... by Mountain Dreamer, Indian Elder
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
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
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
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, 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 it is not pretty
everyday, and if you can source your life 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 for 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.
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter's oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
When we two parted
In silence and tears,
To sever for years,
Pale grew thy cheek and cold,
Colder thy kiss;
Truly that hour foretold
Sorrow to this.
The dew of the morning
Sunk chill on my brow--
It felt like the warning
Of what I feel now.
Thy vows are all broken,
And light is thy fame;
I hear thy name spoken,
And share in its shame.
They name thee before me,
A knell to mine ear;
A shudder comes o`er me--
Why wert thou so dear?
They know not I knew thee,
Who knew thee too well:--
Long, long shall I rue thee,
Too deeply to tell.
In secret we met--
In silence I grieve
That thy heart could forget,
Thy spirit deceive.
If I should meet thee
After long years,
How should I greet thee?--
With silence and tears.
IF I could come back as anything
It would be as one of your tears..
How could I want more than to be
conceived in your heart,
Born in your eyes,
Live on your cheeks
and die on your lips.