What if you already know all there is you need to know?

I guessed it was around 9.30 pm. I had just refilled my glass with another dose of gin and tonic, then stood there near the pop-up bar for a while, examining the room while adjusting the green snake around my neck. In front of me, Gods and Goddesses–as well as Devils of all kinds–were dancing happily and conversing loudly, as if that evening Heaven and Hell opened up their gates for each other. That was when I noticed a guy standing alone, fifteen steps away, with a wooden fan. He didn’t seem like a God or a Devil. So I walked into his direction to find out. Turned out, he was a God slash Devil in disguise.

I wasn’t high. I didn’t imagine this thing.

This was exactly how I met Len Branson, in a costume party in Nusa Dua, Bali, during an event called Awesomeness Fest (I know, the name of the event may sounds a little bit odd and peculiar to you, but bear with me for a while on this one, and I’ll write more about Awesomeness Fest in a few days!). That evening, I simply walked up to Len and smiled. “Hey, we haven’t met!” I shouted to beat the thumping music at the background, and introduced myself. This was something I wouldn’t do two years ago. Walk up to a stranger and introduced myself would give me the creeps. I could have done it, but I would have chosen not to. I realized how much I’ve changed since then.

During my conversations with Len, I found out that he had produced a spiritual-experiment documentary called Superwise ME!, where 9 ‘gurus’ from various backgrounds and 9 ‘witnesses’ spent 9 days in a monastery in Andalusia, Spain, in an attempt to answer 9 important questions in life. “Watch it and let me know what you think,” said Len. “I really want to hear your opinion about it.”

Superwise MeI watched the documentary this morning, on my dining table, with a cup of white tea. My eyes welled up with tears at various scenes. It was such a profound way to begin my Sunday. The documentary Superwise ME! posted some questions I should have asked myself more often; questions I wish to discuss more openly with my closest friends when we spend our time together, lazying in a coffee shop:

  1. Who am I and what is God?
  2. How do I deal with illness and mortality?
  3. How do I get rid of my fear and handle the negativity in me and around me?
  4. How do I know what I really want?
  5. How do I become happy and stay in balance?
  6. How do I love myself and others?
  7. How do I forgive myself and others?
  8. How do I let go and release?
  9. How do I get in touch with my inner wisdom?

What if we already know all the answers to these questions, because we are all superwise? :) I can’t remember the last time I asked you to do something for me, but this time, I am asking you to please, take your time to watch this documentary and spread it around to those you think would benefit from watching it*. I believe it will evoke something that has lain dormant inside of you for quite some time. Let’s go back to the times when we were young, when we were still questioning things while enjoying life’s simple pleasures.

Superwise MeSuperwise MeSuperwise Me

*)I know for some of you (especially if you’re in Indonesia), watching this movie in YouTube sounds like a nightmare, considering the Internet connection and all. If you’re in Jakarta and are interested to watch this movie together with a bunch of friends, probably we can arrange a movie night :)

And don’t forget to also check out Superwise Telesummit if you’re craving for more (sign up from that link), where you can listen in to a bunch of great speakers online, for free! Each speaker in this event has traveled the road to self-discovery, been where you are, and have lovingly agreed to join together in creating ripples of awareness, giving you a look, into the world of possibility. This free virtual event is featuring one speaker each day, who will share their own personal experience, tips, tools and techniques that you can begin applying immediately, as you step into your own personal power and discover what has been within you all along.

Raining Romance

Gloomy January with its dark cloudy skies and constant downpours made me retreated into my comfy bed, entertaining myself with a bunch of blankets, pillows, cups and cups of hot chocolate and a stack of DVDs. These are some of the movies I would put under my movie selection post this month. I’d call it Raining Romance.

1. Two Lovers

Two Lovers

After hailing this movie as one of my all-time favorite, I found out later on that it was inspired by Dostoyevsky’s short story White Nights. And I said to myself, oh, no wonder. It’s a lonely story about Leonard, a guy with a suicidal tendency who falls for his neighbor, Michelle. Everything about this movie is lonely. From the gloomy opening act to the photographs Leonard are taking, the scene at the club where Leonard goes out dancing with Michelle and her friends. I love it when Sandra, a daughter of a family friend, comes along to Leonard’s life. I love it when Michelle’s boyfriend, who happens to be someone else’s husband, talks to Leonard at a restaurant. I adore the twists and turns a little bit too much.

2. Restless

Restless

I love Gus van Sant. I love reading his interviews. I love books and movies with misfit characters. I guess those are enough reasons for me to love this movie. It’s about a teenage boy, Enoch, who loves going to strangers’ funerals and befriends Hiroshi, a dead Japanese kamikaze pilot from World War II. On one of the funerals, Enoch meets a curious girl, Annabel. Like, seriously, aren’t you going to be intrigued just by knowing these snippets? The movie is visually stunning; and I love every small details of Enoch and Annabel’s lives: the things they do, the things they wear, the things they talk about. And you can read Hiroshi’s love letter here.

