Heart Connecting Heart

heart poem

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The Heart in My Body

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My heart in my chest,

Quivering, alone and unsure

Feeling small in a strange land

 

My heart in my head,

Rationalizing away the fear,

Lost among wayward thoughts

 

My heart in my eyes,

Hesitant, always curious,

Imbibing a world of wonders

 

My heart in my throat,

Stumbling over words not true

Groping for songs in the dark

 

My heart in my belly,

Holding space for the girl inside,

Crying with her until smiles come

 

My heart on my skin,

Exposed too soon, it feels,

Hoping wildly for tenderness

 

My heart in my hands,

Longing, feeling the way

To every fragile connection

 

My heart in my knees,

Falling to earth, breathing relief,

Sinking to a necessary pause

 

My heart in my feet,

Soaking up life, gingerly,

Taking all the steps I need …

 

My heart in my chest,

Back home, nothing looks the same

It is a wiser love, love, it is home.

Time and Being

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It won’t always feel this way,
Glittered hearts falling from the sky,
Flower petals etched into the concrete
After the rain like butterflies or stardust.
 
It will hurt to walk, to breathe,
The sky’s weight will be unbearable,
So you’ll try to shield every part of you,
And then it’ll all come falling down.
 
The rain has no message,
The leaves and petals are leaving this world
Without a second thought
About who will witness their passing.
 
We are human; we imbue
The colours, textures and sounds around us
With our own histories, until
They sing or grasp or wail,
 
And it is all we can do
To look at what we have made
And soothe our tender heart, and wait
For our ever unfolding in time and being.
 
– TS

The Art of Meditation

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breathe in –
breathing becomes laboured
snagging and catching before the end
 
breathe out –
the breath becomes a cry
caught on a gasp of surprise
 
sit tall –
the spine aches from holding
stories thousands of years old
 
be soft –
i feel not softness but threadbare fragility in
bone and skin that threaten collapse
 
i am falling –
but in the falling, an acute awareness
of what i’ve neglected so long
 
i am restless –
i have within me infinite little pieces
that have been struggling to be heard
 
i am suffering –
i have awakened to brilliant depths
of what it means to be alive and trying
 
i am human –
i will ache and burn as i sit with each one of us
feeling a unity in all our pain but also our triumphs
 
i am learning –
every moment, every breath in, breath out
is a change, a movement, a new leaf born. – TS

One Step Changes the World

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As we wonder about
all the big questions,
maybe lying huddled in bed
sleepless the depths of night,
maybe unable to see the moon,
glowing the world whole
through the frosted window,
there are tiny ants
building their civilizations,
leaves rustling in the wind,
flowers on the cusp of bloom,
hearts brimming and breaking,
clouds in ever changing
formation.
There is the single step
the genesis of motion,
made with countless
sensations
gathered at our feet,
that holy vessel our
foundation.
Foot touches ground,
and the entire earth
is transformed,
and we are changed
in our deepest
awareness. – TS

Poem: If I Were Among the Stars

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If I were among the stars

Beaming faint across the

The galaxies, sharing

Secrets about ancient Time,

Caressing hearts away

From earthly burdens …

If I could sit among my

Star friends, holding hands,

Singing quietly in light-bathed

Night, weaving dreams from dust,

Hope from the hard stories …

Among the stars

Luminescence reigns,

Within their sparkle

We heal

In wordless song.

Stars streak the night

But know nothing of darkness,

Like the sun, which does not

Witness its own miracles.

I peer into the world

Emptied of form.

My job is to first to be,

Then to learn, and know.

My knowledge needs

No formulation.

This Anonymous Letter to Humanity is a Wake Up Call. Please read!

Tammy T. Stone

Tammy T. Stone

 

“Tragedy always seems so distant and is beautiful in the reactions it causes. briefly, we are forced to care, we are connected and we pray and promise and hope for change. but the words are quickly lost and our minds quickly w[a]nder to other things even when the problems persist[s] with as much power and vigor than before.”

“our manic-depressive switching from compassion to apathy just results in each feeling negating the other. it’s easy to disregard what we can’t see. emotions are generally distorted reflections. over exaggeration and under exaggeration are common, but usually they are just faked completely. what matters isn’t the initial feeling, but the feelings they evoke in others.” – anonymous

 

I took both of these images years ago, when I was still living in Toronto, and obsessed with the vibrant graffiti and street art culture thriving there (I’m still obsessed, but from a distance!). I eventually compiled the photos into a book that I was thrilled to sell at the amazing, and sadly now-closed, Pages Books & Magazines, on eclectic and hip Queen Street West, not far from much of the city’s best street art.

I became deeply immersed in the city through two lenses – that of the street artists themselves, and of my own, through photographing their work. It was a human connection through several layers, but a surprisingly intimate one. There are so many beautiful ways to commune with others, to receive, and give back.

The photo I took, below, has stayed with me – haunted me, really – ever since. I stumbled on these two small strips of paper, written in a regular-sized font on a simple strips of paper, glued to a piece of wood in an urban back alley. It wouldn’t be the first thing you saw walking along, but I’d been wandering around this neighbourhood for months, and one day these faded, stained pieces of paper caught my eye.

The author will remain forever unidentified (though I would love to meet him or her, and have a conversation, and know of the experiences that led to the writing of this letter to the city).

In a big city, which to my mind is increasingly a metaphor for the larger, global world we live in, being human often translates into feeling tiny, lost, insignificant. The writer of this plea to the city makes some very prescient comments, alluding to the tendency for our empathy and compassion to come and go as quickly as we’ve now come to experience the updates on our social media newsfeeds in the years since.

Of course, this isn’t empathy at all, or compassion, because when we have learned to cultivate these qualities, they cease to be fleeting, and we become more able to generate a sustained desire to change the world (and ourselves) for the better. To connect, deeply, gently and kindly.

“It’s easy to disregard what we can’t see.” Let’s make a world where it’s not desirable to avoid seeing. Let’s remove the veils behind which apathy and blind eyes flourish.

Speaking out from a small slip of paper, this anonymous writer reminds us that it only takes a moment to put something negative in the world, but a lot longer for the effects of this negativity to fade away. We should remember, in reading his or her beautiful, cautionary words, that behind the facades we use through which to communicate with the world (be it art or social media), we are real beings, reaching out to other human beings, who want to love and be loved as much as the next person.

Not for what we say or do, not only for right now, under these circumstances and not only to get a “like”, but unconditionally. Equally.

This is the beginning and end of what we deserve as we make our way, sometimes fumbling and yes, also dancing our way through the world. In case I never meet this author of these words, I send out a heart full of gratitude for taking the time to formulate these observations and attach them to the urban outdoors, so that we may be duly reminded.

 

Tammy T. Stone

Tammy T. Stone