It is easy to get lost. Of course, there is the normal getting lost way of getting lost. The kind that involves losing track of which trees I have smelled before and which rocks are the exact lumpy ones I usually use to find my cave. This kind of getting lost happens frequently, and when it does I usually stare off into the distance of trees and leaves that make up the forest background, and I wonder where to go. This kind of getting lost is easier to handle than other kinds of getting lost. As I wonder where to go, I raise my snout into the air, get a good whiff of something interesting, and then I am no longer lost. I am then pursuing something new, something interesting.
Sometimes I get to that feeling lost moment, the one where I am staring out into the forest, and I actually know where I am, I am not physically lost, but I am still not sure where to go or why I would go there. In those moments, I just stare and wonder where I should go, but no smell nor sight nor sound will budge me. I do not wonder where to go. I simply do not know where to go, and even when I think of somewhere to go, I convince myself that there is no real reason to go there. In those moments, I do not know where to go even though I know exactly where I am and where I normally go.
Those moments make me feel very stuck. More stuck than anything has ever made me feel stuck. I once put my head through a broken fence to reach the bottom of a dumpster leaking what looked like a very wonderful sauce, and when I tried to retrieve my head, the fence held onto it and refused to let go, and that level of being stuck is still nowhere near how stuck I feel when I do not know where to go.
It feels everlasting, and it feels very bleak and empty and hopeless. I recover from it eventually, of course. I get my thoughts back in my head and I remember where I need to go, in some capacity, but in the moment of not knowing, I am quite scared.
Maybe it is about purpose? Maybe in those moments I need to remember why I am a bear, all the reasons I might have for continuing to be a bear. Of course, that presents a whole different set of problems that I have never been able to overcome.
Maybe it is about that interesting smell? Maybe in those moments I should ignore the blankness and hopelessness and just go toward that interesting smell, even if it is not really there. At least then, I have an idea of where to go.
For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@