Yesterday was dark and rainy, but this morning, we had fabulous sunshine. I was so happy to see the sun that I opened the window, but the freezing air came inside immediately, so I had to close it again. I just wanted some fresh air, and I was disappointed. This cold weather makes me want to schedule a vacation trip to a warmer place.

At any rate, I hibernated in my room for the past several days to finish up my year-end project, and I decided to go to a bookstore for some new inspirations. I headed to the Tsutaya bookstore in Daikanyama, which is a franchise bookstore, but the one in Daikanyama is the largest and it has many art and design books.

I always start at the foodie section to admire the beautiful and delicious dishes and recipes. Then I move on to the travel section where my imagination runs wild to the places I love to go. This time the search for a guide book got serious because I want to escape the bitter cold February. Then I finally got to the art and design section.

I drifted through shelves of fashion, design and art as I looked around. In the photography section, a pink plush bear with a ripped left arm caught my eye. It was a book called “Much Loved” by photographer Mark Nixon. His successful exhibition was turned into a book and published in 2013.

The book is a collection of portraits of plush toys who were “much loved” by their humans. Their bodies were torn from many hugs and rubs by humans as they spent many years together. Along with each portrait, there were stories about the bond created between human and plush. Each and every story was pretty intense and touching to read.

I had a difficult time holding back my tears so as not to ruin this beautiful new book. I thought I was pretty old to be in my late 20s with my skin severely damaged, but I found many friends who were way older than me, and their bodies were more torn with some of their body parts even missing.

It was all worthwhile to take a trip to the bookstore in the cold weather.  I have a warm feeling knowing there are many plush friends who are like me, bonded with humans to help each other grow.  I have a new appreciation for my mature friends who are behind me all the way to look over my adventures.  I also don’t feel too bad about my damaged skin any more — it’s more like a decoration than damage!