John Godfrey Saxe - The Blind Men and the Elephant
that each by observation, might satisfy his mind.
The first approached the elephant, and, happening to fall,
against his broad and sturdy side, at once began to bawl:
'God bless me! but the elephant, is nothing but a wall!'
The second feeling of the tusk, cried: 'Ho! what have we here,
so very round and smooth and sharp? To me tis mighty clear,
this wonder of an elephant, is very like a spear!'
The third approached the animal, and, happening to take,
the squirming trunk within his hands, 'I see,' quoth he,
the elephant is very like a snake!'
The fourth reached out his eager hand, and felt about the knee:
'What most this wondrous beast is like, is mighty plain,' quoth he;
'Tis clear enough the elephant is very like a tree.'
The fifth, who chanced to touch the ear, Said; 'E'en the blindest man
can tell what this resembles most; Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an elephant, is very like a fan!'
The sixth no sooner had begun, about the beast to grope,
than, seizing on the swinging tail, that fell within his scope,
'I see,' quothe he, 'the elephant is very like a rope!'
And so these men of Indostan, disputed loud and long,
each in his own opinion, exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right, and all were in the wrong!
So, oft in theologic wars, the disputants, I ween,
tread on in utter ignorance, of what each other mean,
and prate about the elephant, not one of them has seen!
The Prayer of St. Francis (anonymous)
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
Where there is injury, pardon;
Where there is doubt, faith;
Where there is despair, hope;
Where there is darkness, light;
And where there is sadness, joy.
Grant that I may not so much seek
To be consoled as to console;
To be understood, as to understand;
To be loved, as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
And it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.
May the next ten days be days of reflection, introspection, and peace.
May we prepare ourselves for the changes in the year to come.
May it be a good year.
Mary it be a healthy year.
May it be a year of peace for all of us, all around the globe.
May it be a year of peace within ourselves.
May we live our lives with integrity, service, and love.
May we be blessed with the strength of this community, of our families, of our friends.
May we remember what is truly important in life and may we remember to be grateful every day.
May we all be inscribed another year in the Book of Life.
and I see your face and I feel I know you,
and you, and you, and you.
Do I know you?
I must—we are One, after all.
I imagine we've talked when antique carpets were new,
raised stallions, and children, built teepees together.
You taught me how to breathe on bicycles.
I sold you my wares in the city square.
You spoke to me of prayer and Milky Ways we rode together.
So I ache—alone in a crowd of strangers who forgot that we know who we are.
But I rest in the refuge that at the very least, we are here, side by side.
I am not old...she said.
I am rare.
I am the standing ovation at the end of the play.
I am the retrospective of my life as art.
I am the hours connected like dots into good sense.
I am the fullness of existing.
You think I am waiting to die...but I am waiting to be found.
I am a treasure.
I am a map.
And these wrinkles are imprints of my journey.
Ask me anything.
Ask me anything.
Ask me anything.
Never a daisy that grows, but a mystery guideth the growing;
Never a river that flows, but a majesty sceptres the flowing;
Never a Shakespeare that soared, but a stronger than he did enfold him,
Nor ever a prophet foretells, but a mightier seer foretold him.
Back of the canvas that throbs, the painter is hinted and hidden;
Into the statue that breathes, the soul of the sculptor is bidden;
Under the joy that is felt lie the infinite issues of feeling;
Crowning the glory revealed is the glory that crowns the revealing.
Great are the symbols of being, but that which is symboled is greater;
Vast the created and beheld, but vaster the inward creater;
Back of the sound broods the silence, back of the gift stands the giving;
Back of the hand that receives thrill the sensitive nerves of receiving.
Space is as nothing to spirit, the deed is outdone by the doing;
The heart wooer is warm, but warmer is the heart wooing;
And up from the pits where these shiver, and up from the heights where they shine,
Twin voices and shadows swim starward, and the essence of life is divine.
