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I think I have been here before.


Even though I spend all of my time in the forest, I feel like I have not explored very much of it. Sometimes I will walk for a long time in one direction, hoping to feel the excitement that comes with treading unexplored territory, but I usually get too scared or intimidated by the immense size of the forest to go very far in any one direction. I end up back in my cave, enjoying its comfortable and familiar damp pointy walls.

In an attempt to challenge myself and explore more of the forest, I recently tried fighting the urge to turn back at the sight of the unfamiliar during one of my brief forest excursions. I walked away from my cave in a direction that was not toward the river or my favorite tree or the very interesting looking rock I like so much. I went in a direction that was unfamiliar, and I just walked.

And I kept walking.

Aimless but attentive, taking in the sights and the sounds of the forest as I went.

The more attention I gave to those sights and sounds, the more I began to feel like everything I was experiencing was very familiar. I walked until the sun was almost ready to retire into the trees past my sight, and I did not feel like I had seen anything new. It was all very lovely, for sure. I do adore the sights and sounds of the forest, no matter how frequently I experience them, but everything felt more familiar than I had anticipated. Usually that far into a walk, I would be ready to run in whatever direction I had come from, but where I went felt safe and known. Especially when I got to a cave. It was a nice cave. It was damp and rocky and comfortable. It had a delicious and soft bed of moss in one corner. Another corner had a fine collection of rabbit skeletons. There were some leaves spread about. It was wonderful. It was familiar.

Was it my cave? It felt like my cave. It smelled and tasted like my cave. I had walked away from my cave, though, so I was confused. What was I supposed to do? I did what came naturally to me: I slept in the cave. When I woke, it still felt like my cave. When I went outside of the cave, it felt like the outside of my cave.

Either I had just walked back to my cave by accident or I had stumbled upon an exact replica of everything I knew. I was not sure which was true, so I licked the pile of moss in the corner and napped a little longer. It felt right, and, really, either way, I felt like I was at home.

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

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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A list of things that I at first thought were against me but were not.


Here is a list of things that I at first thought were against me but were not:

  • Wind (I think it is actually against everyone, not just me)
  • Flying leaves (further investigation led me to realize that this is just the wind and, again, the wind is really after everyone)
  • Flying debris (see: wind, flying leaves)
  • Birds (I often interpret their whistles and fast flying as a kind of mocking, but I think that is just how they are: fast flying whistlers)
  • The sun (I do not think it is personal)
  • Squirrels (up for debate, however)
  • Humans (they might be shouting at me because they are excited to see me, not because they hate me?)
  • The rabbit skeleton I accidentally swallowed (this was my fault, rabbit skeleton)
  • Ants (those bites could just be aggressive hugs, there is no way to tell)
  • The deer across the river (wait)
  • No, not the deer across the river (but I really should at least try…)
  • Okay, the deer across the river (but then again, those horrible hacking sounds he emits from his tiny mouthed face are so awful and filled with so much negativity and hatred)
  • Okay, no, not the deer across the river (but what has he really done to me?)
  • Fine, the deer across the river (no, wait, he knows what he did)
  • Never mind, scratch the deer across the river (wait, wait, just do it, what harm could come out of forgiving that vile beast and moving on with my life?)
  • The deer across the river (…)
  • Clouds (I assume they are moving that quickly because they have somewhere important to go and not because they want to spite me)
  • My cave, for its occasional lack of heat (it is not your fault, cave)
  • My claws (I am sure they did not mean to scratch me to intensely that one time I had an itch on my belly)
  • Okay, I just cannot do this, I cannot add the deer across the river to this list, it just is not fair, he does not deserve further consideration or forgiveness, he deserves to stay at the river his disgusting hooves and malformed antlers, I simply cannot add the deer across the river to this list
  • But I should…
  • Fine…
  • The deer across the river

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

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.

Many things go.

In the forest, I am just one, single thing going among many other going things. My going is mostly me walking throughout the forest, brushing up against trees and occasionally swimming in the river, usually looking for food. I know my going.

