Do You Remember Silence?

So, after a simple bit of outrage at the end of last week, I took this internet and shut it down. Walked away. Spent the weekend in a self imposed lock down away from the interwebs. Went over to George’s to do laundry, took my knitting, and popped in a nice chair in his back yard so I could sit in the sun and knit. Usually when I go over, I sit in that chair and work up teddy bears and George wanders around his back yard pruning plants, and somewhere in that time, we chit chat back and forth and visit with each other while some nice little Caribbean music gets played from the radio. Two hours later, my laundry is done and I head back home. But, this last trip was a little different. Not long after I arrived, George mentioned he had an errand to run, wouldn’t be long and to just go ahead and get my laundry started. So, I did my usual. Laundry, big chair, sun, knit……for only about 5 minutes. I put the needles down for a moment and just looked around his back yard. Then I could hear the simple rustle of the breeze kiss the leaves of the trees in a hushed, faded whisper. There was no music to be heard other than the birds  musicly aligned with each other’s chorus of quiet chirping. I put my needles in my lap and sat there for an hour in that near silence. Nothing to stimulate, nothing to entertain, nothing to ponder. I didn’t want to read a book, I didn’t want to play a game, I didn’t want to talk or be heard. I wanted to sit and listen carefully to nothing.

I think we get so wrapped up in constantly being plugged in that we forget about the importance of nourishing the soul with silence, with quiet alone time. We seek the council and advice on the nutrition needed for a clean, healthy body, or games and puzzle that keep the mind sharp and alive, but I think we forget sometimes how important it is to let quiet come in sometimes. The soul gets agitated sometimes, I think, because it needs as much attention as the rest of our being, but we fill our heads with so much stimulation and noise, that the soul can’t be heard. It can only be heard in silence. And what does it tell us? Nothing that we know in words, only a feeling of truth, completeness, realness. Absolute realness.

I’m thankful I had that time. I remembered something about emotions and connections, about pointed fingers and blame, about assumptions that aren’t true.

I posted this video last week and I was clearly emotional. And see, that’s hard for me because my emotions were going two fold at the moment.

I was angry that I had ALLOWED myself to get angry. I tend to think of myself as patient and understanding, and that was put to the test. I saw the spinning wheels in my head clearly lean towards the more cut throat…..and I in no way wish to live in that mind set….EVER. The other part of my emotional thank you was reading all of the emails of support that came in. I am fully aware of how blessed a man I am. People from all over the globe sent me emails to remind me of truth, wisdom, and….the patience and tolerance that I was tested on. And you’re all so right. We meet adversity, we deal with it, we pick up our skeins of yarn, and knit on. We don’t harbor ill will, and we don’t challenge adversity with aggression. We learn, we grow, we remember to be silent sometimes and to just listen to the soul.

green bear2Now, there is a special order I just finished up and included was a request for a green bear. That is the third time someone asked me if I would do a green bear. And then a couple of posts back, I thought I’d ask what sort of bear you would all like to see and there was an overwhelming desire to see a green bear. So, here he is.

I named him, “I Found A Bear Along the Way,” because of all my trials and tribulations, I found a bear along the way that comforted me, fed me, gave me shelter and taught me an awful lot about the world that I had yet to learn from books and people. I found a bear on this path of mine that has given me so much more than anything I’ve ever received in life thus far. He gave me a world of friendships all over the planet. He taught me to love again, to not be afraid. He taught me to listen more, and speak less. He taught me that the value in life is not in its possessions, but in its actions.

I think in order for all my bears to be where the ought to be for Christmas, that I’ll stop taking orders in the next few weeks. I think somewhere around mid November. I don’t think I’ll do a special Christmas bear this year like I did last year, but would rather concentrate on making sure these little guys get under trees well before Christmas Eve.

green bear1So, thank you all again for reminding me, that I wouldn’t have had the great privilege and pleasure of having all of you in my life had I not found a bear along the way…..

I do so hope you’ll adopt him while he’s available. There’s something precious in this bear.



  1. Gregory….YES the silence~~~it does wonders for the soul! I have been enthralled in a Creative Support group for artists….and we are reviewing the book “The artist’s way” by Julia Cameron and she tells us to take time to listen to the quietness…exactly what you did! It can be very empowering to us as we find our way of becoming…or keeping ourselves unblocked as artists. Power to you!!!! Peace and tranquility!

