Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Books and Me

I always love books since I was very young. When I was nine, we lived in a small town in Kalimantan close to the beach. It was a great time. The world was not as busy as now. After school, I spent my time looking for small fish and shell, trying the the fisherman’s boat, and enjoying the beach view from the bedroom window in the evening. In the small road beside the house, Dayak’s women with long big earrings and traditional hats used to walk to the market... There was only one channel tv in the night, but we found life was wonderful around the beach, wide grass yard, pinus trees, and in the way to the market were oil pipes, tanker ships, beautiful houses and trees in the hill … The town was quiet, only be broken by some cars or children carnavals in the main street several times a year.

There are many questions I always ask to myself. What is the meaning of this life ? School never gives me the answer. I turn to books.

When I was a child, I used to see butterflies, grasshoppers around the house and caught them to see their response. I made them a house from pieces of small branches, put them in the water, and released them, wondering .. would they tell their friends about the experience ? How did they feel about it ?

Then, in the quietness of nature, the endless life cycle, I found emptiness. What is life; is that only to repeat life endlessly, without clear purpose ? Why is everybody happy and never ask this question ?

Some people said that 90% of our life are boring things. We do almost the same things every day; working in the same building, passing the same street, seeing the same person, even in the week end shopping only in certain plaza or shopping center. Let’s count how many times in a month we spend time in new places that we never visit before, and what a really new experience we have. Our life is full of routine and routine. That’s why we often shocked to realize that one more year has passed, ‘though it seems yesterday that we celebrate a new year..

Book is the only escape from routinity. We get new experience and new thought from good book. It renews our life. Because reading is like having a journey. It opens your mind, your places, your time, without leaving your home.

Several years ago, I had a good friend. He was so friendly and helpful. He asked me, ”how many friends do you have ?” I count my friends, but he said, ”I don’t have friends. I don’t trust other person,” then he told his experience of having been betrayed by many whom he thought was his friends. I didn’t believe that would happen to everyone. My friends are different, they can be trusted.

Two years ago, I found that he was right. Of course, I do not lose all my close friends, but I really could not predict whom I would lose. My closest friend. And I never really know what made her went away.. Was it jealousy ? Am I so lucky that could make my best friend so jealous ? Because we are almost the same, I think.
It is not easy to find the right friends. Friends who really understand you, person you could spend time for hours even with no news or topic to talk about.. But I have lost one. That reminds me to my other friend. He is right. We will never know what other person’s heart, how close our relationship is. And other person could hurt us so deeply.

Books always make me happy. When I remember my life, much of its time was cheered up by books. I always turn to books when I was in sadness or depression. It seems like having many wise friends, but they will not hurt you or leave you in sadness. You can always reach them every time you need …

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