Tag Archives: bear things

How much of my bearness is up to me?

Bearness is a continuous and changing idea for me. I know the bear I was many moons ago is not the bear I am now, and I know I will likely be a different bear some time from now. I do, however, feel like a great deal of my bearness, and essentially who and what I am as a bear, is within my control. My choices, my reactions, my thoughts. These are, usually, things I can control, and they all play a large role in my bearness.

I do not know how much of my bearness is outside of my control, though. There are things about the forest and, to some extent, about my being a bear that I have no say in. These things also develop my bearness, but I am not sure to what extent. I do not know how many things get a say in my bearness, and I do not know to what degree these unknown things have on my bearness.

Some, of course, I have an idea of what they are and, to some extent, how they affect me. Take the forest, for example. I know there a lots of things in the forest that can affect my bearness and how it changes. Just recently, a very nice stick fell out of a tree and landed before my paws. I spent a great deal of that day admiring the stick and chewing on it. These actions affected my bearness (in a positive way, I believe). I now have this stick experience to inform how I look at sticks and trees, and that perception goes into who I am as a bear, my bearness, even if it has a very small effect. I had no control over that stick finding its way to me, and though I did have control over how I reacted to it, the little thing I did not have control over led me down several interactions I did control. These things informed my bearness, too, and, to some degree, that it happened was outside of my control.

Then there are things that contribute to my bearness that I should be able to control but I sometimes I cannot. My bear thoughts, despite my efforts, can sometimes wander into places I did not intend for them to wander into. Even though I guide their general path, I know have a tendency to go where they please, and in doing so another thing outside of my control informs my bearness.

When I think of squirrels jumping onto my nose and biting my eyes, I do not want to have those thoughts. But they make their way to my bear thoughts, and that has some tiny effect on my bearness in some way. I try not to have these sorts of thoughts, but they happen with little to no say from me.

These little examples represent a much larger group of little uncontrollable things around the forest that inform my bearness, and, when they all add up, certainly they have an impact. So how much of my me, my bearness, is something I made and how much is not up to me?

Maybe it does not matter.

Maybe being a bear is an, at times, upsetting and, at other times, wonderful mix of so many things that will happen as long as I am a bear. My bearness is always going to change and grow and become some new version of itself, and maybe another part of that bearness is accepting that some parts of bearness are outside of my bearness’s control.

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

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I am always at least a little scared.

It is true. I am always at least a little scared.

Many things frighten me for many reasons. There are far too many to list now and here, but here are a few key scary things that are particularly scary:

  • Shouting
  • Yelling
  • Screaming
  • Being shouted/screamed/yelled at
  • Misplaced rocks

There are many more, of course, and I tend to focus on these scary things often. They constantly plague my bear brain as I wander throughout the forest. Most of my interactions and decisions are even rooted in these scary things, despite the fact that these scary things are not interested in my every interaction and decision.

So why do I do this? Why do I let very reasonably scary things take such control over me and my life in the forest? I earn nothing in return. The scary things keep being scary even if I try my hardest to avoid them. To some extent, their scariness has an even extra scary element to it because of the control I allow these scary things to have. To add to the list of scary things:

  • Letting scary things control you

I am not certain as to how I can change this dynamic. I know it needs to be changed, though. Letting scary things get the best of me serves nothing, not even the scary things themselves. I wish it were as easy as simply ignoring the scary things, but I do not believe it is. Often, it is very difficult to convince my bear brain to not think of a scary thing. Even though I do control my bear brain thoughts and ideas, they do tend to stray and when they do, they tend to stray toward scary things.

How can you conquer something that can seem to have such control over you?

I suppose, however, scary things do not have direct and endless control over the interactions and decisions I make, despite those interactions and decisions being rooted in my avoidance in scary things. Perhaps this is where I need to make a change or at least try to make a change. The scary things are always there. They are always in the forest, and they are always in my bear brain. However, despite their scariness and their influence, scary things cannot make me do anything. It is a difficult path to navigate, but if I do not try, the scary things win something they do not even seem to want to win.

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.

My fur and its various states of softness.

I have expressed quite a lot about my fur throughout my duration of having fur. I have also wondered how others are affected by fur, including whether or not they are simply aware of it and its various states of softness. I have not, however, truly detailed the various states of softness of my fur and the many complex states of being my fur can exhibit and experience. I want to do so now, so…

When my fur has been covered in water:

When my fur has been covered in water, it takes on a unique style of softness. It becomes sleek and shiny. It becomes easy to manipulate and shape. Rain or river water makes my fur a wonderful customizable ballet of individual hairs binding together. This variant of softness does not last too long without water, but it is quite enjoyable while it is around.

My fur right after a nap:

This style of softness is bit rougher compared to other styles. After a good nap, my fur gets bundled in little tufts. These tufts are not as soft as other variants of fur softness, but they are still generally soft compared to things like pinecones and the teeth of the mice who sometimes live in these tufts.

My fur after a long slumber:

See: fur right after a nap (just more).

