Your Favorite Shade of Gray

2:31 AM

Dear you,

I still remember the moment when you took me to your grandparents's place at the countryside on last holiday. I remember you held my hand tight along the way. Your hand was strong but astonishingly soft and warm. You never let go of my hand and stroked my fingers several times. Every time you did that, I always looked up to you to find you staring right into my eyes softly, and your smile was spreading wide on your face. I thought I could spend my life forever just by looking at you.

We arrived at your grandparents's home and they hugged you tightly. They turned to me and shook my hand enthusiastically, beamed with pleasure. Your grandma was so happy that she almost jumped right into me. You laughed, the most beautiful laugh I've ever heard.

Oh, how I miss hearing that laugh coming out from your mouth.

Every morning you would woke me up and took me outside, to the mountain, to fetch some water. I always enjoyed it, that feeling when the wind blew on my face, tickled my neck that made me shiver a bit. Then you would come and took my hand, led me wander through the dark trees. I challenged you to race to the stream and sometimes you let me win intentionally.

We filled our buckets and then took some rest in a hut not far from the stream. The hut was too high for me that you had to help me to get into it. That day we sat side by side, my hand in yours. I moved my dangled legs back and forth and you stared at the sky. We were waiting for the sunrise.

"What's your favorite color?" I suddenly asked you.
You smiled and said, "That's weird."
"Weird?" I was confused.
"Yeah, you know, we've been together for almost three months but you still don't know about my favorite color," you grinned at me.
I blushed. "Well, you've always been the mysterious one."
"You are totally right about it," you chuckled. "Yours is kind of bluish, isn't it?"
"Is it?" I teased you.
"A mix of blue and green, I bet. In other word, turquoise." you said it calmly.
"How do you know that?"
"Your pupils dilate every time you see that color," you said. I raised my eyebrows. "Kidding," you laughed, "you tend to choose that color every time you buy your things."

My eyes must had widened a bit because I could see your pleasure. "I didn't know you noticed such a small thing," I tried to cover my amazement.
"Only about what I like. Or who," you teased me.
"Like me?" I fluttered.
"Do I like you?" you tried to look like a fool.
"No, you don't. You don't like me. Because if you liked me, I would punch you in the face," I crossed my arms. You laughed again.
"You are right, your ladyship, I don't like you," you said. You didn't say anything for a moment. I bet you did it for a dramatic effect. "I love you."

I was so dumbfounded that I couldn't say anything. You took my hand and pulled me closer.
"There is no pretending. I love you, and I will love you until I die, and if there is life after that, I'll love you then," you quoted Jace Herondale from City of Glass.
I burst out laughing. "Did you just quote?"
"Did I?"
"I didn't know you read The Mortal Instruments! You said you don't like reading books," I laughed harder.
"I only said I do not prefer books. Doesn't mean that I hate it," you smiled.
"Well, boy, you won. I acknowledge it," I said, my cheeks burnt because of laughing.
"I know. Because that's what I do, you know, winning." you said, pompously arrogant.
"How very kind of you," I smiled, and you leaned closer to me and my heart was beating faster..

...and then the roosters began to crow. The sun was about to rise.
"That's it!" you suddenly averted your face.
I was so confused and surprised and a bit disappointed. "What?"
"My favorite color. Look," you pointed at the upstream. I turned to the side he pointed. Then I saw it, up in the sky.
"Gray?" I asked. "You like gray?"
"Not gray, exactly. Right before the sun rises there’s a moment when the whole sky goes this pale nothing color—not really gray but sort of, or sort of white—"
"—and I’ve always really liked it because it reminds me of waiting for something good to happen," I finished it. "You quoted again. I like it."
"Of course you like it, because it's me," you gave me that teasing smile. "I agree with Lena Haloway. I'm in love with this shade of gray."

I watched you staring at the sky as the sun started to rise. The breeze blew your hair, revealing your forehead. "But now it's fading. It's sad that it only lasts for a very short time," I said.
"That's why I adore it. When you realize that something only lasts for a brief time, you will cherish it even more," you smiled softly and then turned to me. "You will be grateful for every chance that are given to you. You won't take it for granted."

In that time I could see a glimpse of sadness and pain in your face. Somehow I thought I saw you in a super excruciating agony. Somehow I just wanted to cry and help you. I wanted to take some of the pain you were carrying on your shoulder.

