Tag Archives: bear thoughts

Am I supposed to get better at being a bear?


I have no way to tell how good of a bear I am. I do not interact with other bears. I do not receive performance reviews from the forest on a regular basis. No other creature stops to tell me if I am doing being a bear particularly well or terribly (they do stop to screech at me, however, but I am not sure if that counts as a substantial review of my bear performance).

Since I have no way to determine if I am good at being a bear, I really have no way to determine if I should have progressed in my bearness. I have never gotten any kind of clue or indication that I should be getting better at being a bear over some period of time. Should I be a better bear each day? Each year? Is my progress meant to be incremental or something that should be obvious and very easily noticeable?

Or, maybe, I am not supposed to become a better bear. There is a chance that my bearness is not meant to grow. Maybe I am a bear, and I am supposed to be just the bear I am. Not a better one. Not a worse one. Just one, single bear that I already am until I am not a bear anymore.

I do not like that, though.

I feel like there are things about being a bear that I have improved upon. Take, for example, my ability to walk on my hind-legs. For a very long time, I was quite terrible at walking on my hind-legs. I could hurl my upper body toward the sky for only a brief moment before I came tumbling down. Now, I can balance on my hind-legs long enough to reach a branch I need or to get a better look at a bird’s nest. It took time and practice, but eventually I got pretty good at doing it.

I suppose my hind-leg-walking-ability forces me to think about what bearness really is to begin with. Is that something that a bear does? Is it something a bear needs to be good at? Does it really even matter? I like doing it, so I suppose it matters to me, but that doesn’t mean it necessarily matters to being a bear, but it does matter to me, so it does matter to my meness, and I am a bear. The logic gets circular and confusing quickly, but either way, I like walking on my hind-legs, and getting better at it makes me feel like a better me.

I suppose that is all that matters for now. For me. 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? 

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.

Advertisements

Things usually do not match what is in my mind.


I cannot see everything in the forest all the time. I have tried, but I am pretty much limited to just my field of vision, which is actually quite narrow when compared to the scope of the forest. Since I am limited in such a way, I usually rely on my thinking to conjure up images of things in the forest that are not near me. So, for example, I think about grasshoppers despite not really seeing grasshoppers very often. In my mind, they are green and a little brown and have strange, crooked legs and huge, shiny eyes. Usually, my mind accurately presents grasshoppers and their proportions and looks. When I see a grasshopper in the forest, it matches the grasshopper in mind.

That is a nice feeling. When my thinking is in line with the forest, everything is easier. It does not always work like that, though. Sometimes, my mind is horribly inaccurate when it comes to things in the forest, especially the feelings and difficult-to-describe moments in the forest.

I know how I feel in my mind when I think about the unpleasantness of the mocking sounds birds make when I slip in mud. I know that it makes me feel horrible and that their shrieking cries of contempt for me pierces the very bottom of my consciousness. It sits with me for days, and I can focus on very little else for quite some time. When I reimagine such an incident in my mind, it is the greatest tragedy to ever happen in the forest. It is the worst thing to ever happen to me. It is unbearable and horrible and I would never wish for it to happen again to me or any other creature.

It does happen again, though. It happens frequently, actually. In the moment, though, during the actual experience, it is not so tragic. It is still unpleasant, for sure. But it is not the end of the forest or the end of me. It is tolerable. Sure, the shrieking mocking that comes from the birds who witness it is no fun to endure, but in the moment, it is not so bad. I can live within that moment just fine. The strange thing, however, is that when I process that moment outside of itself, in my mind, isolated from the moment physically, I again think it is far worse than it really was.

And the cycle continues.

It works the other way around. Often great things that I adore in the forest let me down when I finally reach them. Berries are remembered with such intense fondness, but in reality, they are prickly and sometimes very sour. I still eat and enjoy them, but they do not live up to the status I have crafted in my mind.

