Talk therapy II

…because knowing the end is the surefire way to move forward right.

I AM still listening.

Previously, my head is still a mess.

In fact, I don’t think it will ever get as tidy as I want it to be. Science knows that the beauty of the mess is what procreates life. So, might as well let it be.

“TRUST mommy’s words, and you know you’ll get there,” said my mother when we were driving home late last night.

The last time we spoke, she told me what’s wrong. The time before that, I was not responsive. The previous notes I wrote in here, I committed myself full-time to do writing as my main course of living. When the soul dies, then rose up again, it knows exactly what to do after it awakens, without hesitation.

ALL THINGS ARE TRANSIENT. All things are temporary in this world, in this life. When you’re dead, it doesn’t matter. What matters is love, and true happiness. Money is not happiness.

“As long as you have a good heart, it’s all good. God knows.” That’s the vision.

Taking a trip down to memory lane from the last page in Talk Therapy I, the problems are: I fear making myself not useful and therefore life not meaningful. Behind all that fear lies my deepest yearning to put all my heart into all things I really believe in; all people I feel for and desire to give to.

“I used to believe in Ai. You know Ai. Everybody knows Ai. I threw her away…” I told my mom and I told my friend. The friend tells me I am being a crybaby. But my mommy tells me other things, more important things.

ONCE UPON A TIME, there was this character called Ai who dreams. She daydreams a lot, both day and night. I told everyone I love around me about her, and how cute she was and how much she means to me. She faces fears in the world but with a cheerful heart that never dies. She doubts whether she can reach the moon, and with every full moon passing her by, she cries at night. She’s no pig, but she can’t fly either.

Yesterday I was watching my videotapes when I was still a kid. Chubby cheeks, curious eyes, and fascinating smile. I don’t know who she is, but I don’t recall myself as that girl. Hold on. She’s a lot like Ai. I watch her move in front of the camera. What may become of her?

“Do it,” my mother tells me. That girl loves to dance. Whenever she gets tired, she does not want to do anything else but hug her mother. The other day on the Discovery Channel, I saw a momma hugging her baby chimp, caressing the kid as if she the kiddo meant the world to her, and then nothing else matters. 

DO WHAT? I was so confused. That girl on TV looked curiously at the camera; what is this light? Why am I here? Where am I going? I just want to be in the comfort of my mother’s warmth, as my “dada” in the corner is watching after me.

Even if I don’t seem to be in his arms as often, I dream a lot about being in his arms, because then, I have believed the lie I tell myself that I have a father’s warmth.

From the bottom of my soul in the depth of the oceans there’s a heavy burden of water dying to flow out, in speech of words, to convey this innate desire to give, search for like-minded souls, and bind for eternity. 

I have always, always thought it would be the form of alma mater, so it goes that I’m stuck behind hardcovers and Penguin paperbacks. But maybe, just maybe, I’ve found it all along, in my head, on my mind, from the heart, on the paper. And her name is Ai.

DO: Write.

My mother pets my head and caress my head slowly as I cry. “Good kid, good kid…”

I was in tears the whole time I was talking the other day to my mother. Now, all I do is keep listening.

SHUT UP AND LISTEN is probably the most popularized advice there ever is out there, but it’s priceless. Maybe it’s the multimillion-dollar marketing industry that keeps unfulfilled spirits alive, and I seem to recall telling myself lies, damned lies, and therefore keep finding statistics out there to keep myself alive:

… But the positive lies I tell myself are no longer lies. In fact, the act of lying to yourself pushes your limits so that you collect as much mental capacity for yourself to prove and tell the world your truth.

And then now my mother told me that as long as I remember I’m a good person, then I’m all good. And then my problem does not seem like a problem anymore, so much more than that it has become a solution. 

“At the most specific level, these are your problems: 1. You are afraid that you will become a useless person. 2. You have a big heart that you have a deep desire to give.”

GIVE, with all my might I give off my time and effort to make everybody else happy that I’ve forgotten how to give myself. She told me, on the car ride back to home last night after a whole day of shopping together, eating together, laughing together and, to a degree of crying together at heart, we shared the happiness I haven’t felt in a very long time, wasting my time worrying about the world, and the inequalities everyday we face, and the poverty that does not make living my own life seem fair, and the racial boundaries we all seem to differentiate among ourselves when the truth is that our soulful human touch and the capacity for delivering it to one another, is only separated by the thinnest organ enshrouding our body: the skin. Much more deeper beneath the skin lies prisoners of its soul dying to be free and feel that they belong to Mother Earth and as part of the citizen of the world. As all things are transitory, we can never stop fighting for our belongings, and about our differences – Which should we take and what should we give away? But we have long failed to realize, then remember, that we’re so much more similar than we are different from one another, as does haters have forgotten to see eye to eye with love, beauty, health, peace and prosperity, springing out of the lost place in time of which we originate from, that which we are growing more and more of our desires to go back in to.

