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 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, 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.
I want to know if you can be faith­less 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 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 a lake and shout to the sil­ver of the full moon,

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 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.

Oriah Moun­tain Dreamer


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