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A moon bear to replace me while I sleep.


That the sun has such a lovely complement in the sky, a calm partner who takes care of the forest while the sun goes down to rest or plan or whatever else the sun might do when it falls, is something I have always admired. Sun goes down. Moon comes up. Moon goes down. Sun comes up. So on and so forth, in lovely sync. You can even sometimes see them both at the same time. It is one of the few predictable shows of the forest. The sun will go down. The moon will come up (though, once in awhile, it does not, but that is okay, everybody needs a break).

Sometimes I wonder if the sun or the moon even knows about their respective opposites, though. Does the sun know, or even care, that the moon picks up its work during the cool, gloomy nights of the forest? And the moon? Does it realize that we get most of our warmth and light from the sun?  Does it care?

I have a feeling that the two are completely unaware of one another, which makes me wonder about any possible complements I might have that I am unaware of. The idea of some moon bear out there in the forest, doing bear things that I do during the day just so the forest can have some kind of bearness going on even while I rest, is very intriguing to me. I would love to know that bearness similar to mine is being represented in the forest even when I am unable to represent it.

I stayed out late recently to try to find out. I walked about the forest as the surprisingly bright moonlight flooded the forest floor and guided me. It was nice to feel the cool night air, but it was unfortunate to not stumble upon any such moon bear. I found no bears at all. I found no moon-anything at all. The only moon there was was the moon itself. I entertained the idea of maybe all the trees I saw being moon trees because of their overwhelming darker, calmer colors, but then I remembered that was just because they were not bathed in sunlight.

I went back to my cave. I slept. I woke up wondering if I had just missed the moon bear. Maybe it was looking for me, the probably sun bear, at the same time I was looking for it. Maybe it was taking its rare break from its duties like the regular moon does ever so often. Maybe the moon bear exists and we are not meant to meet. Maybe it is possible to see us at the same time, at the right place, at the right angle, but we can never see one another. We just chase each other instead, never actually meeting.

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.

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Do I think about being a bear too much?

bear brain (2)

Often when I say things, I remind myself and others that I am a bear (so much so that if I do not remind myself and others I am a bear, some worry). It is something I cannot help; I am always thinking about how I am a bear. Sometimes I am trying to deeply consider my bearness and how it affects the world and how the world affects it. Other times I am just reminding myself of my bearness.

Either way, I am almost always thinking about being a bear.

Is that a bad thing?

I know it is not good to be obsessed with something, no matter what it is, but is it also not good to be constantly concerned with what or who you are and your place in the world? Normally, I would assume it is fine, but recently, while giving some more thought on my bearness and such, I thought about my thinking of being a bear might not necessarily be the same thing as me actually being a bear.

I am now beginning to worry that I am not being a bear nearly as much as I am thinking about being a bear. What does thinking about being a bear really do for me that being a bear cannot do? I can think all day about being a bear and eating a delicious grease stained napkin from a dumpster that the hypothetical me in my mind might find, but that does not mean I am going to get to eat that delicious grease stained napkin in real life. In fact, that grease stained napkin might not even be real. At least the hypothetical me in my mind is based off something I know is real (the real me), but that napkin? I made it up.

Making things up confuses this even more. I can think about being anything I want. I can think about being a tree or a squirrel or a cloud or a snake or a bird or two bears or a thousand bears. No matter what I think of, however, it does not change my actually being a bear in any way. Also, I do not get to be any of those things I listed. I am not a thousand bears or a snake or a tree. I am just a bear. One, single bear.

So should I think about being a bear less?

It seems impossible to completely stop thinking about being a bear (it is the thing with which I have the most experience), but I should I reduce my bear-thinking habits?

Should I simply be a bear instead?

Or is thinking about being a bear just part of being a bear?

And maybe overthinking about being a bear is just part of being a bear?

And maybe thinking about how thinking about not being a bear and a bunch of other things instead is also just a part of being a bear?

I do not know.

I suppose, for now and until someone or something tells me I am not doing it correctly, I will continue to just be a bear, whatever thinking comes along with 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? 

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

How to approach humans: an important guide by a bear.

humans yell (2)

If you spend enough time in the forest, you will eventually come across a human. Humans are by far the strangest creatures in the forest (and I have my doubts as to whether or not they even actually live in the forest). If you do find yourself in front of a human, it is important to know some facts and guidelines about them, their demeanor, and how/when to approach/avoid them.

