Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Invitation

(Artist credit: Christian Lassen)

Everyone has their challenges and responsibilities in life.  Sometimes we get too busy to truly see one another and the impact we have on others, and they on us.  And far too many of us focus on status, money, success, and/or material possessions.   You know that quote by Antoine de Saint-Exupery: "... it is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye."

That, and a post by a friend on Facebook, inspires me to share this oldie but damn good goodie :-)

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 dream, 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
to 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 faithful
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 at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the 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 the 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 still 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

By Oriah Mountain Dreamer
copyright © 1999 by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

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