How much do you have to lose to be with a man?

February 25, 2009 § 4 Comments

How much do you have to lose to be with a man?

True, love is sacrifice. Great love is tested by difficulties, separation, pain, and eventually overcoming those. But great love doesn’t have to be a constant struggle. And you certainly don’t have to lose yourself to find a man, a husband, a father for your child.

I am a firm believer in strength of character. My parents raised me to be my own person, develop my own character, goals and achieve my own greatness. There was never a rule on when I should marry a man nor on what I should do as a woman. I was never taught to keep up my appearnce, but I was told to keep up my performance. There were however, advice on how I should balance family and work. And that’s how my mother lives, balancing family and work. The women in my family are strong, career-driven women with a warm home and husbands who appreciate them, and that’s what inspires me.

And lately, I am questioning sacrifice.

Are you, as a woman, willing to give up anything for stability, for security of a home, a steady flow of money from a husband?

Are you willing to lose your choices?

What if he forces you to throw away your dreams?

Your passion for life?

Your friends?

Your life?

Your Self?

And what is there after losing so much of YOU? House with a garden, car, shopping trips every other weekend, someone to take you places, someone to tell you what to do, someone you assume will spend the rest of his life with you.

There is no Love in restraints, in balls and chains. It’s not love if it’s a prison, and it’s certainly not love when you are forced to be the person he wants.

It’s not love when you are forced to lose everything you love. Love doesn’t deprive you, love doesn’t isolate you. Love doesn’t make you sad because of so many things you have to lose in exchange for it.

You are richer with love, you are better with it. You are warmer because of it. You are stronger, and yet more kind.

So, in the end, I don’t believe in sacrificing myself to be with someone.

And that man is walking beside me to share dreams, passion, friends, and life together with. A man that can handle having a woman with her life and choices. A lover and a partner.


Michael Heart

February 25, 2009 § Leave a comment

Michael Heart is the musician most well known for his heartfelt song the recent war in Gaza, We Will Not Go Down.

And being a girl-guitarist, I can’t help but pay attention to this musician. So here’s a bit of him, as taken from his website,


Michael’s background is as diverse as can be.  Born in Syria and raised in Europe (Switzerland and Austria), the Middle East and the United States, he has lived a multi-cultural life and absorbed the music of different parts of the world (although his current CD release is purely categorized as Pop/Rock).  He started out on piano and guitar at age 10.  Shortly thereafter, he began dabbling in songwriting and eventually made the natural progression towards recording.  After earning his audio engineering degree from Full Sail (recording school), he moved to Los Angeles in 1990 and spent the past 18 years working on the local studio circuit both as a session guitarist and a recording engineer.  In that time, he has worked with such artists as Brandy, Will Smith, Toto, Natalie Cole, The Temptations, Phil Collins, Patty LaBelle, The Pointer Sisters, Earth Wind & Fire, Ricky Lee Jones, Lou Rawls, Jesse McCartney, Hillary Duff, Jessica Simpson, Jennifer Paige, Al Jarreau, K-Ci & Jojo, Deborah Cox, Monica, Taylor Dayne, Keiko Matsui, Steve Nieves, Luis Miguel and Tarkan. Michael’s fluency in French was definitely an added bonus when he also worked in the studio with French artists like Calogero (The Charts), Marc Lavoine and Veronique Sanson. Other projects also included work with producers Rodney Jerkins, Philippe Saisse and David Foster(note: on most of these recording credits, Michael is credited as “Annas Allaf”, his real name, Michael Heart being the stage name). Although most of Michael’s work has been in the recording studio, he also done some touring (notably back in the early 90’s, when he toured as a Flamenco guitarist in a guitar trio with Juan Manuel Canizares, opening for Dire Straits).  He has also recorded and toured with the smooth jazz band Jango.

WE WILL NOT GO DOWN (Song for Gaza)
(Composed by Michael Heart)

A blinding flash of white light
Lit up the sky over Gaza tonight
People running for cover
Not knowing whether they’re dead or alive

They came with their tanks and their planes
With ravaging fiery flames
And nothing remains
Just a voice rising up in the smoky haze

We will not go down
In the night, without a fight
You can burn up our mosques and our homes and our schools
But our spirit will never die
We will not go down
In Gaza tonight

Women and children alike
Murdered and massacred night after night
While the so-called leaders of countries afar
Debated on who’s wrong or right

But their powerless words were in vain
And the bombs fell down like acid rain
But through the tears and the blood and the pain
You can still hear that voice through the smoky haze

We will not go down
In the night, without a fight
You can burn up our mosques and our homes and our schools
But our spirit will never die
We will not go down
In Gaza tonight

i’ll look after you

February 10, 2009 § Leave a comment

“if I don’t say this now, I will surely break

cause I’m leaving the one I want to take…”

the song only got that far until I broke down crying

before the rest of the song is finished..

I’ll Look After You – The Fray

If I don’t say this now I will surely break
As I’m leaving the one I want to take
Forgive the urgency but hurry up and wait
My heart has started to separate

There now, steady love, so few come and don’t go
Will you won’t you, be the one I’ll always know
When I’m losing my control, the city spins around
You’re the only one who knows, you slow it down

Oh, oh
Be my baby
Oh, oh
Be my Baby
I’ll look after you
And I’ll look after you

It’s always have and never hold
You’ve begun to feel like home
What’s mine is yours to leave or take
What’s mine is yours to make your own

Al-Hikam, bait cahaya

February 4, 2009 § Leave a comment

Membaca Al-Hikam karya Ibn Athaillah seperti membaca irama yang penuh kesejukan. Saya menyebutnya “bait cahaya” dan “mutiara kata”. Saya membaca terjemahan Penerbit Serambi dari buku The Wisdom of Ibn ‘Ata Allah, yang merupakan terjemahan dari edisi arab Kitab Al-Hikam dengan ulasan Syekh Fadhlalla Haeri.