3. Bright Star

Bright Star

It’s a beautiful movie and beautiful love story between the poet John Keats and his “girl-next-door” Fanny Brawne. And I love this movie so much because I love letters. Hand-written letters. Hand-written love letters, to be exact. And I am in love with John Keats. And Fanny Brawne’s cat. I am in love with the two of them. I love the recited poems during the movie and the scenes where John and Fanny walked and kissed in the woods. I can relate to Fanny. I can relate to Keats. I want that red sealing wax for my letters. I can’t stop indulging myself to read the selected love letters written by John to Fanny here.

4. Adam

Adam

Beth moved in to a new apartment building where she met Adam, her ‘strange‘ neighbor. It is a very grounded yet beautiful movie about loving someone; and whether there are boundaries or limitations in doing so. I love all the small details in the movie: the raccoons, tea, the cleaning of the window, the theatre, those talks about stars and galaxies… and I love Adam, too!

5. Before Sunrise

Before Sunrise

Jesse and Celine met for the first time on a Eurail train and decided to get off in Vienna and spend one day together. I love the quotes from the movie, the premise of being young and stupid and carefree, the artsy shots around Vienna, the fortune teller, the street poet, the bartender, the cemetery… I’d like to go to Vienna and do my Before Sunrise tour. There’s a sequel to this movie, Before Sunset, but if I have to choose, Before Sunrise is a lot better, and stronger.

6. Like Crazy

Like Crazy

Jacob and Anna need to struggle with their long-distance relationship that spans between US and UK. But as it turns out, maybe it’s not really about the long-distance relationship at the first place. Maybe it’s just about the relationship itself. I love the fact that the movie feels real, instead of just plain romantic or pretty. I love the characters’ mean words as they are fighting with each other. I love the silly thoughts Anna has. I love the matter-of-factly way of Jacob. I like it because this is what happens in real life. Sometimes, love sucks.

A Kamikaze Pilot’s Love Letter.

Unsent letters are sad. Depressive. Melancholic. But these letters are hopelessly romantic as well. I have a stack of unsent letters in my drawer. Sometimes, though I have expressed my feelings to a particular person, the unsent letters I wrote for that person remain unsent. Maybe I’ll send it one day. Or maybe not :D

The ocean breeze feels so cool on my skin. That very ocean is soon to be my grave. They told me I will die a hero. That the safety and honor of my country will be the reward for my sacrifice. I pray that they are right. My only regret in life is never telling you how I feel. I wish I were back home. I wish I were holding your hand. I wish I were telling you that I have loved you. And only you since I was a boy.

But I am not.

I see now that death is easy. It is love that is hard. As my plane dives, I will not see the face of my enemies. I would instead will see your eyes. Like Blackrock frozing in the water. They tell us that we must scream ‘Banzai!’ as we plunge into our target. I will instead, whisper your name.

And in death, as in life, I will remain forever yours.

——————-

*) by Hiroshi Takahashi—a Kamikaze pilot. This unsent letter dies with him.
[From Gus van Sant's movie, RESTLESS, 2011]

**) the picture is an edited snapshot from the brochure of my Lomo Super Sampler.

sequence

So, this is my first short movie video project with Nanath, called “Sequence”—that falls under our independent movie project Sunday & Sunflowers. I did the shots with my Canon 550D camera and developed the story/script, while Nanath took her part as the heart-broken girl in the movie and did an amazing effort in editing and deciding on song selection.

The song is Wish You Well by Katie Herzig (which was suggested to us by Nia). And the lyric is just awesome:

I, I want to wish you well
I didn’t watch you go
Cause I suppose I don’t know how
I, I will remember you
Not the way you left but how you lived
And what you knew

I, I want to feel your hands
I want to feel your fire burning
Right from where I stand

I’ll find my way
Cause you showed me how

I, I want to know it’s you
When I hear your voice inside my head
Inside my room
I, want to touch the sky
I want to see the stars twinkle
Like they were your eyes

I’ll find my way
You showed me
I’ll find my way
Cause you showed me how

I, I want to smell your scent
I want to breathe the air I did before
Before you left

I, I want to wish you well
The only reason my heart beats
Is cause you showed it how

I’ll find my way
You show me
I’ll find my way
You show me
I’ll find my way
Cause you showed me how
You show me how
You showed me how

Also, thanks to Daniel, our own national rugby player, for his performance as the heartbreaker :D