I know nothing lasts forever. Nothing, even us. That's why you always gave your best in every chance given. That's why you always tried to enjoy your moments; because you didn't know what would happen next. That's why you never squandered anything you got. That's why I adore you, my dear, a lot.

My dear, I love you so much. You know that I was always afraid of you leaving me, but you promised me that you would not do it. That's why I could let you go to any place you want. But this time, I just can't. You failed to keep your promise, my dear, but I know I must get over it.

In this little turquoise box, I keep you safe. I hope you don't mind keep seeing my favorite color that you had guessed correctly on that day. But now it's time to get you out of it. I know you must have been so bored in it.

My dear, I'm so sorry you can't get your favorite gray. I'm sorry that you only got this ash gray.

The roosters start to crow. The tinge of your favorite gray break the sky. I strew your ash into the stream.



6:31 PM

I am standing still in front of my tall mirror. I stare at my reflection from the tip of my head to the tip of my feet.

And then I start crying.

It's not beautiful, though, both of my cry and what I see in front of me. I cry like a mix of a horse and a child whining. It sounds so horrible, but I can't help it. I try so hard, forcing my mouth to keep silent but my throat keeps betraying me. I end up biting my tongue as hard as I can so that no voice is out of my lips. My blood quickly rush through the wound.

And my eyes, my eyes, are no longer can hold my tears. It's like something has wrecked the sluice in my eyes; the tears keep flowing and running down my cheeks. I blink and blink and blink, hoping it can stop the flood, but nothing's changed. I can't stop, I can't, but I really want to.

I can barely breath. My nose filled by snot and mucus, it slowly but surely tortures me. My throat tightened, leaving me gasping, struggling for oxygen. It feels like a giant hand squeeze up my stomach that I almost throw up. I feel so scared, panic, insecure that I sweat so much. I'm afraid my heart is about to explode.

Is it true?
Is it true that pain is beauty?
Is it true?
Is it true that no one cares?

My hair, my face, my body,
what did they do?
Did they do something wrong?

Should I gather all money to afford every single trend?
Should I starve myself for the sake of beauty?
Should I strain myself doing some extreme exercises?
Should I get some surgeries to "fix my face"?

Should I? Should I?
No. I know the answer is no.

Then why do I feel so empty? In this crowded place, why do I feel so distant? Why do I feel so anxious, trying to mingle with these people? Why do I keep worrying about how they see me? Why am I afraid of "being not pretty enough"? Why am I afraid of getting left behind?

Too many why.

I'm sick.
I'm scared.

I take a lipstick on the dresser. It is the lipstick that I bought with all of my allowance. I take it and come back in front of the mirror.
Help, I write.

Then I punch it and punch it, over and over again, until it shatters all around me.
Help, I cry.


Jika Kau Ingin Menangis

5:59 PM

Jika kau ingin menangis,
jangan izinkan orang melihat

Jika kau ingin menangis,
hiruplah napas dalam-dalam
redakan panas yang membara di dadamu
biarlah udara menenangkan gemetarmu

Jika kau ingin menangis,
tutuplah mulutmu rapat-rapat
jangan biarkan sendumu keluar
kencangkan rahangmu
gigitlah bibirmu
biarlah darah mengalir
asal jangan tangis yang mengalir

Jika kau ingin menangis,
kepalkan tanganmu kuat-kuat
biarlah sampai gemetar
biarlah kuku-kuku menancap
biar sakit menahan panasnya mata

Jika kau ingin menangis,
pejamkan mata rapat-rapat
tahan napas
jangan lakukan
jangan biarkan menetes

(karena sudah terlalu banyak yang menetes)


The Unfairness of Your Hydrostatic Pressure

8:57 PM

In Physics I learn about hydrostatic pressure, a pressure that an object gets for being in a certain liquid and at a certain depth. It is equivalent with the density of the liquid, the gravity, and the height of the fluid above the object.

I am the object and you are the liquid; the fate somehow threw me into you. I nudged your surface and you let me come in, swimming through your mysterious fluid. I tend to go deeper and deeper, eager to explore every single side of you. Unfair, I think, that you can shroud the whole me while I am merely touching a little part of you.

