4.1

Words to Love By.

elephant

There are times when a piece of written work winds up in my hand and I devour it hungrily—as if the world has withheld and starved me of some hidden beauty and then suddenly I get to indulge delightfully in its best kept secret.

This poem found me a few years ago and has remained close within my heart and eyesight, so that I may stumble upon it daily, and in those moments when my soul is starving I can run to it and allow it to fill me up.

 

The Invitation

By Oriah Mountain Dreamer

 

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,

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 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 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,

“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 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.

 

Love elephant and want to go steady?

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Editor: Catherine Monkman

Photo: Author’s Own

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tiff Jan 23, 2015 11:35am

Interesting.. I wonder what the cross over is with this one… (I've carried this one with me for years…)

Self Portrait

It doesn't interest me if there is one God
or many gods.
I want to know if you belong or feel
abandoned.
If you know despair or can see it in others.
I want to know
if you are prepared to live in the world
with its harsh need
to change you. If you can look back
with firm eyes
saying this is where I stand. I want to know
if you know
how to melt into that fierce heat of living
falling toward
the center of your longing. I want to know
if you are willing
to live, day by day, with the consequence of love
and the bitter
unwanted passion of your sure defeat.

I have heard, in that fierce embrace, even
the gods speak of God.

— David Whyte
from Fire in the Earth
©1992 Many Rivers Press

Amy E Jul 30, 2014 9:08pm

Beautiful poem. Very close to my heart at this moment. I've never read it before, but, I'll be reading it again. Inspiring!

Cynthia Jul 30, 2014 8:13pm

What a wonderful poem. Great words to live by.

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Janne Robinson

Janne Robinson is a poet, writer, bushwalker, idealist and animal activist currently residing in Vancouver Island. She cuts kindling with her teeth, eats Bukowski for breakfast and makes the habit of saying the word feminist as much as possible. She surfs naked, pees in the woods, and loves whiskeys that swing their hips when they walk and know what they are doing. Janne’s life-work is to be transparent. She makes a living off hanging her dirty and clean laundry out for the world to see. Her mission is to give others permission to also walk and exist with the same transparency. You can connect with her on TwitterInstagram and Facebook. Please also visit and connect with her Facebook writer’s page. Check out Janne’s website.