Tuesday, July 01, 2014

Corduroy's Day a philosophical review

Quite some time ago, I got a set of books featuring a bear named Corduroy. There were four books in all, "Corduroy's Day", Corduroy Goes to the Doctor", "Corduroy's Party", and "Corduroy's Busy Street". They all share common characters and art themes and they are simple, easy to read books. I've read them so many times, that I have at least two of them memorized.

At first, I didn't like these books, but read them to my daughter Emily anyway. After awhile, I started to notice something about them, a common theme across all of them. Each book is about the simple pleasures of life.

I find a particular interest in the first book, Corduroy's Day. Here we see a bear's day, from waking to sleeping. He has time to himself in the morning, spends time with his friends, goes for a walk, takes a bath, and falls asleep. Sorry, didn't mean to blow the plot, but I did leave out significant details for you to discover on your own later.

There is something I really like about the last page. That page has an idyllic image of the bear sleeping after a wonderful day. The adult in me says, "Wait. Doesn't he have a job? Who makes his house payment? How does he buy food?" Then the parent in me says, "Just suspend your disbelief for as long as it takes to read this book."

Corduroy enjoys many simple pleasures in this book. But what I take away from it is this: No matter how good your day is, you're still going to have to sleep at the end the day.

You can go to Disneyland, buy a new car, make a killing in commodities trading, or just have a great time with friends. You can try for new highs and new adventures, climbing, skydiving, spacewalking, winning elections, driving a really fast car on a track, sailing the seas, whatever. No matter what you do, you will have to go to sleep at the end of the day.

This is not a complaint about the human condition, rather, it's an acknowledgement of it. Corduroy reminds us of the simple pleasures, but he also knows that in order to enjoy yet another day, a good night of sleep is a welcome requirement.
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