Benang merah semua butir dalam Al-Hikam adalah bahwa kita selalu diingatkan untuk melihat Allah di depan, di dalam dan di balik segala sesuatu dalam kehidupan kita. Bahwa dengan bersandar kepada Allah, hidup kita Insya Allah akan terasa tanpa beban, penuh kerendahan hati. Bahwa jika langkah kita niatkan untuk Allah semata, maka Insya Allah kita menjalani kehidupan dengan rasa percaya diri dan berserah terhadap kemudahan dan pertolongan Allah.

Bagi saya, Al-Hikam adalah penyejuk hati, sumber inspirasi, dan obat yang memberikan ketenangan dan semangat baru tiap kali membaca bait-baitnya. Ulasan Syekh Fadhlalla memperkaya dan mengantar tiap baitnya pada kita.

Berikut petikan Al-Hikam beserta ulasan Syekh Fadhlalla.

# 52

Allah memberimu inspirasi agar kepada-Nya engkau mendekati.

Ilham sejati mengalir tanpa sebab yang nyata dan mengantarmu menuju Allah dengan kerendahan hati. Hanya karena rahmat-Nya, kita menyadari keesaan-Nya dan datang menuju kehadiran-Nya. Amal yang dipersembahkan demi Allah yang muncul dari hati yang murni akan mengantarmu dari melihat diri dalam tindakan menuju penyaksian cahaya Allah di balik semua tindakan dan niat.

# 38

Janganlah cita-citamu tertuju kepada selain Allah. Harapan seseorang tak akan dapat melampaui Yang Maha Pemurah.

Barangsiapa yang mencapai pantai tauhid maka ia akan membatasi seluruh niat dan perhatiannya pada samudra Allah… Dialah pemberi nafkah dan sumber seluruh rahmat, karunia, serta tidak sesuatupun bisa melampaui ataupun menguasainya.

# 39

Jangan memohon kepada selain Allah karena Dialah yang memenuhi hajatmu. Bagaimana sesuatu selain-Nya bisa mengubah sesuatu yang sudah ditetapkan-Nya? Dan bagaimana orang yang tak mampu membebaskan dirinya dari kebutuhan dapat membebaskan kebutuhan orang lain?

Hanya karena keputusan Allah kita mengalami sempit dan lapang. Kebutuhan dalam berbagai levelnya, baik fisik, emosional, maupun spiritual merupakan pesan-pesan Allah yang tersandikan dan menuntut perhatian serta kesadaran sehingga kita memohon pertolongan-Nya…

# 42

Pergilah dari alam-alam menuju Sang Pencipta alam. “Dan kepada Tuhanmu-lah kesudahan segala sesuatu” …sabda Rasulullah SAW, “Barangsiapa berhijrah kepada Allah dan Rasul-Nya, maka hijrahnya kepada Allah dan Rasul-Nya. Sedangkan barangsiapa berhijrah karena dunia yang ingin diraihnya, atau wanita yang ingin dinikahinya, maka hijrahnya kepada apa yang dia inginkan. (HR Al-Bukhari).

Siapa engkau serta apa yang engkau alami bergantung pada niat, amal, teman, seluruh potensi dan kesungguhan hatimu. Jika tujuan dan keinginan kita yang sesungguhnya adalah pengetahuan tentang Al-Haqq, maka perjalanan kita akan menyingkap tabir-tabir dan menghilangkan rintangan-rintangan sampai kita tiba ke sumber serta asalnya. Rahmat Allah selalu mencerminkan tingkat kemurnian dan keteguhan hati kita dalam berniat serta bertindak…

# 153

Ada cahaya yang menyingkapkan bagimu benda-benda ciptaan. Ada pula cahaya yang menyingkapkan bagimu sifat-sifat Allah.

Salik memandang perwujudan makhluk, alam kekuatan, kejadian-kejadian, serta perubahan-perubahan sebagai jejak-jejak atau bayang-bayang dari Sumber dan Zat yang Esa. Laksana cahaya dalam hati, ini berkaitan dengan sifat-sifat dan nama-namanya. Orang dapat merasakan kestabilan dan kebersinambungan padahal semua makhluk akan berubah serta lenyap.

What are you living for?

February 4, 2009 § 2 Comments

Apa yang dimaksud dengan perjalanan hidup? Jelas bukan sekedar kronologi kejadian yang satu demi satu kita lalui. Maknanya akan jauh lebih dalam dari itu. Seringkali orang menggumamkan istilah “mencari makna hidup”. Dan beberapa beruntung menemukannya sebelum terlalu lama.

Buat saya, makna itu harus dicari, dan pada saat yang sama berusaha dihidupkan melalui tindakan kita sehari-hari. Perjalanan ini, apapun bentuknya, adalah untuk mengolah inspirasi dan kekuatan kita menjadi kebaikan. Kebaikan yang kita temui di perjalanan menjadi inspirasi dan kekuatan kita. Buat saya semuanya sesederhana itu.

Semua yang kita anggap penting dalam hidup (cinta, cita-cita, kekuatan, inspirasi, karya, pekerjaan) bisa diterangi cahaya yang mengarahkan kita untuk mewujudkan manfaat dan kebaikan bukan hanya untuk diri sendiri namun untuk orang lain.

What are you living for?

I am living for manifesting the glory of God. I am living for turning love, strength, passion and enthusiasm into real work. That is what I try to live up to, that is what I try to put into my days and everything that I do and create.

What are YOU living for?

ajeng. 4-2-09

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