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bear illustration.jpgWent to bed last night with the realisation that all the world’s a sham, except maybe the art of bread-making. Supplying fresh wholesome handmade loaves to the local community, donating what’s left at the end of the day to charity. Betty’s Bakery. No! That means brand logo, catchphrase, and marketing—I’ve already joined the ranks of those from whom I wish to escape (a calculator sounds in the distance, an interior designer is hired). What then? Ought I arm myself, self-consciously and pretentiously, with a copy of Walden and off to the woods, a retreat from modernity and its attendant excesses? In the company of humans their expectations and norms I live a life of anxiety, said anxiety owing to the way my brain is wired which, in turn, owes to the life I have lived with the temperament I was born with. In the company of nature and wildlife the expectation is to survive, but not so long ago just last year I think I had to look up the definition of fortitude. The definition, once read, made me laugh at myself for not knowing what it was. I’m good at that. But self-deprecation won’t do when faced with a bear, a deadly bite, the ensuing infection, and, worse than pus, the silent panic through it all. Better people and walls, calculators and clocks, after all.