The House of the World

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What do you find in your house?
Does everything you’ve put there
have its hallowed, rightful place?
Can you move freely and softly?
Does everything serve a purpose,
does it reach for the highest good?
Are the foundations humble,
and also unshakably strong?
Do you feel as though you live
As a mountain creature might,
So closely connected to earth,
While living a skyward journey?
Is everything that you have here
Also something you are offering,
And to whom, and to what end?
Do you look around you and see
that your house is your body
and the body of everything that is?
Will you let the life-giving air in,
and will you let your house breathe,
and make room for the new,
and can we care for the house,
and share the house of the world?

– Tammy Takahashi

After the Storm

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When the storm hits

Where is the refuge?

Is it in the storm itself,

Because we have accepted it,

Surrendered to the flying bits,

The scattered parts,

The howling raging winds,

The spitfires, the lava heaving?

Do we fling ourselves

Into the storm, as if to say,

Take me where you will,

I can’t bear the alternative,

Of riding you out, hoping

You will not take everything

I have loved so dearly?

Is the refuge in you,

Who will, like me,

Cling to your fragile body,

Knowing how small it is

Next to the gargantuan storm,

The waves thrashing

In each of the directions,

The currents that will

Take us all? Do I hold you

As you fall, take refuge

In a life I won’t have to live

Without you, my love?

Do I have what it takes

To take refuge, finally,

In myself, which is of course

A sacred body filled

With all our bodies,

Suffering, clinging madly,

Holding out our hands?

Do I do the very best I can

Not to be idle, but to prepare

My house for the storm,

Lean on others doing the same,

Knowing that what begins,

Ends, that we will never

Be the same, that in the wake

Of fire, flood and hail

There is the awesome stillness

From which it all began?

– Tammy Takahashi

 

The Song of Us

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And the song of the wind

That happy but serious whistle

That permeates all borders,

Mingling with the chant

Of the rumbling mountains,

The tinkling whisper

Of the buttercup

Coming into first bloom,

The low and steady hum

Of moss carpeting the ground

In the forests of the world.

There is not one song

That sings louder,

Or tries to override

Or outlive the other.

They are our blood,

The veins that carry it,

An extraordinary number of parts

Working in the name of

Our continuance.

Do we hear any of them at all?

But then, a moment so crushing

That we fall to our knees,

Come to what is maybe

The first silence

In the legend of our lives.

A note appears, a harmony,

Difficult to locate at first,

But it’s not long before

The songs of all the elements

Reach our ears,

And it can only be so,

In the precise way

Our hearts need them to,

So that we are all hearing

Different music, the song of us,

Made of the exact same sounds.

And this is how we are all one.

And this is how we are all love.

Love Won

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Every time.

Love won.

Love won,

because love knows

There is no battle,

No conflict or war,

No me or you.

Love won

Because it knows

That it is always

For us,

With us,

And inside of us,

And could never

Be apart

From us.

Love won,

Because we let it.

Because

No matter how much

We suffer,

And forget love

And feel love

Has abandoned us,

We know.

We know

Deep in our blood

And bones

That there is

No love without us,

And no us

Without love.

Love won

Our victory for us,

And our only work

Is to remember,

With and in

Our love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Healing Body

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Follow the story

My body is telling me

About my heart

And my oldest

Sources of pain

All the way from

Each jagged breath

To the crevices

Between each bone,

To find out the secrets

I still harbor, from me,

From you, from a world

That knows how

To take everything

I need to release,

Because it knows,

Where I do not,

That we are wedded,

That in all sorrow

Lies the doorway

To soft healing.

It is hard, now,

Not to see the wind

As arriving just for us,

So that we can whisper

The unimaginable,

Through our tears,

For it to take away,

On the wings

Of birds, our messengers

Between the universe

In our bodies,

And that body

Of all that is.

It is time: to know

What does not need

To be contained,

What can go,

And how to move

This sacred vessel

Until what remains

Are the secrets

That have been waiting

For us to be ready,

We can serve the world.

As You Are

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To see before

Before seeing again,

A look back

Through the storied

Remains, sifting through

Everything that has brought

Us here, to this moment,

Holding ourselves captive

With the walls of everything

We have always believed.

And what if we choose

To believe nothing but this:

The fact of our breath

Climbing and descending

The temple, our body,

Feeding the places that hurt,

Without needing to know

Why we are hurting so,

Loving all of us, anyway.

The work of our hands,

As they reach for the heart,

To hear the sound

Of it beating, to know

That this is also the sound

Of the world’s oceans

Ebbing and flowing,

And that nothing is more

Powerful than her roars,

Her swells, her motions.

To stand under the moon

And on a bed of earth,

And find that they meet,

From above, from below,

Right where you are,

And find their source

In the very center of you,

Not as you’ve been,

Not as you will be,

But as you are now.

I am the River

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There is no river

I’ve never seen

As the water moving,

Sometimes still

And sometimes restless,

Through the vessel

Of my own body,

Crashing against

The turbulent,

Mountainous mass

Of my heart

That is never still,

Even as it plants

In the center of my being,

Roots ancient and wise,

Ready to bear

The tides of cries

Of thousands of years

As they come, now,

To sublimate

In this very moment,

But I am ready;

This is what I’ve been

Preparing for.

I am the river;

I am the rock.

I am the emotions

Of all these centuries;

I am the one

Witnessing them,

Loving, letting go.

The river becomes

The ocean that meets

The fabled horizon.

We see in ourselves

Not what we were,

Not what we will be,

But our perfect selves,

Already here,

And we could never be

Anything, anywhere else.