Ron would say that I’m obsessed with the spider outside our kitchen window. Obsessed is a little strong….

So the other night I finally caught him (I have decided that it’s a him and I call him Spidey) weaving the web. It had been completely demolished from a couple of days of hearty feasting. 

Despite my most covert tactics, I had not yet seen him work on that beautiful glitter disk. I so badly wanted to know how he secures all those anchors, how he stitches them together in perfect circles, and how he makes the flawless center, the hub of his world.

Let me tell you that this is painstaking work. I watched for at least an hour and he wasn’t even near done framing the joint. If he had a plan, I could not tell. He seemed to go back and forth below the eves, dropping lines for what I assumed would later be his tent posts. He took long breaks. With my spider intuition, I gathered that he was rejuevenating, letting his web resources catch up (it reminded me of the Kornfield talk where the local guides stopped to “let their souls catch up.”). He worked steadily, though slowly. Careful with each leg — one holding the line, one guiding, a few others crawling along.

Something about the miracle of this spider really gets me — his spidery guidance (how does a spider know to construct that pattern??), the fact that he can produce the web netting, that he has to rebuild his whole world every couple of days.

This night in particular, I was moved by watching one being doing its work, humbly, quietly, and alone in the world. It might have been a mother in Senegal weaving baskets to feed her child, a farmer in Montana walking through his crop, or the nesting dove in our orange tree.

It was seeing the calm determination and focus of no matter what, this is my work, this is why I am here. The idea that even if it doesn’t make a difference in the world at large, even if oblivious to the pain in the world (for I’m certain Spidey doesn’t know about the war or recession), I must. This thing is moving through me and must be known.

Okay, so I’m a little sappy about Spidey. I wouldn’t call it obsessed… but it does bring up emotion and relatedness and it touches something deep in me that is not yet revealing itself. I defer to Martha Graham:

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening that is translated through you into action; and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique. If you block it, it will never exist through any other medium and it will be lost. The world will not have it. You must keep that channel open. It is not for you to determine how good it is, nor how valuable. Nor how it compares with other expressions. It is for you to keep it yours, clearly and directly.

Thank you Ms. Graham. Thank you Spidey. Thank you God.


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