Life is not a straight line. It's a downpour of gifts, please – hold out your hand

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Thank you for being here. I'm so glad you're here.

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Invitation

This poem by Oriah just buzzes with aliveness.  I read her book, The Invitation, many years ago and remember being very struck by it.  It was good to re-visit these powerful words today.

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 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.

"The Invitation" is by Oriah from her book THE INVITATION (c)1999. Published by HarperONE, San Francisco. All rights reserved. Presented with permission of the author. www.oriah.org

4 comments :

  1. i'm busy reading this book right now - her writing is wonderful. i read the call which she also wrote. i was so touch by it i wrote her an email and she replied - i thought that was very cool.

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  2. i too LOVE this poem.
    along with you,
    i exclaim YES!
    looove you! xox

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  3. I ran into this poem recently, and it spoke to me. I love how clear and poignant it is--just like your poetry! Thank you for including it here.

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  4. I love this - thanks for reintroducing it to me!

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♥ Julia