Rachel D. Levy
Reflecting on this tale, I feel it was never cannibalism that truly defined the Windigo. The root of its existence extends beyond gnarly teeth and pale skin. The real monster that the Anishinaabe are warning of here is greed and over-consumption. It’s harboring infinite desire, and then all the things a person is willing to do in an effort to indulge it. Leave simpler ghost stories to be told around the campfire — this one is for the adults in the room. Where there is humanity there is greed, and where there is greed, there is the Windigo.
To “suck the marrow out of life,” as Thoreau puts it, takes the sacrifice of our favorite distractions, a conscious step away from comfort and a legitimate commitment to interacting with the world as it stands in front of each of us. Perhaps, though, the work it would take is worth it.
For a moment, imagine holding a pencil. Can you feel its weight? Its straight edges and sharp point? Instead of understanding this possession as an abundant, limitless commodity, is it possible to instead feel the pressure on our fingertips and understand that we’re holding the weight of an entire life that has been gifted to us in the name of creativity?
Karen Shapiro, a financial advisor at Progressive Asset Management; James "Jim" T. Engell '73, an English professor; University President Lawrence S. Bacow; Cornel R. West '74, a philosophy professor; and James G. Anderson a chemistry professor speak at a public forum on fossil fuel divestment on Thursday evening in Sever Hall.