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
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 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
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
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
copyright © 1999 by Oriah Mountain
(now known simply as "Oriah")