Author Archives: A bear

I hope nothing scared you today (or other days).

Being scared is a constant experience in the forest. There so many scary things. Sudden loud sounds. Violent insects. Squirrels (in general). Accidentally breaking things. The possibility of squirrels organizing and planning things. Fish eyes (very scary).

Sometimes, it feels as though there is no escape from all the awful scary things in the forest. Even when I am alone in my cave, resting or napping or sleeping, I can experience being scared. Sometimes my mind wanders to scary places without my permission, bringing terrifying ideas and images to me that I did not ask for. So even within my bear mind, outside of the context of the forest, scariness is right there, waiting to make me feel upset and uncomfortable and unstable.

It is difficult, and it is something I hope you have not had to experience, at least not today. You being a creature of the wherever you are from (I assume the forest, just a different part of it) surely have experiences with being scared. I am certain that you have faced scary things. I am certain that you have even overcome and fought off scary things. Maybe you have even been a scary thing to some other creature (I know this can happen by accident quite easily (sorry, opossum I sat on in the dumpster)).

But should you find yourself scared, I do hope you know a few important things about the feeling. It is, for example, quite temporary. No matter what strange forest thing is haunting your mind or body, being scared will eventually go away. It is a short lasting feeling that you will most certainly defeat and move away from with time.

And of course, it is important to know that you are never the only one who is scared. Most things are always scared a lot of the time, and things that do not seem scared are just very good at hiding it (even rocks probably get scared (maybe (I have not tested this theory)). And even knowing that you are not alone should help conquer your being scared.

I hope nothing scared you today or any other day, but if you did get scared, it is okay. I promise.

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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The magical fox who was not a fox but was actually plastic.

I recently spent quite a bit of time discussing many important topics with a very magical looking fox. I found the fox near a human cave, sitting on the human’s trimmed grass (why do humans trim grass when it is so neat and perfect as it is?) and staring off into space. The fox had what looked like some kind of fancy hat resting on its fuzzy head. Its whole body sparkled in the air, drawing my attention. It lit up its immediate space. It was magical.

I approached the fox cautiously. Most foxes run when they are approached no matter how cautious or friendly you might try to be toward them, but this fox was firmly staying where it was. I took that as a cue to continue approaching the fox. When I got face-to-face with the creature, I was mesmerized by how inviting it seemed. It stared at me as I stared back, emitting an aura of pleasantness that made me feel comfortable and fulfilled.

So I shared with the magical fox. I shared my concerns about being a bear and how bearness is part of the forest and how the forest is part of bearness. I confessed how I was afraid of the plans of squirrels and how belittled I felt when I saw the deer across the river. I explained to this magical little fox that I sometimes felt like one tiny, insignificant piece of the complex organism that was the forest, and that my piece of that organism was not entirely needed and even, at times, unwanted.

Eventually, I felt like I was doing too much of the sharing, so I asked the magical fox to share. The fox stared at me some more as I eagerly waited for its perspective of the forest.

But it never came.

The fox never shared.

I did not want to intrude this magical creature’s personal space, but I did not know what to do, so I pushed my nose against the fox’s nose. And it stung me! It was sharp and strangely pointy and not fuzzy at all. Further investigation led me to realize this magical fox was not a fox it all. It was a magical chunk of plastic and sharp things. Once I realized this, I did what I do with just about all plastic things I find: I chewed on it. It tasted very sharp. And it hurt. And it shocked me.

I placed far too much trust into the magical fox who was actually a piece of sharp, shocking plastic. I am happy I did, though. Even if nothing heard my woes and thoughts and feelings, it felt good sharing them.

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 do not have the confidence of a bird, but I like to sing.

Self-expression can be difficult. It is always risky to share something with anyone for a variety of reasons. Some things offer no feedback in response (rocks, trees, dirt) while others simply seem unwilling to listen (anxious squirrels, the raccoon I accidentally sat on, essentially all ants). Then there are the creatures who make me feel embarrassed to share. Birds, for example, do so many things so well and with such ease, making it challenging to share things in front of or around them. They fly with determination. They sit atop trees with grace. They never seem to fall. They, most importantly, sing. They sing so beautifully.

I, too, like to sing. I like to sing maybe as often as birds do, but I do not feel the confidence they must feel to sing so freely and so openly. When I sing, I am usually alone, sometimes among trees and rocks (again, they say nothing back so it is easier, though still difficult, to sing in front of them). I let out tiny growls and tiny howls and such and, I must admit, try to mimic what I have heard from birds. They do sing so well, and I do desire to sound like them. I know I do not. I know that my bear songs are probably not nearly as sweet and calming as most bird sounds seem, but that does not stop me.

Once, a bird caught me singing. I thought my only audience was a few rocks sitting outside of my cave, but after belting out a few growls, I looked up to see a very red bird staring at me. I was unable to tell what the bird thought of my song. I stared back, waiting for a review or, even better, advice. It never came. We stared at each other for awhile longer and then I let go and channeled my bird confidence and sang some more. The very red bird kept staring and when I stopped, it looked elsewhere and then finally flew off.

It felt nice to have a real audience, as stoic as it seemed. It made me feel like maybe I could do what birds do with the same kind of confidence. Maybe I do not sing as well as any bird, but I am sure I could at least feel as good about my singing as every bird must.

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 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.

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.