I find happiness in simple things. Like living in a small town with an 80-hectare botanical garden at its city centre—a sanctuary for more than 15,000 species of trees and plants. It’s a small town with the highest number of rainy days (320 out of 365 days) in Java (or maybe in the world?), hence the title “Rain City” (though for the sake of romanticism I prefer to call it “The City of the Falling Rain”).

But what I love the most from a small town is the absence of tall buildings and skyscrapers, as well as 24-hour  brightly-lit billboards and LCD screens that contribute to light pollution. I love it when the night is pitch dark (as it should be) and the sky is clear; so you can sit down on an open field (or in my case, the empty parking lot in front of my housing complex’s swimming pool) and gazing at the stars.

I could spend hours just sitting there, looking up into the sky, sipping a cup of hot chocolate. My heart twinkles.

A few days ago, going back home at around 11 pm, I entertained myself with the view of the starlit sky from behind my taxi’s window. It was on the highway, the last few kilometers home, with open fields on my left. The sky seemed closer. At the time, I wished I could mail that amazing starlit sky to you, so you could see it in your sky, too.


Around midnight, a girl arrived at her home. She dashed in, threw her bags, sipped a cup of hot tea her father had prepared, then snatched her camera and ran to the front door hurriedly, yelling: “Am out to shoot the stars!”—and off she ran to an empty parking lot in front of her housing complex’s swimming pool; still inside her working outfit with blazer and all; then she directed her camera to the sky. She fluttered around the open space, trying her best to capture the twinkling stars. Someone who happened to see her from afar might think she was dancing while looking up to the sky.


A few days later, somewhere far away, a guy opened his mailbox and found a tiny card with a handwritten note on it. It said:

Dear you,

I haven’t mastered the skills to capture those stars vividly, yet
(not to mention my improper handling of the camera)—but I hope,
you can still catch the beauty of  those twinkling tiny dots,
if only you’re willing to see this with just a little bit of extra love.



11 Responses

  1. mbak hanny ini bintang yg mbak twit waktu itu kan??? Memang indah, bahagia bisa itu bisa datang dengan sesuatu yg sgt sederhana yah. :)))

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We tend to shape our memories of them based on the limited time we spend with them—and our memories of them, over time, will be replaced with one single word, one single interaction, or one single feeling.
Beradadisini Love Letter to Self
I took up a personal journaling project this week: writing a love letter to myself before bed. I work on a thin A6-size handmade paper journal I got from a paper artist, Els. The journal is thin and small enough, so it doesn't overwhelm me. It feels like I am only going to work on a small project.
Standing up for yourself does not have to look aggressive. It does not have to feel like a fight. It's not always about convincing others or explaining yourself and your decisions with the hope that everyone else understands or accepts your choice.
Hanny illustrator
I am an Indonesian writer/artist/illustrator and stationery web shop owner (Cafe Analog) based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. I love facilitating writing/creative workshops and retreats, especially when they are tied to self-exploration and self-expression. In Indonesian, 'beradadisini' means being here. So, here I am, documenting life—one word at a time.