Tag Archives: humor

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

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.

Bearku from a bear for a you.

I hope you enjoy
these bearku I made for you.
I think they are nice.

***

I found a sharp rock.
It bit me inside my mouth.
Why did it do this?

***

The river has fish.
The grass has all the insects.
Where do I belong?

***

I do not eat snails.
They are simply too crunchy,
but slugs feel just fine.

***

Why am I a bear
when so many are not bears?
Can’t we all be bears?

***

Cold air finds a way
to let you know it is here.
Where is my hot air?

***

Human caves: pros, cons
Pros: quite warm, almost no deer
Cons: so much yelling

***

It is hard to trust
when even the sun and moon
can’t stay in one place.

***

Tress do not have names.
But I will call this one Ted.
Ted seems very nice.

***

Grass is in my fur.
How did it get stuck in there?
Now I am green-ish.

***

Bugs crawled in my mouth.
I did not choose to eat them,
but here we are now…

***

Of all the bear parts
that I have on my bear self,
my ears are the best.

***

No really: my ears.
Look at them, aren’t they so nice?
I love them so much.

***

Look at how fuzzy
each of my ears really is.
They are just so good.

***

I hate to press on this.
But please, just look at my ears.
Just look at the fuzz!

***

Okay, I will stop.
I promise, after this one…
…they are so fuzzy.

***

I live among trees.
I am so small around them.
What lives among me?

***

Where have I not been
in this infinite forest?
This dumpster feels new.

***

If you keep digging
and digging and digging and
digging: you have dug.

***

One last one, I swear:
My ears are always fuzzy.
Can you believe 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? 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.

A new day for everyone in the forest no matter what forever.

The forest keeps going.

No matter how much anybody (me, trees, the sun, grass, angry hawks, scheming squirrels, forceful ants) tries to halt the forest, it keeps going.

It is quite daunting to consider. The forest will keep moving even when you need a break. Even if the last thing you want is for the forest to continue its neverending, unceasing, cyclical grind, the forest will not mind you. It will persist with or without you.

With the forest’s attitude toward pushing onward and upward indefinitely, it is very easy to feel left behind or even swept aside by the forest. I often look at where I am and where I have been and ask myself why I feel lost or disconnected from everything in the forest. What have I done wrong? What have I missed? Why does everything press on without me? Does the forest not like bears? Does it reject bearness? Do I have a smell about me the forest does not enjoy?

The good thing is that these feelings are overshadowed by the massive possibilities that come with the neverending forest. Yes, the forest moves on no matter what, but so can you, or any other creature in the forest. Even when you feel completely removed from the forest’s ongoing trajectory of chaos, it is surprisingly easy and simple to rejoin or, at least, go forward in your own manner (for me this means progressing my bearness, however I might interpret that). The forest’s seemingly apathetic view toward your own pursuits can be played to your benefit. Just as the forest does not seem to care enough to wait for you when you are down, it also does not seem to mind when you rejoin and get back on your path. It is actually quite easy join the forest’s ongoing goingness, regardless oh how long you have been unable to do your own goingness.

I hope, like the forest, I can keep going. I hope it leads to me understanding my bearness and the -ness of those around me. And then I hope I get to keep going.

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 donations to the forest.

I recently decided that an unfortunate-accidental-sleepover-incident involving a raccoon and the fur on my back had a wonderful silver lining: I was able to donate a few tufts of fur from my back that were ripped asunder by an alarmed raccoon to the forest. I left the little balls of hair on the forest floor with the hopes of some fur-needing creature wandering by and happening upon them.

It was a nice feeling. Not only did it distract me from the pain of my back, but it also led me to thinking of different ways I could donate things to the forest and creatures who were in need. In that spirit, I started to leave little things around the forest I no longer had any need for. My claw tips. My left over leaves. Some acorns I found in my cave. One of my rabbit skeletons (an old one I never really licked anymore). A branch I could not eat all of. Some plastic bags that got stuck on my head for a full day (I was happy to get rid of them).

I kept giving and giving, and it felt great. I no longer had the burden of these possessions nagging my thoughts, and, with any luck, some creature who needed these things would find them, get their use out of them as well, and, maybe, pass them on to other creatures.

I started to think about how much of the forest I experienced is a donation from other things, too. The trees lend me their leaves. The sun gives me its light. The rabbits leave behind their skeletons. I borrowed all of these things, and there was no need to keep them in tiny piles in my cave forever like I usually did. They had a greater purpose that could not be fulfilled while they sat in my cave, doing nothing. The forest seemed to thrive off this uplifting cycle of borrowing and lending and donating and accepting. It was a nice realization.

I hope that I am able to give more of what I can give as I keep going throughout the forest. Who knows, maybe one day some creature will collect my bear skeleton and get some kind of use from it. I hope that is not for awhile, but it is a nice thought.

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 hope nothing scared you today (or other days).

Being scared is a constant experience in the forest. There so many scary things. Sudden loud sounds. Violent insects. Squirrels (in general). Accidentally breaking things. The possibility of squirrels organizing and planning things. Fish eyes (very scary).