Very few things ever do. So many things are exaggerated outside of themselves, and it is so incredibly difficult to truly realize that fact outside of my mind and reflective thinking. The real moment of experience is so often surprising, for better and for worse.

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.

I think I might be lost.

a-path-2

I might be lost. I think so, anyway. I am not sure. I started to walk away from my cave earlier today, and my thoughts began to drift toward images of sticks and garbage bags filled with sauce covered napkins and that time a rabbit looked at me and I did not know what to do. Before I could even begin to process where my paws were dragging me, I was gone. I had no idea where I was or where I had been.

And now I am lost.

When I look around where I am, I can remember bits and pieces of it. Some of the leaves look familiar. Some of the air smells like air I have smelled before. There is even a very interesting looking stick that I am quite sure I have seen and assessed as very interesting looking in the past.

I do not know where I am, however. That I am sure of: I am not sure where I am. As I let my paws do the walking and my thoughts do the drifting again, I begin to think why I even need to know where I am right now. Sure, I have a cave I can go to and it is safe and a place I know and a place I like to be near, but other than that, what good is it for me to know where I am right now or any other time? Not much of being a bear hinges on that information. I can still eat (even as I walk aimlessly I can see the bushels of berries and mounts of dirt to consume). I can still find the river (it is large and is always easy to find, and maybe the new spot I find will not have the deer across the river near it (unless the deer across the river is always across the river (which I would not put past him))). I can still be a bear.

I can probably be a bear no matter where I am. The place where I am being a bear does not affect my bearness, or at least I do not have any previous experience to refute that idea. No matter where I am, I am a bear.

My feet are still wandering, and so are my thoughts. And nothing seems familliar anymore as they each go their own direction. So maybe being lost is not such a bad thing. I am generally afraid of being lost. I often get worried and anxious when I am unsure of where I am, but this time, my relaxation comes with ease. I do not mind, in this moment, not knowing where I am. I do not mind not knowing where my paws are dragging me.

Until I think about where I might be going. That actually does make me anxious. What if I get dragged to a new place where I cannot be a bear? Is that possible? What if my paws are working against me to take me to some place where being a bear is unfavored and I have to be a something else?

I do not know where I am going.

Until my paws take me right back to my cave. When I take control of them again, I am at my cave. My paws took me there. I still feel lost, so I curl into a ball in the blackness of my cave, and I nap. And I hope I do not feel lost when I wake up.

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.

When rubbing your belly on something soft does not work.

forest-anger-2

The forest can be a very dangerous, confusing, wild place sometimes. Despite everything the forest gives and provides for me and other creatures, it can still be an absolutely difficult and terrifying place to spend the entirety of existence in. The screeching. The getting lost. The harsh winds. The bitter cold. The damp floor. The sharp sticks. The angry sun. The other creatures trying to eat me maybe but not actually. The dangers are numerous and severe, constantly present no matter where in the forest I go.

It is a part of forest life, and, for the most part, it is possible to adjust to it. Though forest living can be tense, it only takes time to learn how to avoid or process most troubles that it can hurl. And for the ones that are unavoidable? There are ways to cope. I prefer to rub my belly on the soft forest floor when I feel overwhelmed by the chaos of living in the forest. The leaves feel good against my fur, and the cool dirt soothes my belly as much as a good meal does. It is truly relaxing, and I highly recommend it for enduring the daily stresses of living in the forest.

Sometimes, though, the forest gets too difficult for simple belly rubs. Sometimes the screeching is particularly deafening. Sometimes the food is scarcer than usual. Sometimes the winds are sharper than usual and the sun is angrier than usual. Sometimes all of the difficulties of living in the forest attack at once, making it impossible to feel any kind of peace in a given day.

The forest can be unforgiving. The forest can be mean. Sometimes it feels like the forest takes all of its anger and chaos and aims just at me for a single moment, and I become paralyzed by everything bad it has to offer. Sometimes, I wake up in my cave, and I know the day will be one of those paralyzing chaos days. And I know no amount of forest floor belly rubbing will help me. It cannot be ignored, either. If I do not face the terrors of the forest, they will come creeping into my cave looking for me. Even if they do so just through my thinking, they somehow manage to find me every single time.

