Saturday, October 23, 2010

The Invitation

This summer I performed a wedding for a young couple who had experienced a major life altering incident some months earlier.  The bride-to-be had been close to death in hospital just weeks after the grooms' mother had died.  They asked that the following be the reading at their ceremony.  It was quite lovely.

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

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 been touched by 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're telling 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 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 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. 

     --- Oriah Mountain Dreamer

1 comment:

  1. That's a beautiful poem...

    Here is a poem that was cited in the movie, 'Truly, Madly, Deeply':

    If you are no longer living,
    If you, beloved, my love,
    If you have died,
    All the leaves will fall on my breast.
    It will rain on my soul, all night, all day.
    My feet will want to march to where you are sleeping,
    But I shall go on living.