Before I go into depth about being actually around a human, I will explain some of the things I know (or speculate about) them:

  • Humans live in plastic triangles (tents) when they do live in the forest
  • Humans carry a lot of things with them
  • Humans also leave a lot of things behind when they abandon their triangles
  • Humans are protective of their dumpsters and keep their most valuable objects in them (including grease stained napkins)
  • Humans come in a great variety of shapes, colors, patterns, and textures
  • Humans are very loud and will direct their loudness at you
  • Humans stay in small groups (2-4)
  • Humans love hats
  • Humans are easily startled
  • Humans can fly (not proven)
  • Humans cannot run fast

Humans seem very scary upon sight, but it is important to remember that humans are generally just as afraid of you as you are of them. That might seem untrue when you hear the way they yell at you when they find you pawing through their seemingly abandoned tents, but always remember: humans are more loud than they are scary.

So what do you do when you find a human or, more likely, a human finds you? You can remember the steps of engaging humans with the helpful acronym H.U.M.A.N:

How many are there?

  • How many humans are there? Are they clearly in a group? You are far less likely to encounter a single human, so remember that even if you only see one human, there are likely more close by.

Understand their motives.

  • What do these humans want? Most humans seem driven by a desire to leave things around in the forest and yelling. If you see a human, he/she is likely about to do one of those two things: yell or drop something. You can tell by looking at their mouths and hands. Is the human’s mouth open? He/she is probably going to yell. Is there something in the human’s hand? He/she is probably about to drop that something and leave it there. Just wait for the human to leave before you take it so you can avoid the yelling, which leads of us to…

Making sounds?

  • Is the human making sounds? If so, that human is probably about to yell. Is the human yelling at you, specifically? Maybe at another human? Maybe at the trees? Maybe the human is just yelling because he/she likes to yell? It can be hard to tell, but nobody likes to be yelled at or be near someone who is about to yell, so remember how much humans love to do it.

Assess the situation.

  • Use the previous steps to create an assessment of your current human situation. You need to understand everything about what the human is doing and what the human wants. Once you have all of the details assessed, you must…

…Now run.

  • Always run away from humans. They will not chase you and, even if they do, they are not very fast. Frankly, you should probably just skip to this step of the process for every encounter you have with humans.

Humans are scary, there is no around that, but by using the H.U.M.A.N process (or at least the last step of it), you can avoid being yelled at by them.

Good luck with your future human encounters.

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.

Why do I have to not be a bear eventually?

not forever (2)

Can you win at living in the forest? Does living in the forest stop when you do well enough, or is the only end similar to the end of the anthill I accidentally sat on: nonexistence?

I have never heard of anyone successfully finding an ending to forest living other than the one detailed with my ant experience. That does not mean there is not another way out of forest living. Perhaps achieving it means being taken away from the forest, thus it would be difficult for anyone who has experienced it to communicate its existence to anyone who has not experienced it. Maybe there is a particular set of actions and mindsets that will help you not end up being the bird carcass I found inside my cave the other day. Maybe you can end up not nonexisting. Maybe you can keep being the thing you like being forever and ever no matter what.

I do not know.

Nobody does.

But I cannot help but to obsess over the possibility when I think about not being a bear (or an anything else for that matter). It is terrifying. I want to keep being a bear, and it seems strange to me that eventually, no matter what, I have to not be a bear.

Why do I have to not be a bear eventually? Why was I designed to be a bear so well for so long, only to have it eventually taken from me for no reason that I can figure out?

Why be a bear only to eventually not be a bear?

The most frustrating part about these questions is how useless everyone and everything seems to be when it comes to answering them. Trees? Nothing in regard to these questions. Squirrels? They seem unable to think beyond a few seconds ago and a few seconds from now. The sky? Well, the sky never says anything, so that is silly to even consider. For awhile I figured rocks might know (the depth of their wisdom is only matched by the hardness of their being and their effectiveness in chipping my teeth when I chew on them), but if they do, they are not sharing the answers.

It would be nice to at least have some kind of encouragement when these matters, some kind of reassurance that not everything about existing beyond right here and now is so daunting and terrifying. Nothing provides that, though. And, in fact, the forest is littered with clues to point to the opposite. Everything that stops being a thing in the forest does not get to do so gracefully. In fact, most things are just eaten or simply rot away (I cannot fault the forest too much for this, after all, since I do a lot of said eating).

So how can I win at living in the forest? What can I do to keep being a bear and not face not being a bear? What does the forest want from me in return?

Or do I need to just accept that I might not be a bear one day?

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.

Why there are definitely ghosts in the forest and why you should be afraid of them and why I do not like them.