IN TRANSIT, do we fight or do we fly? Which is better?

Then again, this is just an opinion. Atypical. Ironically, I am urging the readers of my diary to conform. A public outcry is merely a means to end self-destructive behaviors in me, but I’m hoping also that this means the start a union movement in the human trial to harmonize, in spite of our ugly, unfriendly inequalities dividing us from others we yearn to conform with, all coming out of the unimportant things just above our skin. It’s unreasonable. What more can we do if we are mere prisoners in our own skin?

“Luna dear, picture this: You are just one person. You are neither God nor a goddess, far less a fallen angel. You are just a human being. To the globe, you are one, tiny little dot. If you stop believing in yourself, if you cease to exist, and then you’ve failed living. You live as if you do dying as a living.

YOU ARE JUST ONE PERSON, and you cannot save the problems on Earth all by yourself. I know you have a big heart, my dear, but you are my little girl. You’re young and you still have a lot to look forward to. In time, you can do whatever you wish to solve the problems of the world, if it still worries you later; but right now, seek your own happiness, and your sphere of influence can have a bigger impact on the people within your reach than how big the globe is as it is right now. Do you understand what I’m saying?”

“Hmmm…” And I’m still listening.

“Don’t you see? If you disappear into the deep, dark hole that is only one tiny little dot, you really become nothing. You fail to come into existence. Look at me,” she glanced at me.

I LOOKED into her big, black eyes. Classic beauty of the Orient. I see the same pair of eyes every morning in the mirror. 

“I can guarantee you can get the things you want to get by the end of next year. You can earn a title, and you can guarantee a lifetime of trust with your loving partner. Mommy trusts you, daddy too, both your brothers are behind your back. You can earn them if you really, really want to. It’s your happiness and it’s right in front of you. Do you get me?”

“Yes, but…”

“Throw away your worries for now. Leave it in the back of your mind for later.”

“I know.”

“Do you trust yourself?” Her eyes thrusted through the retina of my eyes, all the way from the cornea. Skin of the eyeballs, so to speak.

“Yes, I -“

“Good. Mom has a lot of trust in you. I have a lot of confidence about you, dear. If you are willing to give yourself happiness, then you have succeeded in life.” 

THUS, this undying soul is for my mother. I didn’t see any monetary exchange between our eye contact, though.

Money is not happines. Money can’t buy happiness.

From the back of my head, a little girl with chubby cheeks and curious eyes, in some distant time, is pleasure-seeking all by herself behind a camera. And then after a while, she runs back to her loved one and give a big, big hug.

After we arrived home, I grabbed a guidebook to writing, pondered upon its words before I go to sleep.

“TO WRITE a good memoir you must become the editor of your own life, imposing on an untidy sprawl of half-remembered events a narrative shape and an organizing idea. Memoir is the art of inventing the truth,” writes William Zinsser in his best-selling guide to nonfiction writing, On Writing Well

To the world, I am just one tiny little dot. And I’m still shutting up and listening.

But, I do write.

SALUNA is signing off.

Saluna and her stories: View all / Diary entries

Camping’s ‘invisible’ idea; fear as worldview, part I


May 2011



“Assuming that rapture is nature’s play with man, the Dionysian artist’s creative activity is the play with rapture.”

- Friedrich Nietszche

We fear the end of the world, but we love the idea of the end of the world. At least, in the world of Harold Camping, self-made doomsday prophet who mobilized the May 21 deception, spreading the idea that Jesus’ Second Coming has a set time and date on Earth.

Over weeks following the supposed Judgment Day, he and his followers have spent millions marketing the prophecy, including his 48-year contribution to the Family Radio network, now reportedly worth up to $120 million dollars. Despite his failed prediction in 1994, stating that he miscalculated last time but now firmly believed his math is right before last Saturday, this time round he managed to pull in $100 million donation for the campaign, putting up billboards and operating RVs nationwide. The price: he has created a subculture of fear, and in return, nothing he prescribed happen at 6 P.M. on 21 May 2011. His disappointed followers, having believed in the approaching doom for some time, struggles to cope with the reality beyond Camping’s teachings, that is, the rapture that failed, twice, to materialize. Now he is “flabbergasted,” and further gained notoriety since his last prediction, saying that something did happen last Saturday, something not physical, but more of a “spiritual Judgment”.

