Endings Now

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In our blind rush for the new
we forget the endings
we must survive
in order to arrive there.
We skip over our endings
losing them, and what
they have to offer us,
in our chase of the bright light
enticing from the horizon.
We dream of being somewhere
better than here and now.
We bypass our moments
of transition and change
that tell us so much
about where we have been
as if we can travel
to where we are going
without taking ourselves there.
Climbing the tree,
we forget the bark
that holds us in its strong grip
as we set our sights
on the highest branch
that cannot, alone,
support our weight,
or launch us into the sky,
where we want to rush
for all of our answers.
Endings evoke fear;
let them be scary;
let yourself be scared.
In the fear, only here, as you look,
is the passage through.
Sit at the foot of the tree,
on top of the ancient roots
that have skipped over nothing,
and lived the deaths and rebirths
of thousands of its companions.
Find the beginning in the end,
and the end of not being witness
to the journey of your life.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

Peaceful Heart

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Oh, how it aches to look to the world,
with a genuine heart for discovery,
only to see myself reflected there,
to find worry etched in the furrowed
brows of clouds dense in a dark sky,
and fear playing out its dismal dance
in the cacophonous cries of wild things
fighting for their lives in the cold dawn.
To know that it takes the will of gods
to penetrate through the conditionings
etched like fine art onto my bones,
so that I can see them dissolve and go,
so that I can see more of what I know.
And then I see: a breath, an opening.
There is a freedom in this, this knowing
that it must begin here, with me,
in my desire to create the life I want
by turning my kind gaze to myself,
to find my superpower as the goddess
of a brand new world of my making,
with the power to unleash the worry
from the clouds of brightest white,
to turn screeches into melodious sounds,
to write my loving, peaceful heart
onto the walls of our shared experience.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

The Garden of Your Heart

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What is in the garden of your heart?
Is it growing wildly,
according to its nature,
free of the burdens of symmetry,
conformity to the structure of design?
Is it heeding its own rules and principles,
abiding by its own laws of harmony,
does it sing with great abandon
the songs from its forebears
that are embedded in its bones,
or when those do not do the work of healing,
a tune of its own making?
Does it feel joy and sorrow
in equal measure, and celebrate both
as grand pillars of the human experience?
Does it come to stand in great stillness
so as to invite in the whispers
of what lies beyond our precious humanity?
Have you done all you can to ensure
that the garden of your heart
has what it needs to keep growing,
and do you trust it to be all that it is,
to thrive and stand in the light
even when the darkness, as it does, comes?
How do you take care of your heart’s garden,
knowing that the storms and seasons,
like your own caged treasure,
stay true to their own dispositions,
and destroy as they create?
Will you learn you see destruction
as the seed of all creation,
and creation as an infinity of possibility,
depending on what you want your garden to be?
Is your vision gentle, loving and kind,
and is it directed at the beauty of you?
 
– Tammy Takahashi

Life Likes Living

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If we can distill one single essence
from the wonders that surround us,
it might be this: that life likes living.
Let’s say it again: life likes living,
life perpetuates herself with ease,
grace, and unfiltered generosity.
The Earth is thirsty; there is rain.
Creatures are gasping; watch;
seedlings and shoots are growing.
The trees they become give us
our own capacity to be nourished,
offer shade when the fire sun,
doing what it does best, emits
the heat that sustains our time here.
The world is glowing, ever-creating,
you can see in in the tiniest things,
the small flower peeking through
the concrete we’ve laid in hopes
of asserting a semblance of control
where we never really had any,
for more than an uneasy little while.
Life likes living, and will persist
in this, an uncanny triumph as great
as our capacity to be and to imagine,
and of course they are the same.
Our imaginations, too, have no end,
they grow and are fed on the same
rich soil from which everything comes.
We are tendrils growing with the trees,
we are stars piercing through the night,
and it is only when we choose to be apart,
to regard nature’s beauty as though
we are not embedded right inside of it,
that we compromise its right to flourish
and the unbearable pain begins,
because we’ve forgotten life’s love of life.
May we remember the heart of us,
borne of earth’s blood, skyward bound,
and serve the life that we are with joy.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

Through the Rainbow

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Every possible colour existing
in the span of seven bands,
and you can never see where
one ends, and the next begins,
and you know you will never
bring your fingers to touch
the fine, silken luminescence,
yet all of it is there, somewhere
in the world, in every moment,
and there is always the dream
of getting close enough to see
what happens in the lush spaces
between yellow and orange,
indigo and violet, what worlds
will open up to us as soon as
we are ready to pass not over
the brilliant rainbow, but through,
not on the way to our destination,
but to face what we never knew.

