One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside all 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, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: “Which wolf wins?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed.”
I like how you mispronounce words sometimes, how you fumble and stammer and stutter looking for the right ones to say and the right ways to say them. I appreciate that you find language challenging, because it is, because everything manmade is challenging. Including man, including you.
I like that you think my opinion of you is so fickle that it could change overnight. (It’s not).
I enjoy seeing you insecure, vulnerable. I like to watch red steam light up your cheeks, a spreading mist of shame when you think you’ve done something unacceptable like missing a step on the stairs or not having the perfect answer to something I’ve said. It’s like you honestly don’t know how wonderful you are, it’s like you have no idea.
The burns, the scars, the black and blues on your face body heart, I want to know their stories. I want to know what hurt you, who hurt you, how bad the damage is.
I appreciate your ability to get inappropriately angry as much as I appreciate your willingness to apologize afterward. I like how your passion manifests unpredictably and uncontrollably, how your feelings cannot be caged or concealed, how you’re incapable of apathy.
I like how you can’t dance, how you have pedestrian taste in music, how the worst song on every album is your favorite. I like how enthusiastic you are when you hear it, it’s like you don’t know how terrible it is, it’s like maybe how you’re able to love someone like me. (Perhaps that’s your biggest flaw, perhaps that’s the one I love most).
Your flaws single you out, set you apart, make you different from the rest, and thank god. I don’t just put up with settle for accept your blemishes, I like them. I like them because they make you human, and humans are easier to love than photographs and illusions and ideals; humans fit more easily between arms and between legs; humans are welcome to their imperfections because if there’s one thing humans can do perfectly, it’s love. Humans can love, they can do it flawlessly.
Shaker Aamer has been detained in Guantanamo for the past ten years without committing a single offence. “Fears are growing for the welfare of Mr Aamer, from south London, who is now 45 and has a wife and four children. He has never met his youngest son. His lawyers are particularly concerned by the deterioration of his mental and physical state, which Mr Aamer describes vividly in his letters. He has lost 40 per cent of his body weight and is suffering from health problems, aggravated by long periods in solitary confinement.” In one of his letters, Shaker writes to his loved one:
You are the soul of my life. You are the best of my heart. You are the light of my eyes. You are the oxygen in my lungs, you are the sun on my back, the sweetest taste of my mouth you are everything you are everything I need to live, to love, to be… Do you know how much you are important for my life. If you break I will break, if you become weak I will become weak and if you go I will go. You are my soul twin. I need you to be strong.
Ten agonizing, brutal years without justice conveniently labelled as “interrogation” and “safety measures” by the government of USA. I’m speechless.