How About Just For Now

DSCF9963

How about, just for now,
this one small moment,
nothing but this:
As far as I can see,
the world as a history of origins,
life coming into being,
and I dissolve right into
a time that predates me,
and the greens are readying
for the birds that will land for rest,
the sweet supple leaves plump and open,
and the sky, our shelter and window,
has not yet had to bear witness to the atrocities,
the trees are not yet scorched or felled.
But I do not have to travel in time
or let my imagination take over.
I can be braver.
I can stay.
I can let what is, is.
And I can look at my fear
until it turns into love.

– TT

Advertisements

We are Beautiful Now

DSCF0531

Imagine if life were just a little longer,
so that we could paint more of our experiences
onto the unfolding landscape perpetually receding
deeper and deeper into our expansive distance

 

(before we can grab it, never to let go).

 

Imagine if life were just a little shorter,
so that we could rest those worries on holy ground,
about how to prepare for all that inevitable time,
the interminable stretch of years to be filled

 

(that we still fear, if we are honest, losing).

 

Imagine if just like that, the perspective shifts,
and life were exactly what it was, and we as we are,
and notions of time faded into the beautiful ether
as we found ourselves reaching no further than here

 

(Imagine the happiness of living embodied and true).

– TT

– TT

Stay With Me

dscf3876

the temptation
is great, to sweep
it all aside with the mind’s
roving eye,
to push through
to go forth
to dwell in the land
of the other,
where daisies grow
from our hair
and the nymphs sing
playfully in our ears
 
the trick, i guess, the work:
not to take our wandering
feet too far, to tumble
with great zeal
into the abyss we imagine,
to cling to the idea of
‘through’, and ‘over there’,
and ‘beyond’, instead of
trying to be here,
the heart of things,
from where we come,
and can go so far. – TS

I am Here

dscf8822

The day that lumbers on
The life that slips right past
 
And what of in-between?
No dragging on or rushing by
 
But the breathtaking pause.
The moment of, “I am here.”
 
Maybe my shadow slants long,
Or maybe it’s a shadowless noon.
 
Maybe there is verdant splendor
Or maybe there is me, in my body,
 
Breathing in and breathing out,
As my skin cushions the breeze.
 
And I am not dreaming, or hoping
Because it is all already here, inside,
 
And when I face the fear, and look,
I’m overcome: how very full it is. – TS

My Street Japan {New Photography Project). Day 1.

My Street Japan. DAY 1.

My Street Japan. DAY 1.

Hello!

I haven’t been writing too many posts lately – I’ve been working on so many things, from promoting my book to new writing projects, that I haven’t been sure what to write about on these blog pages!

When I go through periods of intense writing, things start to feel a little unbalanced inside of me, because I also love expressing myself in other ways, and they really cry out to me for attention when I’ve abandoned them.

I never fully abandon my creative pursuits. In fact, I’ve been extremely lucky lately to have met an amazing woman in the U.S. who was interested in a few “cloth paintings” (I sew with used, vintage fabrics on cloth) I’ve been working on, and it’s proven to be a beautiful process of creating and sharing.

I have also taken hundreds upon hundreds of photos, and have fallen so far behind on sorting and editing them that I’m a bit beside myself!

After returning to Japan from a nice, long(ish) visit to Canada, I also found myself grappling with many emotions associated with not being closer to my family, friends and loved ones, and with being unsure of my place in Japan – how much I could learn, do, and keep going with the work I was doing with such joy during my years in Southeast Asia and India.

With all of this going on, I realized that I am absolutely not taking in the (beauty of) the present moment. I’m focusing so much on what I’m not doing and what I should be doing, that I’ve stopped letting real, actual life breathe through me.

It occurred to me that I can combine my passion for image-making with my very therapeutic desire to passionately engage with my present.

To be where I am.

Where I am now, geographically, is an apartment on a fairly busy street in central Nagoya, Japan. It’s an old neighborhood, so even on this main street, my building is the “highrise”, at eight stories high. The average age of bicyclist I pass by on the street is probably 65 – 70 years old (most are still very spry at this age). The street is rather grey and concrete-laden, as are most streets in most cities in Japan. The stunning beauty of this country lies in the outskirts, the fields, rice paddies, mountains and waterfalls well out of city limits.

Still, every street, every nook and cranny, every facet of LIFE, has charm. I want to awaken myself to this again, and I want to share my journey with you. One day, this landscape – all landscapes – will change, and we will be nostalgic for what is no longer. I want to appreciate what is before me. I want to revel in the present moment of my life, and all the magic that comes with it.

Today is September 21st, the Fall Equinox. Summer gives way to fall. It is a time of transition, of ushering in the new, of awakening to the beauty of time passing.

So, for the next 120 days, I will take the elevator down the ground floor of our building, and step onto the street out front.  I will go to the same spot every day, with my camera, and capture a moment in time. My aim is, as I’ve mentioned, to learn to appreciate the beauty and charm of where I am, but there is another intention here. I also want to show that there is so much about our everyday environment that we are blind to. I want to give visibility to what usually goes unnoticed, and hone in on things of beauty that normally remain unseen in the carrying on of everyday life.

I’ll call this project, “My Street Japan”.

Some of the images will be of fleeting things – people walking by, a flower in bloom – and others will be of more “permanent fixtures” of the street. Nothing, of course, is permanent; some things just feel more permanent than others. At the same time, nothing is just “that thing”. A slice of life is actually comprised of many slices, folded across space and time, and our job, if we are interested, is to be as discerning as possible, and as appreciative as possible, while realizing that all is change, that change is the very essence of our existence.

To be truly present and in the moment, then, is also to be acutely aware of the transience of life and experience, of how little in our present moment we can really grab onto. How wild is that?

Let’s not grab. Let’s rejoice, live, love, and ever move on, from a space of pure joy – which always transcends the moment we are currently in.

Thank you for joining me on this ride! If you feel compelled, please share, especially if you know anyone interested in everyday life in Japan!

Tammy xo