A Bleep About A Tree And Her Journey

This blog illustrates and functions as a mirror to my own personal journey. I was lost and then found, lost again and found my way back again, and so the journey continues. Before I say more about myself, I’d like to share the following poem written by Mary Oliver, titled The Journey. This poem is at the heart of this blog.

The Journey, by Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice–
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do–
determined to save
the only life you could save.


Many things I share in this blog are related to my identity as an Indonesian born, raised and grew up in Indonesia, but has spent most of my adult life in the U.S.  By the time I went back to Indonesia, I had spent my life in the U.S. for over 20 years, a few months short from reaching its 21-year anniversary.  After a long, painful consideration and argument back and forth in my head, I decided to leave the U.S. and came back to Indonesia. I have always considered in my heart and referred to Indonesia as my “home”. Consequently, I also have always called myself “Indonesian” and not one of those names with a dash (-) in the middle (i.e., Indonesian-American).

With that little bleep about myself, please enjoy your time visiting my blog. I would appreciate feedback, comment, or opinion.  Feel free to say anything.  Your silence is a source of annoyance to me, so make some noises please.  Language is not an issue here.  Feel free to say in any language you want.  Thanks to google I can probably find out the translation one way or another.  I love language diversity and cultural diversity, so the more the merrier.

If you need to contact me, leave me a comment here.  

Thank you.  Terima kasih.  Gracias.  Obrigado.  Merci.  Grazie.  Danke.  Takk.  Salamat.  Xie Xie.  Arigato.

~ Olive Tree ~


8 thoughts on “A Bleep About A Tree And Her Journey

  1. I was wondering if some of your or some of of your members would be willing to contribute some of their haiku to my project?
    I am building a fun / free iphone haiku application.

    Please forward to all haiku lovers. They can respond to me with a couple of their own haiku if they would like to
    participate. Please organize by season. I will list/give credit the author of each haiku of course.

  2. Wow ! I have been to Indonesia stayed for about 6months in south Sulawesi ,I have some pleasant memories ringing in my thoughts connected to the country…..I was in village Charming visiting Ujung Pandang every week for getting our groceries and visiting Indian families there ….i am so happy to find that you belong there …Thanks for dusting back those lovely memories I have ….

    • Oh cool! I’m not sure what language you have on your blog, but I’m making an assumption that you’re from India? When was it when you were in South Sulawesi. Ujung Pandang is no longer called Ujung Pandang. It has changed its name back to Makassar, the name used during the colonialization time. I’m not sure why. The city has grown tremendously too. I’m so happy every time I can connect to new people this way. Don’t be a stranger, come back again to this blog in the future. I hope to see your entries at Poets Rally in the future.

  3. Thank you so much for introducing yourself to me Terima. It means so much to our inner peace if your heart feels that it has ‘come home’
    Yes, the journey is sometimes long and painful but, what you said is true, every piece of pain is a way of our growing, inner strength, inner spiritual growth too. I’ve always been a deep thinker, and after meeting, loving, and the eventual loss of my life partner, I went into deep soul searching and, once I discovered the ‘way’ (for me) I grew again, in a way, was re-born.
    It’s a pleasure meeting you and sharing a love of words. 🙂

  4. I don’t know how to say it so that it doesn’t sound glib, but you have such an interesting history! How does it feel now that you’re ‘home’? Having been gone for so long, do you feel like you have come back to your own life or do you feel you have to rebuild yourself to fit in? Just curious! *smile*

  5. Very happy to have found your blog! The poem-foundation for the blog is a special one for me. Mary Oliver is a hero and I love trees (my blog has a label called tree phases that focuses on a special pin oak in my current vicinity). I have happily added this blog to my reader so that I can follow along the journey. Haiku for today, New Years’ Day 2012: Matsuo Basho: Every day is a journey, and the journey itself is home. Words to live by, if I could only remember!

  6. Dear Olive, Mary Oliver is my very favorite poet ever, and this poem is also very significant to me. Sounds like you and I have made similar journeys, in terms of discovering the only life we can save is our own. I am so happy for you that you followed your heart back home. It is a great gift to oneself to live where they feel their spirit is at home. I had that for ten years when I lived in Tofino, British Columbia (Canada), along the ocean. I had to leave it, and now live an hour and a half away and while I have managed to make a happy enough life here, it is not the same as being home. Very nice to have read your words this morning.

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