General softness:

Without external conditions or variables affecting my fur’s softness, my fur is… just soft. It is wavy and easy to comb through with a claw or paw. It shines brilliantly and requires minimal maintenance or regard. This is the ideal fur variant. It is simple and wonderful.

Softness post tree:

I have been known to rub my fur onto trees. There are many reasons to do this. Sometimes it is an itch. Sometimes I want to know the tree better through its bark. Sometimes I do it without really understanding or questioning why. Regardless of why it happens, I know that after rubbing my fur on a tree, the softness of my fur changes. The individual hairs that make up my fur seem to split apart, losing whatever cohesion or unity they once had. It was not until I rubbed my belly on a tree that I ever really realized this happens (I cannot see most of my back fur). However, it is interesting to see individual hairs that make up my fur stand on their own. It makes me appreciate the individual things that make up the bigger things of the forest (trees: forest; ants: anthill; droplets: river; seven mice and an angry raccoon: dumpster).

My fur is in a constant flux of various softnesses. I enjoy every type of softness there is. I like my fur, but I like the possibilities of my fur even more.

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.

Letting others get to know me.

I try to collect the stories and experiences of others in the forest, but I almost always fail. No matter how much I ask others in the forest (trees, rocks, raccoons, the sky, the moon, squirrels, not deer), my questioning is practically always met with nothing resembling explained experiences or stories of life in the forest. I might get the occasional hiss or screech, but those stories are hard to comprehend, difficult to put together.

My constant failure has led to me feeling like I cannot truly understand any other creature in the forest. Of course, they do not owe me their forest stories, but not knowing any other creature’s story makes me feel all the more isolated when I consider my own story. I then had a thought: why not share me own story? If other forest creatures are unable or unwilling to share their stories, maybe they would like to know mine instead?

It was something I had certainly tried in the past, but I had never really put a whole lot of energy into it. I have told my tales to trees and rocks and other things that would listen, but never with intent and cohesion. Past trials of sharing my stories were much more informal, almost as though I had been speaking to myself. I wanted to try something new, though.

I decided that I would share important life events with my fellow forest creatures. They would be structured and short, easily consumable by a listening party. Once I had my stories straight, I would go about the forest and share them with whoever would listen.

I decided these three stories about my life in the forest would be best to share given their brevity and importance to me:

  • The time a squirrel bit my ear and I thought it was a bug until I saw the squirrel and realized it was a squirrel
  • The time I tripped over a stick and landed on another stick that broke
  • The time I tried to eat my shadow

These stories were good and brief. I walked around the forest, reciting them as I had prepared them, hoping some forest creature would hear it and be interested. Hoping my story could heard. After a long time with absolutely no recognizable feedback other than one bird staring at me rudely, I realized there was a possibility that I was not the only one doing this. What if every bird song was a story about being a bird? What if every howl I heard at night was a scary story from some scary creature? What if every snapping twig was that twig’s story?

What if I just could not understand the stories every creature was telling?

And what if my stories were drowned out among all those other stories?

It was a strange breakdown of communication. I did not know how to understand my fellow forest creature, and they did not seem to know how to understand me. For now, I suppose I will keep listening. Maybe I will start to those stories together. And once I do, maybe I can figure out how to share my own.

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.

A startled rat shattered my reflection.

I find a lot of comfort in dumpsters. Whether it comes from the delicious sauces I find inside of them or the comfortable old chunks of rubber and cardboard I find outside of them, dumpsters provide a miraculous world of easy living and sauces. It is why I am always seeking new dumpsters or revisiting old ones. They are comfortable and nice, even when they are filled with other forest creatures seeking refuge and sauces.

I recently found something very strange and unfamiliar to me in a dumpster: my reflection. I have seen my me before in the river and shiny things I find around the forest, but never had I seen my me so clearly and pronounced as I had in this reflection. It was strange to see my me in such clear detail. I noticed the individual little hairs that made up my fur and the tiny splashes of dumpster sauces that kept bits of my fur knotted together. I could see the tiny holes that covered my nose and the glistening wetness that made it shine. My eyes were big and dark and looked infinite in their depth. My ears were fuzzy, which was nice to see.

I then noticed the expression on my bear face, made up by my bear nose and bear mouth and bear eyes and even my excellently fuzzy ears. My expression was much sadder looking than I felt. Did I always look like that? Did I walk around the forest carrying such an empty and downtrodden expression? Is this how other forest creatures see me all the time? Even trees? Do trees see me like this all the time?

Before I could explore my expression further, the me I was staring at shattered into countless pieces, making countless little mes scattered around the dumpster. It was a rat, creatures who frequently spend time in dumpsters. The rat must have been startled and then knocked my me reflection over. The rat knocked me out of my self obsessed reflection thinking and I went back to looking for more sauces in the dumpster, but for the rest of the day I could not stop thinking of my expression. How it did not represent how I felt. How it made me wonder if the bear I think I am matches up to the bear I appear to be. How I am not even sure if it matters if those things match. And how if it does matter, there does not seem to be much I can do about it.

I did, however, find a very interesting green sauce. It was spicy and left me very thirsty.

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.

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.