Touched by the shadow and shine that streams through the window blinds, my hands eagerly knit a moment, a reflection, a story told through the stitches, through the purls that whisper at a tale of hope and of love, of compassion and contemplation, of a soured memory that became a beautiful blessing, drenched in yarn, and tangled with wool, born in the form of a teddy bear.
You know, the anniversary of selling my first teddy bear is fast approaching. Soon, it will have been six years since I quickly crafted a little bear to sell for food. And can you imagine how much we’ve accomplished, you and I, in the years since? All of the people affected by these little bears, how much joy these little things have given people….all of the friends across the globe I’ve come to call my family….one moment homeless, the next famous, then suddenly infamous….the hope we have inspired….the impact we have made. And yes, I did not wish to toss that statement so heavily without thinking long and hard about it. Perhaps it is a sense of humility that made me want to redact it…..but, I have to confess that I think all of us have made a rather wonderful impact on the world. Kind phrases and warm gestures are often all that is required to shift the soil of the human soul from a place of hell to a place of harvest.
My life was saved from that hell by a simple teddy bear. Nothing in my life would ever be the same after him. My soul was touched by what that teddy bear gave me. It wasn’t just food and shelter, it was warmth and kindness, connection to the rest of the world on a kinder scale, beautiful moments of chaos turned quiet, leading perfect scenes of me knitting beside old oak trees. A man once dismissed was now welcomed, thanks to the clacking of bamboo knitting needles. A man once full of vitriol and rage was now tamed into an acceptance of greater things, lured into the light by an awareness that the things we give are so much better for the world than the things we demand.
In many ways this teddy bear has been my guardian angel, my protector, and my best friend: always with me, always taking care of me, and never asking of me anything other than to be a better man, to always strive to do what is right, to clarify what is wrong, and to remind those that feel disenfranchised, heartbroken, and dismissed, that the love of a teddy bear is forever, and that if you have his heart, then you have mine.
To you, all of you, I offer my heart, my gratitude, my dreams of the future, and a teddy bear’s love that will last forever. (if you’d like one of these little bears, click here). We need to get these little guys to new homes so that we can finish paying rent. These bears would be perfect for Valentine’s Day.
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