I'd been living in seven houses in the last 5 years, excluding places for my field work. I guess it's time to settle down. To love and to stay rather than to love and to be away. Despite I am not a novel in moving, the sadness is always there ...
I am not sure how long it's going to take to move on ... To be all right again in the new place. I am on my denial phase. I have not start packing despite the date is getting closer. I don't know how to feel. I know I am going to be okay. I just don't know when.
Ada seribu satu argumen yang menyatakan hubungan ini tidak akan berhasil. Ada terlalu banyak emosi yang terlibat. Namun tiap kali ia hendak memutuskan hubungan dengan Andre, tiap kali pula ia luluh. Ia seolah tidak memiliki kuasa atas dirinya sendiri tiap kali ia berhadapan dengan Andre. Ia tahu ia harus tegas tapi ia tidak bisa ....
Akhirnya aku membeli tiket ke Jakarta. Berat rasanya untuk menuliskan tiket pulang. Selama lima tahun terakhir, aku selalu merasa pulang adalah ke Belanda. Perasaan yang membuatku tak pernah merasakan homesick. Perasaanku campur aduk. Di satu sisi, aku merasa senang untuk bertemu kembali dengan keluarga dan teman-temanku. Di sisi lain, aku takut aku akan kehilangan diriku. Dan perasaan terakhir lebih dominan.
Bahagia muncul dengan beragam rupa. Seseorang tak bisa bahagia kalau menginginkan segala sesuatunya sama tiap kali berpindah tempat. Dan aku harus menemukan kembali bentuk kebahagiaanku di Indonesia. Harus belajar menikmati orang tidak menepati janji, terlambat ataupun asap knalpot. Belum lagi basa basi yang kadang membuatku kehilangan kesabaran. Memikirkannya saja membuatku mulas.
Mungkin aku akan merindukan hari-hariku menjadi vegetarian. Makan sayuran dari kebun sendiri. Guru yoga-ku dan terutama teman-teman kantor yang sudah seperti keluarga. Ruangan kantor yang nyaman penuh dengan peralatan berkebun, boneka dan baju kotor sesudah olahraga.
Aishhh, tak baik pagi-pagi diisi dengan energi negatif.
"Jadi kamu inginnya yang seperti apa La?" tanya Rana.
"Aku ingin dijinakkan Na. Perlahan, hingga aku merasa nyaman dengan orang itu."
"Tapi kamu ngga pernah memberi kesempatan orang lain untuk masuk. Kamu terlalu asyik dengan imajimu dan mungkin kamu jatuh cinta pada sebuah imaji yang tak pernah ada."
Kemala memainkan daun mint dalam gelas di hadapannya. Ia tak tahu harus menjawab apa.
"Kamu mau aku kenalin ngga dengan temanku. Dia juga lagi nyari," sambung Rana.
"Kamu tahu kan Na perasaanku tentang hal itu. Tiap kali aku diperkenalkan dengan orang lain, aku merasa terjebak. Dan biasanya dia akan menganggap aku tertarik, padahal aku cuma mencoba menjadi orang baik."
"Yah, jangankan orang yang baru kenal kamu La. Aku saja meski mengenalmu lebih dari sepuluh tahun masih kesulitan untuk meraba perasaanmu. Kamu selalu terlihat baik-baik saja."
"Mungkin karena itu aku masih belum melupakannya."
"Iya, dia selalu tahu kalau aku sedang gundah."
"Jadi kamu mengharapkan seseorang yang bisa membaca pikiranmu?"
"Iya Na, hahaha."
