My dear friend, Ankya, who recently died, shared this poem with me a few years ago. Ankya was a wise elder… she was strong, vulnerable, gorgeous, funny, inquisitive… she was authentic in every way.
—Rosemerry Wahtola Trommer
When my teacher told me
Everything we love can
and will be taken from us,
I did not know how she
was preparing in me
a synaptic path.
I understood her words
in the way one understands a journey
by reading a map.
Now, ten years later, with every breath
I travel this path of loss
as so many others have before me,
and yet there is no trail, no signposts,
no destination, and the path changes direction
from moment to moment.
But the path does not feel foreign.
Every turn of it is paved with truth—
Everything we love can and will be taken from us.
Those words now offer
the strange comfort of prophecy
as I wander these trails of impermanence,
stunned with gratitude even as I weep,
alive with loving what doesn’t last,
astonished by the enormity of love—
how love is the red thread that pulls us through,
not a thread to follow,
but a guide that never, ever leaves the path.