Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Are you real?

I love children’s books. Love them. Some are silly, but some really take life lessons and make them so simple. Sometimes I think adults would benefit if they went back and read their old children’s books to really understand life. Lets face it, as adults we sometimes loose the basics in the shuffle.

Over the past few weeks I've been pondering a few different topics, re-reading old text books as well as complex philosophers like C.S. Lewis and Emerson in order to further my understanding. That's when I ran across one of my favorite children's book, The Velveteen Rabbit.

So, in celebration of child-like simplicity and clarity, I've included my favorite passage about love that I just revisited this afternoon.

The Skin Horse had lived longer in the nursery than any of the others. He was so old that his brown coat was bald in patches and showed the seams underneath, and most of the hairs in his tail had been pulled out to string bead necklaces. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by-and-by break their mainsprings and pass away, and he knew that they were only toys, and would never turn into anything else. For nursery magic is very strange and wonderful, and only those playthings that are old and wise and experienced like the Skin Horse understand all about it.
"What is REAL?" asked the Rabbit one day, when they were lying side by side near the nursery fender, before Nana came to tidy the room. "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"

"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."

"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.

"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."

"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"

"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand."

"I suppose you are real?" said the Rabbit. And then he wished he had not said it, for he thought the Skin Horse might be sensitive.

But the Skin Horse only smiled.


  1. You have an awesome Blog! I'm sorry I missed it before when you put it on PilotWives. I love it and will be back!

  2. Aww thanks Breckan!! That means a lot to me. I'm trying to be more dilegent!! (As well as with my PilotWives visiting) :-) They are both really good therapy.