I make threads into strings,
Just by adding strands of thought--
Like fibers crowded together,
Twisting themselves tighter and thicker,
Turning into one heavy-duty rope
Turning into one huge knot.
Where did I leave that knife again?
I had it a minute ago.
I need it to cut through this stupid knot!
And return to beginner mind...
Your hearts know in silence the secrets of the days and the nights.
But your ears thirst for the sound of your heart's knowledge.
You would know in words that which you have always known in thought
You would touch with your fingers the naked body of your dreams.
And it is well you should.
The hidden well-spring of your soul must needs rise and run murmuring to the sea;
And the treasure of your infinite depths would be revealed to your eyes.
But let there be no scales to weigh your unknown treasure;
And seek not the depths of your knowledge with staff or sounding line.
For self is a sea boundless and measureless.
Say not, "I have found the truth," but rather, "I have found a truth."
Say not, "I have found the path of the soul." Say rather, "I have met the soul walking upon my path."
For the soul walks upon all paths.
The soul walks not upon a line, neither does it grow like a reed.
The soul unfolds itself like a lotus of countless petals.
I know the world is bruised and bleeding,
and though it is important not to ignore its pain,
it is also critical to refuse to succumb to its malevolence.
This is precisely the time when artists go to work.
There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity,
no need for silence, no room for fear.
We speak, we write, we do language.
That is how civilizations heal.
This is precisely the time when artists go to work.
St. Francis of Assisi
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is giving that we receive.
It is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Now Is the Time I Have
"Tired today, tired tomorrow." No - we got lots of time to lay in tombs of doom and gloom!
Blast your boom box, baby - turn up the volume! Feel your power rising inside - your infinite spirit, your passion, your lifeforce - surging, purging, encouraging your blood through needle-poked veins. Scream, holler, sing, dance, beat your chest, beat those bongos and shout, "now is the time I have. NOW is the time I have."
It's not suffering that brings us closer to God - no, no, no way! It's joy, fun, happiness, love. So, go for the gold ring sister, burn your light, brother. Hide not your bushel, and shoot the wave until the last sun, hon.
Carpe diem - that means, this is your moment. Enjoy whatever small pleasures you can. Sniff the coffee, taste that buttercrunch ice cream, smell the bacon, lick the hot fudge, paint yellow mums on the ceiling, swing from the jungle gym, boogie 'til you drop, drink power drinks and eat power bars, get ten massages in two weeks, take ginseng, make herbal tea, take Epsom salt and essential oil baths: lavender, almond, peppermint, rosemary, spearmint.
Ah, yes! Inhale and languish in the splendor of candlelight.
And turn up the volume.
We're all listening.
Today, many will awaken with a fresh sense of inspiration. Why not you?
Today, many will choose to leave ghosts of yesterday behind and seize the immeasurable power of today. Why not you?
Today, many will break through the barriers of the past by looking at the blessings of the present. Why not you?
Today, many will rise above their believed limitations and make contact tith their miraculous innate strength. Why not you?
Today, many will choose to live in such a manner that they will be remembered fondly by children. Why not you?
Today, many will choose to live free fromconditions and rules governing their own happiness. Why not you?
Today is a new day! Many will seize this day. Many will live it to the fullest. Why not you?
May the Long-time Sun Shine Upon You
May the long-time sun shine upon you
All love surround you
O precious soul, as the sun rises in the east, may we be reminded of that sun which rises in each of us on this perfect morn. As the sun rises in the east to cast itself upon the entirety of ceation with such an unbounded indiscretion, may we be reminded of the sun which rises in each of us to issue forth its love with just such a givingness.
And the pure light within you guide your way on.
O precious soul, as the sun rises in the east, may we be reminded of that sun which rises in each of us on this perfect morn. As the sun rises in the east to cast ample light for yet another daily sojourn through the endlessness of space and time, may we be reminded of the sun which rises in each of us, equally eager to cast its light ujpon the paths of our days; equally eager to guide our way on.
Guide your way on.
O precious soul, as the sun rises in the east, may wer be reminded.
