For our first homework assignment, we needed to find an object that tells a story. My choice was a lost teddy bear.
WHY IS IT COMPELLING?
The reason I picked a lost bear is there’s inherently a story to it. When I was seven years old, the night before my birthday I was home sick. My birthday party was going to take place the following Saturday, but a neighborhood little girl for whatever reason couldn’t attend. That night she dropped off my present, a Paddington Bear. I don’t know if it was the fever or the timing, but that bear became my one and only. And the thought of losing him would be devastating. That is why seeing a lost bear immediately struck a chord.
The number of questions a lost bear brings to mind makes it extraordinarily compelling. How did he get lost? Who lost him? Is he or she devastated? Will they be reunited?
WHAT STORY DOES IT TELL?
As Tennyson so beautifully stated, “Tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all.” That is at least the introduction in my head to this story, but possibly this time it might have a happier ending.
The bear was obviously deeply loved. His worn coat and angled head speak of a lifetime of travel, nestled in the crook of his owner’s arm. And the bear was found on a train confirming my suspicions. His owner did not leave the house without bringing along his best friend.
The additional twist to this particular tale is the note with a Twitter handle. A heroine stepped in and rescued the bear from his cold spot on the train. Lauren is the hope that Tennyson could be wrong this time. Even if the possibility is slight, a reunion is still possible.
And like all great stories, this one leaves you wanting more.
HOW DOES IT MAKE YOU FEEL?
Sad. Moved. Hopeful. These are all feelings that come to mind when glancing at this photograph. The reason I picked the bear is that the emotions it stirs are so palpable and immediate. The scenes surrounding the photograph easily come to mind. The moment the child realizes the bear is gone. The sad visual of the lonely bear when Lauren spots him on the train. The kindness when she scoops him up and takes him home. And of course the hope from the Twitter post that this one time, the lost bear might have a happy ending.