Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Mountain Dreamer’s Poem

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 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 bear the accusation of betrayal and not
betray your own soul. I want to know if you can be faithful
and therefore trustworthy. I want to know if you can see
beauty even when it is not beautiful everyday, and if you
can source your life on the edge of the lake and shout to the
silver of the full moon.

It doesn’t interest me 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 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, Indian Elder-