A Poem and Sun Salutation for Summer Solstice

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On this summer solstice, the longest day of the year, saluting the sun (in the basement, not to awaken the beautiful sleeping ones, the sun peering in) and a poem: ☀️

To the sun,
Dear glowing orb
Gliding through the horizon,
Peeking over fabled mountaintops
Before rising seamlessly
According to your principles,
Never straying,
So that the rise is a triumph,
Every time,
And in your vast expanse,
We know we, too,
Are invited,
To rise,
To bring hand to heart,
Arch chest to sky,
Lift our gaze
Between our brows,
Where sun and moon meet,
And beyond,
To the one great source
Of light.
To the sun,
For giving us our days
With your brazen warmth,
And for your twilight descent,
Which gives us our
Seasons in a day,
And the darkness
You fortify us to face
Before each new dawn.

– Tammy Stone Takahashi

 

Sun Salutations

NEW BOOK AND FUNDRAISER!!

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What a time this has been… In the very early days of the pandemic, I felt a strong pull to put together a book of poems themed around peace and hope. I envisioned sprinkling doses of these more magical aspects of the human experience as far and wide as I could. Things were bleak. We were scared, lonely, confused, and clarity did not seem forthcoming. I started looking over my streams and streams of poems, and there it was, so plain to see (though the path from first epiphany to final editing/layout is a veerrrrrryyy long and winding one!): my poems, which always help me learn about what is in my heart, show me I’ve been preoccupied with our warring inner selves, the state of our disconnected world, and with the human longings for peace, for ages!

It felt like the time to distill from all the poems a selection that would be both relatable and, hopefully, a solace. It took time; something wasn’t quite gelling. I hemmed and hawed. I rewrote, edited, had my amazing mother read it for typos. Then I rewrote some more.

Then the world fell apart again, with the murder of George Floyd. Confusion, sadness, despair, again. Also, a new resolve. The time for this book feels like NOW. Everything started falling into place. I have packaged the book as a PDF – not only the quickest way to do it and get it into people’s hands, but also in an eco-friendly way. I tried my best to format it so that it is easy on the eyes (and hopefully on the heart). I might make hard copies eventually, but I’m hoping to get the book out there to anyone who might be interested and in need of a caring package of love and connection.

I’m offering the book on a donation basis, and half of the proceeds will go to a beautiful foundation called The Loveland Foundation. (www.thelovelandfoundation.org) From their page: The Loveland Foundation is committed to showing up for communities of color in unique and powerful ways, with a particular focus on Black women and girls. Our resources and initiatives are collaborative and they prioritize opportunity, access, validation, and healing. We are becoming the ones we’ve been waiting for.

I can receive PayPal and e-Transfer at tammystone4444@gmail.com. Just send me your e-mail and I will send you the book. Please share and spread the word, if you can. Suggested donation is $20, and anything you have to offer would be so greatly appreciated. If you would like the book but are unable to make a donation, please contact me and I’ll happily share it with you.

It is my great hope that we will all overcome this time of crisis together. I am so grateful for your support, for this foundation, and also for my art. Love and peace to all.

 

Cosmology of a Dream

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Cosmology of a Dream

And we woke,
to find we were still dreaming,
and it took time
but now we knew

How vast the empire
populated by warring thoughts
defending against tides of change,
resisting truth to the death

But truth, like light
does not disappear
or surrender
the way we, so tired, can

And when we let truth
slip in to plant its seeds
the dream itself will start to smile
the sweet smile of the free.

Tammy Stone Takahashi

 

Everything/Nothing

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Today, I aspire to be nothing,

and no-one.

I am keenly aware

that none of the ways

I adorn myself bring me any closer

to who I am.

The slow, sweet glide

into the darkness

that, as I wait, fills

with the most splendid

of night’s visitations:

stars, moon, nature’s songs,

which still feel real, and true,

and I feel I am coming closer.

I undress; let my hair down,

I strip myself of words,

of the thoughts that form them.

This is the aspiration:

to rest in the stillness of being,

maybe find unrest at first,

a tremendous discomfort:

I am not who I thought I was.

The whole world, too, changes

as I see myself this way,

as a different self, then no-self.

And as I sit with this new

light of non-being,

I find I am still inhabiting this body,

a most sublime cosmic dust

and I get to dance with the sights,

sounds and textures of this space

we have been given

to play out our own evolution,

and I know that there is nothing

more sacred, or more important

than to tear myself away

from any of the comfortable notions

and face being nothing at all,

feeling with everything in me

how much closer

to the infinite nothing is, than I am.

