Sunday, November 09, 2008


A pearl of Native American wisdom you have probably heard before but which I am repeating here because I heard it earlier today:

An old woman was teaching her grandchildren about life. "There are two wolves fighting inside me, a terrible fight," she told them. "One wolf is jealous, vengeful, greedy, and resentful. The other wolf is kind, compassionate, humble, and serene. The same struggle goes on inside every person."

"Grandmother, which wolf will win?" they asked her.

"The one I feed," she told them.

Maybe it's a little facile to post this, like in the last season of the Sopranos when Tony kept repeating "sometimes I go about in pity for myself and all the while a great wind carries me across the sky." You can certainly find the above story, and probably Tony's favorite quote, on skillions of other blogs. But it won't kill us to think about which aspects of ourselves are getting the most time and attention.

I am still far from caught up on sleep and my house is full of leftovers. The Brit called me from the top of a volcano earlier. It's 20 degrees outside. I'm a little afraid to get on my bike tomorrow, but I'm going to do it anyway.


  1. That is one fine nugget. I looked it up so that I could forward a generic link, and all the examples were of a Cherokee man telling it to his grandson. I like yours much better. It's rather amazing what a switch of a gender pronoun can do for the female psyche, really.

    Was the Brit doing Haleakala? Sorry you didn't make this trip. I have to say, Hawaii is better than it even seems.

  2. I know. I looked for a quotable version of the story and I didn't like any of them either, especially since most were an old man and his grandson. There's not anything wrong with that per se, but it's so archetypal and everyone's rocking the same struggle, so why not let the old ladies have a voice for once?

    On a not-unrelated note: in the Halloween ep of TAL I was struck by the fact that even David Sedaris uses the phrase "female pathologist," twice, when the fact that the pathologist was a woman had exactly nothing to do with the story, and her gender would have been revealed a few words later through normal pronoun use.

    Yes, he was on Haleakala. Oh man.