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Just Like Heaven

by on November 28, 2010

Humans often imagine other life, life they barely tasted. A ravenous person craves for feast. A man at war yearns for peace. A child pictures himself a man. A blue-collar workaholic longs for exotic oceans trip. Every single soul must have been dreaming to visit different places and taste different life with its funny colors, getting lost in their journey.

Taking off your identity that binds you from becoming the person in your dream, becoming a stranger in a nowhere land, getting out from daily routines, but most of all, getting the privilege to observe and absorb the other life, that’s traveling.

Such journey gives us precious lessons. Life out there is not always as beautiful as we dream of, not as majestic as we desire. Everywhere we go; our steps take us to places with the same dull views where people are struggling for life.

That’s our sins as humans. With different norms and ideas, actually we are the same. We struggle for life and, sometimes, we forget to appreciate it.

When the trip takes us to various corners of the earth, open our eyes to see different realities, it can be said that the journey has changed us.

I am sure, that’s the journey that changed Indrawan and Widyastuti. Tasting various fragments of life makes them aware of a reality; that humans in different places are also struggling for tomorrow. Rare chance, not all people could see by their own eyes how people in Kalimantan, Malaysia, Brunei Darussalam and the Philippine struggle in different ways.

A bitter sweet journey. It fascinates us with stories of life. Bitter, because many of these people are marginalized by the wheels of time. Sweet, despite of all desperation coming from ruining prides, they still fight for a piece of their dreams.

Various stories with vivid colors blended beautifully in forms of art and visual works produced by the couple.

I was impressed by the scene that of a slum in Manila. One could find a gaiety of poor children enjoying their life in the middle of the frenetic development which supposed to alienate these poor people. Yes, that’s a story of life! Irony is the color of life we live.

Journey teaches the traveler to ponder the meaning of life.

Watching the couple’s work, I realized that everyone was gifted with the eyes and ears but only some could palpate the various ironies of the stories of life around them.

We may witness the same slum, but we may not find the excitement of merry laughter voiced by street children. We may see the same red light district, but we may not be able to understand the struggle of these sex workers in facing public scorn. We may be captivated by the grandeur and prosperity of modern buildings in the city, but we probably forget how workers built it day and night just for a few pennies.

That’s the irony of life. Life is not as beautiful as paradise.

Enjoy this spiritual journey and try to find the color the way the couple did!

Travel Writer and Photographer

translated by Ina Parlina

Journalist of The Jakarta Post

From → Indonesia, Yogyakarta

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