Thursday, February 17, 2011

poem thursday -- you must read this poem (and i rambled)

It's hard to start coming into your own at the age of 43.  It really is.  

Does this happen to everyone?

Are we constantly evolving or do we change in spurts or does both happen?

Well, I've been stagnant for years but slowly finding my way to this point.  Finding yoga five or six years ago.  My practice coming and going but always wanting more.  Signing up for teacher training and then finding myself in an environment and with people that force me to take a look at myself and start to dig back to my true self instead of hiding and waiting and being scared.

I'm meeting resistance and that's hard.  I don't know what the line is -- when does it become selfish to become yourself? 

I've tried writing about the above a bunch of times the last day or two and decided to skip it and post a poem today -- and of course started rambling at you and writing about it a bit anyways.

Then a wonderful thing happened.  I was tracking down a poem I'd heard in a yoga class (which I'll use next week) and I came upon the following poem, which says perfectly how I am feeling right now.  Describes what I'm going through.  Also, I discovered a new (to me) poet.   

I love when this happens, when a poem, song, book, person finds you exactly at the moment you need them.  That happened this morning when I found this poem. 

You know what?  It also happened when I went to teacher training and found my new yogi friends.  They came into my life exactly when they were supposed to.   I think I will not let go of them. 

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 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;
I want to know if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty, even when it is not pretty every day,
and if you can source your life from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure, yours or 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 a 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 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.


Jennifer said...

I am so proud of you.

All of this was gorgeous and so moving.

V-Grrrl @ Compost Studios said...

That last stanza is always what I want to know. Can you be alone with yourself? People who can't, who run from activity to activity or person to person or social interaction to social interaction are not people I can relate to.

Green Girl in Wisconsin said...

GOOD for you to stick with it.
This poem is one of the ones that sticks to your GUT, y'know? Of course you know.

slow panic said...

Jenn -- Thanks. Love you.

V-Grrrl -- oh yeah, I can be alone -- sometimes that might be a problem for me.

Green Girl --Just love this poem so much. So excited to read more of her work.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

That is beautiful and profound.

It's also very strangely pertinent to me today. I am spending time alone, away from home (where alone is not the same because there is so much to do)and I'm a little shocked at how much I like it.

Sophia the Writer said...

Ah yes, an oldie and goodie. Love her work.

JCK said...

This is a great one for you. Learning who you are at 43 is scary, and empowering. Most of all important. Because you have to be yourself. You will encounter resistance at first, but that will shift, too. Good for you!

Stephanie said...

Love, love, love that poem. I too am 43 and I believe the 40s are about acceptance, discovery and being true to yourself. Add to that (in my case) a tornado of changing hormones and it's...not easy, and easier.