Undangan itu tergeletak bersama surat-surat lainnya. Ia tak pernah mengira hari ini akan tiba. Saat ia merasa sudah beranjak namun ternyata hanya diam di tempat. Saat ia merasa lengkap namun sadar semua tak lagi sama. Rangga sudah bukan miliknya lagi. Dan dunia seolah berhenti.
ketika beragam rupa menyublim menjadi satu
ketika ingatan lama tak bisa enyah meski ratusan ingatan baru tercipta
ketika pergi belanja dan teringat barang-barang kesukaannya
ketika kau tak bisa lagi tersenyum saat ia tiada
One of my docents told me that he had been invited by the Army to present his view about the conflict in Mali. Suddenly, he moved from being an outsider to an insider. The question is not only about being critical but also about being strategical and at the same time, to conserve the idealism. He mentioned that there were many consultancies that were already involved in giving advice for the Ministry but most of them did not know the real situation. So Ferguson (1990) and Mosse (2004) all over again. Wrong approach because of wrong assumptions and consultancy agency talked in the language of the clients (on efficiency in military operation) and not about the real situation in Mali. Different epistemic tradition, where he had to talk to man in uniform with different openness and also a shift in strategy from critical to strategic.
The discussion related with our earlier discussion about identity and struggle. Identity is always being contested in different situations. There is evil in good things and there is good things in evil. As one of my favorites proverb says 'the road to hell is paved with good intentions.' Being an insider creates an opportunity for greater change but probably it may also change one into a different person via all the negotiations and bureaucratic details.
Being in Enschede always stimulates nostalgic feeling. I still remember the first day I was there when one f colleagues picked me up from the station and we went to the office. There was a FC Twente match that day so we had to return home before 4 PM. There many things happened since that day, too much to remember in details. So when I visited the place again yesterday, I was wandering whether my memories betray me or not. And there my friend was greeted me with the same smile as I remembered. In the old days, we shared a journey together to Utrecht and to Delft and we were kind of sharing the same research, so being in Enschede felt right. Time surely change things, but there are also other things that remains the same. The warm feelings, the station and the people, things that feel really familiar like breathing.
Sometimes I play the 'what if' game. I am wondering why my life looks more like a patchwork than a normal blanket where there is always a constant adjustment. But again during my journey, I met many wonderful people who I love dearly. So probably having a patchwork life makes me love more people and teaches me how to love the moment since I'd never now when it's going to last.
Caranya tersenyum membuat Kemala teringat pada Rangga. Ia kangen senyum itu, senyum yang ia peroleh tiap kali ia merasa hilang. Bagi Kemala, senyum Rangga adalah rumah, ia tahu ia akan baik-baik saja tiap kali melihat Rangga tersenyum seperti itu padanya. Dan kini Rangga ada entah dimana, tiga bulan berlalu tanpa kabar dan ia tahu ia harus melanjutkan hidup.
Is technological failure a good thing? This question crossed my mind when I attended a lunch lecturer on nano-technology and development. The way the presenter framed his narrative reminded me on dialectic where he played between critics and defenses where one of the defenses suggest the performativity of failure. While I like the way he made a balance between STS and development, at the end of the presentation, he felt into a typical STS conclusion. That we have to include more actors to make an innovation works. If I am using my (critical) development studies, my focus will not about how to make the innovation works but rather what kind of socio-technical change will emerge if the innovation works. My Foucauldian fellows would argue innovation as a form of governmentality, while my STS or my transition fellows would argue there is a sustainable justice that would benefit all the actors. The former sees the latter as naive, while the latter sees the former as negative.
Some scholars suggest to add politics into STS through interaction with development studies. For me, this suggestion is running out of stream. There are good STS scholars that are able to capture politics in innovation. The absence of politics in STS is not a matter of method but more about the scientist's sensitivity to capture what happening in the field. The main difference between STS and development studies lies on their ontology where STS, or to be more precise innovation scholars start from an assumption that human tends to help other, while (critical) development studies start from assumption that human tends to harm other.
Sebuah artikel baru di majalah New Scientists, "Can men and women be friends?" Seorang teman pernah melontarkan pertanyaan itu padanya dan saat itu ia dengan yakin menjawab bisa meski sulit. Dan nyatanya memang sulit untuk mempertahankan pertemanan di saat yang lain menginginkan lebih. Mungkin ia harus lebih peka terhadap perasaan orang lain dan tidak hanya menerima semua perhatian tersebut tanpa prasangka. Di sisi lain, ia lelah dengan segala sesuatu yang tak pasti. Kalau suka bilang, kalau tidak maka ia akan menganggap semua kebaikan itu sebagai bagian dari menjadi manusia.
