On November 27, 2012 by Eden M. Kennedy

I was exiled from the living room the other day because Jack and Jackson were in the midst of a Game of Thrones marathon, so I sat at my little desk in the kitchen and copied the bear from a bookmark* I’d found at work.

Someone suggested that this is how California got its shape, a bear hugged it so hard that it bent. This is a plausible mythology, and I like it. I also like how the bear is licking its own fur because it seems like Bear Behavior to lick yourself for a few moments between the time you capture something and the time that you eat it. Like, a bear needs to settle itself down a little before digging in and consuming your heart and lungs. The bear loves you so much it eats your heart first. “California, I’ve got you!” growls the bear, and the bear has a whisper of love in its voice. The bear wants you inside where you can be a part of the bear and never get away.

*People leave bookmarks in library books all the time. We frequently find family photos, greeting cards (both blank and used), playing cards, Kleenex, fast-food napkins, Post-its, boarding passes, tarot cards, and actual bookmarks. We call the people who leave the photos, then we throw out the trash and put the actual bookmarks in a drawer so that when people say, “Do you have any bookmarks?” we can fan out a splendid array of miscellany.



21 Responses to “Twenty-seven”

  • I love so many things about this post: 1) the grizzly bear is the coolest state animal, 2) California is the greatest of all states (I may be biased), 3) I want plausible mythology to be my new career, and 4) how I would love to get my hands on the library’s bookmark collection, particularly for the weird unconventional items. I hope you keep drawing forever.

  • I love that story about the bookmarks! I also love finding other people’s miscellany in the books I take out from the library. I generally just love the library. :)

  • I feel so … receptive .. and non-creative – but I must say “ditto”, “ditto”, “ditto” to everything Clark-o-rama said. Well, except maybe #1. I mean, I LOVE the California bear … (also – for some reason it never registered it was grizzly) … but grizzlies .. not such a fan when camping. But a bear in general, A-okay.

    ps: did you ever thing about the bear walking to the left? Hmm – me neither … but somehow now it seem so foresightful.

  • This just makes Ohio all the more sucktastic.

  • When I used to work at a public library, I was checking in books one day and found that someone had used a slice of cheese as a bookmark. Also found a used-Kleenex bookmark once, too. Sometimes people are funny, and other times they’re just plain gross.

  • More of Annie Galvin’s amazing work here:

    • You seem to imply that I’m copying Annie Galvin’s work without crediting it, but I think we’re both copying from the same source! The bear bookmark is from The Society of California Pioneers and they seem to have lots of exhibits of old California prints and photos. The original artist is uncredited, though. I Googled “bear hugging California” and found a few more. Here it is on sheet music from 1913!

  • But…but…why is his paw _between_ the L and I??? Shouldn’t it be covering something? So it would be more like CAL{bear paw}FORNIA? This is the kind of thing I get hung up on, which probably just explained more about my personality than anything else ever could. I’m not sure how I feel about that, now that I think about it…

    • Miss B – I don’t know you, but I love you. This observation, something I didn’t notice, makes so much logical sense! Redesign!

  • Re: Earlier “Bring Your Own Weather … ” drawing. Perhaps someone wants an Edward Lear themed piece.

  • Eden, you should be a bear psychologist. You know bears THAT WELL.

  • “The bear wants you inside where you can be a part of the bear and never get away.”

    Oh man, now I’m in love with the bear. Although that is kind of stalkertastic.

  • Yeah, I’m gonna unearth my Black Gold card and come shopping for bookmarks!

  • This is funnily like an art history lecture where you look at something and there is stuff you didn’t see and then someone is like–look at that part–and then you SEE it.

    Also, go BEARS! (As a Cal alum, I needed to say that for some reason.)

  • Our local library has a secret staff cork board where someone makes a collage from the found photos. I was told I could go claim our family photo turned up there but I never got around to it. Hope they didn’t have any darts.