Guide your way on.
People are often unreasonable and self-centered.
Forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives.
Be kind anyway.
If you are honest, people may cheat you.
Be honest anyway.
The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Give the world the best you have, and it may never be enough.
If you find happiness, people may be jealous.
For you see, in the end it is between you and God.
It was never between you an them anyway.
When you're hiding in a closet,
Thinking no one really knows,
Doing all the things expected,
Lifestyle, job, and clothes,
What's the point in being someone,
Even you can't recognize?
When there's one so much richer,
beyond that sad disguise,
So jump right out and show yourself,
I promise, you'll feel better,
And the ones who want to push you back,
Tell them all to "write a letter."
Dr. Richard Loren Held
A fable of long-ago people, a myth that just keeps hanging on?
Beyond the borders of comfort, outside my circles of care?
A contained little rift in our history - a beginning, an ending - no more?
For while we imagine it ancient, we know that such battle still go.
For while we imagine it distant, we know it exists at our door.
For being a family of equals, seems daily our call to address.
And its purpose still calls us together, compels us to keep it afloat.
It still beckons us stand with each other, as equals in one human race.
You declare you see me dimly through a glass which will not shine,
though I stand before you boldly, trim in rank and marking time.
You do own to hear me faintly as a whisper out of range,
while my drums beat out the message and the rhythms never change.
Equality, and I will be free. Equality, and I will be free.
We have lived a painful history, we know the fhameful past,
but I keep on marching forward, and you keep on coming last.
Equality, and I will be free. Equality, and I will be free.
Take the blinders from your vision, take the padding from your ears,
and confess you've heard me crying, and admit you've seen my tears.
Hear the tempo so compelling, hear the blood ghrob in my veins.
Yes, my drums are beating nightly, and the rhythms never change.
Equality, and I will be free. Equality, and I will be free.
If you can keep your head when all about you
are losing theirs and blaming it on you;
If you can trust yourself when all others doubt you,
but make allowance for their foubting, too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
or, being lied about, don't deal in lies
or being hated don't give way to hating
and yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise.
If you can dream and not make dreams your master;
If you can think and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with triumph and disaster
and treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
or watch the things you gave your life to broken,
and stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools.
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
and risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
and lose and start again at your beginnings
and never breathe a word about your loss;
if you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
to serve your turn long after they are gone,
and so hold on when there is nothing in you
except the will which says to them, "Hold on!"
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
or walk with kings - nor lose the common touch,
if neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
if all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
with sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
and - which is more - you'll be a man, my son!
Run with all your passion
Run with all your soul
There is no choice but giving
That makes it worth the toll
It's all about the journey
The hills that we must climb
The little dips and valleys
That make a life sublime
You can't enjoy the mountain
Without some scrapes and pain
You can't enjoy the sunshine
Without the threat of rain
Though races all have endings
And we love that final flag
The winning comes in knowing
We gave it all we had
Excuse me, poem, are you gay?
Have you grown up contrarily to what I wanted you to say?
I most certainly didn't write you that way.
Was it something I said, something I did that turned you?
Maybe I should have peppered your verses with sports, girls and beer.
Maybe as your author I deserted you.
Or did another writer turn you queer?
OK, let's say, hypothetically, that this poerm is gay.
Maybe it's just a confused poem that needs straightening out.
Maybe I could insert verses from Leviticus, speak in tongues, douse it in holy water.
They asked me if I had a gay poem, and I quickly answered, "No."
But the truth is, I didn't know until one of my very own poems stepped up.
I know that Divine Intelligence governs the destiny of the United States of America,
directing the thought and the activity of all who guide its affairs.
I know that success, prosperity and happiness are the gifts of freedom
and the Divine heritage of everyone in this country;
that they are now operating in the affairs of every individual in this country.
I know that Divine Guidance enlightens the collective mind of the people of this country,
causing them to know that economic security may come to all
without the loss of personal freedom or self-experession.
The All-knowing Mind contains the answer to every problem which confronts this country.
