Life Doesn’t Stop While You Sleep

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They are not arms, no,
But they reach, from a center
Almost impossible to see,
The home and seat of such
Persistence, this invisible
Drive toward life, and living,
The birth of all creation.
They grow long, wide and tall,
Tapering to a thin point
As if to ready the leaf
For its journey beyond itself.
Look closely, at each detail,
The marks it has accrued
By being exposed
To the elements that
Come to mark its existence,
The way they give
Each raindrop the only
Home they have known.
Look at the synergy
Of life on life,
On a concrete stoop
Of a house built
In the shadow of a mountain.
What if we pause to reflect
On the smallest things
That make and save a life?

– Tammy Takahashi

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Harmonies

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There are times when

my offering is feeble,

When I don’t know

the rhythm of my heart

or where it might

enter it harmonies.

I am sorry. I am sorry.

I carry you inside me

as I take hesitant steps,

adjusting to the light

and finding before me

in perfect unison

petals lacing stems

fiery colors meeting

the sun,

not the slightest

discord among them.

How they breathe.

How effortless it is.

How they offer

the totality of what they are

Without self-consciousness,

shame or pain.

How so much joy

arises from this. – TS

From Where We Go

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It rustles; we rustle
It breathes, as we breathe
Living, as we live
In joy, splendor, innocence,
Growing, building, expanding.
It is our time, the amber crest of fire
Heralded by our celestial rotations;
We, too, with the zeal of our life pursuits
Laughing and roaring in the forever of our days,
Until, a gasp of awe, a moment of reckoning;
A transmigration in the ways of love.
And it comes to fade, the drying up,
As we, too, witness the ebb of our luster,
Growing smaller, bone-laced,
Our memories squeezed out
To fertilize the ground,
To where we go,
Our place of birth,
Where we have been,
What is, and is again. – TS

In Unity, For Love

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Like leaves
on a branch
I arch and I fold
toward you
heart side out
veins coursing
with fear and hope,
trembling, maybe,
a little, from the inside,
afraid at what our
touch will bring,
forgetting, sometimes,
that we are here
together, linked
by the source of
our sustenance,
heavenly sent
in unity, for love. – TS

My Street Japan. Day 5. {Photography Project}

My Street Japan. DAY 5. Tammy T. Stone

My Street Japan. DAY 5. Tammy T. Stone

September is typhoon season in Japan, and the weather is wildly unpredictable, and also rather rain-heavy. Nagoya is a fairly moderate place to live, climate-wise, so our rain is usually a steady drizzle – my heart always goes out to those affected by the eye of the storms …

I was honing my lens in on the beautiful raindrops on this nearby tree (as the tree begins to withdraw into itself, this autumn …) when my peripheral vision caught the woman walking into my frame. I love that we can see her figure, and that of the umbrella, as she ambles down the street with her shopping carriage.

Unraveling. {Working with Emotions}

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Today, the threads are unraveling and I can’t keep it together.

But spring has announced herself and the flowers are blushing at the peak of their sensuality, all but spilling their scented secrets forth for the world to hear.

And the pigeons come to lounge next to me, even though I have nothing to feed them, satiated, eager and happy to be under this tree, in this spring air.

The threads are unraveling but as they come loose, they catch the luminous rays of sun, taking on hints of the sacred. When they sparkle like this, even my full effacement, looming sure and strong, isn’t a threat, but a truth pacified by the purity of day.

The threads are unraveling but imagine a bird at the moment of emergence, and how it is blinded and terrified as shafts of light angle in and its warm home starts to crack and fall away.

And then the tiny, fluffy bird discovers it can walk, and then fly.

To say nothing of the Monarch, that beauty queen of colour and shape that waits on the other side of collapse.

Today a dizzy awareness floods in—it’s porous and all-encompassing, first tinted and then overwhelmed by nostalgia, for sunny days like this, but on mountaintops, and in the thinnest, most dazzling air.

The sensation is so great, I fear I will drown in the waters of what was, of the all-that-has-been I’ve since spun into gold.

Nostalgia tries to patch me back together again, and because it never will, I am thrust back into here-and-now, and come face to face with the fabric coming undone and tumbling everywhere, and I find what my deepest heart tells me is the wisdom of pure potential, untarnished by any thought of what is supposed to be, of what I allegedly am.

But today, I can’t see into that space that takes me to emptiness and clear thought.

The sun doesn’t wash me back into wholeness.

Instead, my stomach, busy with the work of trying to digest a lifetime of things-shoved-down, cries out in alarm and keeps me rooted in a body that shakes and feels clingy and unsure.

My stomach, keeper of dim old memories, comes with me for a walk and watches the pigeons settle in around me, and accompanies me as I observe children learning how to play catch.

They throw and receive, shriek with joy, and fall and bounce back again.

And then I stop resisting this great undoing.

I watch the frayed edges catch the yellow light of the waning afternoon sun.

Leaves hang overhead, a green awning that would be a trusted cushion if I climbed up there.

I allow myself, at least for now, to be warmed.

*This article was first published in Some Talk of You and Me.