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FOR THE SISTERS by Tammy Takahashi

These days, I’m finding it difficult – along with many, many others - not to feel disheartened...

I'm disheartened by the feeling that chaos has descended upon us, at the negativity and fear, the anger and reactivity, the violent spirit of animosity characterizing the times. It’s hard not to give in to the feelings of helplessness and hopelessness, even as we cling to the strong conviction that it is our positivity and our love that will prevail.  

Every crevice of my heart goes out to the suffering (and we are all suffering when one of us suffers), and my heart aches for the untold numbers of women around the world who are immediately and devastatingly affected by recent decisions to cut funding to organizations vital to their health and wellbeing, a movement that horrifyingly undermines women’s sovereignty over their own bodies. Words do not do the feeling justice.

It feels to me that the earth itself is overturning, that our fragile grasp of what is right and true, of our incredible strength, of our hard-won victories large and small, are rapidly reaching a(nother) moment of reckoning. As we reckon, we traverse through so much pain and confusion as we confront what is and has been, what we have questioned and come to understand. We also dig deep to hold steadfast to our beliefs, and we reach new awakenings … and here we are, the women of the world, marching, strong and defiant, with heart-felt passion … and thinking and feeling all of this, I write to all of us sisters from the bottom of my heart.

Painting by the author, Tammy T. Stone 

For The Sisters
 by Tammy T. Stone

Here we stand
As we always have
Sun beating upon our birthright

On fire, in nascence and revival
Our breath infused with the undying.
Ours is a windswept circle carved in time,
A sacred formation long and deep
That runs to the edges of the world,
And beyond, older than everything we know.

It is our legacy, our herstory.

Our roots enmesh in the earth below
Where they nurture and nourish each other
Replenish what ails and embrace and protect
Everything we hold dear.

Our roots shoot up through the ground,
Arch through the backbone of us
And round through the core of us
As we withstand the ravages of resistance

Our circle does not waver, weaken or crumble,
For when doubt and terrorizing fear
Seep into our limbs and tendrils,
As they do and will
And should
As we bear witness
To injustices
And know what we see,

We keep each other close and hold on tighter,

Work harder to join our heartbeats to one
Until our great, soft and tender heart
Rises from whisper to thunder to roar
And we rain down our worn, travelled feet
To the rhythm of our cries of pain and suffering
Joys and ecstasies and triumphs.

And the world will move as it will,
And people will choose and dare not to see
But in the safety and sanctity of our circle,

My sisters,

We are the thread running through us
We are the moondance,
We are the songs we sing
That will awaken everything that truly lives
Until herstory flourishes
Naked, alive, rapturous and free.
This is our will and our destiny,
As it has always been.

Our circle is our POWER

And it is irretrievably ours.
And it is inevitably so.
And the circle grows stronger still.

(Originally published on Feb.8, 2017) 

Photography by Chanel Baran

Tammy Stone Takahashi is a writer, poet, photographer and student of life. Her short stories and poems have been widely published and anthologized and she has worked on several anthologies as co-editor. Her published works include a book of photography, "Tag it! Toronto: A City's Imagination Revolution" (2009), and the poetry collections Formation: Along the Ganges and Back Again (2015), Little Poems for Big Seasons (2016) and Land, 2018. She is based in Canada and Japan, and can be found curled up with a good good, talking to trees or hand-sewing in her spare time. She invites you to see some of her recent photography here and to connect with her on her writer's pagetwitter and her blog, There’s No War in World, here.

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  1. Tammy your beautiful, eloquent and powerful writing never fails to resonate deeply and to give comfort and hope. Thank you.

  2. Such powerful, eloquent and inspiring words dear sister. Thank you for this, and all that you share.


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