Friday, August 14, 2009

Spider Medicine

Just two nights ago, my husband, Gregory, and I watched a spider in our kitchen window for almost a whole hour as she set the table and prepared to enjoy her dinner. After dinner, she had a friend over for a visit. As Gregory and I watched, out of nowhere, another spider appeared in the darkness. Apparently it had built it's very own web connected to the gutters and side of our home. We watched as the spiders touched belly to belly, top legs touching one another while the rest of their legs tapped a morse code of communication into the night. All of a sudden, they melded into one and you couldn't tell that what you were looking was a spider, let alone two. After a while, their legs slowly came apart. The lady spider retreated to her corner in the window and we haven't seen the male spider since.

As of late, spiders have been attracted to me like the ocean waves seek the shore. Aside from all the various fruit spiders inhabiting little corners of my home, I have four spiders living in the corners of my bathroom, and one very large, very beautiful spider living right outside my kitchen window. My daughter even spotted one camoflauged in the rug at the doctor's office the other day.

For almost 3 years now I have been in the process of dismantling a paradigm that no longer works for me - well, more like shattering it. I've broken it apart, but the pieces of it keep hanging around my psyche. Every once in a while, the light that is cast over the new paradigm I'm in the process of building, bounces off the broken pieces of the old one; forcing me to look at a generations old belief that no longer feeds my soul.

Pieces of it are still food for thought. I pick up that particular piece, examine it with much scrutiny and decide whether or not I can discard that piece or use it in a new creation. And so, I weave my very own web. A web that I depend upon to protect me from the ravaging winds of life. A web that feeds the hunger in my soul. A web that fosters the creation of all the things that make life juicy.

There's something fascinating about starting over again - disconnecting the corners of the old web, wrapping it gingerly around the newest tasty morsel, retreating to safety, and reemerging to build a newer, even more beautiful web with which to catch the livingness of life.

For several evenings I have watched the spider in our kitchen window as she eats her dinner. She unhooks one corner of her web and wraps it around her meal, unhooks another corner of her web and wraps that around her meal and so forth. Until what's left is a skeleton of a web that she will use to construct a new web.

There is something so interesting about feeling fascinated and terrified, both at the same time...


  1. As someone who lives in a house shared with a variety of ambitious spiders (just ask Deborah), i love how you've communicated the deeply experiential sense of this aspect of (everyone's, not just your) life. Just some foolish thoughts...
    * Like us, spiders live by being skilled web builders and gain experience from each new web. All of the web-paradigms we construct get torn down eventually, don't they? (Just ask someone at end of life.) So we build, best we can; hopefully with some energy and lightness-of-spirit when possible (sometimes, not possible). And when we find it's time to build again... well, i never heard a spider complain.
    * I read somewhere that spiders can tell what's going on in their area by the vibrations they feel on their web (food, foe, friend, etc.). So the web is a also a way of communication. (No concidence, www = the world-wide-web.) And, on this web, we hear with our whole self (our whole spider-bodies, not just with our ears).
    * (Though not so obvious with the little guy who's catching nats under our kitchen night-light...) Spider webs are beautiful, eh? (Picture, classically, the web in the morning low rising sun bouncing off droplets of dew.) So we weave these work-of-art paradigms. Sometimes, when you sit back (and perhaps that's the key) and look at someone else's, you can see it - the beauty - even while they struggle. (Perhaps our own is more difficult to see this way, because of that lightness-of-spirit thing or that we don't sit-back enough.) The artist (we) evolve something (or participate in its evolution as it unfolds before us). Hey, spiders have been on this planet for a very, very long time!
    So thank you for your beautifully artful way of expressing this real aspect of life. I'm thinking i'll be looking at life more spider-web like in the future (besides looking at my house-buddy spiders and their webs as i get home from work this evening).

  2. First of all, I love the picture for two reasons. And, you know them both. Second, it seems as though you will find your way out of this, and words are your creative ally, that's a whole bunch of spider medicine right there.