Purple Passages and a Teddy Bear


Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.   – Albert Camus

Autumn carries more gold in its pocket than all the other seasons.   – Jim Bishop

Original Photo: Autumn in Pennsylvania
Original Photo: Autumn in Pennsylvania

Quotation, noun: The act of repeating erroneously the words of another.      – Ambrose Bierce

(In September’s Purple Passages, I published one of Bierce’s quotes on photography. The one above was contributed later by photographer son Joel.)



A bear grows more alive with age. No one with one ounce of sensitivity could ever consign a bear to the dustbin.    – Johnnie Hague

Mom with sheepish look holding teddy bear   1992
Mom with sheepish look holding teddy bear   1992


“Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind. “Pooh?” he whispered.

“Yes, Piglet?”

“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s hand. “I just wanted to be sure of you.”

― A.A. Milne, Winnie the Pooh.


The cell phone has become the adult’s transitional object, replacing the toddler’s teddy bear for comfort and a sense of belonging.    – Margaret Heffernan

People go to the zoo and they like the lion because it’s scary. And the bear because it’s intense, but the monkey makes people laugh.    – Lorne Michaels



A person without a sense of humor is like a wagon without springs. It’s jolted by every pebble on the road.   – Henry Ward Beecher   (Contributed by blog reader Carolyn Stoner)

It is bad to suppress laughter. It goes back down and spreads to your hips.    – Fred Allen

*  *  *

Your opinion please: the quote about the teddy bear and cellphone.  A comment on something else? Obviously, I like to chat too.

Coming next: Train Lovers, Welcome Aboard


30 thoughts on “Purple Passages and a Teddy Bear

  1. Good morning the tree is so beautiful. With all the trees that surround me none are that color. I keep asking Pablo why I don’t have all those beautiful colors.

    Autumn is my favorite time of year. Oh those nice cool breeze and lovely trees, God’s great blessings. So true to the cell phone – it is the life line for us. I don’t know I lose keys and then they’ll show up. When I lose my phone I scream help and ask everyone to look for it. Yes, I know it’s crazy.

    As for laughter being suppressed and going to hips I beg to differ. I don’t suppress laughter. Actually I find laughter everyday, yet my hips keep growing. What’s up with that! Have a nice day. Lovely picture of mom.


  2. Good morning, Marian! I love the photos. Our big, old oak tree still has green leaves, just beginning to turn yellow. Your mother looks like she’s thinking “OK, take the picture already.” 🙂
    I understand the cell phone/teddy bear analogy. I suppose a cell phone is a security object for some–I get anxious, too, if I don’t know where mine is– but I don’t think it’s ever the real “person” that a teddy bear is to some kids.


    1. Continuing with the teddy bear – cellphone analogy: some would argue that one is real and the other is artificial, a substitute for the real thing. However, as I’m typing now, I know these online conversations are authentic though I have not met many of my blog friends, including you, in face to face encounters.

      I imagine your “revolutionary era” work is coming along nicely. And I suspect we will hear a post-publication update on your Encyclopedia of the Breast.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Marion — the glorious tree photo taken by your son Joel is beautiful. The expression on your mom’s face as she’s holding the teddy bear is priceless.

    Reading the Winnie the Pooh quote made me think of this brief excerpt:

    “…Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in your joints and are very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”
    — Excerpt from The Velveteen Rabbit by Margery Williams


    1. Merril’s comment made me think of The Velveteen Rabbit and when I scrolled down further I then see your apt quote. Great minds!

      Thank you for always giving tangible evidence of reading these posts. You’e a gem, Laurie!


  4. I have a picture of my grandmother holding one of my daughter’s dolls and looking equally sheepish! Nice warm memory though, and this evokes those feelings too. I totally agree about the cell phone quote. Don’t we baby them and make sure they are omnipresent?


    1. I say “guilty” to your last question. Though technically it’s only an electronic device, to me it represents a connect to family and friends as well as a way to preserve memories through the camera feature. I expect to here soon that you have been gifted a smart-phone, Melodie.


  5. My husband still has his first teddy bear! Well, maybe I should say I have his first teddy bear! I have a lovely picture of my mother holding two large teddy bears which are now the property of my sister-in-law and myself!
    Cell phones are certainly comforting…being on my person at all times, I seldom miss a call from someone dear. 🙂


  6. The tree is beautiful. We are loosing leaves and color rapidly here. A windstorm yesterday took down trees and knocked out power.

    I can see a smart phone being like a security blanket/teddy bear type thing, and often as they are getting larger they are held constantly at hand rather than in a pocket.


    1. You bring up a good point, Athanasia. Cellphones now are huge, almost the size of an iPad, unlike the teeny flip-top I used not so long ago. It would seem the functions they perform have escalated with the dominance they hold on our time and energy.


  7. Fred Allen quote is the one that made me laugh. I keep the fanciful bear pillow I made for my 44 year old son when I was pregnant with him. I have to pass that along! And the cell phones? they are maddening and wonderful. People in bereavement groups are ashamed that they honor their lost love’s cell phones, but I think, Why not? They contain photos, videos, voices, contacts, and calendars. Our modern personal mementos and ethereal like the rest of the electronic world we live in. thanks, Marian. Nice for me to have an afternoon to visit friends.


    1. Elaine, I watched a documentary FARMLAND about farming families around the country. In one family they had lost the father a year earlier and they were gathered around table. They were trying to comfort one of the daughters who accidentally deleted the last message her dad left on her phone.


        1. Thank you, Athanasia. I’m glad I have other records still, but this was a tender poignant one and I’m sorry to have lost it. But we have to let go of so much in this life and everything in the end, so this is a little practice session.


  8. I appreciate your point of view on the cellphone item. Our forebears must have thought the same thing about earlier technology.

    And I appreciate your taking time to comment as I know book launching involves birth pangs, labor, and delivery. At this point, I am sure you are not just surviving, but thriving.


  9. I love, “Autumn carries more gold than any other season” and beautiful tree. And lol, it’s a good thing I don’t suppress my laughter, or I’d have jumbo hips. 🙂


  10. Oh, I had to laugh at the concept of the Iphone replacing the teddy bear! 🙂 You may have something there.

    And the photo of the magnificent tree is just fantastic. thanks for sharing. 🙂


    1. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and the unlikely iPhone – teddy bear pairing. The magnificent tree is a hickory close to Elizabethtown, PA in Lancaster County where I grew up. Your comments always welcome. Should I call you Clara or Clarike? I vacillate between the two. 🙂


  11. one word: MAGNIFIQUE – both your post and pix… glad I’ve come across your awesome blog… my very best, tons of inspiration and friendly thoughts, Mélanie


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