I know that every leader in this country is now directed by this All-knowing mind
and has the knowledge of a complete solution to every problem.
Each is impelled to act upon this knowledge
to the end that abundance, security and peace shall come to all.
And I know that this Spiritual Democracy shall endure,
guaranteeing to everyone in this country personal liberty, happiness and self-expression.
And so it is.
There is an unseen cord which binds the whole wide world together;
Through every human life it winds - this one mysterious tether.
It links all races and all lands throughout their span allotted,
And death alone unites the strands which only God has knotted.
However humble be your lot, howe'er your hands are fettered,
You cannot think a noble throught but all the world is bettered.
With every impulse, deed and word wherein love blends with duty,
A message speeds along the cord that gives the earth more beauty.
Your unkind thought, your selfish deed, is felt in farthest places;
There are no solitudes where greed and wrong can hide their faces;
There are no separate lives, the chain - too subtle for our seeing,
Unites us all upon the plane of universal being.
O Divine Mother, be Thou the only flame in our hearts, burning away all darkness within us.
O Divine Mother, be Thou the fragrance ever exuding from the vase of our hearts and permeating the nooks of devoted souls whom we love.
O Divine Mother, unite our little hearts into a greater heart to rest in, forever and forever. Teach us to behold ourselves as perfect in the mirror of Thy divinity. Let the flame of our love for Thee soar triumphantly above the little hissing flames of earthly desires.
O Divine Mother, may the shooting star of our love for Thee race gloriously through the dark skies of forgetfulness, even as the thunders of boisterous daily activities burst within us.
O Divine Mother, be Thou the pole-star of our wandering activity in the dark night of ignorance, leading us safely to our haven in Thee.
Dr. Martin Luther King
Man is more than a tiny vagary of whirling electrons or a wisp of smoke from a limitless smoldering.
Man is a child of God, made in His image, and therefore must be respected as such.
One day somebody should remind us that, even though there may be ideological diferences between us,
the Vietnamese are our brothers, the Russians are our brothers, the Chinese are our brothers.
In Christ there is neither Jew nor Gentile.
In Christ there is neither male nor female.
In Christ, there is neither bound nor free.
And one day we've got to sit down together at the table.
I close today by saying I still have a dream that brotherhood will be more than a few words at the end of a prayer, but rather the first order of business on every agenda.
I still have a dream that with this faith we will be able to adjourn the councils of despair and bring new light into the dark chambers of pessimism.
With this faith, we will be able to speed up the day when there will be be peace on earth and good will toward men.
It will be a glorious day - the morning stars will sing together, and the sons of God will shout for joy.
Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Barbara Marx Hubbard
Some of us have a profound sense of mission, a purpose for our lives on this planet, which we have chosen beyond immediate self-interest. We sense we have volunteered to come to Earth to do a particular task. Are individuals like cells within the body, each with a unique, vital task essential to the whole? Is there a design for each life? Potentially, ytet. If the overall system is prefigured and prepatterned but not predetermined. We are each born with a unique set of characteristics that are needed for the evolution of the world. Whether or not we use them is up to us.
Each person has the free choice to use God-given talents for the highest purpose—or to squander them for lesser purposes. As we approach the time of transformation, it counts more and more whether or not we use our freedom to do our best.
Every member in the social body is being stimulated to play the appropriate role destined by their unique potentials. Freedom grants us the opportunity to discover our unique capacity—what we can best do that is most required—and then to do it with all our hearts, minds and strength.
This is how we can fulfill the twofold command: love of God and our neighbor as ourselves. To love God, we must desire to fulfill God's purposes. T love ourselves is to discover our unique role in fulfilling God's purpose—which is our own. If each of us seeks our purpose on the planet, turning within and asking for guidance, then we will go the whole way together to the top of the mountain.
This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness, some momentary awareness comes as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they are a crowd of sorrows who violently sweep your house empty of its furniture,
Still, treat each guest honorably.
