>A blog I read most days is Malisa’s. She is a very strong woman and a wonderful writer. I feel like I learn a lot reading her words (although I’ve never really told her that or interacted with her too much). I forget if I’ve shared her link before or not but definitely think that her site is worth a read and also that a couple of the specific people I know who read this would probably also enjoy reading it and get something from it. She writes on caringbridge so I can’t link to specific entries but in her most recent one she shared the following poem which I wanted to pass on here.
It Doesn’t Interest Me
It doesn’t interest me what you do for 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, 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 dance with wildness and let it fill you to
the tips of your fingers and toes, without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, or to remember the limitations of being human.
It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling 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 see beauty even when it is not pretty everyday, and if you can source your 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 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 or how you came to be here. I want to know if you can stand in the center of the fire with me and not shrink back.
It doesn’t interest me what or where 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.
—Oriahe Mountain Dreamer, An Indian Elder
I think that realistically I can’t say that I personally am good at a lot of the things this poem talks about. I don’t have those sort of qualities or skills as a whole. But it strikes me that what that poem is more about is about learning to see the positive and to focus on the now rather than the might have beens or the might bes. About the big picture.
Those are things that I try to focus on and have done for a long time. They are in no way easy things to do and sometimes when I think I’ve got there (or rather I’m getting there) I suddenly realise that actually I’m not. But then I remember this line from Star Trek Voyager (it’s from the finale and it’s Harry Kim who says it)
When I think about everything we’ve been through together, maybe it’s not the destination that matters, maybe it’s the journey, and if that journey takes a little longer, so we can do something we all believe in, I can’t think of any place I’d rather be or any people I’d rather be with.
And I’ve basically just lost the plot of where I was going with this and what I was trying to say!
The short version is that the poem made me think of that quote and that both of them together sum up a lot of what I believe in and my sort of goals for life. I think that for those of us who live with disabilities and more so with acceptance of that this is what it is force you to learn lessons that are different. There is more to it then that but this entry has turned from the short one I thought it would be to a longer one and I’m tired so I will leave it for now and may return to the topic in future.