Saturday, January 23, 2010

If I had my life to live over Nadine Stair

I encountered this in an advert in a magazine years ago, in a slightly different version, but found this full version when I googled to find the author who is listed as being aged 85.  I can identify with it - being a person who often travels with wipes and hand sanitiser !!!!
My favourite part is the bit about 'oh I've had my moments' - I would love to know what her moments were ... I bet they were pretty notable!  She has given a useful gift to anyone who reads this - warning us not to wait until we're 85 to realise that life could be more relaxed and sillier, and walked through barefoot.

If I had my life to live over,
I'd dare to make more mistakes next time.
I'd relax, I would limber up.

I would be sillier than I have been this trip.
I would take fewer things seriously.
I would take more chances.
I would climb more mountains and swim more rivers.
I would eat more ice cream and less beans.
I would perhaps have more actual troubles,
but I'd have fewer imaginary ones.

You see, I'm one of those people who live
sensibly and sanely hour after hour,
day after day.

Oh, I've had my moments,
And if I had it to do over again,
I'd have more of them.
In fact, I'd try to have nothing else.
Just moments, one after another,
instead of living so many years ahead of each day.
I've been one of those people who never goes anywhere
without a thermometer, a hot water bottle, a raincoat
and a parachute.
If I had to do it again, I would travel lighter than I have.

If I had my life to live over,
I would start barefoot earlier in the spring
and stay that way later in the fall.
I would go to more dances.
I would ride more merry-go-rounds.
I would pick more daisies.

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Oriah

I found this in a shop in Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver ten years ago, and it always stayed with me - a reminder of not to get too caught up in the things that don't always matter about the people we love. 


It doesn’t interest me to know 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 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 centre of your own sorrows,
If you 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 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 your self,
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 on 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 for 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 empty moments.