|Nothing ordinary about these handmade bears by Russian artist Olga Zharkova.|
On a post this morning by a Welsh illustrator-writer, I read a brief discussion about not writing like a fridge magnet, based on a quote from the book, "Grief Is A Thing With Feathers." I gather from the one page shared, from the context I found by reading a few reviews, that the character Crow may have been (I am only guessing) exaggerating, perhaps to make someone laugh. In me it added to occasional wonderings about the nearness of fridgemagnetisms.
When I saw Olga Zharkova's wise old bears, above, I heard how they spoke to each other, heard their observations about life as it flowed around them. Aging if not elderly gentlemen who find comfort when their pants are loosened, shirts a bit rumpled, fur matted in spots, bristly in others, their language is sometimes wry, always direct, reflective, honest. They've seen a lot, they may have seen it all, and are not done yet. They speak like my midwestern grandfathers, one saying a familiar grace over every meal, one explaining over his shoulder some aspect of crop raising as he hoes open an irrigation channel.
I would cast these bears in any story I might imagine. One could be an English bear with Alan Rickman's voice. His friend could be a poet, exiled from the land of his birth, melancholy clinging to him no matter how roaring his laughter. He would sweeten his black tea with berry jam. In common with my grandfathers, neither chatters nor speaks idly. Their words emerge from thought, everything is considered. I hope the same may be true for me