I destroyed some very good leaves.

I recently found a bundle of absolutely terrific leaves just sitting about the forest floor. I stared at them for awhile, admiring how perfectly crinkly and brown and orange they seemed. After taking in their lovely aesthetic, I rolled around in them, as I have done with many leaves I have seen for as long as I can remember.

This has been a routine, normal thing for me to do for a very long time, and before now, I had never put much thought into it beyond the simple pleasures it had brought me. It was almost as if I had always assumed leaves were there for me to roll around in. Now, I am not quite sure the truth is anywhere near that.

After the last time I rolled around in perfectly crinkly leaves, I took a moment to look upon the destruction I had unleashed onto them. They were completely destroyed, dilapidated, decimated. Ripped asunder by my careless rolling. My want for the crunch of their tiny leaf selves beneath my not-very-tiny bear body overshadowed my ability to consider what they were being put through. I had ended so many leaves just because I liked to roll around on them.

The mangled leaves got me thinking about how often I must ignore the results of me pursuing my interests and wants. How often do I do something for me, all the while ignoring how everything else in the forest is affected? When I break a branch on a tree while climbing it, I focus on the hurt I feel when I hit the ground, but what about the tree? Does the tree not also feel hurt with a once perfectly good branch ripped from itself? Does the water in the river have any interest going into my mouth and through my bear body? I have certainly never asked it.

When I thought about how my actions affect everything in the forest, I started to realize that most of my forest interactions are positive for me and horribly negative for the other party. Of course, some are unavoidable. Sorry, river water, but I need to drink you and you show no protest against it. But do I need to roll around on leaves? Of course not. I do not know where to begin when it comes to making sure there is a balance between my actions and ensuring their positive affects on others, but maybe it begins with being more aware I am not the only creature, the only thing, the only being in the forest. I am one, single bear among many other creatures and such, and understanding my own bearness certainly must involve knowing how it affects those others.

I am a bear.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? The newest adventure is all about safety!

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com

You can also now use Tumblr to address questions to Bear. Also, you can find bear photos and such on Bear’s Instagram, and don’t forget to “like” Bear on Facebook.

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I do not know where to go.

It is easy to get lost. Of course, there is the normal getting lost way of getting lost. The kind that involves losing track of which trees I have smelled before and which rocks are the exact lumpy ones I usually use to find my cave. This kind of getting lost happens frequently, and when it does I usually stare off into the distance of trees and leaves that make up the forest background, and I wonder where to go. This kind of getting lost is easier to handle than other kinds of getting lost. As I wonder where to go, I raise my snout into the air, get a good whiff of something interesting, and then I am no longer lost. I am then pursuing something new, something interesting.

Sometimes I get to that feeling lost moment, the one where I am staring out into the forest, and I actually know where I am, I am not physically lost, but I am still not sure where to go or why I would go there. In those moments, I just stare and wonder where I should go, but no smell nor sight nor sound will budge me. I do not wonder where to go. I simply do not know where to go, and even when I think of somewhere to go, I convince myself that there is no real reason to go there. In those moments, I do not know where to go even though I know exactly where I am and where I normally go.

Those moments make me feel very stuck. More stuck than anything has ever made me feel stuck. I once put my head through a broken fence to reach the bottom of a dumpster leaking what looked like a very wonderful sauce, and when I tried to retrieve my head, the fence held onto it and refused to let go, and that level of being stuck is still nowhere near how stuck I feel when I do not know where to go.

It feels everlasting, and it feels very bleak and empty and hopeless. I recover from it eventually, of course. I get my thoughts back in my head and I remember where I need to go, in some capacity, but in the moment of not knowing, I am quite scared.

Maybe it is about purpose? Maybe in those moments I need to remember why I am a bear, all the reasons I might have for continuing to be a bear. Of course, that presents a whole different set of problems that I have never been able to overcome.

Maybe it is about that interesting smell? Maybe in those moments I should ignore the blankness  and hopelessness and just go toward that interesting smell, even if it is not really there. At least then, I have an idea of where to go.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? The newest adventure is all about safety!

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com

You can also now use Tumblr to address questions to Bear. Also, you can find bear photos and such on Bear’s Instagram, and don’t forget to “like” Bear on Facebook.

I hope you get to feel okay.


Being is usually quite nice, especially when partaking in some of the nicer aspects of being (eating, napping, seeing colorful rocks, swimming without getting a whole lot of water in my mouth, finding a very new rabbit skeleton, not being eaten, getting to know a frog, realizing how many toes I have, discovering a new smell in a dumpster, running through a cluster of birds, eating, napping). It is fortunate that being gets to consist of so many pleasant things.

