I finally finished the bear I was working on. I call him “Phillip’s Teddy” because I was thinking an awful lot about my partner while working up the stuffing and stitches. The last 6 months have been rough for us because we haven’t been able to be together, and for the damndest of reasons: finances. But, we have hope, we have faith, and I am convinced that during our darkest of moments, we’re able to remember that the bond that he and I have cultivated cannot be shred by something as ridiculous as poverty. This bear reminds me of so many philosophies along those same lines. The teddy bear looks like it was handcrafted by someone caring for a boy who doesn’t know he’s poor (unless someone tells him). It looks like the kind of teddy bear that a boy alone on a farm clings to for companionship and love, uncaring of his imperfections and strange stitching. If we consider this crafting of knitting an art form, which it surely can be, then I’m watching my own particular art form turn into a lost version of Americana’s Folk roots in rural life. And if that’s the case, then this little teddy bear is definitely a portrait of a poor boy alone on a farm…. holding on tight to hope….I love you, Phillip. Here is your teddy bear. I miss you.