The Newsletter 96 Autumn 2023


Widya Suryadani

This poem was born during the 2016 In Situ Graduate School “Mapping the Aesthetics of Urban Life in Asia: A Dialogue with the Arts in Kyoto,” organized by IIAS and the Centre for Southeast Asian Studies, Japan (CSEAS).

I composed the poem within a workshop where the main theme revolved around the dialogue between urban life and the arts. The word ‘ENCOUNTER’ was the title of our sonic performance, where we thought of city as an orchestra. We captured the sounds of the city: the irrashaimase, the chatters, the noise of the arcade, the crisp of the walked-on snow, and more. We combined it with music, dance, and heart-felt words: this poem. Everything we did was new for us. We learned that experiencing a city was more of a chance encounter, while this workshop was all about chance encounter. We met with a new way to experience a city, we were challenged to present a new way of representing a city, and we met with new people from various backgrounds to learn from, to learn with, and to learn about.


Within the silence of Hieizan I saw you
Under the cloud, this cloudy day
Far down below

I trembled
as the wind passed me by
And the leaves rattled
as the wind passed through

Descend I go to where you are
as your soft murmur is getting louder

Footsteps echoing
Bells ringing
The birds bow to the sun

This is the crossroad where we met
The destiny of our encounter

Chance meeting.
Will you be there?
I will be there when you unfold

Within the distant chatter I am with you
     And I arrived with the whole me
                             I arrived at you
                        with you

I arrived in you



Widya Suryadani, Indonesia