Have you ever… walked into a spider web?
Of course you have. And thats some gnarly shit.
It can appear out of nowhere and gets everywhere; it’s super sticky and invisible and not to mention the sheer terror of “where the fuck did the spider go?” I’ve walked into some crazy complicated and frankly disgusting feeling spider webs. I really don’t know what other-dimension I was living in to not notice some of the massive unending tangle of webs that I’ve found myself in… both physically and metaphorically.
I’ve always had a sense of sympathy for spiders. They have a pretty bad rap, and a lot of the time its uncalled for. I know there’s some mean ‘ole biting spiders, and a few killer-spiders. But there’s also a lot of very friendly, over achieving worker spiders, artist spiders, curious spiders, punk rock spiders, dancing spiders, friendly spiders.
I would know. I grew up with some of the chillest spiders on the planet. Living next to sugar cane fields, one gets used to the long legged, hairy, plump spiders I’ve come to know as Cane Spiders. They usually just sit up by the ceiling and at some point, make babies. Creepy looking? Yes. Harmful? No. And it was a losing battle, really, in this ecosystem there’s just no way to keep your home free of them let alone eradicate them. So, whatever, I just let ’em hang out and make their babies as long as they leave me and my babies alone. It’s not like we were ever infested, they just drop in and say wassup. But, in conclusion, I’m one of those rare folks who just don’t mind spiders.
However. Walking into their webs? Mortifying. Like, ruin your day mortifying. Still, I can’t shake how fucking bummed the spiders must be. They worked all day on that shit. All of yesterday too, probably. This is their home, their means of eating, their safety. Their everything. And it’s not just some neglected mess like my home is… It’s intricate, artful, delicate… perfection. Just to be broken clumsily by some dummy (me) probably on her phone (me) not watching where she’s going (me). Spider-Loving-Lady.
Just yesterday I walked into a web. An early progress web. I had just come home from the grocery store hours earlier and this little thing decided to set up camp between my vehicle’s side mirror, my son’s basketball hoop and the ground. A good three and a half feet tall, one feet wide of stretched silver string forming the unmistakable hectagon frame of a spider web.
First of all, someone needs to explain how the hell they can jump that far and with such precision because I am baffled. Or there is probably a youtube video on this that my child can find for me. But at any rate, I walked right into it, not expecting that in the hours since I arrived and didn’t put my groceries away there was magic happening on my car. And really, it would have only been a matter of time before I had to leave home and break this guy’s home apart. It was inevitable.
But after that “woah” moment I turned around to see this fella jump right back into his business without barely assessing what had just happened to him. Grabbing here, pulling there, up, down, over and over and over. Still a poor choice of location, but he was undeterred. I stood there for a long ass time geeking out on his method and persistence.
I can be this way at times. Something about coming from an upbringing of chaos can mold you into someone who in conflict only half-gasps and then dives into action, moving and hurredly molding things back together. Actually, if I’m completely honest, I am only this amazing fixing type of way when there are others to be saved. If it is my problem alone I’m pretty frickin’ pathetic. I more resemble the person with the spider web in their hair, frantic, helpless, stuck to it. Never mind that the web itself is a miraculous creation unlike anything created on earth, unreplicable by us spider-fearing-humans.
Perhaps we can all be this way. On Mondays especially. Walking into each others webs. Our energy disrupting; our actions, interrupting and sometimes saving. Sometimes it’s our own web we’ve crossed, for the 100th time, and after hours, days, months, years of building situations and moods and miracles.
I guess the lesson here is empathy.
If you actively observe any other person for a good 10 minutes like I did for Mr. Spider, you can understand a lot more about them. How they carry themselves, the tension in their muscles, the eyes, of course and the story their voice tell, not just what their words say. I’ve met with some pretty dangerous people over the years, more dangerous than any spiders I’ve come across, for sure, and in these interactions I always try to find a little of myself in there. Not facets of myself but emotions I relate to. Fear. Insecurity. Pride. To know this is to understand the web they’ve woven… and to understand others, is understand a bit about yourself.
Observe yourself for a good 10 minutes. Not in stillness and meditation like most would tell you, but in action. Check your posture, your gaze, your rate of breath, your tone. Follow the hours back in your mind, the time you spent cultivating the little web your sitting in now. How are you treating other people? How are you treating yourself? I’d suggest doing this a couple hours into the day. A good time to check yourself and how you’ve started and if its time to reset for the betterment of the rest of your hours. Empathy is such a vital quality that even those born with need to put to practice, even on ourselves.
Connecting to my community and especially my natural environment, in my own way, is something that has always given me a sense of value and peace. The more you understand and appreciate, the less you fear, and we can all use a little bit more of this now a days.