This week we talk to Jesse Browner
Jesse Browner is the author of the novels The Uncertain Hour and Everything Happens Today. His latest book is the memoir How Did I Get Here: Making Peace with the Road Not Taken.
Browner has also translated books by Jean Cocteau, Paul Eluard and Rainer Maria Rilke, as well as Frédéric Vitoux’s award-winning Céline: A Biography. More recently, he translated Matthieu Ricard’s Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill and Frédéric Mitterrand’s The Bad Life.
His freelance writing includes contributions to Nest magazine, Food & Wine, Gastronomica, New York magazine, The New York Times Book Review, Paris Review, Salon.com, Slate.com and others.
In This Interview, Jesse Browner and I Discuss…
- The One You Feed parable
- His new book, How Did I Get Here? Making Peace with the Road Not Taken
- That in our “unlived lives” we are always happier and more fulfilled
- Making peace with the choices we’ve made in our lives
- How to approach the question, “what if” by asking instead, “what is”
- That the most persistent monkey on an artists back is happiness
- The belief that happiness whitewashes all the things that makes us unique
- Bet on the likelihood that you’re not a genius and that you can make meaning in your life in other ways than your art
- Why bet against yourself?
- To work hard at something you love: you’ll be the best you can
- His life’s motto: Work and Love
- How he’s been called “the angry Buddhist” by his children
- The importance of and remedy in being more deeply involved in the life you have
Jesse Browner Links
A grandfather is talking with his grandson and he says there are two wolves inside of us which are always at war with each other.
One of them is a good wolf which represents things like kindness, bravery and love. The other is a bad wolf, which represents things like greed, hatred and fear.
The grandson stops and thinks about it for a second then he looks up at his grandfather and says, “Grandfather, which one wins?”
The grandfather quietly replies, the one you feedThe Tale of Two Wolves is often attributed to the Cherokee indians but there seems to be no real proof of this. It has also been attributed to evangelical preacher Billy Graham and Irish Playwright George Bernard Shaw. It appears no one knows for sure but this does not diminish the power of the parable.
This parable goes by many names including:
The Tale of Two Wolves
The Parable of the Two Wolves
Which Wolf Do You Feed
Which Wolf are You Feeding
Which Wolf Will You Feed
It also often features different animals, mainly two dogs.