Tag Archives: forests

Am I too much bear?

bear echo (2)

Am I too much bear? Does my bearness have a maximum capacity that I sometimes overflow with fuzziness and sniffing dirt and eating acorns and rolling in grass (you know, bear things)? It is hard to say. I often feel that I am exactly the right amount of bear. While my weight seems to fluctuate according to sticks I like to step on, perhaps measurements of bearness cannot be collected in common physical data. Maybe bearness is something intangible. A feeling you can’t put your paw on.

I took to surveying some fellow forest dwellers to get their input on my bearness. The results were mixed, as one would expect.

Badger:

‘Q’

‘You are a bear…I suppose a bear of an acceptable size. Does that answer your question? No? Then I don’t know what to tell you. I’m going back to digging. Sorry I couldn’t help.’

Rob (the squirrel):

‘Q’

Rob (the squirrel) replied with that strange barking sounds squirrels make and scurrying up a tree. Then he threw an acorn at me, but I dodged it. This seemed to frustrate him so he ran away. I am still trying to interpret this answer.

Rabbit:

‘Q’

‘If I tell you, I will need a favor in return. You have to promise. I’ll give you all the info you want regarding your own bearness, but there is something you much help me with. Agreed? Good. Shake on it…’

Apparently my bearness was too much for the rabbit. He stopped talking (and moving) after our pawshake. I even waited for a long time for him to say or do anything again. Nothing. I suppose I bored him.

Another Rabbit:

‘Q’

‘I’d love to answer your existential question but I’m in quite some rush. A friend, and I use the term “friend” loosely, stole a rather impressive gathering of apples I had amassed in my burrow and hid them from me.’

‘Q’

‘Sure I can tell you what he looked like. He looked like me. Long ears, furry tail, etc. Seen him? No? Okay, well if you do, you come find me. Thanks.’

Opossum:

‘Q’

‘Hhhhhhhheeeeeeeeeccccccccccccccc  Hisssssssssssss Rrrrrrgrgrrgrgrgrg Heeeeeeeeececeecec.’

I probably should not have asked my question while the opossum was in a dumpster.

Raccoon:

‘Q’

‘Hhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr’

I probably should not have asked my question while the raccoon was in a dumpster.

Dumpster:

‘Q’

Unfortunately, the dumpster did not have a verbal or physical response. It was actually a nice change of pace compared to the hissing.

The sky:

‘Q’

‘Am I too much bear bear ear r r r’

The sky, too, did not have an understandable response, but I did hear my echo in the vastness of its everything above. As my words bounced off the sky and spread as far my ears could hear, all throughout the forest, I realized that the degree of my bearness is actually irrelevant compared to just about everything else in the forest. This is why I received few revealing responses. Nobody is worried about me being a bear or how much of a bear I am. Only I am worried about such things. Only I care about my bearness. It is a little sad to realize how small I am even when compared to the daily thoughts and opinions of (physically much smaller) woodland creatures. I suppose my self-important questioning deserved the hisses it mostly received. I want my being a bear to mean something, to be important on some grand forest scale, but it just is not.

It is a relief, too, though. There is no huge role to fulfill or some grand journey to pursue. I am just a bear. There is not much more to the idea than that.

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

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Sometimes I wonder what is inside of me.

sun heart

I can hear a lot of commotion in me. Things moving and beating and pumping. I do not know what any of it is or why it is there. I assume it is important, but I have no concrete way of knowing. I remember thinking about these things aloud in front of Rob (the squirrel) one day. I mentioned how I had no idea why my body made so much noise, and I said that I wanted to know what all of it was for. He told me that his body did the same, and that all living bodies do the same. Then he related a grotesque story to me about a time he slept next to an old, tired raccoon one winter night because it was warm. It was not warm the next day, and all the sounds and movement associated with being alive had ceased to be in the raccoon.

I asked Rob (the squirrel) why he had slept next to a raccoon in the first place. Was it just because of its warmth? His response was tossing an acorn at my nose and running.

His strange (but admittedly interesting) story did give me some insight as to why all this noise is inside me and all living things, evidently. Being alive meant noise. Having noise and motion and grumbles and tumbles inside of you meant you were alive.

But what is in there? I know whatever it is, it moves, but what is it? I have thought about this question for quite some time, and I have a few (completely unverified) theories.

One idea I have had is that everything in me (and presumably you as well) is just another smaller version of me. Perhaps there is a tiny me inside of me trying to understand what all the noise outside of me is. Maybe it too has the idea that the outside of itself is a bigger version of itself trying to figure out what is inside of itself. I like to think that there might even be a whole forest in there, something huge for the inside me to explore and understand. I hope there are not as many squirrels in there, however. The idea of a population of tiny squirrels inside of me scares me, though it would explain any time my body is ill in any way.

I have also considered the idea of there being a tiny sun in me. I like the sun, and it seems like an important part of the sky. It also keeps me warm, which is nice. Whatever is inside me seems to help keep me warm as well, and I believe it is safe to assume that all the bits and pieces inside of me are vital to making me me. Consider a tiny sun inside of your body, glowing and keeping everything warm. Does it go away at night like the sun out here does? Does a moon replace it, providing the smallest amount of light and warmth while I sleep? Perhaps the same inexplicable aspects of the sun that keep everything warm happen inside of me, all the time.

Of course, none of these ideas really hold up when I consider what little of the inside of me I have actually seen. Recently, I climbed a tree and misjudged a branch that I wanted to rest on. It snapped and I fell. It hurt, but I was fine except for a gash above my paw where I had landed on a very sharp rock. Red water flowed out of it. There was no tiny me or tiny sun gloriously oozing from my wound. It was just liquid, and it hurt.

I licked the opening above my paw, saddened by evidence contrary to everything I hoped about the inside of me. There might still be a sun inside of me. I still do not know for sure, but I do know it is nice to consider it.

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