Seeking Truth

DSCF2370

We say we need rest,
but refuse to slow down.
We say we want peace,
but refuse to stop blaming.
We say we want happiness,
but refuse to seek its causes.
We say love is the answer,
but refuse to believe in love.
We say we want connection,
but refuse to reach out.
We say we reject violence,
but refuse the way to harmony.
We say we care for the earth,
but refuse to listen to her cry.
We say that all lives matter,
but refuse to respect life.
But something else is true:
We mean what we say.
We want for things to be good,
and to know what good is.
This is our foundation;
This is our imperfect beauty;
This is our sacred humanity.
May we honour the truth
in what we say and believe,
and seek their realization.

– tammy takahashi

Advertisements

We are the living.

DSCF0484

We are all the living
we are all the dying.
We are in this one world,
each of us a universe
bound to the next
in humility and servitude
if we choose.
We must choose.
There is no default
set to make things right
if we do not forge
a path of kindness.
There is observing, repenting,
learning, starting again,
but there no starting over.
We are the living,
we are the dying.
We witness and document,
make art and make love,
because there are a million ways
we are human,
but one way in which
we need to share,
to be understood,
to be met with the compassion
that chokes us
when the world
is strangled by so much suffering.
Let us grace the living
with every possibility for life;
it is the work of our life to live,
and make each breath
a windstorm blowing in the direction
of restoring dignity for all.
 
– tammy takahashi

Spring, Our Beautiful Perfection

DSCF0427

On a diffuse grey morning,
late winter surveys the barren landscapes
of hardened essence and wisdom in retreat,
holding on, but loosening its arthritic grip,
allowing soft rain to gather, fall, in snow’s stead.
The buds have not sprouted,
but the plum blossoms, which thrive
in the dance between cold and warm,
herald the wonderland of life to come,
like a promise, like a dream,
like nothing other than the beauty of what it is.
What will the spring bring?
Will we emulate nature and come forth,
with no hesitation at all,
on the side of creation?
Will we be soft on our struggles,
tender with our pain,
and grow into our full and vibrant potential?
Will we reclaim the intuitions
buried golden and deep for millennia,
long submerged by our own wintry confusions,
and play with what nourishes us?
Will we laugh, touch the earth,
look each other deep in the eye?
Will we celebrate the new season
and the new beginnings it offers,
in the way of the quiet lands around us,
that call for silence, which is reverence,
and a stilling of our heart’s great stirrings,
as the perfection of life once again emerges?
Will we heed of the extraordinary peace
and cooperation it takes to rebuild the world?
 
– tt

My Peace Anthem Today

DSCF1218

Sometimes life
is just one big plush
nearly impossible blend of
gorgeous sunset hues, yellow too,
gathered not like armies but like trees,
not like missiles but like bamboo shoots,
not like things imprisoned but connected,
not signatures of doom but of wonder,
ready, haven’t we always known it,
to get fire, to be our fire,
to get lit.
 
– tt

The Right Side of History

DSCF1147

I want to be on the right side of history.

We all do, of course, and we all have
our ideas of right and wrong, as though
every part of this were an open discussion.
We want to take the comfortable path
and be assured of our golden destination.
We don’t want obstacles along the way;
we don’t want the seamier side of the
fairy tale, only the ending, rainbow bright.

But there is a wrong side of history, we
know this. It is the side most of us won’t
be here to regret, mourn, or reconsider.
It is the side that bears witness to our
ugliest nature, that twists our own need
for comfort and security into a languishing
hole all those who are struggling will
easily fall into. It is the hole we will have
dug, depraved, with our own two hands.

I want to be on the side of history that
favours life, and that honours the sanctity
of the living. I want to be on the side
that remembers what it’s like to desire
the chance, no, all the chances we have
in us to imagine, for every last one of
us sentient beings, from beginningless
time until the never-ending. For all of us.

Here is how to recognize the right side
of history: it lives, it breathes, it includes,
it contemplates, it makes things better.
It never looks away. It never looks away.
It is full of hearts that can rest in the
knowledge that they beat the to soulful
rhythms of compassion-driven action.
It is full of people who hold hands, and
take every opportunity they can to listen
and bear witness. It is waking up to a day
free of bloodshed and the thoughts that
take us there, that can unfold and stretch
and open into all the infinite tomorrows.

– TT

Let Us Go There

DSCF1381

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 Spectre of My Freedom

DSCF9994

the spectre of my freedom
in the event you are not free
 
the words congealing
with nowhere to land or fall
 
empty movement on land
you cannot escape from
 
we are a people blessed
we are a people cursed
 
we are a people born
and raised of our times
 
yet still, still, we breathe
we gasp on the intake
 
we pray the air is clean
and if we discover what lives
 
there is something in this
there is our responsibility
 
to breathe more and deeper
until the body lights up
 
and there is no other choice
but to light up the rest.
 
– TT