But it is not always eating and napping and colorful rocks. Existing has a vast array of events and objects and bird sounds that are terrifying, upsetting, scary, and alarming. Even while enjoying the finer points of being, an upsetting thing about being can happen. Why did that crow shriek at me while I was enjoying my nap in my cave? There is really no way to know, but I do know that it was upsetting and I did not like it. I did not feel okay while it happened and for quite some time after it happened.

Being, existing, is unpredictable. That is probably the hardest part about being in the forest. There is no way to tell when I will feel okay and when I feel not okay. There is no guide for knowing when everything will be okay or not okay. Good or bad things just seem to happen, adding to the chaos and unpredictability of the forest. Not only will I never know that a crow will yell at me, I will also have no idea when it will yell at me. Or why. Or even really how. It will just happen. And it did just happen.

It is not easy. In fact, existing seems to be more scary than it usually actually is because there is no way to know when it will be okay and when it will not be okay. Because of the uncertainty, I tend to brace for the not okay of being, which can even make the okay things feels not as okay as they should.

I want to hold onto feeling okay as much as I can, though, as difficult as it can be. I know there is a chance that a crow could always yell at me, but I do not want to feel not okay just because that is always a possibility. I want to feel as okay as I can as often as I can.

I hope you, as a creature who probably is, probably exists, get to be okay today. I hope you do not feel the need to brace for the not okay of the forest, or the wherever you are (which is probably the forest), and I hope you can, instead, be okay while being the thing that you are. Everybody deserves to feel like they are not going to be yelled at by a crow, and I hope you get to have that.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? The newest adventure is all about safety!

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com

You can also now use Tumblr to address questions to Bear. Also, you can find bear photos and such on Bear’s Instagram, and don’t forget to “like” Bear on Facebook.

If bearness ends up being pointless, I guess I will keep being a bear.


I like to believe being a bear has a point and, therefore, my bearness has a point. I am a bear in the forest, and it is nice to think that matters to something or somewhere to some end. Maybe the forest needs me and my bearness. Maybe some other creature needs me and my bearness. Maybe me just needing my bearness to be a bear is enough for my bearness to have a point.

I like to believe that.

But maybe being a bear is not supposed to have a point. No end. No meaning. Maybe I am a bear because I am a bear, that is all there is to it. That is a little scary, but it is also a little nice. If being a bear is truly pointless, it takes a great deal of pressure off of me and all the expectations I impose upon my own bearness. To some degree, bearness being pointless would be a relief.

But if it is, then what? What I am supposed to do with all the bearness I am and have cultivated through many days and nights as a bear? If there is no point to that bearness, then all that being a bear has led to nothing more than me overthinking being a bear. So if that is the case, I suppose I just to keep being a bear.

Is there really any other choice? I suppose I could not be a bear, but if it does not matter whether I am a bear or not a bear, I think I would rather be a bear (at least I have experience in that, whereas I have no experience with not being a bear).

But then if I am a being a bear just because I am a bear, am I not just back to my original question about what being a bear means? If all I can do is be a bear, I will, no matter what, be at least curious about what that means and how I should approach it, even if I end up believing that it is meaningless.

Being a bear should probably not be this confusing.

Either way, I suppose I will just keep being a bear, whatever that means, and I guess I will apply meaning to my bearness where I see fit. Maybe I just have to make my own point when it comes to being a bear.

I am a bear.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? The newest adventure is all about safety!

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com

You can also now use Tumblr to address questions to Bear. Also, you can find bear photos and such on Bear’s Instagram, and don’t forget to “like” Bear on Facebook.

I hope it is okay I do not know how to be a perfect bear.


I think it is possible simply being a thing makes you the best possible version of that thing. Frogs are the best at being frogs because they are frogs, and who would know better than they? Trees are the best possible trees because that is who they are and what they know. So I should, then, be the best version of a bear because I am a bear, and if anybody knows the best way to be a bear, it would be me, correct?

I should be a perfect bear by way of just being a bear. But I do not actually feel that way. Where I am able to easily assume the same of others in the forest, I have a hard time assuming so of me. I do not think I am a perfect bear, and I do not think I am the best version of a bear. I am even usually convinced that I do not know how to correctly be a bear.

I am a bear, but I have no idea if I am being a bear the way I am supposed to be a bear.

I suppose that could be subjective, though. Maybe what defines perfect bearness is impossible to truly determine since there might not be one single right way to be a bear. That is okay, but even when I humor this idea I am still so easily taunted by thoughts of what I am supposed to be doing as a bear. So much so that I am even forced to ask myself: what if I am not even a true bear, whatever that might be? How do I even know I am a bear? And if I am truly the keeper of being a bear, and I can determine whether or not my own bearness is acceptable, why do I not feel like I am capable of doing so? Why can I not simply be a bear and let that being be my best way to be?

