A Pep Talk for Taizé People

Dear my Taizé brothers and sisters,

wherever you are in the world when you are reading this.

First of all, I’ve got inspired to write this after my “forever roommate”, Carlos from Guatemala, gave his warmest greeting to me on my birthday. I listened to his voice note, and his voice brought me back to Tilleul on 2008. Suddenly I was thinking of him, and wondering how’s his life lately – since like all we do, there is a time when we just skipped the constant contact in the middle of our vast mundane life.

Then I was hoping, that he can take care all the obstacles in his life. Furthermore, my thoughts were wandering to all those faces whom I’ve met and shared my time with in Taizé – hoping the same thing.

Therefore, I want to share to all of you, of how I live my life after Taizé.

Especially when I fell.

When the life hits me really hard.

When I kneel down hopelessly in the darkest pit.

And how I get up eventually, and smile.

Then I turned my face back to that pit and said, fuck off!

Well, let me start with sharing my own experience. My first experience of drowning so deep, then I learned how to get out and practice the same thing afterwards.

Oh it was simple and universal; brokenhearted. Yeah, it seems like the only problem in this world when we were on our mid 20s, isn’t? ;p Well, there were a bit of work and family issues as well, but on that time this brokenhearted thingy made my life turned up and down.

It was very difficult time when your first love of your life suddenly left you for good. It was hard because when we shared our love, I put her as the reason of all my happiness. When she was gone, also with all of my happiness. Vanished! Then my life suddenly had no direction, and it went bleak.

So what did I do next?

I turned to God. Of course! But this is not the focus of my writing, because I am really sure all of you know better about this than me. Well, God is significantly helpful to lift me up. But since I wanted to anticipate all the things, I want one more thing to have a better foundation – not as a substitute thing beside God. I want to have two huge pole to keep my feet on the ground.

So what else beside of God than helped my during my darkest time?

My happiness on my past.

One particular moment in my life.

One piece in my life which changed my life whole-fully.

Which is July – October 2008 in Taizé, one little village in France where there are a community of brothers live peacefully with prayers and services to young people from all over the world.


This is true and I’m not overreacting or over-worshipping that hill and that moment. Because when I put that particular moment in my life as my source of happiness, I feel loved and worth it.


Why is that?

Because I feel so damn lucky to be part of that little community, even only for 3 months period. First of all, my university chose me to go and became a volunteer to France. And then, I met all the wonderful people – from all around the world! I spent time with each of you, how little it is, gave me more sparks in my life. All those friendship and sense of community? It’s gold!

I remember how I worked with each of you, in our seems-not-important-work but actually it was very important to do. I remember how we killed those complaints with laughter and joy and singing! I remember how each of you gave me smile – or gently tap my shoulder – when you noticed my tired expression. I remember how each of you said “see you tomorrow” every time we finished our work, to showed me your enthusiasm and yet encouraged me to showed up every morning.


I remember how we spend our free evenings, well mostly at the Point 5. We did not care even we were too loud and energetic. We kept on talking and sharing even there were some brothers told us to calm down. I remember how each of you build a new connection to another people, or deepen your relationship with a person which you just met the day before. I remember how some of us drowned into silly game which we just learned in the afternoon from the field people. I remember how excited we were when we discovered new Taizé song on the prayer before, and sang it together with full of joy.


I remember how I prayed with some of you, either at that tiny spot for permanents or at the other corner of the Church of Reconciliation. Oh how I love to pray with all of you! I remember how we looked at each other and smiled when we saw the number of your – or mine – favourite song showed up. I remember of looking at you handover a tissue – or put your hand on his/her shoulder – when there was someone cried over the prayer. I remember how we sang wholeheartedly and joyfully when the Br. Jean-Marie lifted up our shared favourite song.


All these memories, I capture it and put it in a box. Then I hang it on the ceiling in my room. That box is the first thing I look at every time I wake up, and the last thing I reflect before I go to sleep. And this box, this very special box, lifted me up from my darkest pit.

So yes, I cling to my happy memory as my source of happiness. I turned that memory as my fuel to live my life to the fullest. Because that particular memory, made me feel worth as a human being – as my true self! How I get drowned into our interactions, and how each of you treated me with joy and respect. How that experience changed my life into more meaningful way, and taught me many life lessons.

Then I realized something.

Before, I cling to one particular person as my source of happiness. Then I disappointed.

But how can I be disappointed to a happy memory? It is always there. It can’t leave. It will never betrayed me. It always be a happy memory and stays like that for ever.

collecting happy memories is like collecting fruit yogurt during your silence week ;p

So there it is, I shared it with all of you. I share it because I owe each of you for lifting me up during my downs. I share it as my token of highest gratitude for being there with me, on that particular time and particular place.

I understand, my sharing may or may not helping you during your downs and your falls. Many of you already shaped your own way of defence mechanism, and you already know how to outcome your obstacles. But sharing is always better than not, because no one knows how significant your experience is for other people who in needs.

So my brothers and sisters in communion,

whenever you feel down and crushed,

whenever you feel devastated and hopeless,

whenever you feel like there are no other way to get up,

please do remember,

that there is one loco naive guy who will think and pray for you,

because unconsciously,

you – yes you who are reading this – already,successfully and significantly,

helped that guy through his darkest part of his life. Over and over again!

And this is my way to keep the good deeds going forward through time.

silence week in a silence house didn’t stopped us to have fun ;p

Are you confuse because you don’t how our time in Taizé helped me? That is the exact reason! Because the slightest little things you do to me during that time, apparently have a huge impact on my life – even until now!

You are amazing!

Because each of you is – and always – be the best part in my life.

Thank you, from the deepest corner of my soul.


Your loco guy,

Timo from Indonesia.



I learned two things from my own writing;

  • be mindful on what you are doing at the moment, because you do not know how huge the impact is to other people through time
  • this is another way to live a “life after Taizé”; embrace the memory, because you’ll never know how useful it is

4 thoughts on “A Pep Talk for Taizé People

  1. Wow! Whotout words my “forever roommate” in Taizé 2008, Timo from Indonesia;
    Yeah man; Taizé is for me too; one of the most experience of my life; Taizé is almost my life; all the experience there for me is the best in my life!

    I miss you Timo, you were a great roommate, a good friend and that for me is… I don’t know to say… For mi is single, really

    A big hug from me friend,

    Your forever roommate there:

    Carlos from Guatemala


  2. Dear friend Timo, I have in my memory pleasant memories with you, and many shared laughs. Thank you for these words that have transported me magically that year in Taizé, where the criteria meet all the other guys. I send you a big hug ( che boludo) jaja 😂


  3. Wow!! what a great flashback, it has taken me journey through my mind, during our stay on the little hill.. the very best memories in Taizé 2008. yaaaay! it was such a nice experience, diverse people from around the world, sharing a common life. I shall forever cherish the moments close in my heart. Miss the people and the great moments with you guys. Thanks Timo for refreshing the sweet old memories.


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