For Love, Always Love

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It is never a case
of the absence of love.
As long as there are eyes seeing,
there is the slow drift to beauty,
the sigh of relief of finding
our dearest hopes confirmed,
and this is love.
As long as there are voices singing,
there is an invisible, potent thread
connecting the very heart of the world
to the very heart of our selves,
and this can only be love.
As long as there are hearts breaking,
there knowing we are in the wake
of a full surrender to love,
and now, a day for new surrender,
nothing to do, everything to feel,
and this is full, complete,
sweet, never-ending love.
And love makes love.
In breath, each moment,
to the last.

– tammy takahashi

The We of a Tree: A Story

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Often, when I do yoga here, at home, on the seventh floor of our building, I wish I was closer to the ground, so that I could feel the earth below me, rather than sort of hovering over it – grounding is so important for everyone, especially “airy, in-the-head” people like me! But today, after a particularly intense practice, I was lying on my back at the end, and suddenly a vivid image came to me, of the six “layers” of people below me, and we were sort of forming the trunk of a tree, so that the nourishment of the ground was coming straight up though this “tree of people”, supporting me, my life, my journey, and I was also receiving, from the sky, and this was flowing right back down through everyone back to the ground. We were a tree, the spine of a human body, connected, working together. I was such a beautiful lesson.

What will your freedom be?

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and if today were the last,
or the last before that?
what would your freedom be?
its textures, scents, taste?
how would it envelop you,
and would you leap into it?
what would the expression
of your love be, how wide?
of all the remaining steps,
the in and out of breath,
how many are dedicated
to all the small devotions
that, like a trail in the woods,
will always be our guide
to places of greatest purity?
How many sacred moments
do we feel the pulse of life
dancing like magic in us,
so we know, really know,
how gloriously we are here?

– tammy takahashi

We are the living.

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We are all the living
we are all the dying.
We are in this one world,
each of us a universe
bound to the next
in humility and servitude
if we choose.
We must choose.
There is no default
set to make things right
if we do not forge
a path of kindness.
There is observing, repenting,
learning, starting again,
but there no starting over.
We are the living,
we are the dying.
We witness and document,
make art and make love,
because there are a million ways
we are human,
but one way in which
we need to share,
to be understood,
to be met with the compassion
that chokes us
when the world
is strangled by so much suffering.
Let us grace the living
with every possibility for life;
it is the work of our life to live,
and make each breath
a windstorm blowing in the direction
of restoring dignity for all.
 
– tammy takahashi

Remembering and Forgetting

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The art of remembering, and forgetting … like all binaries, it has to be all about balance. We don’t want to remember so much that our entire world becomes a recreation of a past that doesn’t exist anymore, so that we become incapable of living in the present moment. But we don’t want to forget so much that we lose the context for our being, the heart and bones of our ancestry that fills our vessel with so much of what makes us who we are. We don’t want to cling to what has caused us pain and give this too much potency, nor to an overwhelming nostalgia for a time we will never have back and that never quite existed. But we don’t have or want to condemn ourselves to being completely unmoored, either. We can allow ourselves to be rooted in the nurturing ground that gave rise to us without being indebted to every detail of our history. We can work toward finding freedom within the form or shell that is the life we came in to. We can work toward honouring the past and finding it it the many valuable and necessary lessons for a more hopeful future while working our hearts out to cultivate, forge, pioneer, and create the unimaginable gift of an open life for ourselves.

For the Living

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For life and for the living,
for the choices we make
on the side of life
that keep us cushioned
in earth’s warm embrace,
breath springing from breath,
heaving, mounting, rising,
majestic being coursing through us
when we feel it, and when we don’t,
and all we have to do
is know this to be true,
to bring our feet softly to ground,
feel life playing with our skin,
and we are gazing ever upward,
taking in with curious eyes
what the heart already knows,
as we begin our journey there.
 
– tammy takahashi

Petals Fallen in Spring

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Petals fall lush to ground,
not yet dried or decayed,
unsullied by wind, sun, rain,
handfuls of spring snow
tethered still to this life,
where we train our eyes
on what comes before
the last, the spectre of this
dancing alongside our joy.
Beauty gathers everywhere
before we have a chance
to discriminate and fear,
pierces though every want
we might begin to have
for things to be different.
Imbibe before pleasure
divides into pain.
It is here in this space
that miracles are born,
that the ways of seeing,
ways of our sacred being,
outnumber anything
we could possibly know.