If Only It's Like Choosing the Shoes...

This morning, I was stuck between 2 shoes. The 3 cm heel bronze, or the 7 cm black. And it often happens.

Paradox of Choice. This is a term that has been playing in my head, putting me into recognition of how life talks, sometimes in funny way. I discovered the term when I was feeling sleepy in between my internet-based TOEFL exam in Jakarta almost half a year ago. You who have red Barry Schwartz’s analysis long before me might be laughing at my belated knowing. But really, the idea of the paradox captured my mind so much that I could not move my mind frame to the next readings of the exam.

How he talked about having more means less, how choices sometimes make you fall into confusion, hesitation and difficulties. Like if you had to choose jeans trousers 30 years ago, you just had one style available at the stores. But now, we are spoiled by the fashion terms and cuts. Jeans now can be made of from soft or stretched fabrics. It can be in dark blue washed color, bright blue, black, white, and so on. It can be in the form of booty cut, baggie, straight cut... and let alone the shape of the pocket, the embroidery or other ornaments. Oh. Forgive me if I didn’t say the types and cuts in standardized fashion terms. Confirmed: I’m a humanitarian worker, not a fashion editor...
You, who are not a fashionista would scream the “Aaaaarrrggggghhhh….!!!” To see how life can be so complicated even when it deals with the used-to-be-worker pants!
See how life is like a wheel? Even for a single jeans pant!
Well, let’s leave the jeans’ case now. Aim the lens closer to life. How many choices can we have in a day, and how many minutes that we need to spend to make choices within a simple case?
I remember that some weeks ago, even in a niche organic store that I thought wouldn’t give too much options I was hesitated in between choices of pasta. Yes, pasta! It took me at least 3 minutes to read the ingredients, observed the shapes and imagined into which meal I could develop them to be something normal and eatable then shared my idea with my Beebee who was a little faster in deciding his choice, as many most of other men are.

How many times in a week, you hesitated between short cuts, and how many stories we heard about a girl making bad choice among some choices of the seem-to-be-Mr. Right?

In another way, one day when you feel stuck of your life, you wish that you would have more options; of career, of a better boyfriend, of a better place to live, a holiday, more beautiful teeth, taller or slimmer body. Some choices in your head might be serious, but it can also be as dreadful as the desire not to have obligation to behave during your first dinner with your fiancĂ©’s family. (for those who has never been in this complication, you are blessed).

In another day, the paradox of choice might hit you. Imagine (or maybe it’s already true) that you are bright, you are gorgeous, you are known as a very good worker, you are nice, and almost at the same time you apply for 3 scholarship scheme, all of them gave you positive replies, plus you are offered one position in your headquarter, plus, seems that those are not enough, you are proposed to have your own radio or TV show, all at the same time, all in a capital city, but you have a great, handsome, athletic, smart, kind, gentle, witty boyfriend who can cook, plays guitar, teach you to swim, but at the same time he is so fun to hang out with. He is the man you have been longing for almost all the half of your life… but he is living 1500 kilometers away?
When it is the case, the question is not about how long would it take to get you in a decision, but how would you live with your decision made you feel down in between overwhelmed rush in your brain.
If you have only half of the condition, which doesn’t intersect to the paradox, you’ll be jumping, screaming for happiness. But no, no, no. Too less people on this earth huge has the privilege to always live something for granted!

So, wouldn’t you wish that it would feel the same as buying all the shoes that you like instead of spending time thinking of which one will you choose?

But friends, life is not like that, and we all know that. We are built with mind that can mend the pain. We are built from the cells that must die then being replaced. We are living in the universe that bears the curse and the gifts of being round and moving in circles. All the new will be in the same, or similar shapes, no matter how bad the process was.
Will paradox of choices created abnormality?

Like cells that can’t grow because it caught the viruses that modify the shapes?
After all, I think, when we are too drawn into the depth of the paradox and begin to feel the pain of it, and we have no power to move anything, or we feel frozen in between the choices, to whom will you ask for a guidance? ... only your heart can answer it...
I am not complaining, not at all. I am a believer who believes that having choices is the beautiful consequence of having the brain, mind, and thoughts. From shoes that you'll wear, to your life survival.
Viva freedom of choices!

What A Feeling!

Affirmed: JAZZ with capital letters

What would you feel if you have chance to be spoiled with things that make you feel nothing but happiness?

Excited. In love. Being with best friends. Adrenaline. Endorphine. Jump. Sing. Laugh. Dance. Letting go. Feel free. Ah, what a weekend!

When 7 March was noted as the public holiday, as the Balinese Hindu believers turned off all the lights, speeches and sounds for the Nyepi - day of silence, I jumped into earliest flight from Banda Aceh to Jakarta. I was in the crowd, celebrating love, music and friendship in the whole long weekend, 7, 8, 9 March 2008. Yes, the Java Jazz!

