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.
For any questions or comments directed at Bear, feel free to write to him using this email: justasinglebear@