– Tammy Takahashi

What I Want for Us

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I want to bring myself to the world
and bring all that vastness into me.
I want to let down my untamed hair,
wear loose and breeze-filled clothes,
invite all the creatures to safely land.
I want to never forget about the fairies
and spirits in the forests of the stories
I used to read under the covers at night.
I want to read every book ever written,
and discover all the possible universes,
and then sit down to invent my own,
and always be dreaming, over and over.
I want to hear from every sea shell
to get my favourite news from afar.
I want to never stop seeking my truths,
and doing what I can to protect them.
I want to know every single one of you,
and I want to always remember who I am.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

You and This Life

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Who are you if not
everything you have seen,
touched, explored, loved?
How can you be anything less
than all has made you?
How can you be less
than the ocean that,
inflected with your touch
as you first rediscovered her,
goes on to blanket the world
with her swelling tides and cries?
How can you be less
than the sand you walk upon,
hot and gleaming under you,
that tell a thousand stories
of wreckage and wanderlust,
and of the art of staying?
Look at that protecting sky
streaked with billowing dreams,
that passes from midnight blue,
through all the sea greens
to begin each new day
as only a golden miracle can,
and ends in ochres and fire
ceding to the witching, twilight hour.
In all of this, you are contained,
each varied hue speaks of you,
and the infinite pools of emotion
that live in each of your moments.
No, you cannot be less than all this,
and nor can you say you are more,
because you, against all odds,
have found yourself here, with all;
you are this life, and it you,
and in the stillness of a pause,
you notice all the wild joys and furies
come to rest in your caged heart,
and this the seed of your liberation.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

I Bow to You

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I gather false strength
and stand upright,
me versus the world.
I throw my shoulders back,
throw my gaze long,
discerning and proud,
as though surveying
something that belongs to me,
and not to you,
or to you, and not to me,
and this is where desire dwells,
and a terrible need grows,
and I am in my perch,
and you are in yours,
and no proximity
can bring us together.
 
I bend down,
close my eyes, and bow,
and immediately,
the separation has disappeared.
We are not yet one,
this might be the work
of a lifetime.
But we are so much closer,
I feel so much closer here,
where I can smell
the earth below, that tethers us
to the same source,
where I can kiss your feet
in acknowledgement
of my devotion to you,
who have so much to teach me.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

For Sri Lanka

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Sometimes I imagine
that if i try hard enough,
I can bring myself
to every place of suffering,
be in all the places at once
where unfathomable
pain and confusion dwell,
where growth has ceded
to the tides of destruction
and love is smothered
by dark fear and rage,
and do everything
that is within my power,
and in my imagination,
my power is great,
to take all this misery
upon myself, so that,
for just long enough,
there will be a clearing,
and in this open space
we will see so clearly
that this sheen of splendor,
it is for all of us,
and that if we can’t share
in the ready abundance,
and bow before the other
as we cling steadfast to ourselves,
we will lose all of it, together,
and that to choose wisely,
would be to go the other way,
and share, and love,
and mourn and grieve together,
and rebuild slowly, as one.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

The Wonders

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I do not want to rest in my confusion,
where I am most weary, and ready to pause.
Instead, I want to wait for the moment
when the confusion diffuses, as all things do,
for even just a moment, and remember
that forever resides in moments just like this,
because forever does not discriminate,
or err on the side of expanding our suffering.
Forever hides behind, above and between
the weighted world of our mind’s making,
and forever may lie outside of our grasp
for now, but knows how to be our clearing,
and sends us one small invitation at a time,
just large enough for our weary souls
to rest our gaze on, and gasp in wonder,
and marvel at how quick we were to forget,
and remember: this is what I am working for.
 
– Tammy Takahashi