Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The Invitation

Oriah Mountain Dreamer
Indian Elder
May 1994

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 sorrow,
if you have been opened by life's betrayals,
or have become shriveled
and closed for 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,
or to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn't interest me
if the story you're telling me is true.
I want to know if you can disappoint another
to be true to yourself,
if you can bear the accusation
and not betray your own soul.

I want to know if you can be faithful,
and therefore be trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see beauty
even when it is not pretty every day,
and if you can source your life
from its presence.
I want to know if you can live with failure,
yours or mine,
and still stand on the edge of the lake,
and shout to the silver of the full moon, "YES."

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 for the children.
it doesn't interest me who you are
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 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.

1 comment:

  1. Thumbs way up on this poem! Reminds me of some song lyrics I've always liked by chip taylor:
    "I don't want the stuff that makes you fit
    I want the juice inside
    that you ain't found yet
    I don't want the pleasures that you've known
    I want the hurricane in the danger zone"

    I want everybody to understand the value of communication as a dynamic event