Saya adalah Peniup Balon

Salah satu judul novel yang ditulis oleh John Green berjudul Paper Town, atau Kota Kertas. Dikisahkan dalam novel in tentang seorang anak remaja bernama Quentin yang sepanjang novel berusaha untuk mencari Margo yang hilang setelah kali pertama dan terakhir mereka menghabiskan waktu bersama sejak sebeumnya tidak pernah berbicara selama sekian tahun.

Ide utama dalam novel ini adalah sesuatu yang sangat saya amini. Tentang jatuh cinta bukan pada orang yang sebenarnya, melainkan pada khayalan kita tentang sosoknya. Saya mengamininya dalam beberapa artian. Pertama, saya tahu benar bahwa saya adalah sosok Quentin: seseorang yang selalu mengagumi dari kejauhan, tanpa pernah benar-benar berinteraksi dengan orang yang saya kagumi. Menganggap semua informasi yang saya dapatkan melalui interaksi terbatas yang cukup singkat sudah cukup sebagai sumber informasi untuk menggambarkkan orang tersebut.

Dan yang kedua, saya tahu benar bahwa yang saya lakukan kesalahan lain yang saya lakukan berulang-ulang dalam hidup saya. Bahwa John Green benar. Di akhir novelnya (spoiler), Margo menjelaskan dirinya dan membuat Quentin/Q sadar, Q selama ini mengagumi sosok Margo yang ia ciptakan, tapi ia tidak mengenal Margo yang sebenarnya.

Cukup banyak saya bertemu dengan orang-orang yang memukau, yang bersinar, yang membuat saya silau dan dibutakan oleh ide-ide yang saya bangun atas kekaguman saya. Cukup banyak juga puisi dan prosa yang saya buat, berisi deskripsi orang-orang ini, diiringi harapaan untuk mengenal mereka lebih jauh lagi.

Tapi pada akhirnya, saya selalu menemukan bahwa saya berusaha mencengkram memori yang semakin lama semakin memudar. Karena pertemuan singkat, kesempatan yang terbatas, dan ketidakberanian untuk menginvasi personal space orang lain. Saya menemukan diri saya berusaha mempertahankan kenangan-kenangan yang semakin lama semakin membesar namun memudar, seperti balon yang berekspansi tapi sebenarnya bendanya ya itu-itu saja. Kenangan berbahan dasar interpretasi, bukan interaksi. Kenangan-kenangan saya memfiksi.

Tak heran jika saya pada akhirnya selalu mudah merelakan.


Read a Book and Get Drown



I recently I think that reading is not an easy thing to do. Consciously. The act of reading is basically allowing yourself to be caught in someone else’s mind. A certain someone that you hardly knew, yet you surrender your brain to be colored by their perspective. Knowingly or unknowingly.

Which makes me think that reading a book could be a dangerous thing. Because, you know, not every book is a good book. There are those nasty stuff that forces you to see something differently while really it just a clever word play. If you read it unconsciously, or more accurately perhaps, unknowingly, without critically evaluating it, it is scary how one can be carried away just like that by a single book.

That’s why it really is important to read A LOT of books. Just so you know, everyone has theory of the own. And everyone is a lot of ones, even though not every one of them could publish a book.

But arguing about how dangerous it is not to read a lot of books is not what I want to really write. I was just carried away because I was talking about knowingly/unknowingly reading a book. I actually want to talk about knowingly read a book. So sorry for the detour.

I have read somewhere that one of the worst kind of writer is if  those who could be seen/understood by the reader. Well, the fact that this opinion was not warranted by anything does not let my illogical mind to let it go.  still want to disagree with the statement ore, more correctly, I want to talk about the significance of understanding someone through their writing.

There are people who wants to be understood, and then they write something, There are also others who just want to tell a story. For the firs kind, it is a big achievement if someone really could understand them. But for the second one well I’m not really sure.

But let me guide you through this path.

So, as I mentioned before,  reading a book is dangerous. Because you let someone get into your head and messed up (to put it lightly, change) the way of your thinking. But this interaction is not a one way activity. Even though it is not reciprocal, in a way that you can’t influence the writer during reading activity, you still doing a conversation with the writer.

And just like most conversation, if you quite observant, you can always deduce something from someone who talk for so long.

But why is it important to know about the writer?

Well, it could help you to paint your own version of the writer, and decide to what extent you’re going to let the writer to color your thought.

We often create our own version of an individual, an idea of a certain someone. Just like when we were in love to a senpai that we never actually talk with, but we always listen when they lectured us about club activity (sorry that this writing suddenly brought a weeabo vibe).

And I believe, at some point, we registered a writers quality unconsciously at the back of our mind. This explain those times when people could recognize a certain writer from a peculiar sets of sentences. Because the words used are ‘just like him/her’.

Isn’t it kind of amazing, that we get to know someone without actually know or meet them.

Although, it has been protested to create an idea of someone by a certain Green (in his book called Paper Town, and somehow also in Looking for Alaska, I believe) , since it could mislead us into believing that our ideas are the most true, I think as a human, we have been relying in our ability to construct something based on incomplete information. (Oh my god, what is this sentence? Too long).

At the end of the day we never know how true our understanding abut the world. But as long as it could be use to help make sense/understand the world, I don’t see any problem in it.

And understanding people is no different. We get to know them through conversation. And when we could not meet some people because space and time barrier, a book could be a magic window to get to know the person. Or if not a book, a simple, short, piece of writing, considering not everyone could write a book.

At the end of the day, we just want to know about this amazing lady* who build a magical world about a boy with scar in his forehead of the man** who scared so much that books may disappear from this world.


NB. I think it is clear who I meant by those people right? But in case  is not, then they are:

* J.K Rowling; and. **Ray Bradbury

NB 2. This is not a good piece of writing. It is more like my musing, I guess. Thanks to my muse, I’m going to read your writings just to find a piece of you in this vast world, no thanks to time and space.