  2. I LOVE HIM!!!! You better knit like crazy before St. Patrick’s day!!!!
    I know exactly what you are talking about Gregory with the Silence. That is why many of my Catholic Friends go on SILENT RETREATS in order to hear their own heart and to hear God’s voice. I live on a 5 acre ranch where my neighbors are cows and most people are quiet even when they are home. If I shut off my TV or Radio I listen to the sounds of silence but they are filled with the sounds of God’s creation instead of man’s creation. I like God’s MUCH better….running streams, birds, crickets, cows, dogs etc.

    Several years ago I joined a group of Hassidic Jews in a thing they called DISCONNECT TO CONNECT…..People made a pledge of how many hours in the day for a certain date they were going to disconnect with all devices in order to CONNECT with GOD and their families.

    I LOVED IT!!! We ALL need this more often!

  3. Gregory…..I’m am so happy that you ‘took a step away’ from everything and enjoyed some silence and most of all some time for YOU! I love the green bear! He would look wonderful with Figaro on our bed…..just might need to place an order.

    So glad that you are making a cut off time on Christmas orders. I have a quilting business and found the first year that I didn’t have a cut off time that I was going out of my mind trying to finish orders and that I myself did not get to enjoy any part of what leads up to the “big day”!

    Take care my friend and take a few minutes each day to listen to the silence!!

  4. Hi Gregory, I sent in an order for a bear and would love mine to be green if you still have green yarn. If not, no worries and no rush. Take care, Connie

  5. I love silence! I try get a daily dose or else I really start to feel those around me overwhelming my internal space. I especially feel it after a social gathering or after being in a crowd for a long time. I think it’s because I’m a sponge for other people’s energies.

    Good for you for taking the time to listen. It’s amazing what you can hear!

    P.S. I ordered a bear back in March but haven’t received it yet. Is it possible my order got lost in the shuffle? No worries if that’s the case, just wanted to check up on it. 🙂

  6. Hey there Gregory. I’m impressed. I’m really impressed with your expression. It’s pure, genuine and honest. I respect that a lot. I’m up to date with your last few weeks and the way you are handling it is absolutely amazing cause it’s very truthful. I don’t think many people can do that. It’s empowering. Even the moments when you express your anger. People normally let their egos take over when they put their anger out there – you don’t. And it’s not easy and it takes a loooot of hard work to tame it too.

    And the silence. The Silence. I live in a city. There is no real silence here. Taking a moment for myself here means listening to the sounds of highway and airplanes, sometimes a bird sneaks into this reality, sometimes ladybugs come to visit (like now, seriously, real ladybug invasion, around 2 dozens of them!), but besides that I need to go and get the Silence for myself. I did it quite recently and…..the Silence roared at me. I’d been disconnected from it for so long, stuffing my senses with nonsens, I got overwhelmed and overflown. It shook me. If Silence had a phisical form then, it would be my mothers saying: ‘What the hell are you going?! Get yourself together! Balance, girl, balance!’. And after that the nurturing begins. You’re right, being in silence is like a soul cleanse.

    Your strength is impressive. And I support your way of life and your work with all my heart.

    Thank you for sharing!

  7. I’m sitting on my back patio catching up on reading my email. I stopped to listen to the birds singing in my backyard, watching the birds at the feeder, and looking at the leaves turning a crimson red on my maple tree. Then I went back to reading my emails and came upon your post. Thank you so much. You put into words what I was thinking. Love your blog and can’t wait to order a bear. I have to wait for one to talk to me. It’s like my quilting fabric, when I listen and it talks to me then I need to purchase it. Thanks for your lesson on silence and doing nothing. I think I will do a little more of that before the sun sets.

  8. Greg, you are an amazing person and I wish that I could order one of your little bears because I just love them! You are definitely a very gifted person who obviously cares about what you do and the joy you bring with your bears! I plan on buying a bear from you as soon as possible! Keep up your great work and I know that you will be just fine! 🙂

  9. There is a poem by Wendell Berry that came to mind while I read this called “How to be a Poet (to remind myself)” It starts ” Make a place to side down./sit down. Be quiet.”
    To remember silence is to let ourselves back into the space where creativity comes from.
    Great post~thank you

  10. It’s always wonderful to read that someone else has found silence to be a supportive friend and not a disquieting influence. Probably eighty to ninety percent of my time is spent in silence, save that of God’s creation. My job can’t be done properly with man made noise, it’s distracting and keeps me from hearing the animals. When I do leave the farm, I find myself not paying (proper -?) attention as it’s mostly dross. We all owe it to ourselves to listen and how can we do that if our lives are filled with noise? It is possible to engage in the solace of contemplation but we must seek it with purpose and intent. It’s there but we must find it.

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