Tuesday, September 30, 2008

peace be upon you

What is really celebrated during Ramadhan is emptiness. But how unsavoury does the word sound today. The streets are jam-packed, the etalages festal, living room chock-full with furniture, the forest shorn of hermits, and people jostling to declare piety through loudspeakers. Fasting is now little more than waiting for the beating of the drums and we have transformed Maghrib into the signal of feasting. In the approaching hours, hunger is akin to 12-hour transit.

However, someone who has read Dao will know that the wise stride with what Ranggawarsita called suwung sakjatining isi: "hollow but in fact full"

For if one would look toward the door, or at the earthenware flask, it is the empty space in them that makes them of value to others.

Therefore, out in the streets, where myriad people meet and fall out, anyone who does not feel pumped up with purity and truth will avail himself as a door for those to pass through. He will turn himself into a flask, so that another wanderer can tend to water for the thirsty.

- Goenawan Mohamad
On God and Other Unfinished Things


song of the day: Radiohead - There There


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