Honey Addict: Winnie the Pooh (Part Two)
A friend lent me the book, The Tao of Pooh, almost a year ago now. And, alas, as with many books, it often takes me a while to get around to reading them. But this one kind of *sparkled* away in the corner of the room. Sparkled? Yeah, I am not really sure what I mean by that either. It was a combination of feeling kind of weirded out by what I imagined was going to be a children’s book (and feeling that I already read enough of those to my children at bedtime), and that it would be a philosophical treatise that I couldn’t scratch the surface. Neither of my ideas (slash, misconceptions) were correct.
The Tao of Pooh, written by American author Benjamin Hoff, is not a new book; it has been floating around bookshelves for over 35 years, and, now that I think of it, it may have been recommended to me by a few wise people along the way, my mum included. According to the internet, Hoff composed the book on nights after he finished his job as a pruner of the Portland Japanese Garden, Washington Park, Oregon. This seems kind of perfect, somehow, as the book uses the whimsical and fantastic story of Winnie the Pooh (written in the 1920s by A.A. Milne) and his friends to illustrate, via Eastern philosophy, the various ‘ways’ of different people, and how these ‘ways’ benefit or hinder them; in summary, Hoff suggests a kind of perfection and excellence to Pooh Bear’s simple, non-thinking, non-worrying nature that might do everyone a little good.
Early on in the book, Hoff recalls a conversation between Pooh Bear and his closest friend Piglet: “No, ” said Pooh. “But there are twelve pots of honey in my cupboard, and they’ve been calling to me for hours. I couldn’t hear them properly before, because Rabbit would talk, but if nobody says anything except those twelve pots, I think. Piglet, I shall know where they’re calling from. Come on.” Honey is a compass in Pooh’s life. He follows his bliss (his love of honey) and unlike his friends who are often weighed down by worry, anger, depression, and overachieving, his ‘way’ allows him to go with the flow (of honey), to be kind and simple and enjoy life. He isn’t perfect, is often criticised, and doesn’t conform; however, he doesn’t really have any ingrained ideas of those things, and he certainly doesn’t let them get the better of him. I loved Pooh as a child, and I love him all over again; a simple and caring soul in search of life’s number one pleasure – honey.