But as the physics law about hydrostatic pressure states, the deeper an object goes into the liquid, the greater pressure the object gets. I can sense your pressure against me when I try to swim deeper into you; rejecting me to go further into your life. You tend to keep your walls around you, restraining me from seeing your true self: your soul. A soul that I am sure is utterly beautiful, no matter how damaged you think you are.

This hydrostatic pressure is blocking me from your depth. It suppresses me from every direction, preventing me to find out more about you. Every single part of me is trying to fight it, but sadly, your upward force is much stronger. You push me away from your life; from the depth that I was in to the surface where I am totally just another stranger to you.

Now I am floating in you, not sure if I should try harder to dip into you or just waiting for a miracle to get me taken away. The only thing that I can wish is you aren't able to dissolve any solutes. Because if you are, your density will be increased and so will your pressure against me.

(and so will the distance between me and you).


My Dearest Nucleons

10:42 PM

We are like an alkali atom. You as the nucleus and I as the electron.
You, with the positive charge from the protons.
Me, with all my negativity.

You, still, stick in your place at the center.
Me, spinning on my axis, either clockwise or counter-clockwise, orbiting you.

You, distinctly obvious; your position can be identified precisely.
Me, lost in the clouds; no one would ever know where exactly I am.

The electromagnetic force attracts me to you, but sadly, my dearest nucleons, your nuclear force is much stronger than our bond. You can gather your protons and neutrons all by yourself, while me without you is just an insignificant matter.

Ironic, isn't it, or what do you call it about how easy is our electromagnetic force to get broken down, compared to your nuclear force? How insignificant is losing an electron, compared to ejecting the nucleons? Losing an electron just changes the charge of our atom, while ejecting the nucleons results nuclear decay, transmuting the nucleus, turning our atom into another atom. An electron, at the end, doesn't really matter at all to the nucleons.

Tragic, isn't it, that it takes no energy to get closer to you: in fact, the electron releases some energy to get closer to the nucleus. But it takes an enormous amount of energy for the electron to go farther from the nucleus, especially the one which was so close to it. Unfortunately, I don't have that much energy, while you, still brutally attract me with that electromagnetic force. I have tried, for a million times, crawling out from this force, yet also for a million times I failed miserably.

I am trapped, here, in the clouds of uncertainty, spinning, moving, and orbiting you. I am unstoppable, unpredictable in this bizarre thickness of the probability of quantum mechanic laws. You compulsively imprisone me in this trajectory, just to keep our atom stable rather than really wanting me to stay.

I am tired of all these things, my dearest nucleons. I am sick of repeating my orbit over and over again. I wish someday, a positive ion will get close to us, drawing me away from my obligation to keep orbiting you.

Or better, I wish you will get unstable so I can watch you tearing apart, losing parts of yourself decay, one by one. Because we know, my dearest nucleons, that it's all about stability.


The Carved Heart

8:44 PM

Do you ever feel like your heart is scratched deeply?
That you think the scar(s) will never be mended?

Here, I got a vague idea about this.

The heart is like a special wood that is meant to be carved. We were born with a perfect smooth heart, without any scars. But this heart IS intended to get hurt, just like that wood is intended to be carved. It is inevitable that we have to bear the pain of getting our heart hurt, leaving so many scars according to how many heartbreaks you have suffered.

But hey, that is not the end.

The carves on the wood make it looks beautiful. It looks utterly unprecedented compared to the former plain wood. Every single carve gives an exquisite different style to the wood. The carves, altogether, make a beautiful pattern that transform the wood into something aesthetic in its way.

The scars that hurt your heart are the carves. It does hurt, it does yield pain, but it turns your heart into something beautiful. Every heartbreak that you suffer through leaves a scratch, carving your heart. It was a mark that you are strong enough to endure it.

It is indeed good if you can mend your heart, but we all know that everything takes time. I myself believe that eventually we can mend our heart. But there must be a phase when you have to go on life with those scars.

And then you start to hate yourself for having those scars.
But I'm telling you.

You don't have to be ashamed of your scars. You don't have to hide it every single time. Maybe you think that you can handle it by yourself, but you don't need to. There are some people who really love you, people who accept you as the way you are, the whole you, with all your flaws. People who care about you. People who truly adore you.

Those are the people who can see the beauty of your carved hearts. They understands the meaning of every scars. They see it as a great masterpiece, not as a useless trash. They undoubtedly will stand by your side. And you should not push them away, because you need them. They'll help you to mend your heart.