After checking my four pockets, I realized that I left my office key somewhere. The biggest chance was to left inside my office. So I asked my promotor whether he know where the master key was. We ended up in opening several rooms where one room brought us to a key to enter another room, although without any luck of finding the right key. At the end, I waited down stairs for the security to come and asked them to open my office room. And found my key lying nicely at the table.
Life is unexpected and in certain degree, I like to keep it that way. But as a chaotic person, I prefer to live in an orderly environment. Whenever I mess up, I always know my way to return. I locked my self out but I knew the way to get my self in due to the orderly environment. As a scientist, my current position is that everything has an order; what tricky is how to understand this order. In Indonesia, for instance, the key to find my self back whenever I get lost is by asking. But then the order to find my way back is to find a good and knowledgeable person that will provide me with the right answer. The algorithm becomes a bit longer than in the Netherlands.
"What makes your case different with other countries? The case sound similar with any other innovation stories."
It was the second time I got the same question and I could response by saying that the formal and informal institutions were different and also the values were different, but then I chose to save the answer for later. I am not sure that I can answer the question without going to a debate between actor-network theory and construction of technology. Scholars from the latter tend to accuse the former as only being interested for innovation in the making and not after a closure or stabilization. Scholars from the former, on the other hand, tend to accuse the latter as doing black-boxing since there is nothing stable; things are always in a constant negotiation. As an actor-network theorist, my response for that question will be, "What do you mean by being similar? Define similarity."
I had a long conversation with one of the audiences after I finished my presentation. We discussed about methodology and framing. It was quite a refreshing conversation since we tried to opening the black-box behind different comments/questions that I got in the seminar. He described my approach as using bottom-up approach where lacuna is created through showing similarity, while the person who asked my the question was using a top-down approach where lacuna is created through showing difference. The key is to find a balance between these similarity and difference.
I guess in front of scholars with different ontology/epistemology background, it is better to have a seminar on what is research.
Self-critique: my presentation is way too ambitious. First, it offers innovation as practice (trying to combine practice theory and process approach); second, it tries to contribute to STS by offering valuation and thirdly, it tries to contribute to valuation studies by offering a conceptualization of crossing. I can make four papers out of this single presentation, each of which has its own literature.
What I like about my presentation: I understand what I am presenting, which usually is not the case :D
... to love. During my academic journey, I met a lot of new people. Some of them become a very good friend of mine and there are more who I never meet more than three times. But number does not mean anything. If you enjoy being with somebody, you just need to feel it without thinking whether you always going to be together or not. Travelling taught me this ... to life is to love even if there is time to say goodbye. A part that I never managed to pass without being sad. But life without love is not life at all and if sadness is the price that I have to pay, so be it.
One of the things of being clumsy is I have to talk to strangers. Like this afternoon when I realized that I did not have anything to stir my dishes while the onion was already in the frying pan. I ran to the office to find something but found nothing. Fortunately, I saw two guys heading to the same apartment building where I lived. I say hi and asked one of them whether I could borrow his stirring thingy. He went to his room and asked me to pick one that I need. I managed to finish my cooking without burning anything. Full and happy :) In Singapore, I met another stranger. She saw me looking at the information board with a confused look and decided to greet me. She showed me the way and we spend the afternoon by eating together and taking picture. Another stranger stopped by when my bicycle was broken and he offered me to take his bike since it was going to storm.
If people ask me what is one of my biggest strength, I think clumsy is one them. At least, as an anthropologist, many people wanted to talk to me since I looked harmless. On another note, when I did an interview with a colleague, I had to become a bad guy, while my friend became the good guy, simply because people rarely get mad at me despite the questions I asked.
Today I went to the expat center to take my new resident permit. The first person asked me to show my birth certificate and when I told her that I had been here before, she asked me to meet her colleague since I was already in the system. So there I was waiting for fifteen minutes because I was not in the check list. I am new, but I also old. I am familiar with many things, but the documents do not say so. Thus, I have to wait. My experience reminded me to one of the stories in The Sociology of Monsters on being allergic to onion. To get a hamburger without an onion means to wait longer simply because you create a mess out of a system. I think I am quite okay of waiting, I am more afraid of being alienated from my self.
