"American Bear" flows into my conversations seamlessly. Every time I meet someone new, it weaves its way into conversation within minutes, if not seconds. For example, in a crowded dining hall yesterday I sat down with a young lady -- a stranger. We introduced ourselves, and when she said she was from Dallas, I said, "I've been there. But only for a day." Of course, it's a much longer story than that -- and she asked me all the right questions to hear a pretty solid overview of what "American Bear" is, was, and will be. With everyone that I'm catching up with, people I haven't seen in months, their first question is about this project. There's no escaping it. Not that I'd want to, of course.
And even on my own, while swimming in my own thoughts, it's always there. In my room, I see it externally: my necklace from Jolene in Montana hanging on my wall, a framed photograph from Amber in Idaho propped up on my windowsill. In my head, it's in the infinite memories. In a new class today, we wrote brief biographies for the teacher. I wrote that "American Bear" was the most important and influential experience of my life. And I feel that more as each day passes.