Wednesday, January 16, 2008

The Invitation

I read this poem a few years ago, written by Oriah Mountain Dreamer, a Canadian woman. I was stunned when I first read this poem because Oriah Mountain Dreamer put into words notions jumbled in my soul. This is the kind of love I'm looking for. No wonder Oriah Mountain Dreamer contemplates the sunset alone and I sit alone in my room charting the phases of the moon, the constancy of the stars. The kind of love we want we will never find in bars, parties or chat rooms. It's not the off-the-shelf kind of love we can work off in a motel room, though there's nothing wrong with that. I imagine the author sitting on a mountaintop at sunset, driven close to madness by the number of people who asked her, "How's your lovelife?" :D

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 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, or to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn't interest me if the story you tell 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 be trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see the beauty even when it is not pretty everyday, and if you can source your life from God's 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 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 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 doens'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 can truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

Mountain Dreamer and I have simply made other choices. We keep ourselves company in the empty moments, not noticing that moments string into years. We know only one thing: Empty moments are most meaningful filled with our own deep silence, the eloquent silence of ourselves feeling at peace with ourselves. Listen to this song, At Last by Etta James, while reading The Invitation.


pusa said...

lovely poem! so true! *sigh*

Unknown said...

Glad you like it, pusa. The poem was written with ruthless honesty...the reason why I like it very much.:)

Anonymous said...

i love that song "at last" :-)
thanks for the link. happy new year!

Unknown said...

Thanks for visiting, Johanna.

 gmirage said...

I don't remember when I first read this poem but I do remember it clearly! I had it handwritten in my binder back in the days.

Lovelife ba kamo? =D