Tuesday, October 2, 2012

angels who guard and keep

“Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon.” 
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh

If you look up the word "delightful" in the dictionary, the number one entry will be: Winnie-the-Pooh, proper noun; adorable, slightly anthropomorphic, honey-loving teddy bear. 
I grew up on Winnie-the-Pooh Disney videos. 
Winnie-the-Pooh Disney videos are somewhat delightful. They capture the honeyed innocence and charm of the idyllic world of the Hundred Acre Woods. But the world they capture somehow fails to capture the sweetness the sweet, sad, beautiful world of Winnie-the-Pooh and his compatriots.

Like Thérèse of Lisieux, Winnie-the-Pooh espouses such deep sentiments with disarming and slightly alarming simplicity. Both are perhaps some sort of guardian angel for the wisdom of innocence. 
There is something so delicate and sweet about Winnie-the-Pooh, looking into his world is a glimpse into the secret world of childhood. There's something indescribable --yet very tangible--that happens: the moment when you leave childhood and become adulthood. And then you're on the outside. Even if small children are playing right in front of your feet, they're a world away from you. What Milne does so beautifully in his work is allow us a glimpse back into this world: a world we were once citizens of, but have been forced to move onward and upward. Life is about moving further up and further in or dying of stagnation. But those glimpses back into the eternal springtime of childhood are beautiful.

 "I was walking along looking for somebody, and then suddenly I wasn't anymore.”
--A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh


The antithesis of Christopher Robin is perhaps, Peter Pan. Peter Pan's rallying cry of never growing up is so foreign to the sweet world of Christopher Robin. Christopher Robin and Winnie-the-Pooh don't pretend they will never be forced to separate, that they won't taste the piquant spice of life's bittersweet partings. But they have a simple, steadfast faith in a love they don't have to know how to spell, they just share.


But it isn't easy,' said Pooh. 'Because Poetry and Hums aren't things which you get, they're things which get you. And all you can do is to go where they can find you.” 
--A.A. Milne, House at Pooh Corner

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