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"Each of us must come to care about everyone else's children. We must recognize that the well being of our own children is intimately linked to the well being of all other people's children. After all, when one of our children needs life-saving surgery, someone else's child will perform it. When one of our children is harmed by violence, someone else's child will commit it. The good life for our own children can be secured only if it is also secured for all other people's children. But to work for the well being of all children is not just a practical matter-- it is also right!" - Lilian G. Katz, Phd.

Saturday, February 4, 2006

The Invitation

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 a fool for love,
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 trying 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 be trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty,
even if 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 naked on the edge of a lake
and shout to the silver of a full moon, "Yes!"

It doesn't interest me 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 how you call your spirit back.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself,
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.