It doesn’t interest me…

I really couldn’t be bothered this morning and lay in bed until gone midday. I read some of the time, but mostly just curled up in a ball and thought different thoughts.

In doing so, my mind wandered back to the “armchair Yoga” class I went to yesterday morning in a nearby town, organised by West Somerset Mind. It was a rather odd experience, and since it was my first time, I didn’t exactly find it relaxing, but it was nice to get out and about and meet new people.

Anyway, at the end of the class, the instructor (for want of a better word) read out a poem that I found thought-provoking so I looked it up online:

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 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 own sorrow
if you have been opened by 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 wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us to
be careful
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 trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life from its 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 a 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.

Oriah Mountain Dreamer,
Canadian Teacher and Author

Incidentally, I wish I’d got in contact with Mind a hell of a lot sooner and urge anyone who is in a similar position to get in touch with them. Not only do they understand what you’re going through and that isolation, no matter what form in takes, breeds even more depression and dark moods, they also do advocacy and help with things like benefits and so on, which would have taken a lot of pressure off my friends.

www.mind.org.uk

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8 responses to this post.

  1. Wow what a wonderful post…the poem is truly brilliant…thanks ever so much for sharing it.

  2. I love Oriah Mountain Dreamer’s work and am glad you found…..resonance? thoughtfulness? from it…

    Hoping you are feeling……lots of love and affection from all your friends, both the “in the flesh” and the “virtual” ones…

    S xx

  3. I like Oriah Mountain Dreamer, too, it’s a very throught-provoking piece. I am glad it went well – it took a lot of effort on your behalf to get yourself there and you deserve to feel proud of yourself for the things you have achieved this week.

  4. Posted by Jan on 2 April 2010 at 8:18 pm

    The poem is beautiful, and it’s good that you’ve found Mind now, even if it would have been better sooner.

  5. @slpmartin: Anytime – and thanks for stopping by 🙂

    @cw: Thank you. Today has not been a good day but it’s noted and very much appreciated

    @Ally: Hmmmmm. Maybe. I’d rather an even keel, though, than the downs which dog at the heels of the ups.

    @Jan: They also do a weekly coffee morning, which I may attend, and are starting up an “ecoclub” which I’ll definitely be getting involved with … once it’s up and running!

  6. Yes, but eventually, the downs will become less down – it’s a process, yadda yadda yadda, takes time, yadda, keep a diary, yadda yadda yadda. Don’t knock yourself for the things you *have* done, just because you can’t do them all them time.

  7. I know, yadda yadda *nods* etc 😉

  8. great post.

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