The Invitation

The following poem has been written by Oriah Mountain Dreamer. Contrary to popular belief, she is not a native American elder tribeswoman, but a "native" from Toronto. The poem has since then been reworked into a book full of wisdom for the pre-midlife crisis western professional.

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 hearts 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 this 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

        I want to know if you can see beauty, even when it's
not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from
it's presence.

        I want to know if you can live with failure, yours
and mine, and still stand on 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 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.

Last updated Sun Feb 4 22:51:02 PST 2001 by