The Dance - Oriah Mountain Dreamer


I have sent you my invitation,

the note inscribed on the palm of my hand by the fire of living.

Don’t jump up and shout, “Yes, this is what I want! Let’s do it!”

Just stand up quietly and dance with me.


Show me how you follow your deepest desires,

spiralling down into the ache within the ache,

and I will show you how I reach inward and open outward

to feel the kiss of the Mystery, sweet lips on my own, every day.


Don’t tell me you want to hold the whole world in your heart.

Show me how you turn away from making another wrong without abandoning

yourself when you are hurt and afraid of being unloved.


Tell me a story of who you are and see who I am in the stories I live.

And together we will remember that each of us always has a choice.


Don’t tell me how wonderful things someday will be.

Show me you can risk being completely at peace,

truly okay with the way things are right now, in this moment,

and again in the next and the next and the next.


I have heard enough warrior stories of heroic daring.

Tell me how you crumble when you hit the wall,

the place you cannot go beyond by

the strength of your own will.


What carries you to the other side of

that wall, to the fragile beauty of

your own humanness?


And after we have shown each other how we have set and kept the clear,

healthy boundaries that help us live side by side with each other, let us

risk remembering that we never stop silently loving those we once loved out loud.


Take me to the places on the earth that teach you how to dance,

the places where you can risk letting the world break your heart.

And I will take you to the places where the earth beneath my feet and the stars

overhead make my heart whole again and again.


Show me how you take care of business

without letting business determine who you are.

When the children are fed but still the voices within

and around us shout that soul’s desires have too high a price,

let us remind each other that it is never about the money.


Show me how you offer to your people

and the world the stories and the songs

you want our children’s children to remember.

And I will show you how I struggle

not to change the world, but to love it.


Sit beside me in long moments of shared solitude,

knowing both our absolute aloneness

and our undeniable belonging.

Dance with me in the silence

and in the sound of small daily

words, holding neither against me

at the end of the day.


And when the sound of all the declarations of our

sincerest intentions has died away on the wind,

dance with me in the infinite pause before the next great

inhale of the breath that is breathing us all into being,

not filling the emptiness from the outside or from within.


Don’t say, “Yes!”

Just take my hand

and dance

with me.

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