Tag Archives: the forest

I do not have the confidence of a bird, but I like to sing.

Self-expression can be difficult. It is always risky to share something with anyone for a variety of reasons. Some things offer no feedback in response (rocks, trees, dirt) while others simply seem unwilling to listen (anxious squirrels, the raccoon I accidentally sat on, essentially all ants). Then there are the creatures who make me feel embarrassed to share. Birds, for example, do so many things so well and with such ease, making it challenging to share things in front of or around them. They fly with determination. They sit atop trees with grace. They never seem to fall. They, most importantly, sing. They sing so beautifully.

I, too, like to sing. I like to sing maybe as often as birds do, but I do not feel the confidence they must feel to sing so freely and so openly. When I sing, I am usually alone, sometimes among trees and rocks (again, they say nothing back so it is easier, though still difficult, to sing in front of them). I let out tiny growls and tiny howls and such and, I must admit, try to mimic what I have heard from birds. They do sing so well, and I do desire to sound like them. I know I do not. I know that my bear songs are probably not nearly as sweet and calming as most bird sounds seem, but that does not stop me.

Once, a bird caught me singing. I thought my only audience was a few rocks sitting outside of my cave, but after belting out a few growls, I looked up to see a very red bird staring at me. I was unable to tell what the bird thought of my song. I stared back, waiting for a review or, even better, advice. It never came. We stared at each other for awhile longer and then I let go and channeled my bird confidence and sang some more. The very red bird kept staring and when I stopped, it looked elsewhere and then finally flew off.

It felt nice to have a real audience, as stoic as it seemed. It made me feel like maybe I could do what birds do with the same kind of confidence. Maybe I do not sing as well as any bird, but I am sure I could at least feel as good about my singing as every bird must.

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.

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I do not know where to go.

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.

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 you get to feel okay.


Being is usually quite nice, especially when partaking in some of the nicer aspects of being (eating, napping, seeing colorful rocks, swimming without getting a whole lot of water in my mouth, finding a very new rabbit skeleton, not being eaten, getting to know a frog, realizing how many toes I have, discovering a new smell in a dumpster, running through a cluster of birds, eating, napping). It is fortunate that being gets to consist of so many pleasant things.

But it is not always eating and napping and colorful rocks. Existing has a vast array of events and objects and bird sounds that are terrifying, upsetting, scary, and alarming. Even while enjoying the finer points of being, an upsetting thing about being can happen. Why did that crow shriek at me while I was enjoying my nap in my cave? There is really no way to know, but I do know that it was upsetting and I did not like it. I did not feel okay while it happened and for quite some time after it happened.

Being, existing, is unpredictable. That is probably the hardest part about being in the forest. There is no way to tell when I will feel okay and when I feel not okay. There is no guide for knowing when everything will be okay or not okay. Good or bad things just seem to happen, adding to the chaos and unpredictability of the forest. Not only will I never know that a crow will yell at me, I will also have no idea when it will yell at me. Or why. Or even really how. It will just happen. And it did just happen.

It is not easy. In fact, existing seems to be more scary than it usually actually is because there is no way to know when it will be okay and when it will not be okay. Because of the uncertainty, I tend to brace for the not okay of being, which can even make the okay things feels not as okay as they should.

I want to hold onto feeling okay as much as I can, though, as difficult as it can be. I know there is a chance that a crow could always yell at me, but I do not want to feel not okay just because that is always a possibility. I want to feel as okay as I can as often as I can.

I hope you, as a creature who probably is, probably exists, get to be okay today. I hope you do not feel the need to brace for the not okay of the forest, or the wherever you are (which is probably the forest), and I hope you can, instead, be okay while being the thing that you are. Everybody deserves to feel like they are not going to be yelled at by a crow, and I hope you get to have that.

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 brief list of things that have made me happy recently.


Hello, I am a bear. Here is a brief list of things that have made me quite happy recently:

  • Sticks
  • Water
  • When I can see the moon and the sun at the same time and they are not fighting as I would otherwise expect
  • Naming trees
  • Taking back the names I have given trees because I am not sure if they already have names, and it seems rude to simply assume
  • A very tall bird I saw
  • The sky not getting any closer or farther away but instead just staying right where it has always been
  • Not knowing how many frogs there are (what a mystery that will remain)
  • Having a good idea of how many of me there are (just the one, I believe)
  • (but what if there is another one of me somewhere?)
  • (and I don’t know that one of me?)
  • (and that me is just walking about the forest, looking for a version of himself)
  • (and we are just wandering the forest, not finding what we think we need to find and also not knowing if we even can find what we think we need to find)
  • (oh no, this list has gotten sad, this is a very upsetting idea)
  • (I need to refocus this list and share another thing that made me happy recently)
  • Mud
  • (that was not very good as I like mud, but I have not had any happy experiences with mud recently)
  • More sticks
  • (I am still stuck on this possible wandering version of me who is aimlessly trudging throughout the forest, hoping to get even the slightest glimpse of me, the other bear that this bear might be, this is so upsetting to me)
  • Some berries I ate
  • (maybe if I leave some berries near my cave they will attract the other bear, giving this bear a sign that I am another bear waiting to meet him or maybe he will simply eat them and walk away)
  • The smell of my paws
  • Sleeping

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 bird dropped a stick on me. Why?


The sky is known for dropping two things on a regular basis: leaves and rain. Those two things fall from some unknown aspect of the sky, an invisible, seemingly random agent of the clouds above with the help of the chaos of the wind.

