One possible answer

Something a friend wrote tonight jarred an old memory. I ran across this a few years ago, and thought it was beautiful, although it didn't answer any of the questions I was asking myself at the time. I'm not even sure it does now. But I feel compelled to share it, as I have a hunch it might resonate with one or two of you in the days to come.

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 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 ever 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, be realistic, or 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 hear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul,
If you can be faithful and therefore be trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty even if it is not pretty everyday
And if you can source your own life from it's 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 sliver 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 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 like the company you keep in the empty moments.

by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

3 Comments:

  1. Re: cool

    Yeah, I’ve always thought that this is the kind of philosophy I’d like to live my life by. Although for most of my history I’ve had to rely on Invictus a lot more, just to get by. This has been less true over the past year or two at a fundamental level, but I’m still relying heavily on the “yes, my life is chaos, deal with it” aspect.

    Invictus

    Out of the night that covers me,
    Black as the pit from pole to pole,
    I thank whatever gods may be
    For my unconquerable soul.

    In the fell clutch of circumstance,
    I have not winced nor cried aloud.
    Under he bludgeonings of chance,
    My head is bloody, but unbowed.

    Beyond this place of wrath and tears,
    Lies but the horror of the shade.
    And yet the menace of the years
    Finds, and shall find me unafraid.

    It matters not how straight the gate,
    How charged with punishment the scroll.
    I am the master of my fate.
    I am the captain of my soul.

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