Melbourne, 2017

When someone dies, there is an odd comfort in performing the regular rituals commonly called as funeral. As we dispose the remains either through cremation or burial, we get the closure we deserve, unlike losing someone in a plane incident or missing person for years that he is presumed dead. Through this symbolic ritual, we can mark the passing of the dead, say some last words and bid our farewell, as well as start receiving support and consolation from others. In whole stages of grieving, closure serves as the key to attain acceptance. Strange as it sounds, a clear death…


Asiila Kamilia — West Java, 2020

“Up with your turret, aren’t we just terrified?”

I can see your face unnervingly hardens, as you step on the gas a tiny bit too much. You always do that when something about my past comes up and in need of a serious discussion. Your grip on the steering wheel gets tighter, too, but I always try to reach out for your left hand, so you’ll know that I am here.

We share the same kind of trauma. While it is not an excuse, some of our difficult behavior are undeniably coming from the pain, one which we still struggle…


If you were to ask me whether I ever saw an end to this relationship, the answer would be no.

We have known each other for almost ten years and were growing up side by side for six years all in all. You were in fact the first friend I made in high school because at the orientation, we initially were sitting with our friends and the senior asked us to sit together instead of with someone we already knew. In freshman year, you were my classmate. In sophomore, we were involved in the same event. In senior year, you…


People perceive that finding true love is a milestone worth celebrating where most people honor it by tying the knot. Sometimes a decade of relationship fails to result in marriage but sometimes people find themselves walking down the aisle after only one year of romance. Time, indeed, is not a sole measurement of quality, of infatuation, or of love. Somehow someway, you just find someone. Especially at this very age where wedding parties are ubiquitous; you can see someone’s Instagram Story and their wedding hashtags each week. …


Seseorang pernah bilang ke saya, bahwa maaf itu bukan hanya tentang mendapatkan permintaan maaf dari mereka yang pernah menyakiti kita. Lebih dari itu, sebenarnya maaf memiliki berbagai bentuk.

Dimulai dari yang paling dekat, yaitu memaafkan diri sendiri — atas pilihan hidup yang mungkin kurang tepat atau atas kegagalan-kegagalan yang berujung pada sebuah pembelajaran dan hikmah. Memaafkan bahwa diri kita tidak sempurna dan oleh karena itu akan berbuat salah, satu atau dua kali, hari ini atau besok. Selain orang lain, mungkin yang paling membutuhkan maaf itu adalah diri kita sendiri. Mungkin jauh sebelum menyakiti orang lain, kita terlebih dulu menyakiti diri…


© Asiila Kamilia — Viet Nam 2020

“Tuhan bila waktu dapat ku putar kembali…”

Sepenggal lirik yang saya yakin dapat mewakili perasaan kita selama beberapa waktu terakhir. Jika Doraemon nyata atau jin Aladdin bukan sekedar fiksi, saya rasa permintaan atas mesin waktu menjadi prioritas bagi kita semua. Mungkin untuk sekedar menengok kenangan lama atau menyapa seseorang di masa lalu. Bisa jadi untuk mengambil pilihan hidup yang berbeda, untuk mencegah kepergian seseorang, untuk membatalkan suatu kesalahan, atau untuk mencintai dan memeluk sekali lagi. Apapun itu tujuannya, doa untuk memutar waktu ini seringkali kita panjatkan ke langit, berharap dikabulkan meski hati kecil kita tau jawabannya.

Mungkin sejatinya, banyak hal…


© Asiila Kamilia — Jogjakarta, Waisak 2019

Life doesn’t provide us with a universal guidebook on how to live your life. There is no “How to Live a Life for Dummy” or “Living 101”. Should you happen to be a follower of a certain religion, you might find an enlightenment in accordance to your faith. You might also find other teachings in another religion aside from what you believe in, like Karma. At first, you might think this is such a bull. Whatever the hell is “ilmu kehidupan?”

It might be the kind of knowledge that lights up your pathway when you are trapped in the dark…


It’s funny how sometimes you just lose things, hope, or people. Funny how some small stuff in your room gets mysteriously disappeared. How some people whom you once thought would never leave become the one who has the courage to walk away. Someone who should have never left at the first place. Maybe a close neighbor, your own parents, best friend whose number is your emergency call, or a partner you have spent years with.

© Asiila Kamilia — Melbourne, 2012

But at the end of the day, it’s also funny how sometimes you can find things. When you accidentally find a missing stuff after hours…


© Asiila Kamilila — Bandung, 2017

Ketika akan meninggalkan suatu tempat, otak saya membangunkan hampir semua kenangan yang sebelumnya sempat tertidur. Dimulai dari hari pertama kuliah, saya ingat baju putih lengan panjang dan celana jeans biru tua yang saya kenakan. Saat sedang berjalan sendiri ke kampus untuk kelas pertama, saya ditemani oleh lagu dari Nirvana berjudul Smells Like Teen Spirit. Pagi pertama di kamar kosan, lagu Ephemera dari Air mengalun lembut, beradu dengan kicauan burung di luar jendela. Saya ingat parfum otomatis di kamar saya yang selama tiga setengah tahun hanya itu-itu saja wanginya. Perjalanan dari kosan menuju kampus seringkali diwarnai oleh pekatnya biru langit dan…


Frank Underwood from House of Cards once said to his wife, “how could you be so stupid… to fall in love?”

It isn’t the first time that love is associated with stupidity. I have read quite a few novels and watched a number of movies depicting images of people being in love and somehow losing the ability to think logically. More often than not, the image will portray a woman accused of being foolishly and blindly in love with her man and not the other way around (hello patriarchy). You may have once stumbled upon a story-line telling about young…

Aksara Laut

Ode to every remnant of what once was.

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