So when things other than rain and leaves fall onto my head from on high, I know it is most likely not by way of the sky or the wind. The usual culprit is a squirrel. Squirrels love to throw things at me. I am not sure why, but they do it frequently enough that my thought process of things dropping on to my head works on a simple flow chart. Was it a leaf or rain? Probably the sky. Something else entirely? Probably a squirrel.

With so much experience in the ways of things being thrown at me from high above, I have generally held the belief that there is no way something new can happen in those terms. To my surprise, there was at least one more thing that could happen to me when it comes to stuff falling on my head: a bird.

I saw a bird drop a stick on me. I must be specific here. I saw this bird drop a stick on me. It was not as though a stick hit me and then I looked up and saw a bird and assumed. I saw this bird. It was as though the bird delivering the stick directly to my head. It hit the mark, too. The stick hit my ears and bounced off my fluffy fur, hitting the forest floor with the slightest of thuds.

Why?

Why did this bird drop a stick on me? It has been something I have been trying to figure out ever since. Was it really just delivering the stick to me? Did the bird see that I had dropped this stick somewhere and just wanted me to have it back? I did not recognize the stick, but I suppose it was possible.

Did the bird intend to hurt me? Was the stick a pointy painful projectile meant to do harm?

Was my head a future nesting place for the bird? Are more sticks to come?

There is no way to know, and there might not ever be a way to know. This is the truly hard part of this strange occurrence. There are no answers. There are no reasons. I suppose that happens a lot in the forest. Random, strange things happen frequently, and those who have the things happen to them are left to put the mystery together only to realize it is essentially impossible.

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.

Every place is scary or too mean.


I worry that I hide myself from the greater expanses of the forest too much. I spend a great deal of time in my cave or near the river I like or by the dumpsters I frequent or in the most familiar patches of grass and dirt I know. Rarely do I traverse beyond my known routine, and when I do, it is usually because of an enticing smell or a terrifying sound or an interesting looking rock.

Generally, I am okay with my regular outings, but when I do worry about my routines, I worry about if I am missing out on something. I worry that there are grand, engaging experiences throughout the forest that I miss simply because I am too scared or comfortable to reach them. Experiences missed simply by virtue of proximity (or lack thereof). The forest does not do much to inform me about the possibilities of these events and experiences. There is no master forest schedule that I am aware of (though I have certainly entertained the idea of squirrels having and/or knowing of such a thing and actively hiding it from me for no reason beyond meaningless spite on their part).

When the worry outgrows my desire for comfort and safety, though, I begin to think about how or why I do not search new, exciting things.

And then it all comes back.

Every awful experience I have ever had that happened because of my leaving my routine.

The time I got locked in a dumpster and then some humans sprayed stinging mist at me and tipped the dumpster over so I rolled out? That happened because I tried a new dumpster, one I had never been to but had an incredibly smell to it I wanted to investigate. Blinded by the awful mist, I ran through the forest wildly until I eventually hit a tree and napped until the sun was up.

Or how about the time I tried to enjoy the offerings of a human lake? The water ended up burning my eyes, and the humans who lived near the lake sprayed more awful mist at me (you can guess what I did afterward).

Then there is the long, flat black rock. I have followed it far beyond my cave before to end up finding nothing new or of interest. Just more forest and smashed raccoons. A sad, difficult rock that seems to exist only to crush unsuspecting forest creatures. It was a sight I could have lived without experiencing.

There have been good times found far and beyond my cave, though. I once found a very cool and fish abundant part of the river I go to. I followed it upstream until I was able to see more fish through the water than I had ever seen. I jumped in. The water so cooler than I had ever remembered the river being. The fish were so plentiful that even my slow, uncoordinated paws were able to catch them. It was nice. And I would not have experienced it without going outside of my comfortable routine. Are the plentiful fish worth the potential of stinging mist, though? I do not know, but for now, I suppose I will go where my bearness leads me, whether it be the comfort of my cave or some new, terrifying adventure.

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 fell into a hole I dug.

Digging is one of the more fun activities anybody can do in the forest. If you have movable limbs that are harder than soft soil, you can dig, and you should dig. The rush of cool soil lining the creases of fur between toes makes digging worth the effort and energy.

I learned recently, though, that reckless digging can have some harsh consequences.

I have no idea when I dug the hole that swallowed me whole. It must have been me, however. There is no other creature in the forest who can dig as big of a hole as I can (as you might be able to guess, I tried to blame the deer across the river, but his hooves are more likely to be used to judge me rather a fun activity like digging). I found the hole through a simple walk in the forest. I was staring up at the sky, admiring the clouds and the sun and the tops of trees, and then it got quite dark suddenly. Before I could figure out why, I was in a hole.

At first, I growled at the soil around me. Surely it was the soil’s fault, the fault of the forest, the fault of everything around me. I growled at the darkened sky, blaming its erratic and senseless change. I growled at everything I thought could be held accountable in even the slightest manner.

Then I growled at myself. It was then I realized who could have dug a hole so large and so randomly. It was my fault. It was my fault that this hole in the forest had tried to eat me, I practically fed myself to it with my irresponsible digging. There was no reason to take out my anger on the forest. The forest had not done anything. I wanted it to have done something. It would have been easier if the forest had done something wrong to me, but it had not. It was just me.

Once I got back on my paws, I shuffled out of the hole and got back to the safety of the forest floor. It was bright again. I shook off the dust from my fur and continued walking, heading to nowhere in particular but filled with a want to do better, whatever that meant for me, 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? 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.