Sunday, 14 July 2013

A poem that cuts to the heart of things.

The Invitation 

It doesn't interest me what you do for a living 
I want to know what you ache for 
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart's longing. 

It doesn't interest me how old you are 
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool 
for love 
for your dreams 
for the adventure of being alive. 

It doesn't interest me what planets are squaring your moon... 
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow 
if you have been opened by life's betrayals 
or have become shrivelled and closed 
from fear of further pain. 

I want to know if you can sit with pain 
mine or your own 
without moving to hide it 
or fade it 
or fix it. 

I want to know if you can be with joy 
mine or your own 
if you can dance with wildness 
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your 
fingers and toes 
without cautioning us to 
be careful 
be realistic 
to remember the limitations of being human. 

It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me 
is true. 
I want to know if you can 
disappoint another 
to be true to yourself. 
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal 
and not betray your own soul. 
If you can be faithless 
and therefore trustworthy. 
I want to know if you can see Beauty 
even when it is not pretty 
every day. 
And if you can source your own life 
from its presence. 

I want to know if you can live with failure 
yours and mine 
and still stand on the edge of the lake 
and shout to the silver of the full moon, 

It doesn't interest me 
to know where you live or how much money you have. 
I want to know if you can get up 
after a night of grief and despair 
weary and bruised to the bone 
and do what needs to be done 
to feed the children. 

It doesn't interest me who you know 
or how you came to be here. 
I want to know if you will stand 
in the center of the fire 
with me 
and not shrink back. 

It doesn't interest me where or what or with whom 
you have studied. 
I want to know what sustains you 
from the inside 
when all else falls away. 
I want to know if you can be alone 
with yourself 
and if you truly like the company you keep 
in the empty moments.

Oriah Mountain Dreamer
Canadian Teacher and Author

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