When it feels like the forest is completely focused on making my existence a struggle, I first remind myself that I am not the only one. It can be hard to remember that. I am a bear, so I mostly do and think and stick to bear things, and I can get lost in those bear things. I am not the only thing in the forest, though, and the forest is far crueler to many other creatures than it is to me. Tiny birds, for example. Imagine how those sharp winds that bother me so much must feel to them? They must go through the same feelings of dread and confusion when those horrible gusts begin howling throughout the forest, probably even more so than I do. If anything, I should be protecting tiny birds from the wind (though the last time I did I ended up accidentally eating a nest).

I also remember that the forest will keep doing what it is doing forever and ever, even when I am no longer a bear in the forest. The forest is indifferent toward me and how upset I am at it sometimes. No amount of belly rubs on the forest floor will change that, so I have to learn how to handle whatever the forest wants to attack me with. I do not have a choice in that matter. I either face the forest’s wrath or I sit in my cave away from everything until I am not a bear anymore (and I like being a bear, so I do not want to do that).

Sometimes the forest will win, however. The forest will make me feel terrible and I will sit in my cave and even consider staying there until I am not a bear (even though I really like being a bear), I am not sure what to do during times like those, but I will continue to at least try to not let the forest get the best of me when it is after me.

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 the book of faces.

I would like to change colors, too, you know.

organge-bear-2

The leaves are beginning to turn into lovely brown and orange colors. The crisp green tree ends fall and tumble to the ground, and by the time they land they have converted to a soothing orange, brown color. The tree tops slowly follow, and then one day it feels as though the entire forest has changed its wardrobe, adjusting its appearance to match the overall tone of the season (or maybe its appearance contributes to the overall mood of the season?). It really is nice, and when coupled with chill winds that come around this time, it easy to relax and enjoy living in the forest.

Generally I can hold on to that nice feeling for a few days before I begin to get a little upset with the orange and brown leaves and the nice winds and the pleasantness of everything. I try to ease my own bearself into feelings of this sort of forest dwelling, but my efforts are so quickly diminished by my own greedy wants.

I want to be orange.

Not all of the time, of course, but I do want to try to be orange. Or brown. Or any color really. I would like some kind of change. Any kind of change. But my fur stays the same jet black it usually is all the time.

Why?

Why do I not get to be orange?

I like my black fur, please understand. I love the way it looks when my fuzziness is particularly active, and I love the way it looks when there is water soaked into it, and I love the way it gets a nice sort of shine when I roll around in the dirt long enough. I do, really I do, love my fur. But why is that the only fur I get to have? So many things in the forest get to have different colors and hues and other subtle variations of themselves, but I do not. I never get to be any bear but the bear I am, and sometimes I even doubt that I really get to be that bear, too (which is another, totally different subject).

I tried to fix the ordeal recently by eating a very large collection of leaves I had accumulated over the weeks. They were orange and green and brown and grey and broken and whole and everything a leaf really could be, the many lovely variations of which leaves are capable.

I ate them all.

I do not know why, but I thought perhaps if I ate the leaves, I could mimic their colorations. I was very wrong. I did not turn orange. I did not turn any color. My tummy began to hurt. Then the leaves came back up. And they had turned into a different color I had never seen before. And it was not a nice color.

I suppose I cannot change colors, but I can change the color of leaves (kind of). Life in the forest can be very odd.

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 the book of faces.

Special dumpster days.

dumpsters-2

For the most part, there are not a whole lot of things to look forward to when it comes to living in the forest. Many things about forest living are difficult, and most of my time is spent trying to avoid being hungry and/or awake, and I would guess most creatures probably agree with me (unless they are deer since deer enjoy all the needless suffering that goes on all the time). Being in the forest is generally a moment-to-moment sort of existence, and even really thinking about what might happen next can be upsetting since it often does not happen (at least not the positive possibilities).