They may be clearing you out for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice—
Meet them at the door laughing and invite them in.
Be grateful for whatever comes, because each has been sent as a guide from beyond.
Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of a great crystal river.
The current of the river swept silently over them all—
young and old, rich and poor, good and evil—
the current going its own way, knowing only its own crystal self.
Each creature, in its own manner,
clung tightly to the twigs and rocks of the river bottom,
for clinging was their way of life,
and resisting the current was what each had learned from birth.
But one creature said at last, "I am tired of clinging.
Though I cannot see it with my eyes,
I trust that the current knows where it is going.
I shall let go, and let it take mw where it will.
Clinging, I will die of boredom."
The other creatures laughed and said,
"Fool! Let go, and that current you worship
will throw you tumbled and smashed against the rocks,
and you will die quicker than boredom!"
But the one heeded them not,
and taking a breath did let go,
and at once was tumbled and smashed
by the current across the rocks.
Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again,
the current lifted him free from the bottom,
and he was bruised and hurt no more.
And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried,
"See a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies!
See the messiah, come to save us all!"
And the one carried in the current said,
"I am no more messiah than you.
The river delights to lift us free,
if only we dare let go."
But they cried the more, "Savior!"
all the while clinging to the rocks,
and when they looked again he was gone,
and they were left alone making legends of a savior.
Charlotte Tall Mountain
For the love of a tree...she went out on a limb.
For the love of the sea...she rocked the boat.
For the love of the earth...she dug deeper.
For the love of community...she mended fences.
For the love of the stars...she let her light shine.
For the love of spirit...she nurtured her soul.
For the love of a good time...she sowed seeds of happiness.
For the love of the Goddess...she drew down the moon.
For the love of nature...she made compost.
For the love of a good meal...she gave thanks.
For the love of family...she reconciled differences.
For the love of creativity...she entertained new possibilities.
For the love of her enemies...she suspended judgment.
For the love of herself...she acknowledged her worth.
And the world was richer for her.
I arise today
through the strength of heaven;
light of sun, radiance of moon,
splendor of fire, speed of lightning,
swiftness of wind, depth of sea,
stability of earth, firmness of rock.
I arise today
through God's strength to pilot me:
God's might to uphold me, God's wisdom to guide me,
God's eye to look before me, God's word to speak for me,
God's hand to guard me, God's way to lie before me,
God's shield to protect me, God's host to save me.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down, Christ when I sit down, Christ when I arise,
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of everyone who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.
I arise today.
Advance the clocks.
Groggy at first, there is no spring in my step,
no possibilities that I can see.
But I do have another hour to keep my eyes ahead
to days of flowers birthed by freezing rain,
buried deep in snow,
pushed upward for me to see
that yes, indeed, I can spring forward
to another day
into a year of possibilities.
Mark Llloyd Richardson
Pray to whomever you kneel in awe before.
Pray to Being, to Sacred Mystery, to the Breath of Life.
Pray to Divine Love, to Ultimate Meaning, to the Author of Peace.
Pray so as to open your humanity to the humanity of others.
Pray without forgetting that we are bound together on a path that touches all of our lives, all of our worlds,
whether we live in Haiti or Iraq or China or Afghanistan or Yemen or Palestine or on the central coast of California.
On this day, we thank you, Holy One, for Martin Luther King, Jr.
We thank you for all who have the vision and the courage to build the beloved community
where everyone is valued, power is shared, privilege is set aside,
and all creation knows your healing Presence and Peace.
In your many names we pray. Amen
(for Helen Keller)
In the dark,
Brighter than many ever see.
Through the soul's own master.
And now the world receives
From her dower:
The message of the strength
Of inner power.
I've longed for people I thought I would die without.
And wanted books and music I was sure would bring me peace.
And I've driven myself to accomplish things I thought would secure my worth.
And though I seldom touched what I longed for or got what I wanted or achieved what I pushed for,
the remnants of my longing burned like ancient wood on the fire of my soul,
making the heart of my being burn brighter.
