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

Through the Veil

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Through the veil that we have coloured
with the woven tapestry of our stories,
those that illuminate and those that fail us,
we peer out, as much as the veil allows,
and on the one side is a honed isolation,
billowing around us like a comfortable pillow
that can also, on another day, suffocate us,
and on the other, imaginings of belonging,
soft and sweet and frightening and pure:
what that would look, smell and feel like,
what the sinewy textures of our grounding
would be in the lands that cushion our birth.
We birth: again, and again, we are borne
of a thousand suns and the lives they touch,
of endless moons caressing our shadows
with a hope that cuts right through to bone.
We can crest the mountains, soar like falcons,
or we can sit on grass, watch tiny buds grow,
and no victory is small, that shatters the veil,
and brings me to myself, and all of me to you.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

Light the World

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Imagine you are nothing but light;
the heavy matter of your body’s
time here has lifted, and gone.
Your stories, which cement you
to yourself, without the bones
and blood, the cells and caves
of your joints that harbour them,
still hover close, as memories do,
but they can no longer prevent you
from altering the course of your life.
Fill yourself in, with the agility
of your mind, the strength of your heart.
Mold yourself softly; you are clay,
capable of any shape and colour.
Find all the sinuous shapes that stun
your senses and let you breathe.
Fill every part of you with the seeds
of your desired tomorrows.
See everything. Know your options.
Let the words you read be the ones
that fly on the wings of angels
so they can roam into every lit place,
inside you, and light the places of darkness.
Choose sounds that makes you sing
and people who raise you to rapture,
and filter, always, for your own happiness.
Make friends with every feeling,
so you know which ones to feed,
and which to send on their journey home.
Allow yourself to be that precise,
illuminated moment in time and space
that shines alone, but never alone,
and makes the light that lights the world.

– Tammy Takahashi

The Edge of Everything

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There is a chair
and a comfortable place
to rest
at the edge of everything.
You take it. You look ahead,
but there is nothing
to see.
You look back,
but of course, the view
has already fallen away.
The place where you
now sit comes
into sharp focus,
your lifeboat, the raft.
At first you see nothing,
the fear obliterates all.
I’m scared too,
at my edge of everything.
We know we are not
meant to stay here,
that it’s necessary
to take a step forward,
and we’ve prepared for this.
You’ve tried as hard
as you can, I have too,
but that alone
will not grant us our place,
we need to go deeper.
Though I can’t see you,
yet, I reach out my hand
for yours, and you take it,
and this, this faith confirmed
gives us what we need,
so we avoid the temptation
to squeeze our eyes shut,
we keep them wide open,
encourage the heart
to do the same,
and take a step together.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

Surrender, Love

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The day comes
for our surrender,
which is never defeat;
would we ever call
the sun’s glorious drop
from our hope-filled view
a loss, a giving up, a forfeit?
Is the moon defeated
as she drapes the sky
with her incandescence,
emblazons passing clouds,
transgresses the borders
of the known and unknown,
taking us there with her
before ceding, with grace,
to the light of the coming day?
May I one day understand
that stillness is not death,
but the cessation of a mind
feeding itself on my burdens,
running me dry, tossing me out,
burning me to crumbling ash.
May I one day fall to earth,
feel the nourishment so deeply,
let the thoughts come
let the thoughts go,
and know, and trust
that in the silence
of the innermost part
of my being,
everything I need remains,
that in stillness, nothing is lost,
and there is room for this,
this love, to consume me.
– Tammy Takahashi