Tag Archives: bear blog

Thinking of the -ness of others.

Bearness is a topic I have exhausted time and time again and for good reason: I still do not fully understand it. I do not know how or why understanding bearness could matter. I do not know what to do with an understanding of bearness. I do not even know if I am correctly understanding bearness, whether it be bearness in general or my own, specific, bearness. I could probably explore the topic of bearness forever and ever until I am not a bear anymore (though I hope that never happens because I like being a bear).

But for all the energy and time I put towards being a bear, I have done little thinking about the -ness of others. I have, of course, explored the surface level of others’ -ness. Trees, for example, have a treeness, I am sure, and I have spent time pondering what that might be like. I have wondered if trees count their branches and their leaves and their acorns as part of their treeness or if each part of a tree gets its own -ness (leafness, acornness, branchness, etc.). I have also definitely wondered what trees think of themselves and their place in the forest and whether or not they think about how I might think about those things.

However, when it comes to long-term, truly thoughtful reflection on treeness, I have never really wrestled with it. The same goes for pretty much any -ness: squirrelness, dirtness, dumpsterness, skyness, sunness. Everythingness. I have not invested the kind of dedication I have invested in my own -ness to any of these things.

Part of that is because none of these things will discuss their own -ness with me. Even when I ask, I am almost always met with silence and, in one very unfortunate incident, loud crashing sounds (I knocked over the dumpster (sorry)).

But that is no excuse, I suppose. Just because something will not discuss its -ness with me does not mean I should remain oblivious to that thing’s -ness. There must be better ways to understand the -ness others. And in doing so, perhaps I can even learn a little more about my own -ness. Maybe part of bearness is trying to understand everyone-else-ness. Or at least trying to do so.

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 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.

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.

Every place is scary or too mean.


I worry that I hide myself from the greater expanses of the forest too much. I spend a great deal of time in my cave or near the river I like or by the dumpsters I frequent or in the most familiar patches of grass and dirt I know. Rarely do I traverse beyond my known routine, and when I do, it is usually because of an enticing smell or a terrifying sound or an interesting looking rock.

Generally, I am okay with my regular outings, but when I do worry about my routines, I worry about if I am missing out on something. I worry that there are grand, engaging experiences throughout the forest that I miss simply because I am too scared or comfortable to reach them. Experiences missed simply by virtue of proximity (or lack thereof). The forest does not do much to inform me about the possibilities of these events and experiences. There is no master forest schedule that I am aware of (though I have certainly entertained the idea of squirrels having and/or knowing of such a thing and actively hiding it from me for no reason beyond meaningless spite on their part).

When the worry outgrows my desire for comfort and safety, though, I begin to think about how or why I do not search new, exciting things.

And then it all comes back.

Every awful experience I have ever had that happened because of my leaving my routine.

The time I got locked in a dumpster and then some humans sprayed stinging mist at me and tipped the dumpster over so I rolled out? That happened because I tried a new dumpster, one I had never been to but had an incredibly smell to it I wanted to investigate. Blinded by the awful mist, I ran through the forest wildly until I eventually hit a tree and napped until the sun was up.

Or how about the time I tried to enjoy the offerings of a human lake? The water ended up burning my eyes, and the humans who lived near the lake sprayed more awful mist at me (you can guess what I did afterward).

Then there is the long, flat black rock. I have followed it far beyond my cave before to end up finding nothing new or of interest. Just more forest and smashed raccoons. A sad, difficult rock that seems to exist only to crush unsuspecting forest creatures. It was a sight I could have lived without experiencing.

There have been good times found far and beyond my cave, though. I once found a very cool and fish abundant part of the river I go to. I followed it upstream until I was able to see more fish through the water than I had ever seen. I jumped in. The water so cooler than I had ever remembered the river being. The fish were so plentiful that even my slow, uncoordinated paws were able to catch them. It was nice. And I would not have experienced it without going outside of my comfortable routine. Are the plentiful fish worth the potential of stinging mist, though? I do not know, but for now, I suppose I will go where my bearness leads me, whether it be the comfort of my cave or some new, terrifying adventure.

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.

The bear I might become.


I am not sure what kind of bear I am supposed to be (I do not even know if I am supposed to be a bear, really, but that is another topic all together). That worries me occasionally as I have noted before: what if I am doing bearness wrong? There is another issue that grows from that moldy idea resting in my bear mind: what kind of bear am I supposed to become?

Not doing bearness right in the current moment is fixable, I suppose, but that fixing is very dependent on my knowing what kind of bear I want to be. When I think about that, I usually do not have an answer. I am a bear. And I want to be a bear. That should be good enough, but I still feel a strange push from myself to define my bearness, my being a bear. I feel a need to know what kind of bear I am and what kind of bear I want to become.

