When I was in my teens, I had a spot in the backyard I liked to sit in the summer. It was on a big boulder where the field met the forest. To get to it, I had to go down a curvy path with the apple orchard on one side, so the view from the house was totally blocked from where I was sitting. I felt complete peace and solitude there. I used this space for writing poetry and my random thoughts on life.
Fast forward twenty-some years, through several moves, many jobs, getting married and raising a son. Now I’m sitting on a cushiony recliner with a cat on my lap, writing random thoughts on life, using a small word processing device. Some people meditate in the morning; some go for a morning run. This is my way of getting centered and focused for the day.
I’m calling this blog My Thoughtful Spot because of Winnie the Pooh. When my son was four, we’d watch The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh over and over again. At one point, I could have recited the first ten minutes of the cartoon, in which Pooh is introduced. He sings about how much he likes honey, and then he gets in trouble with some bees when he tries to steal some honey from a beehive. Anyway, Pooh had a place called his Thoughtful Spot (or, as spelled in the cartoon, Pooh’s Thotful Spot). This was a clearing in the forest where he would sit and attempt to think great thoughts. He would close one eye tight, tap his head with his paw, and repeat, “Think, think, think.” It looked to me that he was trying to think about something profound, but he just couldn’t quite grasp it. I found this image very striking, because I often found myself in the same predicament. It always seems like there is some profound truth just beyond my grasp, and no amount of thinking would lead me to it.
I read a book, years ago, by Benjamin Hoff, called The Tao of Pooh, which uses Winnie the Pooh as an introduction to Taoism. Pooh lives life in an unaffected way, going with the flow and following his instincts. Taoism celebrates this kind of natural living which is accordance with the way the world works: Adjusting to the seasons, living simply and appreciating the small pleasures of life, and not worrying too much about its petty annoyances. However, I think there is something to be said for thinking it through before you encounter some angry bees while reaching for their honey.
So, what I’m saying is that part of me relates to Pooh bear. I think that a person should be able to reveal who they are as a person without being persecuted, judged, despised, chastised, and scolded. When I think about my ideal life, it is one in which I have a simple role to play, I work in a natural setting in which I’m making my corner of the world a better place in my tiny way. So that’s why I’m writing this blog. It’s part of being myself.