Light and Shadow

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Can you see them at once?
The light: diffuse, golden,
the sun’s gift of a lifetime,
the juice, the vitality,
the possibility of every colour
to play, in all the combinations,
and to stand in the light
is to know of your own potential
to stand, to move in truth,
and your eyes may close,
but light is still there, flickering,
fluttering, reminding, loving you.
The shadow: was it always there,
in those light-filled moments
that had you laughing until dawn,
arms around your best friend,
climbing up the hill
to be closer to the sun?
The day comes
when shadow asks to be seen,
and in your courage,
you will see it. It will see you,
and love you no less,
and it may feel like walking blind,
but this is where you, groping,
find the heart that guides you.
Between light and shadow:
the gorgeous, gigantic space
of your life, infinite, minute,
harrowing, sublime,
ablaze with the fire of your aspirations
that can never lead you astray.

– Tammy Takahashi

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The Lightness

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Find a place outside
where greens grow,
or inside, by a window,
where the veil
is thin
between you and sky.
Just sit.
Lightness is all around to you.
It doesn’t come.
It doesn’t leave.
Even with your eyes closed,
there is the lightness,
tickling the skin,
raising it to
exaltation.
Even when the dark descends,
Just sit.
Close your eyes.
Just watch.
Do you feel the lightness
seeping through the dark,
that cannot be stopped?
You are in a garden.
It is open and serene.
Even as it is wild,
with all of the death
dancing at the edges,
it is thrumming
with the light pulse
of the living.
Open your eyes.
Even when visible,
it is not limited.
You can now feel
that pulse bringing
everything to our
one shared life.
It is everything.
You are everything.
Everything is you.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

Live, Love

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I love the way darkness frames
a most colorful entry to light,
not engulfing, not obliterating,
but celebrating our passage there.
I love how the colors of my childhood
both veil where I am preparing to go,
and emit their own spectral flavor,
cutting through my rationalizations,
inviting the little girl inside of me,
the seed of the woman I am still,
everyday, becoming, to be here,
every last part of her perfect being.
I love every last inch of this place,
that cocoons every last part of me,
holding nothing back in its embrace,
the darkness all consuming, total,
the promise of the brightest world
lying just on the other side
of my pretty, precious obstructions,
for me to linger with, converse with,
and finally, when I can, let go,
this space of dark and light
reminding me above all else
that until we die, we should live,
until the end, there is every beginning.

-tt

Let Us Go There

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It is here
 
It has come.
 
What will you choose to do?
 
What will you choose to see?
 
There is the darkness, encroaching,
closing in, framing a day, a life,
these, our times.
 
It appears to come from above and below,
those two hollowed out spaces echoing to us
as whole, textured, rich invitations
from the other realms, the ones that
root our fragile bodies to the ground
and connect us to the beyond we
try, and fail, and try again to conceive.
We gravitate, don’t we, to those darkest spaces,
those parts that don’t connect us at all,
with lush, morbid fascination; how easy it is
to find the places in us that reflect
this absence of light, and go there.
 
There is, too, in the center of the frame,
a golden sun, not asking or beckoning
any more than through its own power of presence,
inviting us in this way to find our own,
to consider the sun’s quiet, fierce power
to enable the course of all things
without direction, aggression or force,
how the light accounts for everything,
costing nothing at all, how it does not
suck us into a vortex but encourages our
momentum, drive and energy to be
who and what we are and will be.
 
Where will you choose to go?
Let us move with the light, which has not yet
failed to plant in us the very fruit of
our best, most capable actions.
 
Let us have our way toward peace shone upon,
so that it doesn’t succumb to the dark,
so that we see what we need to see
to take us all there, where
light builds upon light,
our way forward.
 
– TT

The Glimmer is You

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We know that the dark helps us
to see light, and we know this is
a scientific fact and this is also
a figurative way of thinking.
What’s evil casts a light on the good,
What scares us teaches us about
what gives us comfort, hope, joy.
Have you ever noticed that
objects in silhouette, as dark
as dark can be (because of the light),
never look quite as dark as the blackness
of a tunnel, or of a deep, starless night
(or a day lost to despair)?
A thing at its darkest, surrounded
and inflected by the great and powerful sun,
retains the brightness that
has given it life, does not invite
the void, never-ending, never-sweet.
We fall into darkness (the way
we fall in love); a silhouette is
sculpted in relief, its contours
made of light; there is no falling,
only emergence. The silhouettes
of autumn, the most moving of all:
not hesitant, but lingering,
The glimmer is the dying of a day
still living,
The glimmer is soft and yearning,
The glimmer is you.

-TT

Light Cycles

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life knows
she fills herself
with the blood and bones
of her being
knowing the cycles,
that her sun’s
succulent rise in the sky
her regal descent
give us our
rounded existence
so that there is no
basking and there
no mourning,
no exaltation of up
and no fear of falling
may we descend
as we mount
may we retreat
as we blossom
may we come to understand
our life in shadow
that paves the beauty
our road
through light
– TS