happy to be here with you! :)
The first day already started with excitement. I couldn't wait to throw myself in crowd, running from one hall to another. It was great to realize that I was not alone. Huge crowds of jazz lovers gather along the halls and corridors. The Jakarta Convention Center was packed with crowds, yet I saw that the expressions around were smiling faces, couples in love holding on to each other (like me and my Habibi ;-)) or a lone walker walking with peace of mind.
After being in several musical performances in Aceh, it was great to re-discover the peaceful and happy atmosphere in a concert. I don't need to worry about what outfit would fit in the strict norms, no need to be separated into different sex group seating arrangement, no need to feel precautious about moving our body to the music. We were all the beautiful and happy people.
My other nice discovery is that the air was much cleaner than in Aceh's public space. Very less people were smoking even the event was mainly sponsored by a giant cigarette company, so when I was in the crowd I could inhale the nice fragrant of famous perfume brands around.
I was mainly aiming for the Incognito, Manhattan Transfer and Dian Pramana Poetra for good reasons. Incognito for the spirit of the lyrics and the beautiful compositions, Manhattan Transfer for the quality of jazz vocal and quartet singing technique, and Dian PP for his inspiration to jazz in Indonesia.
I knew Dian, I think since I was only less tha 10 year-old girl. At that time none taught me that the music that I listened to was jazz. I just fell in love to the melody, rythm and lyrics. Automatically, I moved with the beat and groove. Terimakasih banyak Oom Dian! ;-)

my first jazz hero, Dian Pramana Poetra

Nina Tamam apparently had the similar story as mine, on how she discovered Dian PP's music since she was a little girl. And not like me, who was roaming as close as possible to the stage with my Nikon D40x (very amateur ya? :p), she was there next to Dian PP, singing one of his song as a dedication. Well, I am happy enough to play with my Nikkor lens and got some not-so-bad photos with big resolutions. Like the following:

Yes, the reunion of 2D! Deddy Dhukun and Dian PP... Waaaaahhhhh....!!! I was hysterical!
And, as expected, I was bewitched by Manhatan Transfer's performance. Proven; they are just sooo gooooddd... Route 66 was in my head, ...and, as a Java Flava, it was difficult not to put a big smile on my happy face when they spelled, "I love the Java-Java tea..." Ah... Unfortunatelly it was a little difficult to find good spot to get good snap shots. This is the best I could do:

Manhattan Transfer was in action, some minutes before getting a bouquet from... Babyface!

I didn't miss any of Incognito's concerts. the first and the last day, Still A Friend of Mine brought me to the groove of friendship. One by one, Deep Water, Always There, Everyday, Nights over Egypt flew, and I was so much in the groove and the "Don't You Worry Bout A Thing" positive spirit. The nice surprises showed up in the second show. Maysa Leak performed with her cool-groovy style, and an Indonesian girl inspired by her, Dira from Bandung, was invited to sing with them. I first saw Dira in Dwiki Darmawan's performance on the second day, and she was good. Sayang ya, kok kalah gaung sama penyanyi lain yang lebih ecek-ecek. Go on, Neng Dira! ;-)

Dira is the one with batik dress at the extreme right side. Bravo, girl!

Sing it out loud, Jakarta!

My favorite part was always when Bluey greeted us. I love the way he talked about his childhood in the Mauritius.

"Where is your trouble?"

"It's at my back, like my shadow."

Then, we moved on the dance for "goes for you, goes for me, goes everyone... we are the morning sun!" :) Thanks Bluey, for the inspiration!

Another favorite part of Incognito's performance is when he introduced all the band, mentioning their country of origin. Tony, Imaani, Joy, Francis, Matt, Richard, Sid, Trevor, Paul ... ah, you were all great! And Bluey, you are really the star when you reminded us of One Love.

this is Bluey's inspirational moment...

Lucky to meet Tony after the show ;-)

However, with so many good options, after all it was about enjoying different atmosphere from one hall to another. I was proud of Indonesian musicians too. Syaharani caught my senses in the very first afternoon. After her show then we started to familiarize ourselves with 19 show stages. Only I was a little disappointed by Dewi Sandra. She was not bad, but so not ready for Jazz. I couldn't feel her show flew into the comfortable ambience.
We were caught by the charms of Dwiki Dharmawan's World Music, the Phinisi, Glenn Fredly, Incognito, Raoul Midon, Earth Wind and Fire Experience, Bubi Chen, Idang Rasyidi, Gypsy group from Southern France, Omar Sossa, Lima Wanita... and so many others.

Dwiki Darmawan's World Music performance.
Keyboard with Kolintang at the back. Nice!
Jeung Ita Purnamasari nonton juga loh...

Dwiki out of the stage. Looks tired? of course, it was already 1 a.m.!

Above all the shows were good. I also enjoyed so much JDFI's simple stage with accoustic guitar of Mas Jubing. Innocent classical jazz and children songs were played. Took me from the Blue Moon to Venus. Pretty! :)
The only show I hated was the techno music. Too bad it was played so loudly next to Lima Wanita's show. The hall was empty with only less than 20 people inside dancing to ugly music (Sorry DJ...), with girls proudly sipping cigarettes, with high-looking looks, pretending to be sexy but totally not, empty eyes. So ugly. It is a potential hazard that could ruin the "clean" Jazzy mood that evening. Thank God, Jazz lovers stayed away from that hall. So I could see bright happy faces just some steps out of the door.
I was happy to be with people who can dance and cherish the music because of the music itself... not because of the stupid drugs or nicotine substances.
For me, good music added with beutiful lyrics is like life. Sensations that I am sensing, the true beats and grooves that I am living in!
Thanks to God, to let the music lives in our soul.
Thanks to Ji - my Beebee, Lany - my lovely housemate, and Dede - my closest SSEAYP sister for completing the good times into the perfect one. Love you all! :)
Bravo to Java Jazz.

and, daysofagirl always says: