Tag Archives: bear thoughts

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.

Advertisements

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.

Birds and their shadows and the tricks they play.

bird eating me (2)

Shadows are an insane mystery in the forest. I know pretty much everything has a shadow, and I know that, generally, that shadow relates to the sun in terms of where it is when you see it, but I have no idea why they are there and what they are planning. For a long time, I was convinced that it was possible to fall inside of them (this came from a misunderstanding I had during a brief encounter with a mole). That is not the case, though. They just make some parts of whatever they are resting upon (the ground, other things, your face) darker for no real reason.

If you pay attention to shadows, though, they can help you manage your awareness of your immediate surroundings. That can be helpful. There have been many times where someone was trying to sneak past me and into my cave to probably take my collection of mold covered rocks, and I caught them because of the elongated shadow that was hurled from them onto the rocky floor. My collection of mold covered rocks owes a lot to shadows. That might be why they exist in general: to help protect my lovely rocks.

Not everyone in the forest uses shadows for good, though. I have, on far too many occasions, accidentally thought the shadow of a bird was something much larger than a bird that was definitely planning on eating me. I do not want to be eaten. Ever. So when I see something that seems like it might want to eat me, I do what any creature probably does when that threat hovers over them: I ran, the whole time staring at the thing that probably wanted to eat me, and crashed into a tree.

Each time this scenario has played out, I have looked all around only to find that a bird in the sky was casting the shadow onto the ground from up high. I know I should have learned my lesson by now, but it is hard to think rationally when you are completely convinced that something is going to eat you.

I do not think it is the same bird, either, as when I have looked up to see the bird playing such a cruel trick against me, it has always been a different color. This has forced me to consider if this is some kind of collaborative ruse crafted by a hateful group of birds. If so, what do they want from me and why do they want it and why can they not find some other way to hurt my feelings other than to make me feel like I am about to be eaten?

I have tried asking a bird, but I have never gotten an answer that did not involve the senseless chirping they are so known for.

For now, when I see a shadow, I have to assume the worst possible scenario: something wants to eat me. If I do not, then something might catch me off guard and actually eat me. Perhaps birds are trying to eat me?

Have birds grown so hostile and bold?

Should I stop making fun of their chirping sounds and accidentally sitting in their nests because they are so comfortable?

Please do not eat me, birds.

Please.

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.

Naps do not always make me feel as good as I want them to make me feel.

napping (2)

I sleep often.

I enjoy how sleeping makes me feel both during and after the sleeping, so whenever I need those feelings, I try to sleep. Napping is a big part of my sleeping, so, generally speaking, napping makes me feel good (or is supposed to make me feel good).

Not every nap does what it is supposed to do, however.

Recently, my naps have ceased to give me the feelings of comfort and weightlessness that used to accompany them, the naps that is. Now when I nap, I feel strange and even more tired than when I decided to nap. Things feel fuzzy and hostile when I wake, as if the forest decidedly kept moving without me, the trees taking a vote on the matter and coming to the conclusion that most trees prefer to move the forest along without me, a bear, over waiting for me to nap.

I know that is not the case. I think (hope) trees like me, and I assume they are probably far too busy with tree matters (sticks, leaves, things blooming or falling depending on the weather) to even think about my naps, especially not maliciously so.

Naps do that now, however. I no longer feel refreshed and ready to continue the day after a brief nap. I want to feel that way, but it just does not seem to happen like that now.

I have thought about what has caused the downfall of my personal naps for awhile now. I have no conclusive proof of any kind of cause, but I do think it might have something to do with distractions. I feel more distracted now than I used to, I think, which makes it difficult to let go of my thoughts and feelings (a process that is necessary to create and maintain a lovely sleeping/napping condition).

I keep thinking when I should be napping. This is a problem.

I find it much more difficult now to let go of these thoughts and feelings. The thoughts are many and varied. It is not as though I have one, single line of thinking when it is time to rest, like something I know will help me sleep instead of hold my sleep back. I think about the forest and the creatures of the forest. I think about bearness and my bearness or my lack of bearness or how I even know what bearness is or if bearness is even a thing. I think about naps and how thinking keeps them from being enjoyable (that line of thinking is particularly frustrating). I think about today, yesterday, and tomorrow, but never as though they are connected in any manner, which, now that I am thinking about that thought, I think they might be.

All of these things sprint around my mind when my mind should be shutting down and preparing to nap.

I want my naps back. I never knew I would miss them so much.

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.

The dumpster next to the broken fences: a food experience critique.

I frequent many dumpsters  in my travels throughout the forest and areas adjacent. With as many as I do visit, it can be difficult for a dumpster to really stick out to me as particularly special or worthy of future visits. The dumpster next to the broken fences I found, however, manages to do both of those things. Not only did this dumpster feature an interesting spicy plastic dish I had never had, but it also managed to contain not one but two whole fish carcasses. Even with the (possibly rabid) raccoon watching my every move in mind, the dumpster next to the broken fences has been one of the best dining experiences I have had in a very long time.

Course 1: Spicy yellow plastic bag with very strange dust

I have to admit, after I managed to hurdle my legs over and into this dumpster, I was not optimistic about the first thing I found. I have eaten many plastic bags in the past, and though they are very fun to chew on, they are not great to eat and almost impossible to digest. This plastic bag, however, was so intriguing. Spicy. It was so spicy. I could feel the heat of whatever once sat in the bag run down my tongue and out of my nose as it cleared my nostrils. There was a strange dust that came with the bag, too. It was spicy like the bag, but there was so little of it available. I liked what I had, but I really just wanted more. Side note: the plastic bag featured a drawing of a very strange cat with black eyes and thumbs. I was not fond of him. He was scary.

Course 2: Two fish carcasses (one with the eyes still in the head)

I did not expect fish carcasses. Sure, maybe one fish carcass. Maybe cans that smell like fish carcasses. But two whole carcasses? This was a rarity and a delight. One carcass even had two large, yellow eyes resting in the skull. The bones of the carcasses were soft and chewable, making them very easy to eat. I did not accidentally choke even once. One fish carcass was drenched in a tangy sort of red mystery liquid. I hoped the sauce would be hot and spicy like the plastic bag from the first course, but, unfortunately, it was quite bland and did little in favor of the carcass itself. It was not unpleasant, but it was definitely not necessary.

Course 3: Apples cores with a light coating of coffee grounds

The apples cores looked stunning. Presentation wise, they were the most appetizing looking course of the night. Unfortunately, I was unable to actually eat any of them as my meal was interrupted by a (possibly rabid) raccoon who barged into the dumpster very suddenly. Then I heard very loud shouting as the raccoon scrambled and clawed at me. He quickly jumped out of the dumpster and I followed because loud sounds are very scary.

The dumpster next to the broken fences I found was one of the best dining experiences I have had since that time I licked the moldy rock in my cave an entire morning. I would give it a perfect review if it were not for the incredibly scary loud sounds that drove me away at the end of the meal. With its minor faults in mind, I give the dumpster next to the broken fences I found:

4 out of 5 (2)

4 out of 5 lovely leaves.

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.

Hiding day.

hiding  (2)

Yesterday was a hiding day.

I do not know from what I hid, but I hid from it for quite a long time. I frequently find myself using a nice hiding day to keep away from whatever emotions, deer, bad weather, or rowdy squirrels could potentially give me trouble in a given day. It is nice to just hide away sometimes.

This particular hiding day, however, I wanted to know something: what happened when I hid? Did my worries and troubles really go away? Did the forest worry for my presence, perhaps even going so far as to send search parties out for me? Did anyone actually know where I hid?

There were so many mysteries on hiding days. Another mystery I had to figure out was how I would collect data on a hiding day. How could I hide and understand how the forest functioned while I was hiding? I would have to trust a friend.

I considered trusting Rob (the squirrel), but I knew he would do what all squirrels do (lie). Instead, I decided to ask a very friendly blue bird who nested in a small bush outside of my cave. The bird agreed to fly around the forest during my hiding day, seeing if anything out of the ordinary would happen, particularly things that seemed dependent on the presence of a bear (me).

