Remembering India

the only real thing

The following is a poem by Czeslaw Milosz.  He wrote it in light of the following:

In April of 1996 the international press carried the news of the death, at age seventy-five, of Christopher Robin Milne, immortalized in a book by his father, A. A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh, as Christopher Robin.

I share it with you.  Below that I share some of my own thoughts.


Christopher Robin

by Czeslaw Milosz

I must think suddenly of matters too difficult for a bear of little brain. I have never asked myself what lies beyond the place where we live, I and Rabbit, Piglet and Eeyore, with our friend Christopher Robin. That is, we continued to live here, and nothing changed, and I just ate my little something. Only Christopher Robin left for a moment.

Owl says that immediately beyond our garden Time begins, and that it is an awfully deep well. If you fall in it, you go down and down, very quickly, and no one knows what happens to you next. I was a bit worried about Christopher Robin falling in, but he came back and then I asked him about the well. “Old bear,” he answered. “I was in it and I was falling and I wore trousers down to the ground, I had a grey beard, and then I died. It was probably just a dream, it was quite unreal. The only real thing was you, old bear, and our shared fun. Now I won’t go anywhere, even if I’m called in for an afternoon snack.”


I, like Pooh, am a “bear of little brain,” but it is not because I am faced with things beyond my understanding.  Rather, it is because I forget to live into the things that I already know.  I fail to remember.

I am like Christopher Robin too.  I am beyond the garden and Time is having its way with me.  I, in my long trousers and graying whiskers, am free falling headlong into the unknown depths of the well.  I am in the midst of my “moment.”

It all seems so real to me, but I am reminded that it isn’t.  There is something beyond this vapor of life.  It began in a garden long ago and continues to this day, subsuming all moments.  It is a place of love, forgiveness, relationship and “shared fun.”

It is the only real thing.



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