Untitled Journal

What's the story, morning glory?

Category: Love

Loving Miss Daisy

So there she is, a little person lying sleeping soundly on my bed that usually seem so small, now seem so big. It’s just so overwhelming. She was in me for almost 40 weeks, all I knew of her was from these scan pictures suggesting how she looked like and how much she loved to stretch her legs that sometimes one of her knee would stick out underneath my skin. And now just like in Coldplay song, her skin and bones turned into something beautiful. And I love her so.

Every middle of the night now I look forward to be woken up by her baby noises, so that I can hold her again. After feeding her, she would lay on my chest, lift her head up and look at me in the eyes until she falls asleep. And at that moment I got scared. Scared of something that might happen to her, or if I would raise her right or do all the right things. It’s a scary thought that with all the flaws in you as a human, you might screw something as perfect as this.

We named her Daisy Sybilla. She was 2.98kg when she came out and about 49cm. I’m sure she has grown a bit since then, but still all tiny to me. I had a normal delivery and labor was quite a traumatizing experience, I must say. The pain I suffered was really beyond what I expected and I couldn’t sleep the first few nights after giving birth to Daisy just recalling all that. Not to scare the expectant mothers out there as people might experience it differently. I don’t know, maybe I’m not so tolerable when it comes to pain – I mean, I cringe like a 6 year old whenever they need to take my blood.

Daisy so far hasn’t given a hard time taking care of her. I kept hearing about babies that cry for hours and hours without knowing what their problems are. She would only whimper, hardly cry, whenever she needs to be fed or changed. Any other time, she’ll just sleep and grow up, waiting for this boring age to phase out. Occasionally I watch her smiling in her sleep, observing her face and caressing her hair. I know its such a lame thing coming from myself to say, but what a beautiful baby she is. She has Fakhrul’s hair and pretty lashes, her skin is so fair she turns all red when she moves, she has long legs and long fingers, and the chubbiest cheeks. Life is suddenly complete. She’s all worth it. Worth the pain, the sleepless nights and the worries.

I now cannot live without her.

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Yesterday, one year ago.

Sitter

lukisFakhrul did me last weekend. We were talking about how lately our weekends were wasted on hanging out at the city centre, eating out, browsing shops and spending money on things we didn’t even need to begin with. I need to get on with my photography and he must find his lost stroke on drawings and paintings again. So he drew me.

When you’re being painted or photographed, there is a sense of intimacy that is uncomfortably strong. Every inch of your being, your face particularly in a portrait is being observed and analyzed. You won’t help feeling ashamed, unless you’re a really confident person. You would smile to feel normal again, but he knows you’re trying to hide your emotions. You would move your head hither and thither trying to avoid that awkward gaze but then he would ask you to stay still. You would look down and blushing, but he would need your eye contact to get into your soul. What would you do as a sitter?

So when Kikin asked me in Random whether if I would do a portrait of anyone, I couldn’t quite explain my refusal until I can tell how awkward it might be to experience an intimate moment with strangers. Maybe being unprofessional I am, I just don’t think I can bring out the best of someone that I barely know in a photograph. Portraits that I did aren’t the best you’ve seen, but I admit there was a certain level of intimacy and closeness that almost everyone can feel when looking at them. I didn’t “ambush” Tadika Tokai when I first came there. There’s a story behind the series. My mother in law owned an unoccupied house in Tokai which she rented to an ustazah and I followed her there to meet Fakhrul’s relatives when I learned about Tadika Tokai. After few more visits and getting to know the children and the ustazah, only I felt the urge to photograph them. It would be really hard not to do it by heart.

To become a sitter is one thing, but being a subject is another. In Fakhrul’s case, likeness is not the point. Since camera was invented there is no reason why you should draw somebody exactly how you see it. How you interpret someone to the paper is up to you. What is so significant about him or her? Interpreting someone who wouldn’t go out without a make up on her face by photographing her in front of a mirror, or interpreting someone who spends most of his free time sleeping by placing and photographed him under the duvet is nothing more but just simple personal opinion. The same you want to tell about somebody in a photograph by including a bit of landscape behind it, let it be a river or a kitchen, it is just another information or hints about that person. What they were doing or what they were watching won’t matter, so long the moment is right.

I’m not very good with people and I’m easily misunderstood. Only those who know me well can be comfortable enough to become my sitter. I guess I have to get to know you first. So, maybe we can start with hello.

Oh, oh.

I am adjusting.

I am adjusting to life where my toothpaste, shampoo and shower gel are empty quicker than usual. I’m adjusting to picking up stuffs on the floor and put them back in the right place. I’m adjusting to a sore sight of three mugs with dried coffee in it by my white iMac. 

I compromise.

I am compromising my closet for other stuffs I’d never wear. Compromising to put my designer tops I usually wear once in paper bags and tucked them away. I usually have the whole drawer full of lingerie but now I have to make room for checkered boxers. I lost half hangers to stripy shirts and trousers that usually hang my pretty coats and blouses in coloured order.

I am really letting him in. I want him in anyway. I find it a bit hard adjusting and compromising a man side into my feminine world but I’ll get there. I’ll get there where I won’t mind a bit. Nobody said it will be easy, I don’t expect it to. I’m just surprised that he has that many stuff like me as well. I thought men don’t need so much, but now I know my man is not any men.

I hope I don’t sound like I’m complaining, I just need to figure out how to tell him without him being offended. You know what, maybe I’ll tuck some of his stuff too and hope he’ll never finds out. And when he does, I’ll play the innocent wife. He always buy that. Sometimes. Hope I’ll get lucky this time. 

8.3.8

Fakhrul and I are married.

The wedding was wonderful, at my house where I was brought up and now where I was given away. The decor was beautiful, more than I could’ve asked for. The dresses I wore were dreams came true. The friends were there, making our happy day a more meaningful one. After all those sleepless nights, who would’ve thought it would end up so perfectly like this.

At one point all brides have to go through that time, that exact second they told her they were bringing her out and she started to freak out. She hesitated not about the man, but about the things she was going to leave behind. Her sister and brother’s face and that childhood memory, her best friend’s face and that friendships ever so real that helped her went through bad times, her parent’s face when she only belonged to them.. everything she ever knew about her life will be left off to embark a new one with this man.

But when I saw Fakhrul’s face waiting for me, I was sure. I couldn’t hesitate a moment and waited patiently for his lafaz to be heard, and then I was his wife. I cried not thinking of those things anymore, whatever that was mine will still be mine but for now there will be this one man for me, insyAllah for as long as I live.

So here I am with a man on my bed. With a man by my side that I can touch and cuddle as I please. With a man I’ve longed to be mine and myself to be his. I cannot even begin to describe the relief of having to finally be man and wife, to not having to restrict my love for him with just words anymore. This is the bliss, I understand that now.

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