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, 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, 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 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.
-Oriah Mountain Dreamer
"The impulse to play is instinct. No play, no creative life." -Dr. Clara Pinkola Estes
"She climbed until she saw..." -unknown. Taken off of a little notebook for sale in a small bookshop in Moab, Utah.
Taken from Dr. Clara Pinkola Ests in Women Who Run With the Wolves
"Story is far older than the art and science of psychology, and will always be the elder in the equation no matter how much time passes.
For me, stories have run free in my imagination since I was young and barefoot. Stories are medicine. And I have been taken with them since I heard my first. They have such power. The remedies for repair or reclamation of any lost psychic drive are contained in stories. Stories engender the excitement, sadness, questions, longing, and understanding that spontaneously bring the wild human archetype back to the surface.
Even more so than hearing stories, they set the deepest yearnings of our heart and spirit free when we allow ourselves to tell them."
It was towards the end of our expedition in the Karakoram.
One frozen evening, the clouds parted and the night sky unveiled a beautiful canopy sprinkled with stardust. I couldn’t take my eyes off of it in a mesmerized state of wonder. I had brought my watercolors along and hadn’t really given it much time to paint let alone to journal since my hands could not stand being outside of their gloves longer than a minute. But something about the solitude I had to myself, perched on a little rock and craning my neck to the Milky Way, warmed my body to a state of action.
I pulled out my watercolors and ink pen and let my thoughts hit the paper for the first time the whole expedition. These were the thoughts I could muster before my hands became too cold to write anymore.
Lessons in the Karakoram