The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

After reading my blog post last week, my lovely friend Ange told me she had something I might like to read.

The Invitation by Oriah Mountain Dreamer.

I read it a few years ago and liked it.  And this week, I read it again.  It meant something different the second time around.

It's powerful stuff.

Australian Ballet Company

If you're not familiar with the poem, here it is:

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 a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn't interest me which planets are squaring your moon.
I want to know if you have touched the centre 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 the pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide 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 trustworthy.

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 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 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 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

I think this is a beautiful poem.  And I think I'd like to be the kind of person who can accept Oriah Mountain Dreamer's Invitation.

So, perhaps it's time for me to find out what I ache for, to see if I dare to dream of my heart's longing, or can risk looking the fool for love, for my dream, for the adventure of being alive.  It's time to see if I can sit with my own pain or yours without moving to hide it or fix it.  It's time to see if I can be with my own joy or yours.  To find out if I can see beauty, say "Yes!" to life, and do what needs to be done even when I am weary with despair.  I want to know if I can stand in the centre of the fire with you and not shrink back.  I want to know what sustains me from the inside when all falls away.  I want to know if I can be alone with myself, and like the company I keep.

No pressure then.

I've got my goggles on and plenty of ready salted crisps to hand.  I'm going in.  Gulp.  Wish me luck.

P.S.  Thanks Ange.


  1. Hi - what a great it - Have a great weekend - xxx

  2. 'The Invitation' is a beautiful poem, I agree it's powerful. It made me think !
    You've chosen a lovely picture for this post.
    So, I wish you a lot of success !

  3. What a beautiful poem!
    My heart was certainly moved + inspired reading it.
    Good luck with accepting the invitation [as we all should]... smart move having the crisps ready!

  4. I only came over to wish you luck in my Giveaway and say thankyou for following.
    Then I read the poem.
    Then I read your last post.
    I have a similar journey this year but have not been bold enough to share it; for me comfort is hugging it close.
    Poking with a sharp stick, mouth open and much sweet tea have also been the mainstay of my life for a period which I feel is now coming to fruition.
    I have never learnt so much, but then I had never given myself the time to listen.
    Enjoy your new strength xx

  5. These are so beautiful thoughts.
    I wish you all the best, Emma.
    I agree with the previous comment: you are very bold to share this challenging period of your life with us.

  6. Firstly, The Invitation is a lovely thought-provoking piece which I have to thank you for sharing.
    Secondly, I have just been reading back over all your old blog posts and enjoying them a lot. I'm sorry I found your blog so late in your year's journey of creativity. Suddenly I have an urge to paint flowers all over my desk...
    You have a lovely blog, and I really admire your courage for not only making the journey and deciding to follow your heart, but deciding to share it with the rest of us.

  7. Sounds like you should have another quick listen to "This is for you" :)

  8. Hi Emma, Thats such a lovely and inspiring poem. I can definately identify with the thought process you're going through. To be honest it was probably very similar to the process that led me to move 250 miles up the country so beware, be changes may be afoot! I am a strong believer that everyone should have a dream and live everyday working towards it (whether they get there in the end or not). Whats even more amazing is finding someone who shares the same dream as you. Dreams don't have to be complex or showy, they can be simple and lovely. I have a word document on my computer that I put sayings and quotes into when they really hit me. I currently have three which I'd like to share with you in the hopes they help (as ready salted crisps are a bit messy to send by comment), "It's not your job to do what anyone else thinks you should do. Above all else, you need to remain true to yourself.", "Being present in the here and now is a conscious choice towards happiness." and my favourite; 'To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all'...Oscar Wilde. I may have got your thought process wrong but if not I hope these bring inspiration. Look forward to seeing you on the other side. Thank you for sharing, Lizzyloolaa xxx

  9. I have long been a fan of the poem, and often re-read her books when the time is right for a little reflection. Your blog is lovely.

  10. Thanks Maisey. xxx

    Thanks Sylvia. xxx

    Cat, I agree, oh, and the crisps add a little something! xxx

    Ted and Bunny, thank you, I can really relate to what you are saying. I will be over to visit again soon. xxx

    Thank you, Zlatica, your support and friendship are very much appreciated. xxx

    Thanks, Aoife, flowers all over your desk sound like a totally fab idea. xxx

    I did, Kim. It did the trick. Thank you. xxx

    Lizzyloolaa, thank you for that gorgeous comment. You are absolutely bang on in understanding where I'm coming from. I'll be over for a visit soon. xxx

    Thank you Maggie. xxx


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