I do not know the going of others, though, and it makes living in the forest a little intimidating. So many things go. Wind goes around the forest, carrying leaves and debris with it, making those things go as well. Squirrels go to and from wherever it is squirrels go (maybe everywhere given how quickly they go). The water in the river goes, too. I do not know where it goes, but I know it goes. Even trees go in their own way. They sway and drop leaves and twigs and go through time, too, and it is easy to feel yourself go through time when you rest motionlessly in a single spot for an extended period of time (I know from my experiences trying to mimic trees with little success (how do they do it so well?)).

All the going is overwhelming. I know I contribute to it, but that does not make thinking about it any less daunting. Rarely does the going of something else really hinder my own going, but the mere thought of a going collision is scary. It makes everything in the forest feel fast and fragile, a strange  delicate balance that could tip over and ruin all going for everyone in an instant.

I usually try not to think about it. I usually try to just mind my own going and hope everything else in the forest does the same, but the thought usually creeps into my mind as I go about my going, and forces me to think of what could happen if goings collided. If goings were interrupted. If goings were stopped.

When it gets too bad, I stop going. I shutdown my forward bearness both physically and mentally and I try to stop going. I try to just be a bear, a non-going bear. It is my way of trying to be the me I am where I am. It is not always easy.

But it can lead to naps.

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

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.

Maybe I should be more mindful of my surroundings.


Relative to most forest creatures, I am quite large. I know this when I think about it. The problem, however, is that I rarely think about my largeness. It is easy to forgot about my largeness when I am merely traversing the forest, trying to be a bear. Maybe I just need more practice thinking about two things at one time (bearness and largeness). Or, maybe I should start focusing more on the largeness part.

It does not affect everything I do in the forest. My largeness is usually not a problem. I fit through most bushes and generally I do not need to scrape up against a tree unless I want to scratch an itch. I still float, too. When I get into the river, I spread out my largeness and I float about. It is nice until the deer across the river inevitably hisses at me with its horrible face, but even that, I believe, is not caused my largeness.

My largeness has caused pain and suffering to those around it, though. The bench I found among a lightly treed part of the forest was one such victim. I sat on it, enjoying my time on it as my fur baked in the sun. It was ever so comfortable and relaxing until I heard a thundering crack beneath me. I looked around, trying to understand where the sound came from, and then, it happened again. I fell through the bench and onto the dirt. With some dramatic thrashing, howling, and wriggling I am not proud of, I managed to escape the corpse of the bench, but the bench was gone. Destroyed. No longer a bench. I felt awful for what I had done. I tried to apologize to the bench, but I was unable to, the guilt holding back my thoughts and forcing me to scurry into the forest where my largeness got in the way again as I stepped on an anthill by total accident.

Had I murdered again? Had I turned into such a terrible beast, unable to care or empathize with those who were subjected to my largeness? Before I could answer any of these questions, the biting began.

I ran some more, bumping into trees and smashing branches and stepping on who knows what. By the time I was back in my cave, I promised myself I would try to control my largeness. When I woke from the nap that followed that event, I realized there was little I could do about my largeness. I suppose being large is just part of being a bear. I also realized, though, that I needed to at least be more mindful of my largeness. I had a duty, as a largeness having creature, to ensure my largeness did not negatively hurt others.

I also do not like ant bites…

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

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.

Am I supposed to get better at being a bear?


I have no way to tell how good of a bear I am. I do not interact with other bears. I do not receive performance reviews from the forest on a regular basis. No other creature stops to tell me if I am doing being a bear particularly well or terribly (they do stop to screech at me, however, but I am not sure if that counts as a substantial review of my bear performance).

Since I have no way to determine if I am good at being a bear, I really have no way to determine if I should have progressed in my bearness. I have never gotten any kind of clue or indication that I should be getting better at being a bear over some period of time. Should I be a better bear each day? Each year? Is my progress meant to be incremental or something that should be obvious and very easily noticeable?

Or, maybe, I am not supposed to become a better bear. There is a chance that my bearness is not meant to grow. Maybe I am a bear, and I am supposed to be just the bear I am. Not a better one. Not a worse one. Just one, single bear that I already am until I am not a bear anymore.

I do not like that, though.

I feel like there are things about being a bear that I have improved upon. Take, for example, my ability to walk on my hind-legs. For a very long time, I was quite terrible at walking on my hind-legs. I could hurl my upper body toward the sky for only a brief moment before I came tumbling down. Now, I can balance on my hind-legs long enough to reach a branch I need or to get a better look at a bird’s nest. It took time and practice, but eventually I got pretty good at doing it.

