Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston


I’m healthy and not pregnant and therefore I’ve decided it’s time I start talking with a psychiatrist.

There are weeks when I really suck at this blogging gig. I have started several posts in the last several days but none of them…ripened. So I’m offering up the poor, hard fragments as representatives of the sucky first drafts that never get to see the light of day. My gift to you. Have a look at the rest of the iceberg. This is what I usually spare you from:


It only took us eight years, but M and I have gotten pretty super at parent-teacher conferences.

Here’s the key. Don’t go hungry.

That’s really it.

There have been years when we were the obnoxious family that whisper-fought over our darling children’s completed math assignments and writing assignments, the family that was late, the family that forgot the appointment all together. We have been the parents who displayed our incompetency with such gusto that I’m shocked our kids weren’t put on some list of at-risk youth who needed special attention from people who work in colorless offices decorated with pictures of kittens peeking out of toilet bowls.

But all that’s in the past. Well, one hopes.


Losing a hero isn’t like losing a parent, or a


The Internet is broken and I’m not handling it well.

I’m in bed. The puppies are chewing something they shouldn’t over there on the floor, but it’s been a long day and I can’t stand the thought of getting out of bed and stopping them. M and T are downstairs on the new couch discussing nuclear war and our narrow-minded view of extinction. Humans might die, but the world will live. The world will recover. The world will thrive. But it’s been a long day (did I mention?) and I couldn’t quite stand listening to a discussion about nuclear war.

What I’d really like to do is join the communal grief about Prince. Maybe put a β€œbest of” track on Spotify while I read tributes from all over the world. But the stupid Internet is broken.

How did we used to hear about tragedy? Did we wait to read about it in the paper the next morning? Did we always have radios on? In my childhood home, I think, a call would have come from my grandfather, Dinny. Some people are better tuned into the societal frequency and he’d have sent word that so-and-so died, was arrested, joined a cult, etc. But maybe Prince wouldn’t have been on his radar.


On the drive home from work I was thinking about the soundtrack to my life and how if it only consisted of music from live musicians, it would be awfully quiet. But luckily my kids introduce me to new people, new favorites, and musicians keep being born.

And I like the new musicians. Don’t ask me what their names are. I’m sure my kids have told me, but I’ve forgotten. But I like when they come on the radio, especially that one that mentions Stanley Kubrick. And I’m sure some of them will reach iconic status sometime in the future, but


There are days when I bore myself beyond what is healthy.


April is usually a wet month and this year we’ve got fire warnings every day. I’m using this as an excuse to not suggest a campfire. I like campfires when they’re happening, but the distance between suggestion and sitting in front of dancing flames feels insurmountable, filled with details and phone calls and many questions to answer, and I


10 thoughts on “Exit, Pursued by a Bear by E.K. Johnston

  1. Enjoyed this collection of fragments. Some call this writer’s block. I feel its more like the inability to coherently make up a post (that’s writer’s block? Oh sorry! πŸ˜€ ). I went through this pretty early into my blogging days, but thankfully I’ve been okay since then. The key I guess is to keep writing and keep posting. There will be amazing posts and then there will be the crappy ones, but in the end, it’s all about the effort, isn’t it?
    Nice post. Happy blogging. God bless. πŸ™‚

    1. Words of inspiration! Sometimes we say things to one person and it helps a whole lot of someones. Thank you Bloggeray

  2. Sounds very familiar, you have gone a step further then me at least and blogged your partial thoughts, mine are sitting in a word document so good for you!

  3. It’s funny to me how you feel like you can’t find the words, however the words you’ve found and the way you’ve written them seems slightly poetic to me and makes so much sense. Just the fact that you’ve written something to help you over that stumbling block is great! I’ve been at my block for a few weeks now, and thanks to you, I see that I need to just do the damn thing and write! Thank you!

  4. Totally love this post. I’ve often thought I should click “Publish” on drafts I have like this, but have chickened out. But you did it so beautifully…

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