Some weeks ago, while in yet another charity shop, my boy was rummaging through the soft toys. There were the usual ones there, the old christmas bears, other bears, dogs and ducks, some worn, some looking brand new but all ‘store bought’ and down at the bottom, this beautiful little bear.
It was the fabric that caught my eye to start with and then the tiny hand stitches that gather the ears and attach them to the head. This bear is small, she sits neatly in the palm of your hand, the arms and legs are jointed and each part of the bear has been made carefully and thougthtfully. Every little stitch, both machine and hand tells me that this bear was made with love.
Since then, I have developed a near obsession with this bear. She travels with me everywhere, she sits on top of my microwave when I am making dinner and at night, she sits in my crocheting bag while I am watching television and working on my latest project. I’m not usually a person who attaches herself to an inanimate object and I don’t name or talk to things that can’t talk back. And yet…I am fascinated with who might have made this bear, for whom and why it has ended up in my possession. It is an uneasy fascination because there could be a thousand stories told about this bear but only one will be true and there is very little chance that I will ever know it. She is a little bit grubby but I haven’t cleaned her up yet because that might suggest that I ‘own’ her and I’m not sure I have deserved that right.
Needless to say that I am opening myself up to concerns about my sanity by admitting all of this, but what the hell, if you can’t be un-nerved by a little bear every now and again, you’re just not living!