You don't have to struggle alone, dear.
You deserve to be loved.

Stay strong.
Stay beautiful with the carves.
(someday, I wish, you'll be mended. We mend each other )


Relativitas Hidup

9:45 AM

Bagiku, relativitas tidak hanya sebatas dilatasi massa, panjang, dan waktu.

Tahu kan, teori relativitas khusus yang terkenal, yang dikemukakan oleh Albert Einstein itu. Di mana massa, panjang, dan waktu suatu benda yang bergerak tidaklah mutlak, tetapi relatif terhadap seorang pengamat, baik yang diam maupun yang juga bergerak dengan kecepatan konstan tertentu.

Tapi menurutku, relativitas tidak hanya mencakup hal itu saja.

Jangan salah paham dulu. Aku tidak lebih pintar dari Einstein. Apalah aku, hanya seserpih butir debu kosmik dibandingkan Einstein yang adalah Jupiter.

Namun menurutku, hidup kita sehari-hari juga dipenuhi relativitas.

Setiap adjektiva, stigma, dan stereotip ciptaan manusia ini relatif. Bagaimana kau mendefinisikan sesuatu itu bagus? Jika kau menganggap sebuah lukisan itu bagus, apakah orang lain pasti juga akan beranggapan sama? Kita tahu jawabannya adalah tidak.

Mengapa demikian? Karena definisi 'bagus' setiap orang itu berbeda-beda. 'Bagus', yang adalah sebuah adjektiva, adalah relatif. Mengapa bisa relatif? Karena kita, bagaimanapun juga, adalah manusia yang punya keterbatasan. Kita, sayangnya, memerlukan suatu pembanding untuk menyatakan bahwa lukisan itu bagus. Tidak ada standar baku untuk mendefinisikan 'bagus' itu sendiri.

Yang membuatku sedih, relativitas hidup ini sering kali menjadi masalah. Sadar atau tidak sadar, kita cenderung membanding-bandingkan segala hal, yang tak jarang pada ujungnya menciptakan suatu stigma dan stereotip negatif. "Wanita jalang" untuk perempuan yang berpakaian terbuka. "Orang gila" untuk orang yang tidak sehat secara mental. "Bodoh" untuk anak yang mendapat nilai merah di rapornya. Kau tahu sendiri lah, masih banyak lagi segala adjektiva, stigma, dan stereotip lainnya, yang tidak bisa kusebutkan satu per satu di sini.

Itu semua ada karena perbandingan yang kita lakukan. Kita membandingkan mereka dengan orang-orang yang kita anggap "normal" pada umumnya, dan lantas menyebut mereka dengan berbagai macam sebutan. Einstein menyatakan bahwa relativitas memerlukan suatu kerangka acuan, dan dalam relativitas hidup kerangka acuan inilah yang cenderung kita pakai: "orang-orang normal pada umumnya" (selanjutnya disingkat ONPU agar lebih singkat).

Hanya sebatas itukah kerangka acuan kita? Bagaimana kita bisa tahu bahwa ONPU ini selalu benar, seperti halnya keabsolutan nilai kecepatan cahaya? Jika Einstein berhasil membuktikan bahwa kelajuan cahaya di ruang hampa adalah tetap untuk semua kerangka inersial, bagaimana kita membuktikan bahwa ONPU ini juga tetap benar untuk semua orang?

Satu syarat utama teori relativitas khusus Einstein: kerangka acuan yang digunakan adalah kerangka inersial. Jika kerangka acuan yang digunakan bukan kerangka inersial, maka kerangka acuan tersebut tidak bisa dipakai sebagai acuan relativitas. Apa itu kerangka inersial? Kerangka inersial adalah kerangka acuan yang tidak dipercepat (a=0, berarti v konstan), contohnya adalah bumi (bumi sebenarnya mengalami percepatan akibat rotasi dan revolusinya, hanya saja sangat kecil sehingga bisa diabaikan).

Lalu apa hubungannya dengan ONPU? Inilah yang menjadi tugas kita: memastikan bahwa ONPU adalah sebuah kerangka inersial. Apakah ONPU adalah kerangka inersial dalam kehidupan kita? Jika ya, maka kita bisa menggunakannya sebagai kerangka acuan. Jika tidak, berarti ONPU tidak bisa dipakai sebagai kerangka acuan kita.

