There probably is not a lot of everything.

moss man (3)

There is only so much of everything, probably. It is hard to understand that by simply looking around. Trees and sticks and leaves and birds and air as far as the eye can see or the nose can smell, all of these things seem too vast and numerous to ever not be the things they are. And the seemingly infinite number of these things tricks me into thinking I might be infinite, too. After all, I am also made up of many things (fur, teeth, nose, etc.).

Everything eventually stops being the thing it is, though. All of the trees fall over and all of the birds crash into the ground and all of the air stops being nice to smell and all of the me will probably fall over and not move anymore eventually. I do not know what any of it turns into (if any of it turns into anything at all), but I do know everything eventually stops being what it is. Everything runs out of what it is.

Part of me gets sad when I think about this. I mourn the finite and wish it could be not so final in some way or another. The thought has kept me up at nights in my dark, damp cave. Even with the calming smell of mold and the cool night air twirling around my fur, I often still find myself staring blankly into the bleak emptiness of my cave, its nothingness reminding me how, eventually, everything (even the particular nothing I stare at) might be nothing some day. Sometimes I get confused by the idea of nothing turning into more nothing (is it just a different kind of nothing or even more nothing on top of nothing?), yet I welcome that confusion over the emptiness of the thought that led to it.

Sometimes I swat at the nothing with an angry paw in the middle of the night, hoping some brute force can stop the thought from crawling into my mind. There is a pile of chipped claws near a particularly dark part of my cave. One time I ate them. They were salty.

I do not want to become nothing. I guess that is what it comes down to.

I also do not want anything else to become nothing.

When I am not recycling the same sad idea over and over until I fall asleep, another part of me wants to find ways to fix or, at the very least, put off the sadness of everything running out of itself. I do this by finding things I fear could turn into nothing and caring for them.

For example, I watched over a sad looking raccoon for awhile once. I followed it from tree to tree and from dumpster to dumpster, ensuring it was safe from the anger of nature or the sadness of itself. I made sure nobody followed the creature into its den and that no snakes were around as it looked for berries in a bushel. I even stood outside of the dumpster it was foraging from until it spotted me and ran away. I lost track of the raccoon after that. I hope it is not nothing now. And I hope it did not mind me taking the bread covered in red sauce that I found in the dumpster. I ate it. It was salty.

I tried saving some sticks from nothingness, too. I found three sticks (very good ones) and tried to put them under my belly for warmth and protection from the elements.

They broke under my belly.

I do not know if breaking in half makes a stick turn into nothing, but if it does, I did a very terrible thing with the best intentions.

Of course, there was the baby bird I found in my cave as well. I had no intention of stopping nothingness from swallowing the baby bird when I first met it. That idea was not part of my thinking at the time. I was so busy enjoying thingness that I had no time for even considering nothingness. Maybe that carelessness lead to what happened to the baby bird. I am sure I could have done more.

I know it is impossible to save anything from possibly being nothing eventually. I understand that horrible, relentless, fear-inducing fact, but I cannot help continuously becoming upset and obsessed over it. No matter how frequently I try to think of good things (bread, warm dirt, soft grass, moss pillows, etc.) while I rest in my cave during the night, that dark nothingness I stare at still haunts me and makes me want to try stopping it from becoming more nothingness.

I should at least stop swatting at it. And I should probably not eat my own claws.

I am a bear.

You can read more bear thoughts by clicking these words.

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2 thoughts on “There probably is not a lot of everything.

  1. Edith

    Such mournful sadness in your words, bear. I cannot help but think, in these spring days, that perhaps some time spent with a lady bear might not ease some of your worry. You could chat, share a dead something as a snack, play hide and seek, or … well, do anything. Do you know any lady bears or places you might find one? Your friend, Edith.

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  2. Patrick Mc Rae

    Congratulations, bear. You are experiencing an Existential Crisis. This is an important part of a thing achieving a deeper, better understanding of whatever it means to be that thing (in your case, Bearness.) Though it can feel sad, it will help you become a more complete bear.

    You will probably not always be a bear. I do not know what you might become. Probably nothing will be what it is forever. (In the case of the sticks, they just became smaller sticks. Eventually those sticks will become smaller and smaller sticks until they become dirt. And I think we can agree that dirt is a good thing.) Because of this, you should enjoy being a bear right now as much as you possibly can, while also enjoying everything else for being whatever it is.

    Also, I think it is very good that you are concerned about raccoons, even though they can be difficult. I do not think raccoons have nearly as easy a time of things as they would like us to believe.

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