When I think of the kind of bear I have been, it does not help matters. Most of my past bearness is me being okay with being a bear and that is all. I liked being a bear because I was a bear. There was no need to categorize my bearness.

I am a bear, so I am a bear.

At least, that is how it used to be.

As I continue being a bear, however, that need to define and categorize and further understand my being a bear grows. And its growth always brings frustration because I have no answers that satisfy the need. I am a bear is all I have on the topic, and I believe I will be a bear is all I can predict about the topic. I hope the bear I am is the kind of bear I need to be later.

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 think I have been here before.


Even though I spend all of my time in the forest, I feel like I have not explored very much of it. Sometimes I will walk for a long time in one direction, hoping to feel the excitement that comes with treading unexplored territory, but I usually get too scared or intimidated by the immense size of the forest to go very far in any one direction. I end up back in my cave, enjoying its comfortable and familiar damp pointy walls.

In an attempt to challenge myself and explore more of the forest, I recently tried fighting the urge to turn back at the sight of the unfamiliar during one of my brief forest excursions. I walked away from my cave in a direction that was not toward the river or my favorite tree or the very interesting looking rock I like so much. I went in a direction that was unfamiliar, and I just walked.

And I kept walking.

Aimless but attentive, taking in the sights and the sounds of the forest as I went.

The more attention I gave to those sights and sounds, the more I began to feel like everything I was experiencing was very familiar. I walked until the sun was almost ready to retire into the trees past my sight, and I did not feel like I had seen anything new. It was all very lovely, for sure. I do adore the sights and sounds of the forest, no matter how frequently I experience them, but everything felt more familiar than I had anticipated. Usually that far into a walk, I would be ready to run in whatever direction I had come from, but where I went felt safe and known. Especially when I got to a cave. It was a nice cave. It was damp and rocky and comfortable. It had a delicious and soft bed of moss in one corner. Another corner had a fine collection of rabbit skeletons. There were some leaves spread about. It was wonderful. It was familiar.

Was it my cave? It felt like my cave. It smelled and tasted like my cave. I had walked away from my cave, though, so I was confused. What was I supposed to do? I did what came naturally to me: I slept in the cave. When I woke, it still felt like my cave. When I went outside of the cave, it felt like the outside of my cave.

Either I had just walked back to my cave by accident or I had stumbled upon an exact replica of everything I knew. I was not sure which was true, so I licked the pile of moss in the corner and napped a little longer. It felt right, and, really, either way, I felt like I was at home.

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? 

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.

Maybe I should be more mindful of my surroundings.


Relative to most forest creatures, I am quite large. I know this when I think about it. The problem, however, is that I rarely think about my largeness. It is easy to forgot about my largeness when I am merely traversing the forest, trying to be a bear. Maybe I just need more practice thinking about two things at one time (bearness and largeness). Or, maybe I should start focusing more on the largeness part.

It does not affect everything I do in the forest. My largeness is usually not a problem. I fit through most bushes and generally I do not need to scrape up against a tree unless I want to scratch an itch. I still float, too. When I get into the river, I spread out my largeness and I float about. It is nice until the deer across the river inevitably hisses at me with its horrible face, but even that, I believe, is not caused my largeness.

My largeness has caused pain and suffering to those around it, though. The bench I found among a lightly treed part of the forest was one such victim. I sat on it, enjoying my time on it as my fur baked in the sun. It was ever so comfortable and relaxing until I heard a thundering crack beneath me. I looked around, trying to understand where the sound came from, and then, it happened again. I fell through the bench and onto the dirt. With some dramatic thrashing, howling, and wriggling I am not proud of, I managed to escape the corpse of the bench, but the bench was gone. Destroyed. No longer a bench. I felt awful for what I had done. I tried to apologize to the bench, but I was unable to, the guilt holding back my thoughts and forcing me to scurry into the forest where my largeness got in the way again as I stepped on an anthill by total accident.

Had I murdered again? Had I turned into such a terrible beast, unable to care or empathize with those who were subjected to my largeness? Before I could answer any of these questions, the biting began.

I ran some more, bumping into trees and smashing branches and stepping on who knows what. By the time I was back in my cave, I promised myself I would try to control my largeness. When I woke from the nap that followed that event, I realized there was little I could do about my largeness. I suppose being large is just part of being a bear. I also realized, though, that I needed to at least be more mindful of my largeness. I had a duty, as a largeness having creature, to ensure my largeness did not negatively hurt others.

I also do not like ant bites…

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? 

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.