To my surprise, I loved and worked and pushed 'til I used myself up.
To my surprise, using myself up was the fate under all my aspirations.
At the end of all we want, we're meant to glow.
So long and want and dream 'til you exhaust you heart's desire.
We learn so much from longing and wanting and dreaming.
Mostly, that they are not the mansiions we dream of living in,
but they are the wood that keeps our fires going.
The spirit likes to dress up like this: ten fingers, ten toes.
It could float, of course, but would rather plumb rough matter.
Airy and shapeless thing, it needs the metaphor of the body, lime and appetite, the oceanic fluids;
it needs the body's world, instinct and imagination and the dark hug of time;
sweetness and tangibility, to be understood - to be more than pure light that burns where no one is.
So it enters us - in the morning, shines from brute comfort like a stitch of lightning;
and at night lights up the deep and wondrous drownings of the body like a star.
We have not come here to take prisoners, but to surrender ever more deeply to freedom and joy.
We have not come into this exquisite world to hold ourselves hostage from love.
Run, my dear, from anything that may not strengthen your precious budding wings.
Run, my dear, from anyone likely to put a sharp knife into the sacred, tender vision of your beautiful heart.
We have a duty to befriend those aspects of obedience that stand outside of our house
and shout to our reason, "Oh please, Oh please, come out and play."For we have not come here to take prisoners
or to confine our wondrous spirits, but to experience ever and ever more deeply our divine courage, freedom and light.
Let your love play upon my voice and rest on my silence. Let it pass through my heart into all my movements.
Let Your love, like stars, shine in the darkness of my sleep and dawn in my awakening.
Let it burn in the flame of my desires and flow in all currents of my own love.
Let me carry Your love in my life as a harp does its music, and give it back to You at last with my life.
Around and around we go singing our song sweet and low, our song of love, and our song of life.
You choose what you want to hear - spring's eternal life or death's eternal damnation, love's summer song or winter's heartache pose.
This life is yours, sing what you may.
Come sun and springling shower you can give a tune to everyghing, no matter what the hour.
Sing your song to your heart's content of loves, ballad or death's lament.
Sing your song to be heard from the highest hill to evening flower, sing it high, sing it low, but sing it anyway,
for life is for singing the praises of being here.
James Dillet Freeman
If every day were Christmas, how different life would be,
if not one day but all year were ruled by charity.
Had we the faith in miracles a child has Christmas morn,
each day would be love's manger and Christ would be reborn
in us again to change and heal our outworn wars and ways-
had we a child's or shepherd's gift for wonderment and praise!
Yet every day is Christmas when we have learned to live
not so much in how to get, but how to truly give;
and like a child can wonder, and like a child can pray,
but have the grown-up wisdom to give ourselves away.
She let go. Without a thought or a word, she let go.
She let go of the fear. She let go of the judgments. She let go of the confluence of opinions swarming around her head. She let go of the committee of indecision within her. She let go of all the 'right' reasons. Wholley and completely, without hesitation or worry, she just let go.
She didn't ask anyone for advice. She didn't read a book on how to let go. She didn't search the scriptures. She just let go. She let go of all the memories that held her back. She let go of all of the anxiety that kept her from moving forward. She let go of the planning and all of the calculations about how to do it just right.
She didn't promise to let go. She didn't journal about it. She didn't write the projected date in her Day-Timer. She made no public announcement and put no ad in the paper. She didn't check the weather report or read her daily horoscope. She just let go.
She didn't analyze whether she should let go. She didn't call her friends to discuss the matter. She didn't do a five-step Spiritual Mind Treatment. She didn't call the Prayer Line. She didn't utter one word. She just let go.
There was no effort. There was no struggle. It wasn't good and it wasn't bad. It was what it was, and it is just that.
In the space of letting go, she let it all be. A small smile came over her face. A light breeze blew through her. And the sun and the moon shone forevermore.
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 like a fool for love, 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 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, 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 faithlessand 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 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.