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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 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 and
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, or to remember the limitations of
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 pretty everyday, and if you can source your life from its
presence. I want to know if you can live with failure, yours or mine, and still stand on the edge
of a 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 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, 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 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.
by Oriah Mountain Dreamer
From Dreams of Desire, 1995 by Oriah House. All Rights Reserved.
Published by Mountain Dreaming
300 Coxwell Avenue
Toronto, Ontario Canada M4L 2A0
Message from Oriah Mountain Dreamer
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 honour 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 nor wise enough to claim the status of elder for
any people. I have had the priviledge 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
available only through Mountain Dreaming.
~ Oriah Mountain Dreamer ~
Comments others have posted.
Username: quitesane|| Date: 2006-02-21 15:13:35
beautiful stuff there, OMD. keep it coming and namaste!
Username: Adventureinlife|| Date: 2005-12-13 07:32:25
Revilation, insight and an continued opening of my mind... thank you for that poem that brought me a bit more of these things!
Username: xxxlilack|| Date: 2004-06-12 16:44:32
winds of love.
Username: xxxlilack|| Date: 2004-06-12 16:43:59
Username: xxxlilack|| Date: 2004-06-12 16:43:24
Silent blue heart,it knocks on your hearts innermost door, do you dare too open fore the softand silent winds and let that who are eternal get life and grow again, that which you rapped so gently with the sunshine of the afterland or country .
most beutyful that you write . hope too meet you one day yours faithfully gert J Denmark
Username: xxxlilack|| Date: 2004-06-12 16:32:21
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