Then I hid.

I hid inside the very bush where my new bird friend usually nested. It was a good hide. I spent practically all day sitting and hiding and enjoying some peaceful napping and staring.

Then the tiny blue bird came back and reported what he had found.

Nothing.

He told me that the forest had remained the same throughout the day. Nothing of notable importance had shifted in any way he could discern.

Everything was fine.

Without me.

Everything kept moving as it always had and likely always will.

It felt strange.

I thanked the bird for its time and observations and went to my cave. I napped some more. It was difficult to sleep with the knowledge of how unimportant I was to daily forest activities.

I had a dream where the bird, though observant and thorough, simply missed all the tiny aspects I impacted on a daily basis. He missed how the floor of my cave grew cold without me. He missed how Rob (the squirrel) was likely even more aimless and crazy than usual without my presence to balance him. He missed how the deer across the river probably did not even go to the river when I was not there. He missed that his day had even completely changed because of a simple request from me. He missed how the sun came up a few hours later and left a few hours earlier and how the moon did not shine as brightly as it usually did and how the sky fell a few feet downward and…

But that was just a dream. And a nice thought. But maybe he really did just miss a couple things.

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.

Accepting snakes: why I want to but I cannot.

image1 (2)

Snakes are horrifyingly terrible terror serpents who I assume only exist to make life for all other living organisms in the forest more difficult and exhausting.

I apologize for that very aggressive introduction, but snakes and I have a long, horrible history, and that history is almost completely based off snakes intruding on my personal space (mentally and physically) and harming me (mentally or physically).

When I push my emotions to the side and truly contemplate snakes as creatures in the forest (as they well deserve), I know they exist for reasons that are likely too complex or important for me to thoroughly understand and process. Snakes have a purpose. I know this. However, I wish I knew that the importance of this purpose outweighed my aggressive loathing for them.

I cannot figure out their purpose, though.

Why are snakes here and why does the forest need them and why can they not just leave me alone and exit my mind and my cave and never come near me ever?

I asked other creatures of the forest why snakes existed. I received varying answers. A opossum screeched at me (I assume she is afraid of snakes, too). The anthill I asked seemed neutral on the subject, responding mostly in silence and very organized rows of many, which makes sense given that ants seem to only care about ants, dirt, and how ants interact with dirt. Rob (the squirrel) (from whom I did not expect a rational or just answer) said that snakes have only one purpose: to be questioned about by me. He then laughed at me and stole an acorn I had found.

I also asked a lizard. My thinking was that lizards look quite similar to snakes (except for the legs and discernible body/tail and generally pleasant disposition), so perhaps lizards had more insight on the subject. The lizard said that everything has a purpose in the forest, and that often the purposes are very subtle and involve food. He added that these purposes only exist in the construct of the forest and have no value outside of the forest and, therefore, meant almost nothing on any scale larger than the forest so making cosmic sense of anything was ultimately futile and a waste of time. I liked the first part of the answer (it was difficult to consider the second part because of the food part of the first part), but it did not help. Are snakes food? Do snakes make food? Should I eat more snakes?

Snakes are a part of life. They always have been. They always will be. No matter how much I want snakes to not be a part of life, there is no changing these facts. I have to learn how to live with snakes. Or I have to begin eating all snakes (which I do not want to do because they have pointy teeth and the few times I have eaten snakes I felt a deep, uneasy essence in my being that I was unable to get rid of for days, even weeks on in).

Maybe I can just try to talk to snakes. I do not think I have ever done that. Maybe understanding snakes is like understanding any other creature: you just have to get to know them personally. And not eat them or assume they exist only to ruin your life.

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

Also, thank you to everyone who participated in the survey-based adventure Bear embarked upon on Twitter last week. Thousands of you voted to help him decide what basic decisions to make about his day. It was very fun, and he hopes to find time to do it again soon. 

PS

I talked to a snake and it bit me.