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I WALK WITH YOU by Tammy Takahashi

I wrote this poem in an attempt to put the ineffable, the world of feeling, emotion and heart, into words...

...because when I have a powerful experience, it is often my great desire to find a way to translate what I can from the “wordless realms” into a language that can be shared. I very recently had this experience during an intensive, month-long yoga course, a profound and moving reconnection with my grandmother, who passed away a few years ago and whom I miss very much. To find her presence within my spirit through embodied action – to feel her quite literally in my blood, bones and cells – awakened me to a world of possibility made entirely of love.

I Walk With You
 by Tammy Takahashi

I remember, as a little girl,
How you led us in our weekly prayers
On Friday nights, the holy Sabbath,

With the white head covering
You crocheted with your
brilliantly nurturing, strong hands

That I see so much of in
Your son’s my father’s,
And sometimes even in my own.

I watched you without thinking,
Heart, though, brimming with love
As you began your ritual:

Raise your hands three times
Palm to face; make circles like wings
Until your hands cover your eyes;

And then you recited the prayer
For lighting the two white candles,
Until the flickering flames

Lit your face, and you smiled,
The angel our matriarch,
And all was right in the world.

Now, these many years later,
On the other side of the world,
I’m trying to build myself whole,

Learning from other traditions;
I stand tall and stronger, maybe,
Than I ever have, so that something

Sets, or takes hold, and I’m ready
To greet what comes: I’m instructed
To slowly bring my arms up to my face,

And gently down again, remaining aware
Of my energetic space. You whisper, unheard,
But there you are, and I embody the movement;

I feel myself inhabiting your sacred space,
Sharing the flowing motions with you; I am in
The very heart of your spirituality

As we both draw the miracle of life
From the wondrous forces around us;
Knowing the depth of their presence,

You help me sweetly and humbly accept them,
And together, we allow our selves to become
That much stronger in their power,

What I have come to understand is faith.
Had I known, as a little girl,
How big and grand this love was

That you held inside you
Despite all the tragedy and loss
You were forced to endure,

That could have destroyed it forever,
How in the grace of this small gesture
Of reverence on Friday night

You contained inside of your beauty
Secrets there was every chance I may
Never have come to learn … but you knew,

I think, what I’d find, that this jewel
You harboured so unassumingly,
With such gentle wisdom, was for all of us,

Your love the keeper of our growth.
I know I don’t need to tell you
It’s with me now, as you are …

It’s still obscured some, but this is for you,
This salve, this balm of our connection,
As we move to the source of who we are.

The author, Tammy Takahashi, pictured with her grandmother

Tammy Takahashi is a Canadian writer, photographer and chronicler of life as it passes through us. Always a wanderer, she's endlessly mesmerized by people, places and everything in between; the world is somehow so vast and so small. She feels so lucky to have been able to work, learn, live and travel far and wide, writing, photographing and wellness-practicing along the way. 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.

~If you are interested in seeing your poetry appear in this blog, or submitting a poem by a woman that has inspired you, please click here for submission guidelines. I greatly look forward to hearing from you!~


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