Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Feed the Right Wolf

I was chatting with a couple of friends the other day when one friend said that Science held all the truth that people could ever need, while religion served only to mislead people by lying to them. I suggested that religion was actually performance art and it used myth to explore truths that could not be fully understood or explored by Science or Logic. My friend strongly disagreed with me, saying that religion was dangerous because the gullible put more faith in it than the truth of Science. This fact terrified her and she even went so far to say that my own spiritual beliefs scared her. Remembering an old adage that said you should never debate religion or politics in a bar, I let the matter drop.

Since that discussion the following story has been coming up quite often. Whether it be coincidence or not, I've decided to post it here to keep track of it, but also to remind me of the wolf I should be feeding rather than giving into despair or wallowing in the horribleness of people and world events (which usually gets posted on Facebook).

Yes, there are terrible people and terrible things in this world, but I prefer to celebrate beauty, kindness, and generosity rather than gorge myself on the pornography of terror, violence, and the horrible depths of human depravity.

The Two Wolves

A Cherokee elder was teaching his grandchildren about life.
He said to them, “A fight is going on inside me… it is a terrible fight between two wolves.
One wolf represents fear, anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, hatefulness, and lies.
The other stands for joy, peace, love, hope, humbleness, kindness, friendship, generosity, faith, and truth.
This same fight is going on inside of you, and inside every other person, too.”
The children thought about it for a minute. Then one child asked his grandfather,
“Which wolf will win?”
The Cherokee elder replied…
“The one you feed.”

Monday, May 30, 2011

TaelStrum: After the Storm

TaelStrum will be performing as part of the St-Ambroise Montreal Fringe Festival

DATE: Friday June 3rd at 18h00
LOCATION: MAI 3680 Jeanne-Mance #460 (OFF-D)
TICKETS: $10 to $12 available through the Fringe Box Office
(listed as After The Storm) 514-849-FEST

TaelStrum is the duo of storyteller John David Hickey (aka "Hobbes") and musician/singer Shayne Gryn. The pair have been performing together for several years bringing a unique mix of storytelling and music to various cafes, pubs, and stages in and around Montreal.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

May Story: The King and his Cow

I've just completed our whirlwind, cross-Canada, two-city storytelling tour with Marie Bilodeau. It started in April in Montreal and ended in Ottawa in May. What an awesome tour! We would've kept going, but all the roadies have either expired, run away, or were jailed. It's a rock'n roll life, this storytelling gig.

On the upside, I got to record a new story that I haven't told in several years. I heard this story years ago at some festival and I was told it was a Jewish folktale, but I haven't been able to find a reference for it. I hadn't planned on telling it, but I wanted to give the audience a story that they had never heard from me, and seeing as it was Spring, having a good cow story seemed appropriate.

This show was held at Maxwell's Bistro in Ottawa and it was an awesome performance space. Thanks be to the fabulous audience for mooing so pathetically on cue.

My heartfelt thanks to Marie Bilodeau who shared this tour (and more than a few roadies, I might add (that woman's appetite is voracious!)) with me. She's awesome and if you get a chance to see her tell or read her books, please do so. You will not be disappointed.

Also, mucho thanks to Ruthanne Edward and Rusty Priske who not only attended the show, but also performed in it. Rusty performed two of my favourite poems of his, so I was very happy and honored.

The King and his Cow -- Told by JD Hickey (6:27 minutes)
Copyright© 2010 John David Hickey