Jika suatu kerangka dinyatakan sebagai kerangka inersial berdasarkan ada atau tidaknya percepatan, bagaimana dengan ONPU? Apa yang menjadi dasar kita menjadikan ONPU sebagai kerangka inersial kita? Layakkah ONPU kita jadikan sebagai kerangka inersial?

ONPU, tak terbantahkan, adalah manusia juga, yang tentunya memiliki kelemahan. Dan sering kali, ONPU begitu lemah sehingga mudah terpengaruh oleh hal-hal baru. Hal-hal baru ini mempengaruhi ONPU seperti layaknya sebuah gaya mempengaruhi suatu benda. Dengan adanya gaya, berarti menimbulkan adanya percepatan (F=m.a). Ada percepatan, berarti kerangka acuan ini bukanlah kerangka inersia. Artinya, ONPU bukan termasuk kerangka inersia sehingga tidak bisa dijadikan sebagai kerangka acuan relativitas hidup kita.

Lalu mengapa kita kerap kali menjadikan ONPU sebagai kerangka acuan kita dalam melabeli sesuatu di sekitar kita? Label-label ini, yang tentunya bersifat relatif, didasarkan atas kerangka acuan yang tidak valid, yaitu ONPU. Label-label ini, secara fisika, tidak bisa diterapkan karena menggunakan kerangka acuan yang salah. Kita telah melakukan suatu kekeliruan. Namun sayangnya, tak banyak orang yang menyadari. Tak banyak orang peduli, yang mau bersusah-susah mencari tahu apakah label yang mereka berikan adalah benar adanya.

Karena itu, kita perlu mengganti kerangka acuan kita. Kita perlu sesuatu yang konstan, yang tidak punya percepatan, untuk dijadikan kerangka acuan. Kita butuh sesuatu yang tidak mudah terpengaruh oleh hal-hal lain yang tidak baik. Dan menurutku, etika, nilai, dan norma (disingkat ENM) yang baiklah jawabannya. ENM yang baik sudah disepakati bersama dan sudah tertanam sejak dulu bersifat lebih stabil dan konstan.

Berdasarkan ENM, pantaskah kita menyebut perempuan yang berpakaian terbuka sebagai "wanita jalang"? Pantaskah kita menyebut orang-orang yang tidak sehat secara mental sebagai "orang gila"? Pantaskah kita menyebut anak yang mendapat nilai merah sebagai anak yang "bodoh"? Pantaskah kita melakukan hal-hal tersebut, yang mungkin tanpa kita sadari menyakitkan hati orang-orang yang kita labeli?

Apakah ENM mengajarkan kita untuk mengeneralisasi sekelompok orang yang memiliki kesamaan dengan kelompok lain? Apakah secara ENM, perempuan tersebut benar "wanita jalang"? Apakah orang tersebut adalah "orang gila"? Apakah anak tersebut benar anak yang "bodoh"?

Memang ada bagian dari ONPU yang layak kita jadikan kerangka acuan. Memang ada bagian dari ONPU yang konstan dan bernilai baik. Karena bagaimanapun juga, ONPU adalah manusia yang masih memegang ENM. Manusia yang menghasilkan ENM, bukan sebaliknya. Tapi tidak semua ONPU bisa selalu kita jadikan kerangka acuan, karena seperti yang kita ketahui, kasus krisis ENM kerap kali terjadi dalam ONPU.

Inilah yang menjadi tugas kita, melayakkan kembali ONPU sebagai kerangka acuan dengan cara menegakkan ENM di kalangan ONPU. Karena orang-orang cenderung menggunakan ONPU sebagai kerangka acuan, maka akan lebih mudah jika kita menegakkan ENM di kalangan ini daripada menciptakan ENM sebagai suatu kerangka baru dan menarik orang-orang untuk pindah haluan ke kerangka ini. Lebih baik kita berusaha menjadikan ONPU menjadi lebih baik, yang memegang teguh ENM sehingga orang-orang tidak lagi melakukan pelabelan terhadap orang lain berdasarkan ONPU yang tidak memegang ENM.

Stop stigmatizing people. Educate them. And to do that, start it with yourself.

Sumber acuan teori relativitas Einstein:
Surya, Yohanes. 2010. Fisika Modern. Tangerang: PT Kandel.