“There’s going to be a huge earthquake that’s going to make the big earthquake in Japan seem like a Sunday school picnic,” said the doomsday preacher to CBS News on May 20. As the weekend goes by with the world still thriving in existence, atheists partied hard. Fully engaged Tweeters living in the United States popularized their individual ideas about The End in the trending topic #endoftheworldconfessions, followed by #myraptureplaylist. This includes tweets like:


Doctor SwaggerLlLTUNECHl

#EndofTheWorldConfessions ….the world ain’t ending son, my yogurt expires in 2013 … #ThugLife

John Coronajohncorona69

>#endoftheworldconfessions I used to steal cookies from the cookie jar :P

The Dark LordLord_Voldemort7

em>#endoftheworldconfessions I am gossip girl. You know you love me xoxo



But the Earth shall be swallowed by a fireball on October 21, 2011, when the world would really physically end.

Now 89, the Oakland-based radio broadcaster has influenced everyone else but the people closest to him, reaching to listeners in Europe, Asia, and Africa. The Christian Post reported that none of his six living children believed in his theories, although one of the seven child stood by his side, along with his wife of 68 years marriage. The Rapture, according to Mr. Camping, would lift 200 million people on Earth spiritually, and that they would go to heaven for eternity, while the rest of the world will continue to suffer for the next five months until October 21. To make ends meet between false beliefs and the reality, he has abandoned from the Christian doctrine of eternal suffering in hell and shifted toward the idea of annihilationism, suggesting that the unsaved souls who did not cry out to Jesus for mercy will not get thrown into eternal hell, but simply cease to exist.

“And they will realize that because they were left behind when the rapture occurred, they will never receive any part of their birthright,” Camping concluded in his bible study on Family Radio, To God Be the Glory!. Taking the raptured aside, it’s still a significant number of people to consider losing their birthrights, out of a vast world population of nearly 7 billion by this October.

A week earlier, Camping sat down with New York Magazine to talk about his plans awaiting the days until May 21. When raised the possibility of the Rapture failing to materialize, he replied: “I’m not even thinking about that at all. It. Is. Going. To. Happen. Because I trust the Bible implicitly, the Bible is God’s word — it’s not from a man, it’s not from an organization of some kind where there’s plenty of room for error. It is the word of God. When God speaks that it is going to happen, the Bible is a very factual book, and God gives many examples of how he has made prophesies and it always has happened in exact accord with what God has prophesied.” Having interpreted the Bible for decades in his show Open Forum, he sincerely believes that his numerological understanding of the Bible is true.

Coming in to the station for work on Monday, May 23, 2011, he walked through listeners with the numerological timeline starting from May 21, 1988, when he insisted that people can only be saved outside the churches because Satan has invaded them, while the growing body of Christian denominations in recent history further lures away the righteous churchgoer from the path to salvation.

“Once we have a theory in our grasp, we begin to see everything through its lens,” said Jeff Wise, author of Extreme Fear: The Science of Your Mind in Danger explained on his blog featured on Psychology Today. “And so just by holding a belief we tend to gradually strengthen our conviction it is true, a tendency that psychologists dub ‘confirmation bias’.” This confirmatory bias, according to ScienceDaily, is a realm of thought where “decision-makers have been shown to actively seek out an assign more weight to evidence that confirms their hypothesis, and ignore or underweight evidence that could disconfirm their hypothesis.”

Assuming Camping’s confirmation date is true, and that the judgment that happened was “spiritual”, his bias must have contributed to an overconfidence in his own theories. From a psychologist’s standpoint, all these could be made up by his individual cognitive processes sequentially materialized into his own words and numbers, confirming the calculated “data” from the parables of the Bible through a chronological pattern of End Times thinking, then preaching these thoughts to his listeners based on “facts”. From reading the Bible, he has passed on these false interpretations about God’s teachings to numerous listeners, impacting their lives through the narrow vision of Harold Camping. “You have no more conscious existence. None,” said the prophet to the unsaved soul.

How are his followers coping with their disappointments after May 21? Coming up in Part II.










Sink or swim,
lead life
with might and main
work hard play
ducks and drakes,

Pinch and scrape
the long and the short.
Keep it
spick and span
for the sweat is
mightier than Stonyheart.

His bread and butter
rough and tumble -
by leaps and bounds
at sixes and sevens -
knocking over
the lap of luxury

Thick and thin
make Free through Will
fellow warmblood.





Talk therapy I

…because knowing the end is the surefire way to move forward right.

I AM talking. As a matter fact, I am also listening.

To my mother.

After my first decent lunch for months now, sitting at a table, eating with my family and therefore not alone, I am starting to remember myself.

I’m finally back, warm at home, sunny Indonesian climate right at the Equator. No sad faces around me; and I hope not to make a face that would make the faces around me sad.