I have, in the past, wondered if other creatures suffer the same dilemma, but they do not seem to. Perhaps instead of trying to be what I consider being a bear is, I should be and do what other forest creatures are and do to illuminate their own -nessness. Perhaps instead of cultivating bearness, I need to cultivate the confidence squirrels have as they chaotically bounce from tree limb to tree limb. I need to harness the effortlessness exhibited by birds as they dip and dive in the air.

Maybe to be the best possible version of a bear, I just need to stop obsessing over my own bearness and, instead, ease into bearness. Let bearness happen.

I am a bear.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? The newest adventure is all about safety!

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com

You can also now use Tumblr to address questions to Bear. Also, you can find bear photos and such on Bear’s Instagram, and don’t forget to “like” Bear on Facebook.

I cannot but help to stay in the forest.

The forest is not always an easy place to live in. For every soft, lovely clump of moss there is among the trees, there is some agonizing terror that creeps into your brain or body and tries to remove you from the forest, whether physically or mentally.

As I continue existing in the forest, it feels as though these terrorizing things affect me more frequently and to a greater extent. Because of them, I often find myself overwhelmed and unwelcomed by the forest, like I am some parasite it is trying to destroy. When the wind blows a sharp stick into my nose, how could I not feel like the forest does not want or need me? When every squirrel I see gives me a mocking glare as it hurls menacing chuckling sounds at me, how can I continue to think the forest is not trying to get rid of me? When even my own cave floods with water, ruining my collection of rabbit skeletons and interesting soft things, is it even possible for me to assume that I am wanted among the trees?

I have convinced myself, time and time again, that the forest is no place for me, a bear. I have even cautiously approached the idea of finding a new home, if a place outside of the forest even exists. I have never ventured far enough to know if one does exist, however. Something always keeps me here, keeps me among the trees.

It is the soft, lovely clump of moss that keeps me. Not that single thing in particular, of course, but things similar in disposition. The interesting things. The lovely things. The kind things. How there is always fresh water in the river. The amazing manner in which ants create their homes. The surprising passivity of spiders. The moments absent of deer. The flowers. The trees. The soft dirt. The taste of rabbit skeletons.

There are so many good things in the forest.

Also, there is me. As much as the forest sometimes seems like it wants to chew on me and eat me and then regurgitate me out of itself, I am, ultimately and truly, part of the forest. And the forest is part of me, part of who I am and how I understand everything, including my own bearness.

So for now, I will keep being the forest, even when the forest does not seem interested in my being. I believe I have earned that at least.

I am a bear.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? The newest adventure is all about safety!

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com

You can also now use Tumblr to address questions to Bear. Also, you can find bear photos and such on Bear’s Instagram, and don’t forget to “like” Bear on Facebook.

What if I cannot continue to be a better bear?


As I continue being a bear, I have generally become better at various bear related skills and activities than I once was. I am a better climber of trees than I once was. I am a better eater of forest floor leaves than I once was. I am a better understander of squirrels than I once was (though they certainly still confuse me to no end).

I am, generally, a better overall bear than I once was. Or, at least, I feel like I am a better overall bear than I once was. I take pride in that fact. My bearness has grown. It has gotten better. It is better prepared for other potential bear related problems. I am a better bear. I do not often get to reflect on the growth of my bearness and any positive changes it has undergone over my time being a bear (which is all of my time), so doing so is actually quite nice.

But then, of course, I am forced to consider the downsides of continually being a better bear. The main downside: is there a time or place when or where I stop being a better bear? Does my continual better bear being stop bettering eventually?

I do not know. I do not want to hit a wall of bearness. I want to continue feeling like I am progressing toward some kind of bearness goal, even if something like that does not really exist or is only imposed by me.

Of course, when I begin to think of this bearness wall, I wonder if I even need to keep getting better at being a bear. Perhaps the skill level I currently possess in activities like swimming or smelling things or not getting locked in a dumpster is adequate and there is no need for further advancement. How much better can I really get at not being locked in a dumpster anyway? There is not too much involved with that skill, and what little is involved with it is comprised mostly of luck. Even more difficult skills like climbing or swimming pose that issue. Do I really need to get better at shifting my body about in the river? Nobody seems impressed by it, and it does not help me beyond a minor confidence boost, so why bother?

I do not like to be so dismissive, though. Even if being able to stand on my two back legs is not the most useful skill to hone (though being able to use my front two paws for carrying things would be lovely), I still like the idea of trying to get better at it. And even if I cannot get better at it, I like the idea of trying. Even if the growth of my bearness gets stuck, I still like to think I can do something about it.

I am a bear.

If you would like to try being a bear, why not read some of the bear adventures available on this very site? The newest adventure is all about safety!

For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@gmail.com

You can also now use Tumblr to address questions to Bear. Also, you can find bear photos and such on Bear’s Instagram, and don’t forget to “like” Bear on Facebook.