 

– Tammy Stone Takahashi

 

 

Our Precious Earth

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There is a circle we are on,
all of us, through time,
on our own day,
with this sun and moon,
and in our own wayward,
or surefooted way,
it is a thread connecting us,
even as it is overgrown
by layer after layer
of the things
we thought to have made,
grids and tunnels,
elevated passageways,
sky-reaching edifices,
as we are always looking
away from where we are.
Let’s bring the gaze closer,
the distant view
is making is distant
from each other and ourselves,
our bellies never full enough,
we are floating away.
Maybe we can begin to dig,
slowly then fervently,
get at and below and through all this,
back to the weeds
that need our attending too,
because we want to see
the flowers grow.
We want the awe
that will take us back
to our awareness of the circle,
and our joined place on it,
and know that we are once again
veering toward a destination
this not a destination,
but our way through, and up,
and up some more,
the voyage of our transcendence,
which starts here,
with a flower growing
in our precious earth.
 
– Tammy Stone Takahashi

 

Earthing

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To make art

of our hands and heart,

resting, finally, where needed

To make love

with the sacred ground

of our unfolding

To make breath

as the earth breathes

her heaves and sighs

To make space

for the seeds of potential

to find their way to light

To make peace

with the past and future

in the terror and splendour of now

To make a home

between life and death

our very place of freedom

 

– Tammy Stone Takahashi

 

Yoga Video for Breath!

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Hi friends! Awhile back I made this video about how do deep “yogic” breathing, and wasn’t sure what to do with it. Now, here we are, with everyone more or less home-bound, looking for things to do, and in need of being in good respiratory health! It’s my great hope that this might be of benefit to anyone who wants a few tips on maximizing their breath/breathing more deeply to fortify the lungs and stay buoyant. It’s amazing how good a few deep breaths can feel! Pardon my modest production values, feel free to share, and enjoy!

Check out my video here!

Upside-Down and In-Between

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I gaze at the reflection
Until I forget
There is any other world.
There are two trees
That at first looked upside down.
It didn’t take long
Before I was so immersed
In this world of trees
Suspended from the sky,
The empty ground below,
The muted glitter
Of the sakura lights
Hung side by side
With the dried leaves
Of Japanese maple
That winter left behind.
I wasn’t quite a part of this world;
I was aware of my legs,
Large and looming,
Close to me,
In the waterworld below;
There was no way to enter.
But the other world had left,
And I had no thought
Of bringing it back,
Of needing to belong to the scene.
Observing was my way of belonging,
Of being immersed
In the world of contemplation,
Which filled me.
When I did finally look up,
I was startled to see the world I knew
And was mine to join,
And here I was,
Not in one or the other,
But somewhere in between,
And I knew I would have to decide,
And knew it would be impossible,
The upside down world no less real,
The familiar world no less imagined,
I, as witness, with my expanded view,
Exactly where I wanted to be.

– Tammy Stone Takahashi

We Need Warriors (of Peace)

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A warrior never gives up hope.
A warrior chooses to forget
What stands in the way of the good,
And never forgets to check with themselves
That their intentions are pure.
A warrior spends a lifetime seeking truth,
And is not easily swayed
By a world of competing voices.
A warrior knows the madness is temporary,
And that sanity is temporary too,
As long as we depend up on others
To define what madness and sanity are.
A warrior never gives up hope.
A warrior can see in the dark,
But is always fighting for the light.
A warrior does not just want to survive,
But for us all to find meaning in survival.
A warrior stays true to the path
No matter how many people
Try to obscure it, divert it, destroy it.
A warrior knows that to give up hope
Is to see a world beyond salvation,
A world that has already died.
A warrior lays down their arms
When it is time to depart,
But uses every last breath
To deepen the experience of life,
And fight for the wounded, the weakened,
For the injustices that abound,
Knowing they are fighting for us all.
And when it seems like every last warrior
Has fallen into the arms of history,
The warriors will appear, and rise
And say, never again, will we succumb
To a world that is not striving.

– Tammy Takahashi

I Overheard a Conversation Today

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I overheard a conversation today.
It was between one bird and another
Saying the sky has changed.
It was between both birds
And the topmost leaf of a tree
Asking if the tree was lonely.
It was between this one leaf
And all the other leaves of the tree,
Wondering why they were still safe
Amid the wreckage, knowing
As they do, there is no separation.
It was between one forest
And all the other forests of the world,
A collection of missed connections
And feverish work in overdrive,
So that we may go on breathing,
All of them imbued with knowing,
The way we know
When our most cherished ties
Have been severed,
By the cave-size hole in our hearts,
Growing to consume the world.
It was between the dismembered roots
Of the forest and the rocks above,
Those silent sounding boards
For millennia of secrets,
Those records of our living and dying.
It was between me and you.
Trying to know what to do.
Reaching out our hands
As though together we could
Wrap ourselves around the world
And love it whole again.
– Tammy Takahashi
Please share! Let’s make a difference! Let’s save our planet! Any inquiries: tammystoneshare@gmail.com.