February 27th, 2004


Another book ...

The Tao of Pooh"I know what you're thinking. Did he fire six shots or only five? Well, to tell you the truth, in all this excitement, I've kind of lost track myself. But being as this is a .44 Magnum - the most powerful handgun in the world, and would blow your head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya punk?"

Oh, yeah ... the quote, nothing to do with Pooh, of course ... that's Dirty Harry ... but in all the excitement I almost forgot to mention finishing up another book. Hmm ... I wonder if there could be a Tao of Harry Callahan? Maybe not.

Anyway, I just got done with The Tao of Pooh last night, not being a particularly monumental accomplishment, in that it's only a hundred fifty pages or so. What to say about it? Well, it was very hard keeping it (and the follow-up, The Te of Piglet) in one place, as The Girls kept wandering off with them, thinking that they were books for them. Of course, I would not mind having The Girls become conversant with Taoist principles at their young ages, but I think the book is still a bit dense for an 8-year-old, let alone the 4-year-old. I, of course, have read much Taoism in the past {dusts off the B.A. in Religion} so the concepts being presented were not new, and using Pooh and Co. as a basis for teaching stories on that material seem fairly natural. If one had NO exposure to Taoism, this would probably be a very accessible first step.

I have one odd caveat, however. Now, as a lad, I did read the original Winnie The Pooh books, but my memories of these must have been subsequently filtered through the Disney Pooh, as I hardly recognized the characters at all. There was a "harder edge" to the original characterizations (such as Eeyore being quite caustic rather than just gloomy) which sort of shocks in this (as the original Pooh books are the source material here). I hadn't recalled that when Kanga and Roo showed up in the 100-Acre Woods they were seen as some monstrous threat that needed to be done away with ... imagine that in the Disney cartoon version! Anyway, I'd say this was a nice way to introduce Taoism to a Western audience.

Oh, another thing almost lost "in all this excitement" ... I wrote a poem yesterday! Now, I hadn't written anything since last fall, and with all the change that has come crashing down on me, you might think there would be a thematic, or at least a tonal, shift, n'est-ce pas? Well, mais, non! ... it was undifferentiable from my prior scribblings, six month, a year, three years back. Sigh. Of course, one of these days I'll transcribe this (and those from last fall and those from the notebook prior which has not been dealt with), and foist these dour musings on all and sundry. Lucky you.

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