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The  Dance


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,

spiraling 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 will be

. . . some day.

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


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


not filling the emptiness

from the outside or from within.


Don’t say, “Yes!”

Just take my hand and dance with me.


© Oriah Mountain Dreamer,

from the book The Dance,

HarperONE, SanFrancisco, 2001.

All rights reserved.

The Dance

The Dance

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Directed by / Réalisée par Aryan Arian, 2015

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