Apparently anyone who is cool has already read this book, but I, who thought I was too cool for a book about Pooh, missed it during any decade in which I might otherwise have been cool.
Hoff does a beautiful job of explaining basic Taoist concepts while managing to make me fall in love with, and desire to re-read, Pooh and his adventures. His dialogues with Pooh and characters became a little tired by the fourth chapter, but I loved his extended quotes from Milne.
One of my favorite chapters is the first, which explains through The Vinegar Tasters the three major Asian schools of philosophy: Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism.
I’ve always know I was an Eeyore, but did not see how shameful that was until reading this book. Also my Rabbit and Owl sides are not pretty in Hoff’s mirror.
One of my favorites passages was this:
“If you’re in tune with The Way Things Work, then they work the way they need to, no matter what you make think about it at the time. Later on, you can look back and say, ‘Oh, now I understand. That had to happen so that those could happen, and those had to happen in order for this to happen….’ Then you realize that even if you’d tried to make it all turn out perfectly, you couldn’t have done better, and if you’d really tried, you would have made a mess of the whole thing.”
I’m going to be optimistic and say if I had read this in my twenties I would have been a much less uptight young adult, young wife, and young parent, but I know the Way Thing Work enough to know that I wouldn’t have understood it then because I first had to find my own way.
But that does not mean I’m not buying a copy for my twenty-something daughter. Planting seeds.