Sunday, December 11, 2005
We were discussing Wong Kar Wai's movies the other day when the word bittersweet was mentioned, and I realized that this was a common theme that characterized many of my favorite works of art (and was even my favorite kind of chocolate). That everything comes to an end is both the best and worst thing about life, and the promise of the future is forever tinged with the pain of having to let go of the past. The life we make is only one of all that could have been, and that is precisely what makes it both worthwhile and heartbreaking. Like this final passage from Winnie-the-Pooh (in which Christopher Robin and Pooh come to an Enchanted Place and we leave them there), one that is particularly close to my heart.
Then, suddenly again, Christopher Robin, who was still looking at the world, with his chin in his hands, called out "Pooh!"
"Yes?" said Pooh.
"When I'm - when - Pooh!"
"Yes, Christopher Robin?"
"I'm not going to do Nothing any more."
"Well, not so much. They don't let you."
Pooh waited for him to go on, but he was silent again.
"Yes, Christopher Robin?" said Pooh helpfully.
"Pooh, when I'm - you know - when I'm not doing Nothing, will you come up here sometimes?"
"Will you be here too?"
"Yes, Pooh, I will be, really. I promise I will be, Pooh."
"Thats good," said Pooh.
"Pooh, promise you wont forget about me, ever. Not even when I'm a hundred."
Pooh thought for a little.
"How old shall I be then?"
"I promise," he said.
Still with his eyes on the world Christopher Robin put out a hand and felt Pooh's paw.
"Pooh," said Christopher Robin earnestly, "if I - if I'm not quite -" he stopped and tried again - "Pooh, whatever happens, you will understand, won't you?"
"Oh, nothing." He laughed and jumped to his feet. "Come on!"
"Where?" said Pooh.
"Anywhere," said Christopher Robin.
So they went off together. But wherever they go, and whatever happens to them on the way, in that enchanted place on top of the Forest, a little boy and his Bear will always be playing.