidak tinggal lagi di pohon. Sebagai manusia maju, bila kita melihat suatu suku pedalaman yang tinggal di lokasi yang tidak terjangkau arus modernisasi akan berfikir, betapa mereka harus dikasihani dan dibantu untuk keluar dari jerat peradaban kuno. Akan tetapi mungkin saja mereka di lain hal juga berpikir bahwa kenapa juga manusia2 luar ini seenaknya saja menawarkan ini dan itu kepada kami walaupun kami tidak memerlukan hal2 tersebut untuk dapat bertahan hidup di tempat kami saat ini dan terlebih mengatakan bahwa dewa-dewi kami adalah palsu dan tidak layak disembah.

Padahal mungkin untuk mereka bukan dewa dewi tersebut yang harus disembah, akan tetapi mereka lebih ingin berharmoni dengan alam yang selalu menyediakan makanan dan tempat tinggal yang cukup layak untuk mereka. Oleh karena itulah biasanya mereka tidak pernah mengambil lebih banyak daripada yang mereka perlukan, karena pada saat mereka mengambil mereka akan meminta ijin terlebih dahulu. Mereka sama sekali tidak berani untuk merusak tatanan kehidupan di tempat mereka tinggal tersebut. Mereka percaya kalau harmonisasi terjadi maka mereka akan selalu dicukupkan untuk menyambung hidup mereka.

Tentu saja seiring dengan kemajuan cara berpikir manusia, keinginan manusia ikut bertambah, akan tetapi kearifan jaman dahulu untuk selalu berharmonisasi dengan alam perlahan menghilang. Hubungan vertikal dengan Tuhan dan hubungan horisontal dengan manusia selalu ada karena hal2 tersebut akan berefek secara langsung terhadap diri kita sendiri. Di lain pihak, harmonisasi dengan alam menghilang digantikan dengan penghambaan terhadap uang. Apa akibatnya tentu dapat kita lihat dengan mudah dimana2, salah satu yang paling simpel adalah bertanya pada kakek atau nenek anda, apa warna sungai, kali ataupun selokan di tempat tinggal mereka dulu.

Pengetahuan manusia memang berkembang sangat2 cepat, akan tetapi perkembangan agama cenderung semakin mandeg kalau tidak mau dibilang sebagai jalan di tempat. Kita serahkan hubungan dengan Tuhan dan manusia kepada agama masing2, akan tetapi sebagian besar agama2 besar yang ada di dunia ini tidak memberikan perhatian sama sekali terhadap alam, lebih2 kepada harmonisasi manusia dengan alam. Menurut saya hal ini sangat menghawatirkan. Akan tetapi untunglah akhir2 ini manusia cukup sadar untuk menambah satu kepercayaan baru, yaitu kepercayaan terhadap segala sesuatu yang berbau ‘hijau’ atau ‘green’ bahasa jawa-nya. Semakin banyak gerakan2 yang mulai memberikan perhatian terhadap isu tersebut akhir2 ini. Akan tetapi, kita juga harus menanamkan ‘kepercayaan’ tersebut ke dalam hati kita masing2 untuk dapat menjalankan ‘ibadah’ dengan baik. Sekali lagi, hal ini hanya sekedar tulisan untuk menggelitik teman2 sekalian 😉

January 1, 2010 Posted by | Nonsense | , , , | Leave a comment

About Raising Your Shoulder and Bad Habits

Goodin Sensei always continues to amaze me with his easy to apply thoughts. His latest one is one of the most common problems in karate, especially for beginners. Maybe most of us raised our shoulder when we started our training. It is one of the most common bad habit and most of the times, the instruction gave to new practitioners was quite long winded. It only confused them further, resulting some of them to develop bad habit that is difficult to remove once it has been programmed in their body. Goodin Sensei has a simple instruction: “Squeeze our lats” (please refer to his article here). Although it will still takes time to develop working lats, but this instruction is easier to understand and memorize.  We should follow his examples to think about correcting bad habits instead of only pointing to it. I have never met Goodin Sensei in the real world, but I have my utmost respect to him.

March 25, 2009 Posted by | Karate, Martial Arts | , , , , | 1 Comment