Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Is It Real?

My nephew's wedding was this past Saturday evening and on the back of the program they had a portion of the Velveteen Rabbit called "Is It Real?" I cried as I read it. I had never read it before but I am at the library now and am going to get it to read. Anywayyyy....I wanted to share this portion of it with you and hope it touches your heart as much as it did mine.

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 your 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."


Aidan said...

NIce story:)

very sweet, is it the connections that truly define us?
That is a lot to think about, our actions or our connections that truly make us "real"...

how does a childrens story cause me existential uncertainty:)

Jewel said...

This story reminded me of the love that Ed and I share, Aidan, after 21 years of marriage. We are so "real" to eachother now. Even though I am not what I used to be physically and we have both grayed and aged a bit, we have come to love and embrace the "realness" of eachother and will continue to and that is the beauty of it all. "Real" married love. Truly a miracle.