Monday, November 3, 2014
During this visit she handed me a copy of a piece by Oriah Mountain Dreamer titled, The Dreamer. I had read this years ago but my mother handed it to me and said, "this made me think of you. I think you should read it aloud so Dave can hear it too".
So I did:
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 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 it's 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 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.
As I read this there were several times when my voice cracked and I had to take a deep breath in order to keep from crying so that I could keep reading. When I had finished I looked up to see Dave wiping tears from his cheeks and eyes. I gave a big sigh as Dave turned to my mother and said, "wow, Mary Lou, you know how to bring us all to our knees!" At this the three of us laughed.
When I read this so many years ago it was before Jim was sick, before I became a caretaker to a man who would not survive, before I understood what "standing in the center of the fire with me" truly meant. When I read this so many years ago it wasn't personal. On this day as my mother handed this to me because it had made her think of me it was very personal.
I share this with all the caregivers who are now, have been, or will be called upon to find strength they never knew they had.
I share this with those who have lost a huge piece of their life as they've witnessed the passing of a loved one.
I share this with those who will need to live with their failures and questions of whether are doing or have done enough and yet, 'still stand on the edge of the lake and shout to the silver moon, "YES!"'
I share this with those who have had nights of deep despair and they are weary to the bone but still get up and do what needs to be done for someone else.
It goes out to those who have been tested to the point of feeling so badly broken that they feel they can never find all the pieces again.
I share this with those who have put their own puzzle pieces back, maybe in a slightly different way now because one can never quite see the world the same again, and yet will still "dance with wildness" and seek their own truth and live the remainder of their life true to themselves, "faithless and therefore trustworthy".
I share this with those who are "willing to risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive."
I share this with you.
Loving you all back,