I was combing through my past emails and came across this poem which I sent to a friend. Below I paste the poem and her reply:
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 your dream
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 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
remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me
I want to know if you can
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
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 at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
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 how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
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
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.
And her reply:
Thanks for the poem, it has helped make my day.
I read the whole poem, and here is my reply:
Yes, I dream of meeting my heart’s longing
Yes, I will risk looking like a fool for my love, dream, and adventure of being alive; this I am doing, all the time
Yes I have been sad, and yes I have been betrayed, and yes, I do fear further pain, to the point I shrink away sometimes. Thus my cynicism.
Yes i can sit with pain, mine and yours;
And joy too – I am mad and delirious!
As for living with failure, I am not sure,
but I have failed before,
and I am still here.
I have before, been unable to get up and feed the children, because I have been too depressed, and became incapacitated.
Standing in the fire – yes.
What sustains me – Jesus
Can I stand to be with myself?
– I believe, that I do.
And my friend, if you are reading this, I hope your answers remain the same.