There is an exception, however. Once in awhile, when the dumpsters are nearly full and the plastic bags within them are beginning to rip apart, there comes a day when all the dumpsters around the forest are accompanied by even more dumpsters, smaller in size and different in shape but just as lovely as their bigger, differently shaped friends. They fill the tiny backspaces that are normally occupied by the dumpsters, and then all around everywhere I go I can see floods of various shaped and sized dumpsters, and it is so incredibly lovely.

The best time to go is at night, of course. You do not have to spend the entire evening searching and hunting for the perfect dumpster diving place, either. There are so many to choose from and they are so filled to the brim with treasures that it is actually easy to get one that you like. The bountiful amount of goods also leads to far fewer instances of raccoon/opossum attacks/hissing fits. There is just so much to go around that no creature even gets too upset when a his/her dumpster gets invaded. That creature just moves on to the next prize.

The only problem with nights like these are the human encounters. Humans, as I have established many times, are strange, loud creatures of the forest that mostly yell when they see you. I have been yelled at by many, many humans, and being yelled at scares me more than almost anything.

But even the human yelling fails to stop nights like these from being so absolutely enjoyable in every way imaginable. I have even caught myself, mid-dumpster diving, trash bag in my mouth, ignoring the shouts of the humans who wanted me to leave the dumpster I was in. I was so hypnotized by the allure of the smells and tastes and wonderfulness of the entire dumpsterscape, that no force, even the harsh, shrill voice of an angry human, could stop me from enjoying myself.

It is one of the few escapes from harsh forest life that is offered, and even though it does not seem to happen nearly as often as it should, I, and you should as well, enjoy every moment of it. It is the one thing to look forward to in the forest.

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 the book of faces.

Sky tantrums.

sky tantrum

The forest and the sky above it can get very angry on occasion, the past few days have exhibited that anger a great deal. Furious winds swept through trees and pulled branches and leaves and sharp rain cut through the dirt of the forest floor, turning it into untraversable plots of gritty mud. From my experiences, this kind of sky tantrum is common when the temperature of the forest climbs down from its summer tower and begins to calm itself leading into the more humble autumn. I have been through a great deal of sky tantrums myself, and I know all creatures in the forest have their own ways of handling these events.

Most creatures, particularly the tinnier ones, tend to hide under logs, rocks, human caves, dumpsters, and other creatures to protect them from the unnecessary anger of the wind. How birds carry themselves through sky tantrums is a bit of a mystery. I have never seen a bird successfully fly during one, but I also rarely see them perched among trees, their alternative to their routine flying. Maybe they hide with the other creatures? Maybe all birds crash into trees during these sometimes terrifying acts of the forest and then new birds are born from the remains the very next day? I hope that is not the case. That would be strange/scary.

I like to walk through it for as long as I can. I squint my eyes and grit my teeth and dig my claws into the ground as I make one laborious step after another. It feels refreshing to do this right after a blazing summer day, and there is something freeing about letting the rushing wind toss through my fur, despite knowing that at any moment that same wind could turn on me and hurt me.

That actually happened during this particular sky tantrum. The wind carried a very large, very pointy, very unsafe branch from a tree and hurled it directly at my face/ears/nose. It was not a pleasant feeling, and, for the briefest of moments, I thought I had met my end to the vengeful acts of the violent wind (I certainly do not blame the branch as it must have been just as terrifying for it to be carried so forcefully by the wind). It hurt, and as soon as I processed what was going on and realized that I was still a bear and not no longer a bear, I galloped back to my cave. I carried the branch with me. I was certain it, too, needed protection. From there, I rested on a cold rock and watched the water from the rain continue to attack the forest floor throughout the night, occasionally gnawing at my guest branch, which might have been rude but I never asked. It would be fun to nap in some of the puddles tomorrow, I thought to myself, and then I continued to chew on the branch.

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 the book of faces.