Last time my mother came into my room, I didn’t respond. Because it’s no use. 

Today there’s actually a little bit of use. Plenty of lessons to absorb, then digest throughout the rest of the years in my life until death.

I let it all out. All out. The sound of my voice; the voice behind these written words; the pain I felt locking myself into a corner feeling the pain capacitated with the weight of the world and plenty of worries that I have on global issues affecting the future of humanity; mankind as we know it, and the end of it. The extinction of warmth.

The nonexistence of warmth. A father’s warmth. I never have that. Society has been telling me that my role in this life is to act as a daddy’s little princess, a little girl dressed in pretty clothes and begs daddy for dolls and toys and clothes and shoes and bags. As a little girl I lock myself in room for hours reading books upon books and travelled across time and space beyond dolls and toys and clothes and shoes and bags.

Daddy is not a very expressive human being. He is a middle child out of 14. As the 7th child he is neither responsible nor childlike. He is a working man who makes a living out of a successful business. He has a wife, two sons, and a daughter. A princess of his own, a princess he says to himself is his own, but never express that love to his princess. For 21 years.

He’s not here.

My mother was rambling about the healthy milkshakes on the kitchen counter that I can use as meal replacements. We began talking about health. Exercising a couple of times a week, how it’s a major investment to mental health and acts as an effective antidepressant. We began talking about my course of depression throughout the year. How did I came up with the idea of death and committing suicide? 

I’m not the only one who has thought about it. Plenty of reasons, as it turns out, that someone lost all hopes in life, where there’s no more creative juice to make evermore reasons to go on living. All the spark from a happy life comes through invisible matters. Important matters, like love, social support, and senses of touch, taste, and most importantly, vision.

Money is not happiness.

As disorganized as my thoughts are, and as much as I worry about the unfortunate people without the blessings they all deserve to reach a global equality on humanity and the experiences of being human itself, I expressed everything out as clear, concise statements.

“I think that finding pleasure for myself is a very selfish thing.”

“I know there are a lot of people out there who needed more help than I do.”

“I earn a sum of money that can buy me dolls and toys and clothes and shoes and bags. I can give that sum of money to those who actually need them for medication or education.”

“I lost my hopes and dreams. I threw away my ambition.”

“I considered killing myself. I considered dropping out of college.”

“I don’t know why, but I don’t feel comfortable sharing my feminine side on dates, showing my vulnerability, and my deepest worries. I worry a lot about the world.”

“I have a heart that I want to give, but don’t know who to give anymore.”

I saw tears in my mother’s eyes. She still acted so nonchalantly. 

“I need a father’s warmth. I need daddy. Daddy…”

After over 20 years of marriage without warmth, sensitivity, and understanding of how much more important his presence is than just the mere provision of financial income into the family, my mother sat still, looking at me, staring at me, her dearest daughter talking and shedding tears in short bursts that came out of nowhere.

“I don’t know what my problem is. Can you please tell me?” I said. Now that there’s a trusted someone to tell my deepest worries, like a mirror, that someone, my alma mater, tells me this:

“At the most specific level, these are your problems: 1. You are afraid that you will become a useless person. 2. You have a big heart that you have a deep desire to give.”

This entry must end here. She cleared my thoughts and I need to clear mine too. To be continued…

SALUNA is signing off.

Saluna and her stories: View all / Diary entries

No air

She hates going downtown. There’s no room to breathe in the fresh, limitless air, at least for the normal, fully functioning human being.


Continue reading →

If there’s one thing about life satisfaction…

…because knowing the end is the surefire way to move forward right.

I AM consulting Martin Seligman for some authentic happiness. At least, in my head.

What would you do when you finally know that you’ve spend some wasteful years of your life across the other end of the globe just to realize that the only thing that matters to you is right closer to home? 

What happens when you have family members, all older than you, that seem stable on the outside but completely in pieces in the inside? And it’s not just that – secretly, they all won’t admit that the only track to their own happiness is your happiness, and that without you, they’re left with nothing but hopeless dreams, with no more reasons to live. What happens when they know that I am no longer happy? What will happen if they find out that the reason I’m unhappy is because they are not happy?

WHAT IS happiness? That’s when Reed comes into the picture.

Every night when I space out in my balcony, writing down my thoughts, channeling them into my commitment to death, there’s a smokin’ hot dude right next to my house. Out there. Smoking. Unfortunately.

“Hey,” he glanced at me.

I look up from my scribbles and give a little nod. He straightened up. I think he noticed my awkward smile.

THANK GOODNESS my family does not smoke. Do you know the nasty things it does to your lungs?

SALUNA is signing off.

Saluna and her stories: View all / Diary entries