Had difficulty sleeping last night. Grabbed Mario and went to our little bed, tossing the covers to the side because it was awfully hot. At some point even she said, “Dude, its way too warm to be laying next to a six foot heater” and my little cat bolted towards a pile of clothes we need to wash soon.
Once an hour upon the hour I was awake, flipping and flopping, tossing and rotating to find some sense of comfortableness. And the design I had in my mind about the depression I’ve been facing hit me head on. “I’m sorry, Peni.” The words came out under the brush of a pillow against my cheek. “I’m so sorry.”
Turning onto my back I peered forward, it now nearing somewhere about 4am. Skyward I made a request for forgiveness… “I’m so sorry, Peni.”
And as if spoken within my heart, and no other place that I can think of, some ethereal sound of her reasoning hit me. Not her voice, but her reasoning. “I spent 7 years taking good care of you. What the hell are you doing failing? Why are you doing this???”
“God, if only I could get a job, make a living, do better for myself…I’m so beat down.”
“You’re so fucking blessed and you don’t even know it! You DO have a job! You have a BUSINESS and you don’t even know it!”
….I rose up slowly and allowed the prospect of what my soul was saying, of what Peni might be saying take full attention.
“Teddy Bears…and whatever else your spidery hands can conceive….You have a business now. You’re waiting for someone to come along and GIVE you a job? You DO have a job, you have obligations, you are at the beginning of something that could be great, something that people can love and hold onto and its not good enough for you? Why? So you can wait for a coporation to come along, offer a pay check, then take it back when things get rough again? MAKE YOUR OWN LIFE, YOU DUFFUS! Start here, right now….this second….Make me a teddy bear.”
And up from bed I rose at 4 am to make coffee, by 5 am I was in a swirl of double pointed needles, yarn all over me and Mario brushing against my leg, as if even she was giving her approval.
Yes, I am employed. By God, I say here and now that I AM EMPLOYED. I knit teddy bears. And not just teddy bears, but teddy bears that people will hold onto for a lifetime, because my teddy bears are done diligently, painstakingly, and with all the effort a man on the verge of starving can muster. Yes, I knit teddy bears. Beautiful, well crafted, traditional teddy bears you use as HEIRLOOMS. They’re handed to your children, your grandchildren, and tucked away when the sway of adolescents screams, “Leave the little bugger behind….” But, one day they’ll remember that little guy with sad eyes and pull him out of a box tucked away if only to give him a new place to play: in the arms of a new generation. These teddy bears were stitched up with the intention of lasting longer than you.
Yes, I have a job. I have a business! I knit heirloom teddy bears that babies cuddle and adults struggle to put down.
And though they may be worked up fast with pots of coffee in a garage today, one day they’ll be done up kindly from a sweet home that belongs to Mario and I. A window for her to look out of. An oven for me to make shepard’s pie. We won’t be in this garage forever. 50 bears now I’ve made and 5,000 more are to come. None made by machines in China. All made by a simply complex man who started this so he wouldn’t starve….So, when people told him he had no choice but to get rid of his cat, he asked them to kindly leave his life.
Yes, its a simple business done haphazardly now, but I promise you, I promise PENI, that this little business will be henceforth marked with finesse, with diligence.
This teddy bear business is for Peni…and Mario…and every little kid that drags my little bear around the yard with love….