This young fella (about 1 year old, according to some expert) has been creating quite a stir in the local Boston area. This picture, courtesy of The Sun Chronicle of Attleboro, cycled across the local news channels last night, poking its cute little nose into the homes of thousands. One woman reported that she saw this guy rolling around in her backyard yesterday morning. Ah, imagine! A quiet New England summer, the sun just rising over the trees, lying down in the cool, wet grass and rubbing your naked back and ass all over it. Can’t say I don’t envy Mr. (or Ms.) Bear over there. Another visual witness filmed the great creature lumbering about its day, explaining that normally he is a simple wedding photographer, but this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity roused him to take up the camera in new and unprecedented ways. Truly an inspiration to us all. And this seemingly innocent candid bears (pun intended!) a great deal of weight. It shows the fear and isolation of the creature in the eyes of modern suburban culture. What he thought to be an open grassy knoll happened to be the cornerstone of middle class life. A life more foreign to the bear than its onlookers are to the wild. There is such beauty and grace in its stature. It grasps to the branch like a child to his mother’s leg, eyes wide, mouth puckered tight. The greenery just slightly blocking our view of its face. And is there not a better moment to talk about precision and power in metaphor? Man and nature have been torn so far apart, blah blah, no connection, alienation, etc. We all know that. But hey, this is aesthetics in action. This is not just a photo of a bear. This is a photo of a human pondering his surrounding world. So controlled, so conformed, so well known and understood and industrialized, and yet… Here we are, bear and man, so close together in the circle of mammalian life, but further separated than any two creatures that have ever shared a backyard. I went camping a few weeks ago with my girlfriend and there were signs everywhere warning us of bears, and we put all our food and beer in the car when away from the site, but man, can’t we all just get along? Ehh, I guess not. Anyway, that’s old news because Whitey Bulger is dead!