[Sunset Cliffs Park, San Diego,CA]
There’s a story going around; maybe you’ve heard it? Here it is:
ONE EVENING, AN ELDERLY
CHEROKEE BRAVE TOLD HIS
GRANDSON ABOUT A BATTLE THAT
GOES ON INSIDE PEOPLE.
HE SAID “MY SON, THE BATTLE IS
BETWEEN TWO ‘WOLVES’ INSIDE US ALL.
ONE IS EVIL. IT IS ANGER,
ENVY, JEALOUSY, SORROW,
REGRET, GREED, ARROGANCE,
SELF-PITY, GUILT, RESENTMENT,
INFERIORITY, LIES, FALSE PRIDE,
SUPERIORITY, AND EGO.
THE OTHER IS GOOD.
IT IS JOY, PEACE LOVE, HOPE SERENITY,
HUMILITY, KINDNESS, BENEVOLENCE,
TRUTH, COMPASSION AND FAITH.”
THE GRANDSON THOUGH ABOUT
IT FOR A MINUTE AND THEN ASKED
“WHICH WOLF WINS?…”
THE OLD CHEROKEE SIMPLY REPLIED,
“THE ONE THAT YOU FEED” *
I’ve been thinking a lot about that story. And which wolf I’m feeding. Which means, for me, answering a very simple, basic question: How do I spend my time? Guess what? I spend a lot of time purposely putting myself in situations where I can feel outraged! (They don’t call it “righteous indignation for nuthin,’ you know.) Apparently I like being upset. I am feeding that arrogant, angry, superior and, I might add, prurient wolf! (Yes. There’s something lascivious about reading Donald Trump’s latest spewings, I think. Like all those other situations where you know you should turn away, close the curtains—but you just can’t.)
So this lenten season—and I hope for the rest of my life—I’ve given up reading about, talking about, and most beneficially, becoming outraged about Donald Trump and all the other hate-mongers both foreign and domestic. Which means—again quite basically— some time has been freed up! So, yesterday, when a dear friend sent me an email chain letter involving sending a favorite poem to someone (and, unfortunately, asking 20 of your super-busy friends to do the same), I signed up.
And this morning I received three glorious poems!
Here’s the poem I sent off; it’s an excerpt from “Lines Composed a Few Miles Above Tintern Abbey, on Revisiting the Banks of the Wye during a Tour, July 13,1798” by William Wordsorth:
For I have learned
To look on nature, not as in the hour
Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes
The still sad music of humanity,
Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
To chasten and subdue.—And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man:
*Copied from the Nanticoke Indian Tribe website