The Invitation

metamorphosis

It’s a new week, and a warm, overcast morning in Houston. The air is thick with possibility.

Last week was intense.  The full moon, the energies of death and resurrection, life spiraling into a place of further clarity and surrender.  Sweet sacred music and the fragrance of burning frankincense fills my home as I begin to take a long honest  look at my life and ask for what I really want, all blinders finally off.

I was drawn again to the deep human desire for intimacy and authenticity, and to this poem by Oriah Mountain Dreamer, a favorite of mine.  It was introduced to me by a couchsurfer who became a dear friend, and has stayed in my heart since. It seems that I’m letting go of all “linear” and familiar ways of manifestation…I find myself longing to sit with this poem instead, and offer it as my prayer, my request.

The Invitation by Oriah
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.

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Joelle Freeman says:

    Sometimes I think the greatest test of truth is if it continues to resonate with us as we grow and change. There are so many “truths” that I have shed like a restrictive old skin. Whereas this one still rings true. However, it is in a different way than before. It think it used to be my plea to others, but now the question is more self-directed. When I read this intense battlecry to live life to the fullest, I feel humbled. The past 2 years certain endeavors have required all the courage and all the effort I could muster. I have tested and exerted my the emotional strength and pushed past the place of brokenness into something else entirely. When I read this poem, I wonder if I have the wherewithal to continue living life to the fullest. That lifestyle takes so much energy, often leading down the harder of two roads. And I think perhaps after I rest for a while I will shoulder this battle cry again. Meanwhile I don’t feel bad about being lazy, being shy, and taking less risks while rebuilding and nurturing my heart and soul. My spirit is learning to appreciate both the restful ebb and the invigorating flow. And no doubt, sooner rather than later a new challenge will arise to test what I have learned. No, life will not allow me to rest for long. This time, I am happy to let the battle come to me.

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  2. Joelle, I so appreciate your words 🙂 I have also let go of some restrictive “truths”, this past week being the biggest letting go I can remember in awhile. I am completely with you when it comes to honoring the ebbs and flows of life, accepting and loving ourselves unconditionally whether we are racing ahead joyfully, sitting with brokenness, or allowing time for nurturing and healing in stillness. I’m learning time and again that simply accepting what is happening to me at any given moment, even embracing it, brings me so much peace. Love you so much, sister. ❤

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