Recently, Maggie talked about Eight Books That Changed Her. And asked which books did it for us. My answer was a little insipid and a little fluffy and a little childish, but the damn truth.
The Tao of Pooh by Benjamin Hoff.
My sister sent me this cute little book when I was in college. During a time when I was struggling with my identity, had just emerged from the crapfest of highschool into what would end up being a great growth period during college, but yet I was still was floundering in the mire of mental garbage that everyone needs to sort through at that age. And while my sister and I are close, she also knows very well how to elicit emotion from me, both good and bad. This time, with this very simple book, about a very simple children’s book character, she brought some really really really nice feelings to the surface.
The Tao of Pooh puts forth the idea that Winnie The Pooh is actually a Taoist, and explains the principals of Taoism through the characters of AA Milne. Basically Taoism for Dummies.
I read it one sitting. And then read it again. And again.
And it opened up a whole new world of thinking to me.
That I didn’t have to push as much. That I didn’t have to hurt as much. That flowing with the water was just as fun as swimming against it.
And while I’m not always as content as Pooh, it’s nice to just float sometimes.
It’s also nice to open that old book, with its weathered pages, and see the loving inscription from my sister, from a time in my life when I really needed her.