I’m in a sort of philosophical mood. Not the academic, Western kind where a busy mind gives birth to an imaginarily immaculately conceived question and then fervently creates more questions in an attempt to find all the answers through even more questions and in the end has an infinite series of questions that makes one appear very smart because it appears there are answers for everything all while having no answers for anything.
Writing that just made me tired.
I just finished, for the upteenth time, The Tao of Pooh. I added it to the resources page.
What does Winnie the Pooh have to do with sailing? Excellent question.
Nothing, really. And everything, naturally.
I, at one time, was proud to be Rabbit.
I’m often asked, “Where are you going?” I always have an answer. Every question requires an answer. A definite, categorical answer. I always give one. The questioner wouldn’t be satisfied without it. And who am I to keep one from satisfaction?
“The Bahamas, it looks like.”
“Mexico. Isla Mujeres, maybe.”
“We’re thinking about heading down the coast of Texas.”
We must always have a destination; must always be going somewhere. I always feel like I’m lying by giving an answer.
The response that I want to give: “I don’t know. We’re going sailing. Nowhere really and everywhere. Not sure. We’ll know when we get there.” Sometimes, I do say that. But, I think possibly it comes off as sarcastic. I certainly don’t intend it that way.
I’ve been going somewhere for too long. I think it’s time to go nowhere and wind up anywhere, which would be somewhere and is precisely where I have been going all this time.
I did that as a kid a lot. They were usually wonderful adventures and I wanted to be where I wound up, instead of winding up where I wanted to be.
Back to Pooh and his Tao and a lesson about sailing.
Pooh Bear is a simple sort of bear. He just kind of goes with the flow. Or rather, doesn’t go against it. Sailing is going where the wind, waves, and weather allow and saying, “I feel like heading that direction,” and following the feeling.
Remember when Rabbit, Pooh, and Piglet are lost in the mist and keep winding up at the sand pit?
“How would it be,” said Pooh slowly, “if, as soon as we’re out of sight of this Pit, we try to find it again?”
“What’s the good of that?” said Rabbit.
“Well,” said Pooh, “we keep looking for Home and not finding it, so I thought that if we looked for this Pit, we’d be sure not to find it, which would be a Good Thing, because we might find something that we weren’t looking for, which might be just what we were looking for, really.”
“I don’t see much sense in that,” said Rabbit. . . .
“If I walked away from this Pit, and then walked back to it, of course I should find it.”
“Well, I thought perhaps you wouldn’t,” said Pooh.
“I just thought.”
“Try,” said Piglet suddenly. “We’ll wait here for you.”
Rabbit gave a laugh to show how silly Piglet was, and walked into the mist. After he had gone a hundred yards, he turned and walked back again . . .and after Pooh and Piglet had waited twenty minutes for him, Pooh got up.
“I just thought,” said Pooh. “Now then, Piglet, let’s go home.”
“But, Pooh,” cried PIglet, all excited, “do you know the way?”
“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.”
Pooh would have made a great sailor . . . if he had sailed. Which I think he did with a corked honey pot.
And finally a point on Rabbit:
“Rabbit’s clever,” said Pooh thoughtfully.
“Yes,” said Piglet, “Rabbit’s clever.”
“And he has Brain.”
“Yes,” said Piglet, “Rabbit has Brain.”
There was a long silence.
“I suppose,” said Pooh, “that that’s why he never understands anything.”