I don't know why I shifted my subject from math to social science. Or in general sometime I wonder where my home is. Sometimes being in Indonesia is just too much; too many questions and too many people ordering me what to do. Being back in the Netherlands give me fresh air. It feels almost home.
The thing is ... I don't know where my home is anymore. Whenever I have to return to the Netherlands, I feel a bit anxious. I miss being with my family or hang out with my colleagues in ITB. On the other hand, I also miss my life in Eindhoven where I can be who ever I want to be without worry what people may think of me. I miss my friends, library, sport centrum and the office. Things that I cannot get in Indonesia. But I also miss being involve in something. So I don't know ...
I think I am a bit lost ... I am not sure where I want to be or on the opposite, I know that I want to have a career in Indonesia since it enables me to be entangled with a community but being here and there is difficult.
I am still thinking to write a proposal about medical anthropology ... I am interested in elaborating the idea of comparison ... taking a bit idea from Strathern, Tyler and probably Deleuze. Like many other things that I did in my life, probably, my interest in medical anthropology was for a wrong reason. But what is the right reason in science? That you're good at it, that it is linear with your background, because you know that you can do something good with it or because you met a person that can inspire you? Until now, I am still wandering the place where I can fit in. I've been wandering around a lot. Changing direction whenever I want simply because I can ...
Probably, it is time to settle down. To invest rather than to runaway ....
Yeah right, after being stupid like adding a person to my linkedin account (which I never done before), today I made it up by working the whole day until I forgot to take my lunch. Well, probably this is another stupidity, I am going nowhere by being ill. But at least I got a passion boost, although it is most probably for the wrong reason. For now, I don't really care about the reason, as long it creates the emergent effect that I am looking for.
Good observer, does not talk too much and quite aware about difference. And although I know that these qualities are part of being a good anthropologist I still found his performances as charming. I did not involve in any conversation with him and I only knew his name on the second day I met him. So why I am still thinking about him?
Oh well, I will just blame my paper ... Editing paper produce unexpected effect
Allah (Pemberi) cahaya (kepada) langit dan bumi. Perumpamaan cahaya-Nya adalah seperti sebuah lubang yang tak tembus, yang di dalamnya ada pelita besar. Pelita itu di dalam kaca (dan) kaca itu seakan-akan bintang (yang bercahaya) seperti mutiara, yang dinyalakan dengan minyak dari pohon yang banyak berkahnya, (yaitu) pohon zaitun yang tumbuh tidak di sebelah timur (sesuatu) dan tidak pula di sebelah barat(nya), yang minyaknya (saja) hampir-hampir menerangi, walaupun tidak disentuh api. Cahaya di atas cahaya (berlapis-lapis), Allah membimbing kepada cahaya-Nya siapa yang Dia kehendaki, dan Allah memperbuat perumpamaan-perumpamaan bagi manusia, dan Allah Mahamengetahui segala sesuatu.(QS. 24:35)
Ia tahu semuanya hanya ritual. Jantungnya tak pernah berdetak lebih cepat ketika ia bertemu dengannya. Tak ada kembang api. Semua karakteristik itu tak pernah ada dalam kebersamaan mereka. Namun entah kenapa ketika ia tiada ia merasa hampa. Mungkin ia menjadi terlalu biasa dengan kehadirannya. Kebersamaan mereka menciptakan ritual yang membuatnya senantiasa teringat. Ia tamat. Aktivitas sesederhana makan pun tak luput dari jejak.
Siang itu ia mengunjungi Ace. Saat ia mengira semuanya telah berakhir, ia melihat barang-barang yang disukai Rangga. Mendadak kenangan itu kembali membanjiri benaknya tanpa bisa ia cegah. Rangga membuatnya merasa istimewa sekaligus biasa. Ia selalu bisa menyisakan sayurnya tanpa merasa bersalah karena ia tahu Rangga akan menghabiskannya atau ketika ia tak tahu harus berbuat apa, Rangga akan mengambil tempatnya.