The Invitation

The Invitation

By Oriah Mountain Dreamer

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 doesnt interest me
what planets are 
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if 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,
“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 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.

Advertisements

Don’t Quit

By: John Greenleaf Whittier

When things go wrong as they sometimes will,
When the road you’re trudging seems all up hill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about
When he might have won had he stuck it out;
Don’t give up though the pace seems slow–
You may succeed with another blow,
Success is failure turned inside out–
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far;
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit–
It’s when things seem worst that you must not quit.

Motivational Tip: “Let Me Be What I Am”

Let me be what I am

by Sharlene Samuel

Let me be what I am

Not what you wish for me.

I cannot fit into your plan;

That’s not the life for me.

The pomp and pride of yesterday

Have vanished in the air;

The honest human being today

Must be free from inward fear.

I’ll do the things I want to,

Whene’er I feel the need;

Not stifle my feelings as you do

By trying to keep a creed.

I’ll talk, I’ll sing, I’ll dance, I’ll shout,

I’ll run, I’ll skip, I’ll play;

I must be free as I move about

Not be burdened with each day.

I thank You Lord, for nature’s gifts

So plenteous an free;

The rising sun behind the cliffs,

The earth, the sky, the sea.

Why then should I not happy be?

Why live as if in pain?

Why waste the gifts God gives to me

By living life in vain?

Material wealth is not for me;

Its price is much too high.

Nature’s gifts are pure and free,

I’ll enjoy them till I die.

Book Launch

Book Launch

Love is Love

LOVE IS LOVE

Do you believe

The words escaped

Her lips in a whisper

Almost as though

She had exhaled

The words like spent air

Technically, carbon dioxide

My grandmother

Was not prone

To speaking at length

Actually, I knew her

Not to talk at all

As she died

Long before I was

A twinkle in my parent’s eyes

And yet her she sat

On the corner of my bed

This was a dream

Or so I kept

Repeating to myself

Still, I did not

Pinch myself, thinking

It would be a tad

Disrespectful

Then she repeated

Her question

This time louder

This time with an object

As well as a subject and verb

Do you believe in love?

I looked away

How do you explain

To your grandmother

That you had closed your heart

And chose not to love

Chose not to seek it

Chose not to let it in

Coolness touched my chin

Turning my head

So that I met her gaze

She waited

She would have waited

From now to forever

I had no choice

But to be honest

She listened

As I emptied my soul

Into the night

She listened as the moon

Traveled west

And the stars watched

Then she whispered again

Love is love

Love is not a missing pen

That you have to look

High and low for

Love is out in the open

And if you continue

To look for it in

Nooks and crannies

You will never find it

Love is not for one

Who hides their heart

Afraid that it would

Be abused

That it would

Be broken

If you do not

Can not love

How can you be loved?

This night

As the full, shiny moon

Traversed west

A dead grandmother

Taught her granddaughter

How to love again

And as the weight

Of the Sandman’s

Sands closed my eyes

I felt coolness

On my forehead

Where my grandmother

Kissed me goodnight

I saw her twice more

In my lifetime

Once, on the eve

Of my wedding day

She taught me

How to love my husband

The second time

Was when my newborn child

Slept in the cot beside me

She taught me

How to love my child

Every time I saw her

She whispered

Love is love

By Kimolisa Mings

From “She Wanted A Love Poem”

99-Year-Old Sprinter Sets World Record: “I’m Running From Old Age…”

99 year old sprinter

99 year old sprinter

Whats your excuse? Get up and move your body!

Even though Ida Keeling came in last place in the 100 meter race on August 12th, 2014, she took first place in the record books. The 99-year-old great-great-grandmother from New York finished the 100-meter race with a time of 59.8 seconds, becoming the first woman in the 95-99 age group to have completed the event in an internationally certified race, according to her daughter, Shelley Keeling.

“I’m running from old age and arthritis,” Keeling told the local Akron Beacon Journal before the race. “Believe me!” Explaining her routine now, she added: “I try to do everything for about an hour unless I’m tired, because I’m no spring chicken, honey. That’s why I like the sprint — I go as fast as I can and get it over with and feel good about myself.”

Ida, standing 4 feet 6 and weighing 83 pounds, started competitive running at age 67 to help deal with grief over losing her two sons.

