Thursday, February 03, 2005

The Invitation

This has become one of my favorite poems. I first read it a little over a year ago when the deacon at my church distributed it during a workshop I attended. I led the follow-up workshop and shared it with any of the new folks as well.

For me, this is a powerful piece of writing and has been expanded by the author (Oriah Mountain Dreamer) into a short book that explores the writers perspective on the poem (I just picked up the book). Anyway, here is the poem - enjoy...

The Invitation
by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

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 shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with the pain,
mine or your own, without
moving to hide it or fake 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, 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 of betrayal
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 and mine,
and still stand on the edge of a lake
and shout to the silver of the full moons. "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 for the children.

It doesn't interest me to know who you are,
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.

1 comment:

Jams said...

That is just beautiful. I'm so stealing it.