Bisy Backsons are a certain breed of people immortalised by the great author AA Milne. He who was responsible for creating our most loved and treasured bear Winnie The Pooh, or Pooh for short, oh and Piglet too. The thing about a Bisy Backson is that we all know one, indeed some of us (whisper here) are one…Rabbit!
I recently came across a book by Benjamin Hoff who cleverly links Pooh to the Taoist philosophy, of living in harmony with the way of the world. Essentially and very basically, as I understand it, Taoism is accepting that streams travel the route of their choice and that shade loving plants should be grown in shade etc. Disappointment will often follow if we try to alter the natural way of things, as many of us find when we do the same thing, at odds with nature and expect a different result. A clue is often in the name or description, a Sunflower for example will only thrive in the sun. Romantic idealistic poets (definitely not Bisy Backsons by the way) have taken time out to believe in the way things should be, they write such lines as ‘The meandering of the stream’and ‘the whispering of the breeze’
So what indeed is a Bisy Backson?? The most famous are probably that pair created by Lewis Carroll, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. They are busy doing nothing, working the whole day through, trying to find lots of things not to do……
Or there is the story of the man who hated his footprints and his shadow, which were always there and could easily catch up with him. He thought it meant he was going too slowly so he went faster and faster and his footprints went faster and faster and his shadow still always kept up with him. What he didn’t realise is that if he rested in the shade of a tree there would be no shadow and no footprints. He would be at peace.
Bisy Backsons are almost invariably active, too active we suggest, to enjoy their activity as they are desperate to get to the next one on their list. They are always going somewhere or worrying if someone else is going somewhere or worrying if the other person knows they should be somewhere. They make you feel tired just looking at them. Sadly though they don’t have time for the simple things, they don’t have a spring in their step. A carefree la la lah day is never theirs for the taking. They are in a hurry and at odds with the natural order of things. They are convinced there is a great reward out there, but it’s always just round the next corner, under the illusive rainbow or bound to happen next week after all the ground work and effort that has been put in. Surely his efforts must come to fruition eventually.
Bisy Backsons burn their toast a lot, they are soooo busy in the kitchen.
Now, having established what a Bisy Backson is and how discontent and futile they are, it really makes one wish to be the opposite.
Perhaps we shall call them, the ‘All’s wells’ or the ‘Doesitreallymatters?’ Those of you who ‘get’ our Gourmet Trotters are probably 90% on their way to being an ‘All’swell’. How wonderful is it to imagine a picnic that you wheel gently down to the glade, toss the rug over the moss covered mound and set up a camp for your peaceful time spent enjoying and discovering the important things:- The thoughts and smiles of your loved ones, friends and family:- The feel of the breeze on your face, the warmth of the sun on your back, the sound of silence.
It is OK to sit, we don’t have to be scampering onto the next thing, we don’t have to be flexing our thumb muscles playing the next ‘must have but will never win game’ on our phones or computers. We have so many time saving gadgets in our world today, but why is it that we have less time now than we have ever had before. The world is rushing, bolting, careering to what?? The End??
My New Year’s resolution and one I in tend to stick to will be spending as much time as I can just being rather than doing……
My last comment will be a poem called Leisure by William Henry Davies.
What is this life if, full of care
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep of cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if full of care,