I suppose my hind-leg-walking-ability forces me to think about what bearness really is to begin with. Is that something that a bear does? Is it something a bear needs to be good at? Does it really even matter? I like doing it, so I suppose it matters to me, but that doesn’t mean it necessarily matters to being a bear, but it does matter to me, so it does matter to my meness, and I am a bear. The logic gets circular and confusing quickly, but either way, I like walking on my hind-legs, and getting better at it makes me feel like a better me.

I suppose that is all that matters for now. 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? 

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 do not know where my thoughts go when I am done thinking them.


My bear brain is quite active. I have thoughts and ideas and memories and other unidentifiable things going on in there practically all the time. It is rare my bear brain feels switched off, and even when it does feel that way, I usually end up thinking about how it feels that way, which switches it right back on.

But all of these processes that go on in there are not going on all the time at the same time. That would be overwhelming, I am sure, so my bear brain tends to a task or thought or an anything at all one at a time. That makes everything more manageable, of course. I am, however, often bothered by the idea that these thoughts and such just go when I do not need them. It bothers me simply because I do not know where, exactly, they go.

Everything in the forest can be touched and moved and smelled, so it is usually quite easy to keep track of the comings and goings of these things (except squirrels for obvious reasons). Thoughts are not like that. They do not have a cave they head home to when they are done for the day. They do not wait around in a perceivable place, anticipating your next need for their use. I have no idea where they go. Some can get memorized, which I guess is as close to a cave for them to go home to as there gets, but even that is not tangible. Even those can just go. 

And when they do decide to go they are gone.

Sometimes these thoughts never come back. I frequently lament the loss of a thought, wishing it had stayed a little longer so I could commit it to memory, but most do not. It would be nice to know that they at least go off to a nice place. Somewhere warm and safe. But part of me believes that they go on to nothing. They simply stop being. I do not like that thought, and it is a thought that does not really go away like others do.

I try to hold onto the important thoughts. I try really hard to remember the sorts of thoughts that make forest living easier, but I am sure I have even lost some of those. And when they are gone, they leave nothing behind but a strange, fleeting empty feeling. Then again, maybe they can come back and I am simply unable to recognize them. Maybe thoughts can come to my bear brain, seemingly new to me, and recycle themselves. But who knows.

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

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.

How many suns and moons do we get?


The sun and the moon have a reliable rotation about them. They are seen at a particular time and then they leave at a particular time. Sometimes they are covered by clouds, and every once in awhile the moon does not show up, likely to enjoy a much deserved break, but for the most part, these sky giants are very reliable. The presence of each one is comforting and makes living in the forest easier and warmer.

But sometimes, I wonder if I am assuming too much by thinking I see the same sun every single day. It looks like the same sun, usually. Sometimes it’s slighter more orange than usual or slightly more yellow than usual, but it looks roughly the same. But maybe these little distinctions indicate a new sun. This process goes even further for the moon, who seems to change its shape on a near daily basis. Maybe there are multiple of both of these things. Maybe every time the sun is done with the forest for the day, it goes off to another place, either resting or providing more warmth for a new forest somewhere else, and so another, equally warm sun replaces by the morning.

But if that is so, where do all those suns and moons go? I hope they are okay.

Also, if the sun and the moon can have this happen to them, how could I know whether or not something similar happens to all things in the forest? Maybe every night, as I lay my fuzzy head upon the bed of moss I have collected in my cave, everything I know and adore about the forest switches out, is replaced, by something that looks similar to it. The rock outside of my cave? What if that is not the same rock that I know so well? What if, every day, that rock changes, and I am getting to know a new rock every morning? Perhaps this even applies to other creatures. For every squirrel I see, are there an infinite number of squirrels it has replaced? And are there infinite more squirrels to come and replace it? That is far too many squirrels.

I hope I am not replaced each day. I do not feel replaced. I feel like the same bear I was yesterday, but if the sun can be replaced and the moon can be replaced then certainly I can be replaced, oh no, I hope that is not true?

Then again, this is all hypothetical. I do not know if anything gets replaced. I hope I see the same sun every morning. It feels like the same sun. I feel like the same 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? 

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.