We Are All One

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We are all earthbound,
our birthright
in the sprouting buds of spring,
in the moss and stone
of our living days.
We are all creatures of water,
learning to sink to the depths
so that we may emerge,
drenched with the wisdom
of centuries, of the ages
we will now carry with us,
all the days of our lives.
We are all airborne,
Mastering the art
of taking flight
because our wisdom tells us
that there are no bounds,
that we can connect
beyond the borders
of our bodies and lands,
with all that lies ahead,
above, through, and eternal,
carried only, always by love.

– Tammy Takahashi

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The Edge of Everything

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There is a chair
and a comfortable place
to rest
at the edge of everything.
You take it. You look ahead,
but there is nothing
to see.
You look back,
but of course, the view
has already fallen away.
The place where you
now sit comes
into sharp focus,
your lifeboat, the raft.
At first you see nothing,
the fear obliterates all.
I’m scared too,
at my edge of everything.
We know we are not
meant to stay here,
that it’s necessary
to take a step forward,
and we’ve prepared for this.
You’ve tried as hard
as you can, I have too,
but that alone
will not grant us our place,
we need to go deeper.
Though I can’t see you,
yet, I reach out my hand
for yours, and you take it,
and this, this faith confirmed
gives us what we need,
so we avoid the temptation
to squeeze our eyes shut,
we keep them wide open,
encourage the heart
to do the same,
and take a step together.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

To Live While Living

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A moment comes
when what is trailing by
slowly, drifting,
stops time, this
is its secret power
in the world of humans,
who live in time’s domain.
There is a rupture,
like watching a leaf
float in a still lake,
a remnant of life
in that which breathes
ceaselessly, according
to Nature’s way.
What has been
swims in the pool
of immanence: here
we imagine any number
of possible futures
refracted in shimmering
surfaces, until we
are reminded of the end,
ever-present, the death
that accompanies us
our whole journey long,
at every moment
a siren call, piercing,
asking that we listen
without being overcome.
Make me your friend,
death wants to say,
so that you greet me
happily where the road divides,
so that you will know
nothing but pure joy
on your way there,
from the gifts like diamonds
living in the light
of your precious time here.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

Heed the Call

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The direction is not always clear,
obscured as it can remain from us,
as long as we march ahead, thick as fire,
on the same path that brought us here.
Here, with confusions, mumblings why,
various shades of unease, their shadows.
How much do we end up leaving behind
in our seething convictions of where
we must go? How much of the unseen
remains just outside the realm of our
possibilities? Let us fight for our choices,
Dare to expand the view, heeding the call
of the inner voice that tells us, there is
a symphony of voices needing to be heard,
for our very lives, for my need to hear you,
for you to hear me. To honour both. To
cherish all. To find our mothers and fathers,
brothers and sisters, in every single thing
that breathes, as they step into the seen,
and we find each other, and we take
the steps that feed our very creation.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

Open eyes, Open heart

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There is always more
we can strip away,
we have accumulated
so much. For so long.
We’ve buried ourselves
in the things that remove
from us the way of
right seeing, the seen.
We have inherited
and then we’ve created
stories that adorn,
tantalize, haunt us,
give us the false impression
that this is who we are,
that bare their claws
like tentacles around
our well-meaning hearts
just as they catch a
glimpse of a free world,
and an unencumbered way
of being at one with it.
We know that the way
back to this, our world
is the way into ourselves,
but we don’t know
where to rest our gaze
among a dizzying array
of options, and directions.
Hearts beating fast, we rest.
Close our eyes. Breathe.
Allow what haunts to haunt.
Enter the fear like warriors.
Quiet the stories ricocheting
in our bodies’ chambers,
as if to honor their passing.
Open our eyes. Begin.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

Surrender, Love

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The day comes
for our surrender,
which is never defeat;
would we ever call
the sun’s glorious drop
from our hope-filled view
a loss, a giving up, a forfeit?
Is the moon defeated
as she drapes the sky
with her incandescence,
emblazons passing clouds,
transgresses the borders
of the known and unknown,
taking us there with her
before ceding, with grace,
to the light of the coming day?
May I one day understand
that stillness is not death,
but the cessation of a mind
feeding itself on my burdens,
running me dry, tossing me out,
burning me to crumbling ash.
May I one day fall to earth,
feel the nourishment so deeply,
let the thoughts come
let the thoughts go,
and know, and trust
that in the silence
of the innermost part
of my being,
everything I need remains,
that in stillness, nothing is lost,
and there is room for this,
this love, to consume me.
– Tammy Takahashi

To Breathe is to Create is to Live

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As long as we create,
We have the capacity
To be free
(I know how far
we need to come
before we can create
a world in which
everyone can choose
their freedoms,
before the songs we create
are not only our chains,
our suffering, released).
It cannot stop here,
In calamity.
We must examine
The tools we have.
We live. We breathe.
As long as we have breath,
We have the capacity
To create.
How many breaths
Have we missed
With our inattention?
Take a deep inhale.
Is your breath not like
a growing tree
rooted in the very depths
of you, grounding you
to this plane,
as it arcs upwards and out,
filling every part of you,
from spine to limbs
to fingertips, and the top
of your head, and beyond?
Are you not making yourself
anew each time you fill
Your body with the force of life,
With whatever you’ll allow in?
And the outbreath,
A psalm of celebration
Of what you have made,
Of allowing it to set,
Of releasing what no longer serves,
In the name of beginning
Again, and again, and again,
And each time, don’t you know,
Can change everything.
 
– Tammy Takahahshi