Impossible Figures


Escher. 5 Years ago, when I was introduced to his name and his work I suddenly fell in love to this kind of art. I may call it as impossible figures. See the pictures above, ‘Beveldere’ and ‘the Waterfall’. His other works include Concave and Convex, High and Low and many more. See this for bigger pictures.

Maurits Cornelis Escher is a dutch graphic artist with amazing and wonderful art. He is also well-known for his Metamorphosis I which metamorphoses the Italian town Atrani, coast of Amalfi into a cartoon figure. One of my favorites among his works is Metamorphosis II, not because reptile, one of my fave animal Gecko- I’d better call it as a pet since my Mom is having it as a pet- was pictured there.

Shigeo Fukuda, a sculptor who creates optical illusions, once tried to make three-dimension model of Escher’s Water Fall. Briliant!

So .. you may ask me why all of the sudden I talk about Escher. I got a nice book called ‘Onmogelijke Figuren’ by Bruno Ernst as a present while we’re celebrating the birthday of Sinterklaas. I enjoy the book very much.

His Story about the Pencil

A boy was watching his grandmother write a letter. At one point, he asked:
“Are you writing about what we’ve done? Is it a story about me?”

His grandmother stopped writing her letter and said to her grandson:
“I am writing about you, actually, but more important than the words is the pencil I’m using. I hope you will be like this pencil when you grow up”.

Intrigued, the boy looked at the pencil. It didn’t seem very special.
“But it’s just like any other pencil I’ve ever seen!”

“That depends on how you look at things. It has five qualities, which if you manage to hang on to them, will make you a person who is always at peace with the world.”
“First quality: you are capable of great things, but you must never forget that there is a hand guiding your steps. We call that hand, God and He always guides us according to His will.”
“Second Quality: now and then, I have to stop writing and use a sharpener. That makes the pencil suffer a little, but afterwards, he’s much sharper. So you, too, must learn to bear certain pains and sorrows, because they will make you better person.”
“Third quality: the pencil always allows us to use an eraser to rub out any mistakes. This means that correcting something we did is not necessarily a bad thing; it helps to keep us on the road to justice.”
“Fourth quality: what really matters in a pencil is not its wooden exterior, but the graphite inside. So always pay attention to what is happening inside you.”
“Finally, the pencil’s fifth quality: it always leaves a mark. In just the same way, you should know that everything you in life will leave a mark, so try to be conscious of that in your every action.”

(Sinterklaas) Vs (Santa Clause + Sinterklas)

Within these 3 weeks, songs with theme of Sinterklaas have been echoing all over the Netherlands. Yes, Sinterklaas arrived in the Netherlands. A person like me who is not a native will right away link him with Christmas time. I used to think that Sinterklaas is Santa Claus or Sinterklas (Indonesian word). In fact, Sinterklaas does not necessary associate with Christmas. They have Kerstman Man which looks like similar to those Santa Claus. Apparently the Netherlands has its own Sinterklaas which is quite different with those international Santa Clause, if I may say.

So many people here believe that he comes from Spain as he annually arrives in Holland on steam boat from Spain. In fact the real history said that Sinterklaas (St Nicholas) was a Bishop of Myra in Lycia, the present day Turkey, in the fourth century. As the tradition goes… he arrives in netherlands generally in mid November together with his Moorish servants, the black Peters (Zwarte Pieten). He tours the country on a white horse, visiting all the main towns to the great excitement of the children. Some are in awe of him, because their parents tell them that he knows all about them – who has been good and who has been bad. He always brings a tick book from Spain, listing good children together with their present.

Zwarte Pieten throw cookies and sweets to the children and generally clown around, singing or playing musical instruments. Children used to be told that they would only give sweets to the good ones and take naughty children away in their sack and bring them to Spain. So can you imagine that between Mid November and beginning of December, all of the sudden, all children in the Netherlands behave nicely. Furthermore, I wonder that tomorrow Spain will be full of naughty Dutch children as on the December 6, Sinterklaas returns to Spain with his zwarte Pieten until next year.

