Sunday, November 12, 2006

The Invitation

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 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 shriveled 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's 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, “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 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.

This is what she says about the poem: "I wrote what I need to remember, what I need to hear again and again: that life is full of beauty and pain; that the world will break your heart and heal it, over and over, if you let it, and that letting it do both is the only way to live fully; that we are not alone but deeply connected to that which create, and sustains all life."

And that is the struggle, isn't it? Having the faith to let it.


jaynir said...

Beutiful... thanks for sharing!

EM said...

"..that the world will break your heart and heal it, over and over, if you let it, and that letting it do both is the only way to live fully.."

I've been brought to tears over and over again this past year, overwhelmed with the feelings of happiness for what I have now and for everything that I'll hopefully be blessed with in the future and knowing that these same experiences/people/things will break my heart just as surely, because nothing lasts forever. Which only reaffirms my realization that the NOW is where my mind and heart should exist.

Shellz - I have to tell you, I find that when I read your blog, I always come back a second time before I post a comment in order to give myself some time to savor what you've written and let it roll around in my head a while. I truly enjoy your honest, often beautiful and thought provoking posts. Thanks for sharing.

David said...

So the author, Oriah, wrote the poem as a remembrance of her own life? WOW...that's so cool. It's things like that, that I think help us stay grounded and level-headed. If we dont remember our teachings from our past, then how can we grow in the future, you know? So thanks for reminding us Shellz...

Shellz said...

Jay: it is beautiful!

Em: It sounds like you are in a challenging but beautiful place, and full of life. And thank you for your comments. I really value them, and am truly touched by what you say.

David: Actually, she wrote the poem one night after coming home from a party. It was in response to all the superficiality and lack of real connection that she felt while she was there...