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
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Many Skies, Many Selves

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We call it the sky,
but have you ever seen
the same one twice?
Do we ever get
the moment back again,
even in memory?
Do we not, rather,
confront something new,
something that glides
gracefully through time,
that can never be caught,
and shows itself as ever-changing,
our precious symbol of rebirth,
and endless possibilities
for what is and can be?
The gift of time is that
we learn we can transcend it,
cut through its borders
by awakening to the vastness
that resides in a single sunset,
the uncurling of a flower’s
very first spring petals,
the unveiling of the night moon
in a night that seems
never to end, yet slips
through our fingers as soon as
as we reach to know it.
We call ourselves by name,
but do we love our many selves,
as we do the sky’s infinite faces?
 
– Tammy Takahashi

For the Women

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FOR THE WOMEN
 
Looking up, I see a canopy
of tropical trees, merged seamlessly
under a lazy late afternoon sun,
swaying loosely in the breeze
or hushed to a still silence,
being all of what they are.
I also see a quilt, woven tenderly
by hundreds of hard-working hands
over maybe thousands of years.
I see women in sweaty backrooms
or on rickety bamboo porches
under a relentless midday sun,
creating colour, texture and pattern
one infinitesimal layer at a time,
building inconceivable beauty
out of madness spun by oppression,
and it is beauty on the smallest scale,
but of the grandest design.
These towering achievements
will never scrape the sky,
but they will transport you
through all the skies and worlds.
I see the art slavery can create,
and wonder what would happen
under the conditions of freedom.
I see the future I hope for,
and the women are emancipated,
and the power is tremendous,
and the earth trembles again
in the most delicious anticipation,
and we rule without ruling,
in the space where sun and moon meet.
And the rich tapestries are portals
taking us back to the ancient source
so that we may thrive forward.
And we all become weavers of the free,
and we all the layers of the magisterial tree.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

Hand on Heart

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Where will you go
once your feet are planted
firmly on the ground?
Did you know how far they were
from their sacred origins until now,
as you bring your attention
to the earth under your feet,
feel the cool perfection
of soil, sediment, the network of roots
that is your true birthplace?
Can you breath all the way
into the soles of your feet,
and feel the pulse
of the center of the earth
as it breathes dragon fire
up through your sacrum and spine,
in communion with the sun,
and can you feel that you are
between the two, a messenger
between earth and air,
between fire and sky,
both conductor and part
of the world’s greatest symphony?
Can you place your hand
on your beating heart,
the molten lava of it,
the perfect, messy garden of it,
and ask it what it wants,
what it needs, what it dreams,
and can you plant your feet
even deeper, reach even higher,
bring even more fire to
the illustrious lands of your living?
 
– Tammy Takahashi

Who Have Lived

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It is hard not to see
the people in their absence
the spirit of them
in the places they’ve been,
the things they have loved,
the clothes they have worn,
the chairs they have inhabited.
It is an absence so palpable
that it teaches me
about transcendence,
so that I know that between
presence and absence
there is no distinction,
that what lives, lives,
and when it does not,
it can never be gone
for our having known it,
and more, for our having loved.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

Loving Deep

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The sun’s love sets oceans ablaze,
sprinkles fields with wild-growing flowers,
has trees deepening roots, spreading wings.
We see the array of nature’s offerings:
they are gleaming, growing, taking the love
and honouring it through pure acts of being.
And we? We too are the recipients
of all the love the sun has to give,
and it has all of it, and gives it freely.
We, too, absorb, grow, and breathe,
and mark the passages of our lives.
When did we stop understanding
that we are at heart love’s creatures,
that nothing is demanded of us
but that we find a way to live as an expression
of this love as fully and freely as we can?
May we gather together in the blanket of love,
and and cherish what is given to us in abundance,
and dedicate ourselves to loving deep,
loving wild, loving pure, without end.
 
– Tammy Takahashi

To Give is to Take

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Show me the way to my lost dreams,
and I will dream huge for us both.
 
Carry me to the end of the rainbow,
and we imbibe each colour together.
 
Take me outside in the pouring rain,
so that we can dance as only two people can.
 
Lead me up the steep mountainside
to learn shared secrets of the thinnest air.
 
Remind me that giving is taking,
and the world will never be hungry again.
 
Tell me again that I am the world,
and I will work to heal to my last breath.
 
Teach me to give with all my heart,
and I will give it all to you.
 
– Tammy Takahashi