Its been a long time since I have settled down to make a bear. I love the creative and magical aspect of creating a little being out of fur fabric , stuffing and other bits and pieces. I have been regularly amazed at how something as small as a little bear can reach past many adult defences and find in an instant what remains of the child. Me, I have never grown up - ask Greg who lives with me and shares his home with all manner of fluffy creations. My work table is a mess of little cute tins, beads, dolls, and stuff ( my collective term for all that I have!) For me these things are so much part of my personality....I love the cute.
Yesterday I packed a wee pouch of my sewing things - parts of a teddy bear in progress and headed off with Greg into the city. We make rare and hasty visits to the big smoke - happier in our small rural towns instead. Greg had an appointment and I settled myself into a corner of the local library to wait. After looking at anything and everything book-wise that I fancied - I settled into a corner to sew my little bear. Isnt' it lovely to have a wonderful little pouch crammed with creative potential. I love unzipping my pouch to find a sweet hand made pin cushion, my pretty scissors and my bear pieces.As I worked , I noticed an older lady come by and deposit an empty cardboard box by me. She then proceeded to load it up with a selection of books from the large print section of the shelf. We did not look at each other or even exchange nods. There was so much distance between us inspite of the fact we were less that 2 feet apart. I noted her face- a hard and determined expression - an almost single mindedness in her task. She struck me as a woman who had not time for idle chit chat or other such trivial stuff . She loaded up books into her box and I sewed.
As she got ready to leave - she picked up her box now loaded with about 20 hardback books and struggled with the weight. I offered to help her. She declined and said she could could. cope We exchanged smiles . Acknowledged the space we each shared in time. Then her curiosity got the better of her. "What are you making" she asked. I popped out from my little sewing pouch - the head of an unfinished teddy bear. In an instant I caught a glimpse of a different person- age and time stripped off. Pain and the years melted- instead in her place - the eyes of a young soul - excited and child like .Mesmerized by the little creature I had produced from my hidden pouch.She made a little squeal of of delight and spoke to me some more about my creation.
I was struck by how deeply embedded our true spirits are as we grow up...grow old. We mortgage our childlike glee for the sensible, curb giggles for calculated humour , stiffle the belief in magic for reality and practicality.
We age .
I love making my little bears - it is my tap into my own soul.The part of me that really believes what I create is a "real thing" not just fur and stuffing. I talk to my creations and enjoy the emerging personality. In some circles - I would be promptly put into extensive therapy. But I am happy- and who does it hurt anyway. I cannot willingly exchange my fantasy for the colourless reality on offer anyway.
Teddy bears are not in the world's eyes practical...they collect dust and do nothing - really. But in my world they reach in an instant - deeper inside someone in ways I cannot understand. I saw it for myself yesterday- an old woman come beside me in the library and ......a child walked away.
The bear I am making above is a tiny one- of the Anime style...funny and goofy and such a joy to create . I hope once sold - he will add some sparkle to someone's world....and Yes - it is a He . How do I know?...ahhh...he whispered it to me as I sewed.
I will post a picture once he is done.Let me know if anyone out there wants to buy him and offer him a new home.