Sometimes, it feels as though there is no escape from all the awful scary things in the forest. Even when I am alone in my cave, resting or napping or sleeping, I can experience being scared. Sometimes my mind wanders to scary places without my permission, bringing terrifying ideas and images to me that I did not ask for. So even within my bear mind, outside of the context of the forest, scariness is right there, waiting to make me feel upset and uncomfortable and unstable.

It is difficult, and it is something I hope you have not had to experience, at least not today. You being a creature of the wherever you are from (I assume the forest, just a different part of it) surely have experiences with being scared. I am certain that you have faced scary things. I am certain that you have even overcome and fought off scary things. Maybe you have even been a scary thing to some other creature (I know this can happen by accident quite easily (sorry, opossum I sat on in the dumpster)).

But should you find yourself scared, I do hope you know a few important things about the feeling. It is, for example, quite temporary. No matter what strange forest thing is haunting your mind or body, being scared will eventually go away. It is a short lasting feeling that you will most certainly defeat and move away from with time.

And of course, it is important to know that you are never the only one who is scared. Most things are always scared a lot of the time, and things that do not seem scared are just very good at hiding it (even rocks probably get scared (maybe (I have not tested this theory)). And even knowing that you are not alone should help conquer your being scared.

I hope nothing scared you today or any other day, but if you did get scared, it is okay. I promise.

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.

The magical fox who was not a fox but was actually plastic.

I recently spent quite a bit of time discussing many important topics with a very magical looking fox. I found the fox near a human cave, sitting on the human’s trimmed grass (why do humans trim grass when it is so neat and perfect as it is?) and staring off into space. The fox had what looked like some kind of fancy hat resting on its fuzzy head. Its whole body sparkled in the air, drawing my attention. It lit up its immediate space. It was magical.

I approached the fox cautiously. Most foxes run when they are approached no matter how cautious or friendly you might try to be toward them, but this fox was firmly staying where it was. I took that as a cue to continue approaching the fox. When I got face-to-face with the creature, I was mesmerized by how inviting it seemed. It stared at me as I stared back, emitting an aura of pleasantness that made me feel comfortable and fulfilled.

So I shared with the magical fox. I shared my concerns about being a bear and how bearness is part of the forest and how the forest is part of bearness. I confessed how I was afraid of the plans of squirrels and how belittled I felt when I saw the deer across the river. I explained to this magical little fox that I sometimes felt like one tiny, insignificant piece of the complex organism that was the forest, and that my piece of that organism was not entirely needed and even, at times, unwanted.

Eventually, I felt like I was doing too much of the sharing, so I asked the magical fox to share. The fox stared at me some more as I eagerly waited for its perspective of the forest.

But it never came.

The fox never shared.

I did not want to intrude this magical creature’s personal space, but I did not know what to do, so I pushed my nose against the fox’s nose. And it stung me! It was sharp and strangely pointy and not fuzzy at all. Further investigation led me to realize this magical fox was not a fox it all. It was a magical chunk of plastic and sharp things. Once I realized this, I did what I do with just about all plastic things I find: I chewed on it. It tasted very sharp. And it hurt. And it shocked me.

I placed far too much trust into the magical fox who was actually a piece of sharp, shocking plastic. I am happy I did, though. Even if nothing heard my woes and thoughts and feelings, it felt good sharing them.

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 destroyed some very good leaves.

I recently found a bundle of absolutely terrific leaves just sitting about the forest floor. I stared at them for awhile, admiring how perfectly crinkly and brown and orange they seemed. After taking in their lovely aesthetic, I rolled around in them, as I have done with many leaves I have seen for as long as I can remember.

This has been a routine, normal thing for me to do for a very long time, and before now, I had never put much thought into it beyond the simple pleasures it had brought me. It was almost as if I had always assumed leaves were there for me to roll around in. Now, I am not quite sure the truth is anywhere near that.

After the last time I rolled around in perfectly crinkly leaves, I took a moment to look upon the destruction I had unleashed onto them. They were completely destroyed, dilapidated, decimated. Ripped asunder by my careless rolling. My want for the crunch of their tiny leaf selves beneath my not-very-tiny bear body overshadowed my ability to consider what they were being put through. I had ended so many leaves just because I liked to roll around on them.

The mangled leaves got me thinking about how often I must ignore the results of me pursuing my interests and wants. How often do I do something for me, all the while ignoring how everything else in the forest is affected? When I break a branch on a tree while climbing it, I focus on the hurt I feel when I hit the ground, but what about the tree? Does the tree not also feel hurt with a once perfectly good branch ripped from itself? Does the water in the river have any interest going into my mouth and through my bear body? I have certainly never asked it.

When I thought about how my actions affect everything in the forest, I started to realize that most of my forest interactions are positive for me and horribly negative for the other party. Of course, some are unavoidable. Sorry, river water, but I need to drink you and you show no protest against it. But do I need to roll around on leaves? Of course not. I do not know where to begin when it comes to making sure there is a balance between my actions and ensuring their positive affects on others, but maybe it begins with being more aware I am not the only creature, the only thing, the only being in the forest. I am one, single bear among many other creatures and such, and understanding my own bearness certainly must involve knowing how it affects those others.

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.