At home, waiting

She said:
Why a sail of fortune
Takes many months and many years?
What a hundred folds of profit cannot give
Is the presence of a loved one

To which he replied:
Noble spices lie across
A vast, endless ocean
Away from home
Longing for you
I shall have bitter sleep
for years ahead

She refused to be kissed:
To trade and cultivate
A scale, a plow, might suffice
Wherefore soldiers and guns
In the affair of a tradesman’s sail?

He feared he will not return:
It is afternoon and the sky is dark

She feared it was farewell:
Strong winds on the harbor
I keep your name in my prayer

She prepared his ration:
I do not expect new days
To bring changes and hopes
It is enough for a farmer
To be content with enough sun
To be content with enough rain
It is the same every year
The changing of the seasons
Has no end

He did not say anything

She prepared his spear:
A farmer’s virtue lies
On his compassion to his field
Those seeds, he sows
Those crops, he tends
And when it’s time
He harvests
It is the same every year
The changing of seasons
Has no end

Still, he did not say anything

She prepared his shield:
A farmer’s happiness
Is to be found in working
Is to be found in waiting
It is the same every year
The changing of seasons
Has no end

He put his hand
on her shoulder

She kissed it
And put her cheek on it

He finally said:
A strong wind blows eastward
A farmer is still a vassal to his lord
To his master’s wish, such a farmer yielded
And it is so I heard
that  into the wood he disappeared

Thus, she:
Should you follow?

Thus, he:
Yes, I should

Before she knew it
He has also gone into the wood

She took his plow and hat
And went instead to tend the field

24 November 2019

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Bilawa Respati

Bilawa Ade Respati is a member of the Gamelan ensemble Arum Sih (Bremen) and Lindhu Raras (Berlin); performing both the classical Javanese music, as well as modern work composed for the gamelan. He focuses on the Gender instrument, and the reciting the classic Javanese song-poem (Tembang). Some past projects are the shadow puppet performance “Kidung Panji Biyung Bibi” with the group Seni Wayang Jantur and Lindhu Raras (2018), and a program of modern music for Javanese Gamelan “Main Bersama-sama” with the ensemble Arum Sih as part of the International Gamelan Festival München (2018). Since 2018 he started collaborating with a long-time friend Ariel William Orah in an electronic-acoustic duo, presenting their work "Lingkar: SumarahXSenggama" in Berlin. His current conceptual interests are the philosophy of suffering and the revaluation of traditional rites and myths in contemporary everyday life.