Ghosts (2)

Why there are definitely ghosts in the forest:

The forest is a majestic and magical place full of wonder and incredible creatures, things, and places. I have lived in the forest for as long as I can remember, and even I am not to able explain every little nook, cranny, and strange occurrence that I encounter. For every amazing aspect of the forest that needs no explanation and only needs to be experienced, there are several aspects that are terrifying and mysterious in the most anxiety inducing manner possible.

That is why there are ghosts. The forest is amazing, of course, but all that amazement comes with a great degree of mystery. With so much mystery, there is no room for ever even questioning the existence of ghosts. Ghost definitely live in the forest, and they definitely come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, and species.

Many things can be ghosts, including but not limited to:

  • Deer (especially deer)
  • Rocks
  • Trees
  • Branches
  • Lizards
  • Owls
  • Anything underground
  • Possibly dirt
  • The moon, probably
  • Ghosts (ghosts of ghosts)

Conversely, many things cannot be ghosts:

  • Bears (probably)
  • Insects
  • Wait, maybe insects can be ghosts
  • Oh no, imagine the ghost ants!

Why you should be afraid of them:

The mere possibility of ghost ants should be enough for you to never want to engage with any type of ghost ever. There are other reasons, though. Ghosts will follow you for a very long time and make many scary sounds that you will not be able to identify so you will simply blame ghosts. They seem to enjoy this kind of behavior. It is a bit unfortunate and sad that most ghosts have nothing better to do but to haunt unsuspecting forest dwellers, but that is just part of being a ghost in the forest, I suppose.

Ghosts can also make you feel bad about yourself because you are not a ghost and you probably will not know if you could ever be a ghost (unless you are one of the things mentioned above that can definitely be a ghost and you have read this or other literature on the subject). Though ghosts are scary, who would not like to at least experience being a ghost in the forest? Being possibly barred from that experience while also being haunted by it is strange and quite terrible.

Why I do not like them:

I do not like ghosts because I cannot find definite evidence they actually exist like I can other things like rocks and trees and the sky. I know they exist, but, at the same time, I really do not know they exist, and that is something I find very maddening.

I am still researching the existence of ghosts in the forest, but it truly is a difficult assignment to take on given how scary of an assignment it is. I hope to one day find the evidence I need to reconcile with forest ghosts. Or, at the very least, I hope the raccoon ghost that has definitely probably been following me for the last few weeks stops and finds something better to do.

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

I worry about what I look like when I run.

Bear running (2)

I run when I need to run. It has its uses, running that is. For instance, just the other day I saw a tree with no leaves on its branches and its twiggy limbs were smacking up against another tree that did have leaves, ripping the leaves from the leaved tree. I thought I saw a tree murder in progress and, though I am ashamed to admit it, I felt the need to run as fast as I could. I was lost in the forest all night after running aimlessly for so long, but at least I got away from the tree murder.

I also sometimes run when I have bursts of energy for no apparent reason. It feels good to stretch out my legs and feel the wind brush through my fur. And even though I feel tired when I am done, I feel quite refreshed shortly after running.

I actually like to run.

But I do not like doing it in front other creatures…

I was recently running through the forest after thinking an interesting looking rock I found was actually a ghost when I suddenly heard a chuckling. I looked toward the sound to find several squirrels (oddly none of them Rob (the squirrel)) staring at me and laughing hysterically. I stopped mid-gallop and stared back. They were heckling me. At least five squirrels. All heckling me. One even did an impression of me by placing its back end high into the air and shuffling its front legs frantically. The other squirrels laughed at the impression. One laughed so hard it fell out of the tree.

I did not stay much longer to see the crowd further analyze my running. I trudged (at a very slow pace) back to my cave to lick my wounds.

The heckles haunted my dreams that night. I had a dream about one large squirrel poking me with a stick as I tried to run, but when I looked down, I had no legs. No paws. No way to run. Instead, I rolled through the forest as the squirrel kept poking and stabbing me.

I woke up growling and shuffling my feet… frantically.

Now I am consistently worried about how I look as I run through the forest. I even find myself not running from time to time, even when I really want to. What if the squirrels are watching? What if other creatures are watching? What if I really do look silly as I run?

I do not like running as much now. I want to run. I want to like to run. But the constant fear of not running how I am supposed to run keeps me from doing what I want to do.

Maybe one day I can see another bear run. Maybe the example could show me how it is really supposed to be done. Maybe I can learn to like running and maybe I can learn to run how a bear is supposed to run or maybe those squirrels will just leave me alone.

Or maybe I will just walk from now on.

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