Guest poem submitted independently by Reed C. Bowmanand Vidur:
(Poem #738) 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 like a fool for love, for your dreams, 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, be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being human. It doesn't interest me if the story you're 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 faithless and therefore be 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 a 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 for the children. It doesn't interest me who you are, 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.
[Reed] Sets a high standard, perhaps, but a more palatable one than most singles ads... I don't know anything more about this poem or its author, but I think it hardly needs comment. [Vidur] I don't have much to offer in the form of a comment on the poem. I wonder if it's just me -- but the poem almost immediately brings to mind one of my other favourites, "If" by Ruryard Kipling. Just as with "If", each time I read this, it says something new to me. I read it recently at an event to generate awareness about the drought in Rajasthan, and it took on a whole new meaning then, lending itself beautifully to the occasion. Even though "If" is timeless, I think that the "Invitaion" has a more contemporary feel to it, which perhaps makes it less didactic and more pertinent. The unpretentious verse and bluntness in style is wonderful. I think the poem struck a chord because living and working in Silicon Valley, I'm surrounded by people that lead surprisingly insular lives. Much of what she says in the poem I've reflected on in the past. It's a poem I would have written, if I could write :) [Links] More about the poet and the poem: [broken link] http://www.skdesigns.com/internet/articles/prose/mtn_dreamer.html Similar poems on the Minstrels: Poem #204, "The Vision of a Giant who Migrated from Baja to Tiburon Island" Poem #344, "The Navajo Night Way Ceremony" Poem #184, "Chief Seattle's Reply"