by Oriah Mountain Dreamer - 1995
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 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 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
to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn't interest me if the story you are telling me
I want to know if you can
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithful
and therefore trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
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,
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
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
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
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.
While I am pleased that this piece, The Invitation, has spoken to many others and happy that it is being shared, I would ask that you honor the original by sharing it as it was written. I am a teacher and writer living in Toronto with my two teenage
sons. While my family history includes stories of Scottish, German and Native American descent, I am a Canadian woman, and not an "Indian elder" as has sometimes been reported, being neither old enough or wise enough to claim the status of "elder" for any people. I have had the privilege of studying with and learning from the wisdom of Native American elders who gave me the medicine name, Mountain Dreamer. My first book, Confessions of a Spiritual Thrillseeker is currently out of print. I am now working on a book entitled The Invitation, expanding on the thoughts and teachings held within this smaller piece. Dreams of Desire is a small collection of poetry only available through Mountain Dreaming.
Oriah Mountain Dreamer
From Dreams of Desire (1995)
© 1995 by Oriah House. All Rights Reserved.
Published by Mountain Dreaming
300 Coxwell Avenue, Box 22546
Canada M4L 2A0