Some of the best philosophers are bears: Introducing Mawson Bear

Some of the best philosophers are bears: Introducing Mawson Bear

Mawson Bear, author

Today I have an extra special Christmas treat as I welcome Mawson Bear to my website. Mawson is a shy and retiring bear of generous proportions, with a fancy for dapper bow ties. Ever since he can remember, he’s loved to sit atop a cushion and ponder about this often baffling world. Friends approach him about their own dilemmas. They seek instant answers that will make everything all right. Mawson does his best but he often just falls asleep and wakes as baffled as ever. But he’s always confident, down in his innermost stuffing, that the world is a bright place to be. Mawson likes to share his ponders by plonking them into little books for others to enjoy.

Mawson is the proud author of It’s a bright world to feel lost in, published by Publisher Obscura. This is a beautiful philosophical book in the vein of The blue day book by Bradley Trevor Grieve. It is the perfect sort of book to buy as a stocking stuffer or Kris Kringle for someone who likes to muse about life, and who hasn’t lost their sense of whimsy. Mawson has another book coming out very soon, She ran away from love

 Which writer or writers opened your eyes to the magic of storytelling and why?

When young I devoured books by many authors but when it comes to the magic they brought me, I will list those by C.S Lewis (Narnia), Issac Asimov (Sci Fi), and Rosemary Sutcliffe (historical fiction).

Like most readers, what I sought was to be transported from this world.  With these writers I could be in Norman England winning back a castle during a school break, in the woods of Narnia on a rainy Sunday, or fleeing rogue robots during a long car ride.

Why do you think people need stories in their lives?

A life is a story.  We wonder about our personal stories all the time: ‘What if I had been born in Carthage, or had gone to a school for wizards, or could be a colonist of Mars? What if I had stood up to that bully, stepped through the back of that Wardrobe, been kidnapped by pirates, chosen another lover?’ Many of us, having re-read our own pages up to now, then strive to change – re-write – our future chapters. But still we keep wondering: is this the best we can do? The stories we absorb from other people fascinate us. They entertain and enthral us as we learn in a safe way about the consequences and circumstances of the choices made by other people, real and fictional. Stories reassure most of us, I think, that after all has been said and done, our personal modest lives are really just fine. Being fragile creatures though, and constantly craving reassurance, we turn back again and again to the power of stories.

What is your greatest magical power as a writer?

Shyly he says, ‘I listen to the bears’.

Poets, actors, composers, painters, ‘artistic people’, all speak reluctantly about the heart of creativity. They proffer vague expressions like ‘feeling inspired’, ‘being guided’, ‘trusting the muse’, ‘entering into the role’. What does this mean? I think it’s about listening for ‘something’. Now, this ‘something’ cannot not be analysed or modelled on a flow chart. It’s very shy, and it needs to trust you to respect it. I think the greatest magical power of a writer is to gently –don’t startle it –gently reach out for this ‘something’, gain it’s trust; and then to let characters and story flow on from there.

I listen to my bears. I never know when I’ll hear in a voice as quiet as can be imagined the best ponders framed in the best words; and these are ideas and words that I myself did not have in mind, really I didn’t. When I don’t listen but just grind on, my writing is not right: the voice feels wrong, the images don’t flow, and it is not satisfying.

Which mythic archetype or magical character most resonates with you and why?

Naturally my bear Mawson’s esteemed peers and forebears come to mind: Pooh, Paddington, Calvin’s tiger Hobbes.

What themes or ideas do you find keep arising in your writing?

Long ago, I wanted to take the sort of advice that can be found in the Self-Esteem and Motivation style of books, which I read but often found to be a bit too earnest, even precious, and to present the ideas I thought most helpful as light hearted axioms with pictures. This plan did not get far. Instead the ‘something’ I am listening to keeps taking me back back to the sad times that every bear (or person) sits through. In their different ways, each of my bears becomes convinced that their particular shape and stuffing and being-ness is not enough. They seek and quest for some other way to Be One’s Best.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

To purchase a copy of Mawson’s gentle ponderings, or get news about upcoming books, the best place to start is his website, here. Mawson’s book will delight you.

Comments are closed.