Justin Hiebert - The Stream of Consciousness - The Land of Bears

Rambling Man

You’re never going to meet someone who’s where they want to be.

We live life in a state of transition, of trying to get from one place to another. From grade school to high school to university to a career to retirement. We’re always going somewhere, always looking ahead, preparing for something. We see others, and they look like they have it together, but then we get to that stage and then we not only realize that they didn’t know what they were doing but that it’s even more difficult here than where we just left.

I used to think I was cool in grade 8, now I look down on the silly first years in University, I wonder if this cycle will ever stop, if my 65 year old self will laugh at the meager complainings of a 50 year old or if at some point I will learn that since we’re all traveling, everyone does the best that they can where they’re at. Maybe that’s what this is, me learning. 

Donated my hair for @rachelshiebert. 11 inches! #rootingforrachel  (at Victoria Hospital - London Health Sciences Centre)

Donated my hair for @rachelshiebert. 11 inches! #rootingforrachel (at Victoria Hospital - London Health Sciences Centre)


Winter’s ghost haunts him. Her frosty breath chills him in his respite. Her stark white face, blanched of all emotion stares at him, endlessly.

Nothing lives. Everything waits.

Soon she will pass he says. She can’t stay for ever. Her tantrum will subside. Her frozen fits will melt away. 

The lakes freeze over. The frost reaches deep into the ground. Everything gets bleached, it’s life leached out. The animals hide. The birds leave. The trees stand naked and the plants pray that their little seedlings have found a haven.

He can hear her calling on the frigid wind. Her cold love burns his face. His beard fills with snow and moisture collects on his moustache. He can’t shake her. He can’t outrun her. He shivers.

But through all her fits he knows she hasn’t won. For already warming his bed is his own ray of sunshine.


There’s a few moments, when you realize that you really love someone. When it would be easier to walk away, but you realize you want to stay. When you want something but deny yourself for their sake. When you find yourself doing things you would never have done before, like listen to country music, and then you find yourself liking it.

When it’s hard, when it’s not fun, when you don’t have that stupid mushy ‘love’ feeling, that’s when you love someone. When they’re hard to love. When they’re difficult. When they do things that hurt you and you don’t even have to tell them you forgive them. You just keep going. When you can’t stand them. When you’re so mad you want to break things, break down, break up. When you want to run away. To disappear. To die. But you don’t. You won’t. You can’t.

That’s what love is. At least right now it is.


Because sometimes you just need to smoke an drink whiskey.
In the dark.

I fear being torn between two loves.

Do you know what it’s like? To know the woods better than the roads? The marsh better than the mall?

Do you know what it’s like? To work the land? To toil against Adams curse? To tame the thicket and thorn? To kill the beast you eat?

Do you know what it’s like? To have your brother as your best friend? And grow up with your best friend as close as brothers?

Do you know what it’s like? To live in a foreign place? To not belong? To face the choice of never belonging? To force yourself to live longingly?

Why is it one or the other? Why is it lover or brother?

Or is it? Is this not what it feels like?


There once was a man who seemed very happy. The townsfolk knew him as a reliable and fun fellow if somewhat average and plain. There was not much remarkable about him but he was a good man and he worked hard, they all agreed on that. Friendly and charitable there were few he was on less than friendly grounds with.

But when he was alone in his own house things were different. He wasn’t always smiling or nice. Not that he was mean, but he didn’t seem nearly as happy as he did when he went in to town. And as he would get progressively more lonely, or angry, or anything other than happy or cheerful he would go into the closet where guests stored their coats when they came to visit. In the closet, he pushed the old coats to one side and on the floor there sat a bunch of dusty boxes and sliding them aside he slipped his finger behind the grimy trim and retrieved a shiny key. With this key in his left clammy palm he went around the back of the house to the old root cellar and unlocking it descended into the darkness that it held. 

Sliding his hand along the wall with years of practice of walking the dark passage he stopped and reached without seeing for the string that hung from the light. Click. It always took a bit for the old bulbs to warm up, shining enough light on the room. In in the dark cellar there were rows and rows of old shelves on which were filled with all manner of mason jars and glass bottles. And at the other end of the room there was a big armchair with an old side table in arms reach and on the other side a covered crate.

Walking past the jars he without looking at them he knew that they appeared empty, some jars so coated in dust that they couldn’t be seen into, some appearing quite clean and new and every varying age in between. Though they appeared empty, walking through the shelves one had the sense that they were packed full, something in the room seemed pressing, like walking into a hoarders home.

Upon reaching the armchair he would sit down, heavy, as though weighed down by some great burden. Reaching to his left he lifted the crate open just enough to pull out a jar and he unscrewed the lid and set it on the table to his right. Then something extremely strange happened. He started to sob into the jar. Carefully he caught every tear. He knew to let the emotions take their course. The sobbing turned to bawling, which turned to yelling and screaming. The anger subsided, pushed aside by whimpers and panic set in. All the while he was very careful to catch each tear, every shout, all the fears and heartbeats. 

And then it was over, as sudden as it began. He held the jar carefully, as though it were brimming full with an unseen fluid, and reached over for the lid. With the cap screwed on tightly he went to the empty part of the shelf, where the jars had the least dust and placed it neatly in a row with the rest of them. And as he exited the room he pulled the cord attached to the light and once again plunged the room into darkness and secrecy. 

When he had latched the cellar door shut, clicked the lock home and hidden the key back behind the trim he released a breath of relief. And then someone came through the door, his beautiful wife, and once again he pasted the smile on that felt more comfortable to him than that dreaded room in the basement.

Hey Theodore Roosevelt, remember that time someone tried to assassinate you, but you just laughed and proceeded to give a 90-minute long speech with the bullet lodged in your lung, where it remained for the rest of your life? Or when you tore up your leg after being thrown into piranha-infested waters while exploring uncharted Brazil? Or all those times you broke your ribs from falling off horses while doing bad-ass jumps? Or when you destroyed the sight in your left eye in a White House boxing match? Or that time you killed a cougar in a knife fight (seriously.)? And how the only way death could finally get to you was in your sleep, in the early morning on this day in 1919. Here’s to TR as the infinite inspiration for pure, condensed badassery. ;)





Theodore Roosevelt, October 27, 1858 – January 6, 1919

“Death had to take him sleeping, for if Roosevelt had been awake there would have been a fight.”

 Original Badass.

All of our presidents combined can’t add up to how much of a badass he was.

He’d stick a boot up your ass, it’s the AMERICAN way ;)

(via thinknorth)

This is my first lightroom edit. The picture idea was hers, I can’t claim that.

This is my first lightroom edit. The picture idea was hers, I can’t claim that.

This is my brother, he’s one of the coolest guys. He’s also one of my best friends.

This is my brother, he’s one of the coolest guys. He’s also one of my best friends.