Interesting Inclinations

This poem (is it a poem?  I’m not really sure) came to me recently and articulates exactly what I wonder about and feel when I am with a new friend or wonderfully familiar one.

I have a newfound fascination with people and what excites them (Silver Lining). What motivates them. What energizes them. What saddens them. What empowers them. What drives their spirit.

It’s not to say that I’ve never been interested in these things.  The key difference is that now learning about the deeper level is what drives the intent of my dialogue.


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

It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will
risk looking 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, 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 faithful and therefore be trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see beauty, even when it’s 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 on the edge of a 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, Indian Elder

Leave a comment


  1. Susan Rooney says

    Thanks so much for this amazing poem Holley! I have copied and given to a dear friend who is celebrating her 1 year anniversary from her FBC diagnosis. It beautifully and poignantly articulates the transformative shift she has shared with us during her journey. May every blessing be yours!!!

  2. Nan and Hilary Jacob says

    Yes this a wonderful poem that was given to me from someone years ago and I still have the handwritten note tucked away in my journal. I have shared it with many. So powerful. So timeless.

  3. Kim says

    Yes, to know who we are. To go inside – fearlessly to our core, to be self actualized, egoless, awake, grounded and free of the trappings of our exterior selves – the empty existence of filling ourselves with things unreal – to hide from the fear of what it is to be truly alive. I understand what this poem is trying to say and it is the way of enlightenment. Beautiful poem, Hollye.
    If we've truly confronted the fear of death on the cancer journey – we have a choice to either become afraid of it or we can begin to live life fearlessly! Your choice is quite obvious. Keep going!
    Thank you,