I woke this morning thinking about a particular poem. It would make a particularly poignant reading at your wedding.
The poem that occupied my thoughts, is one that impressed me many years ago. I had it on the bathroom wall for years.
Many people commented on it. Lots had opinions. Several agreed, others added more comments to the initial poem.
It was a great conversation opener. It required contemplation.
The woman who wrote the poem is Oriah Mountain Dreamer.
She is, in her own words,”first and foremost a story-teller, a lover of words and symbols and the stories that lift our spirits, open our hearts and offer us ways to see patterns and create meaning in our lives.”
The poem comes to me as a poignant set of thoughts to contemplate when one is considering what to say in the wedding vows.
On the surface, it would seem to be questions one might ask of one’s partner.
But to me it is a series of questions I would rather ask myself.
This is why I had it on the wall, a place I could read it every day, and ask myself if I measured up to my own expectation. Was I asking myself the right questions? What is important to me? Was I being the best person I wanted to be? If I want a wonderful person in my life, was I enough to match them first?
Here is the poem:
The Invitation ~ Oriah Mountain Dreamer
It does not 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 centre of your own sorrow, if you have been open to 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 the 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 faithful and therefore be trustworthy.
I want to know if you can see beauty even when its not pretty every day, and if you source your life from its presence.
I want to now if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver moon, “YES”.
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 fades 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.
Today I thought of the poem again, and contemplated what else is possible for my own self.
What do you think?