“I was so depressed, and my daughter wanted to take me on a mini run,” Keeling said before the race (via the Akron Beacon Journal). “After it was finished, I felt relaxed and relieved.”
“She was sinking deeper and deeper,” Shelley said (via the Akron Beacon Journal). “I said, ‘Mama, you had four kids, but I only have one mother. You’re coming out with me.’ I wasn’t sure if it would work, but I knew I had to try something.”
Keeling lives by herself in a studio apartment and uses the gym twice a week in addition to running and yoga, according to the Akron Beacon Journal. Shelley, 63, is a real estate investor who coaches track at Fieldston School in the Bronx.

Ida has set records when she ran a 60m race in 2011, when she was 95, and again two years later.

Keeling is closing in on triple-digits in age, but she is still an avid fan of exercise and eating healthy. She plans on running the 100-meters again in 2015, this time going for a record in the age 100-104 division.

“Eat for nutrition, not for taste. Do what you need to do, not what you want to do and don’t leave out your daily exercise. Love yourself,” she says.

In a world of excuses, Ida Keeling has every reason not to put herself through strenuous sprinting. She has a dark personal past, a naturally tiny body, arthritis concerns and old age to worry about. But Keeling keeps on running.

 

*Motivational Tip* The Mask

A combination poem from Maya Angelou and Paul Laurence Dunbar

THE MASK

When I think about myself
I almost laugh myself to death.
My life has been one great big joke!
A dance that’s walked a song that’s spoke.
I laugh so hard, I almos’ choke
When I think about myself.

You see seventy years in these folks’ world
The child I works for calls me girl.
I say Yes ma’am!”
For workin’s sake
I’m too proud to bend and
Too poor to break.
I laugh so hard my stomach ache
When I think about myself.
My folks can make me split my side
I laugh so hard, I nearly died.
The tales they tell sound just like lying
They grow the fruit but eat the rind.
I laugh so hard, I started crying
when I think about myself and the little chil’ren.

Then we wear the mask, that grins and lies.
It shades our chitter eyes.
This debt we pay to human guile
With torn and bleeding hearts
We smile and mouth the myriad subtleties.
Why should the world be overwise
In counting all our tears and sighs.
Nay let them only see us while
We wear the mask.

We smile but oh my God
Our tears to thee from tortured souls arise
And we sing, now we sing…
But oh the clay is vile beneath our feet
And long the mile
But let the world think otherwise.
We wear the mask.

My fathers sit on benches,
Their flesh count every plank,
The slats leave dents of darkness
Deep in their withered flank.
And they gnarled like broken candles,
All waxed and burned profound.
They say, but sugar, it was our submission
that made your world go round.

They laugh to hide their crying,
They shuffle through their dreams
They stepped ’n fetched a country
And wrote the blues in screams.
I understand their meaning,
It could and did derive
From living on the edge of death
They kept my race alive
By wearing the mask! The mask ha! The mask

 

 

Motivational Tip: It’s all about happiness

“Happiness always looks small while you hold it in your hands, but let it go, and you learn at once how big and precious it is. ” – Maxim Gorky

It can sometimes be challenging seeing the good in a situation or being happy despite facing a problem. It is very easy to become bugged down with life and all the problems that we face, that we seldom make time to just ‘stop and smell the roses’. Life goes by in a flash and we don’t know when our number will be called. So why spend our days, fussing and being miserable! With help from our Saviour, we can learn to be happy and grateful in every situation. We may not see it at the time when we are going through the difficulty and we will not be ‘happy’ 100% of the time. But once we would have learnt the lesson, we would be more appreciative for over coming the situation and because of it, we would be a better and stronger person.

Happiness by Jane Kenyon

There’s just no accounting for happiness

Or the way it turns up like a prodigal

Who comes back to the dust at your feet

Having squandered a fortune far away

And how can you not forgive?

You make a feast in honor of what

Was lost, and take from its place the finest

Garment, which you saved for an occasion

You could not imagine, and you weep night and day

To know that you were not abandoned

That happiness saved its most extreme form for you alone

No, happiness is the uncle you never

knew about, who flies a single-engine plane

onto the grassy landing strip, hitchhikes

into town, and inquires at every door

until he finds you asleep midafternoon

as you so often are during the unmerciful hours of your despair

It comes to the monk in his cell

It comes to the woman sweeping the street

With a birch broom, to the child

Whose mother has passed out from drink.

It comes to the lover, to the dog chewing

A sock, to the pusher, to the basketmaker,

And to the clerk stacking cans of carrots in the night

It even comes to the boulder

In the perpetual shade of pine barrens,

To rain falling on the open sea,

To the wineglass, weary of holding wine.