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 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 centre 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 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 at 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 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 will stand
 in the centre 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

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