Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Invitation

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 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 centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled 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 is 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 at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,

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 centre 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.

By Oriah © Mountain Dreaming,
from the book The Invitation

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Mary Oliver: Fall Song

Fall Song

Another year gone, leaving everywhere
its rich spiced residues: vines, leaves,

the uneaten fruits crumbling damply
in the shadows, unmattering back

from the particular island
of this summer, this NOW, that now is nowhere

except underfoot, moldering
in that black subterranean castle

of unobservable mysteries - roots and sealed seeds
and the wanderings of water. This

I try to remember when time's measure
painfully chafes, for instance when autumn

flares out at the last, boisterous and like us longing
to stay - how everything lives, shifting

from one bright vision to another, forever
in these momentary pastures.

~ Mary Oliver ~

(American Primitive)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

The Force That Fights Deep-Pocketed Polluters and Wins

Recently, the OpenSecrets blog revealed that the oil and gas industry poured $174 million into the political system in 2009. We don't have numbers for 2010 yet, but we do know that oil companies have put up most of the $8.2 million raised to block California's clean energy law --a law that passed with bipartisan support and was signed by a Republican governor.

When one dirty industry can purchase that much influence, who will step into the ring for average Americans? Who will say that public health and public interest matter more than private industries' desire to pollute?

I am a firm believer in the ability of citizens to stand up for themselves and fight against the tide of corporate pressure. But sometimes, we need an expert to help carry our voices into the courtroom and into Congress.

For four decades, John Adams has been one of those voices. Since he helped launch NRDC in 1970, Adams has been the toughest, most tenacious champion of the notion that Americans should be able to drink safe water, breathe clean air, buy products free of toxic chemicals, and protect our natural heritage.

In a new book called A Force for Nature, Adams and his wife Patricia explain how they helped build the modern environmental movement. Their account of how NRDC wrote the laws and won the battles that cleaned up the environment is galvanizing -- a bracing reminder of how much can be accomplished by dedicated individuals.


Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world. ~ Bishop Desmond Tutu

Hafiz: Not With Wings

Not With Wings

Here soar
Not with wings,

But with your moving hands and feet
And sweating brows -

Standing by your Beloved's side
Reaching out to comfort this world

With your cup of solace
Drawn from your vast reservoir of Truth.

Here soar
Not with your eyes and senses

That turn their backs
On the earth's sweet stumbling dance
Which needs you.

Here love, O here love,
With your mouth tender and open upon your lover,

And with your heart on duty
To the souls of rivers, children, forest animals,
All the shy feathered ones and laughing, jumping,
Shining fish.

O here, pilgrim,
On this holy battleground of life

Where there are bleeding men
Who are calling for a sacred drink,
A gentle word or touch from man
or God.

Hafiz, why just serve and play with angels?
They are already content.

Brew your knowledge well for men
With aching minds and guts,

And for those wayfarers who have gained
The rare courageous thirsts
That can never be relinquished
Until Union!

Hafiz,Leave your recipes in golden drums.

Tie those barrels to the backs of camels
Who will keep circumambulating the worlds,

Giving nourishment
To all our tender wondrous spheres.

O here love, O love right here.
Find your happiness, dear wayfarer,

With your beautiful lips and body
So sweetly opened,

Yielding their vital gifts upon
This magnificent

~ Hafiz ~

(The Subject Tonight is Love - versions of Hafiz by Daniel Ladinsky)

Web version:

Get To Know A Muslim

I am moved to do a post on this man and this article after hearing an interview with him on KPOJ's morning show. Peace ~ Molly

Get To Know A Muslim
By Tom Krattenmaker

A strong work ethic, devotion to God and family, conservative views on abortion and sexuality — on these scores and more, the newcomers would appear to be right in stride with the traditional-values folk in Anytown, USA.

In view of the Christian gospel followed by most of the established residents, you might assume they’d extend a hand of hospitality. You certainly wouldn’t expect them to resist the newcomers’ worship centers, would you? Or squander an opportunity to enlist potential allies in the fight against the country’s inexorable drift toward coarseness and secularism?

These perfectly logical thoughts might run through your mind until you learned that the newcomers in question often have Middle Eastern-sounding names, wear beards or head scarves, and take their spiritual cues from the Quran. And then you’d know that the situation was bound to play out on a whole different frequency. At flashpoints from Temecula, Calif., to Gainesville, Fla., to New York, N.Y., and all along the low road in between, mongers of fear and haters of the “other” are sounding the alarm about Islam with a new level of intensity. To hear it from conservative spokesman Newt Gingrich and those of a similar persuasion, the Muslims between our shores are bent on taking over the country and imposing their “un-American” values.

This demonizing and demagoguery is beneath us. My plea to those tempted to fall for the beware-of-all-Muslims hype: Get to know someone before you decide to fear and hate him.


If you’re fortunate enough to have Muslim neighbors or co-workers, you’ve probably come to see that they have as much in common with suicide bombers as your friend at church has in common with the supposed Christians who bombed the Atlanta Olympics and murdered an abortion doctor at his church. ~ Tom Krattenmaker

Hate is a disease. It is fear's messenger and it makes us do terrible things in a shadow of our better selves, of what we could be. ~ Colin Farrell

There is nothing to fear except the persistent refusal to find out the truth, the persistent refusal to analyze the causes of happenings. Fear grows in darkness; if you think there's a bogeyman around, turn on the light. Only when we are no longer afraid do we begin to live. ~ Dorothy Thompson