It’s about not knowing where we should go or what to do next the rest of the day. Just like one drizzly morning when we sat at the Green House, surrounded by porridge bowls, plates of American breakfast, cups of coffee, and glasses of juice. We pushed them all aside before you drew four lines on a piece of paper and wrote down MON TUE WED on the top of each space.

It should be our schedule, despite the fact that you wrote only one place for us to visit each day and left the rest of the columns empty. “Wow. The schedule looks so… zen.” We laughed at that, but in a way, it was actually darn philosophical.


It’s about not knowing the highlight of every day because our days got lost beneath Singapore’s cloudy sky and tangled sheets and the constant appearance of little gifts in bubble-wrap envelopes. My memories captured too many small details of your wonderful presence, but I loved the way you touched your chin when you were in deep concentration; typing away by the window overlooking the Esplanade, as well as your delicate way of brewing me a cup of chamomile in the afternoon.

It’s about not knowing why we were here in the first place, as we walked hand in hand through the concrete jungle–not even trying to question things. It was like that rainy day at the Art Science Museum when we sat in the darkness on the 4th floor, watching the mesmerizing “Sound of Ikebana: Four Seasons” by Naoko Tosa. Nobody else was around as we let ourselves drenched in the beauty of haikus and the vibration of kaleidoscopic paint caused by sound waves. We went there to see Eames, but we ended up here. It sounded too us.


I still don’t know about a lot of things–apart from more than 400 long letters and the irresistible charm of your battling eyelashes as you recite poetry from Hafiz; or how safe it feels just to lay my head down on your chest, listening to your heartbeat–as if the whole world has been compressed into this crippling second on earth; and suddenly, not knowing about what or how or why doesn’t really bother me at all.


22 Responses

  1. Beautifully written. As an American, I have a hard time slowing down my pace and trying not to fill my schedule with so many things. If I look at my calendar and there’s a spot open, I tend to think, “what should I do during that time”, not “oh look, free time”. Thanks for the post. It’s a good reminder for me to slow down 🙂

    1. I think it happens with a lot of people living in big cities all over the world. Moreover, I guess we’ve always been told to use our time to ‘do something’–but it’s amazing what slowing down and do nothing can do to us as well 😀 Thanks for leaving your traces, and I hope you’ll have that slowing-down time soon!

  2. Sejak lulus kuliah bbrp bulan lalu, jujur aku kayak bebanin diri sendiri untuk “sibuk” tiap harinya. But the truth I was doing nothing. Tulisan kak Hanny ingetin aku untuk lbh enjoy hari-hari. Heartwarming bgt di hari mendung Denpasar (:

    1. Aaaaw! 😀 Waktu itu aku dibilangin, luangkan waktu untuk merasakan, berpikir, dan merencanakan. Sehingga “kesibukan” yang kita lakukan benar-benar berarti di akhir hari, dan semua yang kita kerjakan itu punya tujuan yang bisa membuat kita merasa lega dan bahagia 😀 Aku paling suka hari hujan/mendung untuk berpikir dan merencanakan hidup–lalu mengistirahatkan pikiran dan melakukan hal-hal yang menyenangkan! 😀

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Screenshot 2022-12-08 at 12.43.17
This year, I learned to accept the days when I don't feel motivated, tired, or a bit grumpy. I learned to allow myself to sit with this feeling instead of feeling guilty about it and forcing myself to be productive, socialize, or just get things done.
Photo by Georgia de Lotz on Unsplash
In the end, self-care is not always about doing the things that make us feel good or give us instant gratification. It's also about doing the RIGHT thing: something that is good for us in the long run—even if it may feel hard at times.
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.