Every year they make the story as if it was true, of course it is not. They organize it very nicely, so that the same story will be spread out over the country. I wonder if the Government takes its part as a way of preserving Dutch tradition. This website also has been prepared for this occasion. Before Sinterklaas came, the website only shown the picture of animation steam boat approaching the Netherlands. However, the picture changed as Sinterklaas arrived. I wonder what it looks like tomorrow.

So this year Sinterklaas came to Holland on 18th of November. He was supposed to arrive in Middleburg as the scenario written. So many people were there waiting for him and his servant arrival. It was reported lively on TV and radio. So, my birthday was celebrated partly by watching TV, seeing whether this year there will be another problem faced. The story differs every year. For this year, Sinterklaas did not arrive exactly in Middleburg because the light in the light house was not illuminated so that it was difficult for Sinterklaas to find the right direction. The scenario was made so nicely so that Zwarte Pieten lost the big book containing the name of all good childen. They now have an excuse not to provide a present as the children wish. They children still believe that Sintaklaas will fulfill their wish if they behave nicely

This story was reported and updated time to time on TV, not only shown in special TV programme, but also appeared in real news programme together with news about Iraq or election in the Netherlands. Children may think that it is real story. Unfortunately, I didn’t follow they story day by day, because I didn’t have interpreter who is always ready for me to translate Dutch into either English or Indonesian. I don’t speak Dutch and I simply don’t know.

Living Dead

Kereta malam itu bergerak cepat, secepat melesatnya Burung Peregrine Falcon yang sedang terluka.

Samuel Barber sedang menulikan kedua telinganya dengan komposisi Adagio for Strings yang berulang-ulang mengalir melalui udara malam. Sebuah komposisi yang baginya seperti dibungkus dalam sekuntum kenangan. Kenangan tentang kematian di suatu senja di musim dingin, dimana ratapan air hujan merajam jiwa-jiwa yang sedang berduka.

“Aku sudah mati”, pikirnya. Lagu ini begitu dalam menyayat nyayat kenangannya. Sesaat kemudian huruf-huruf dari buku yang menemani perjalanannya membesar dan menebal. Tampak olehnya sebaris kata-kata ini : “He died while he was still alive.” kata-kata yang kemungkinan besar akan dipilih Paulo Coelho untuk menghiasi nisannya andai dia memilih untuk dikuburkan. Nyatanya dia ingin abunya diterbangkan oleh angin sehingga kebaikan boleh tersebar luas lewat hidung-hidung yang menghirupnya.

“Aku sudah mati”, pikirnya. Dan tanda-tandanya sudah jelas “Lot of people have stopped living, eventhough they continue working and eating, and carrying on with their usual social activities.” Semuanya berjalan bak mesin otomatis.

Ya, dia sudah mati. Dia hidup dalam penantian datangnya keajaiban tanpa menyadari bahwa keajaiban hadir setiap saat bersama datangnya hari baru. Dia hidup dengan terus menanti keajaiban tanpa mengerti bahwa setiap detik berikutnya jam hidupnya bisa saja terhenti.

SMS, Dia, dan Aku

Dia > Vie Piye kahananmu? Aku kangen Say .., pengen crita banyak. Hampir 3 bulan kamu kehilangan moment-moment indah yang seharusnya kamu ikut menikmatinya. Pesenku, jangan banyak maem, nanti kamu gendut seperti suamiku. Cepet bali Vie.
Aku > Semunu ugo aku Say. Aku kangen kalian. Aku kangen matahariku menghangatkan pori-poriku. Disini, kulitku mengeras seperti kulit kerang. Aku tau matahariku akan melunakkannya. Kamu masih ingat menu amburadul, makanan keseharianku? Aku berhasil mengembangkannya hingga amburadul 4, sesuai tingkat deviasi keamburadulannya. Aku segera pulang Say. Aku kangen negeri indah dan matahariku.