Bold and Beautiful Things


So this happened today.  Aragog has moved a little further from the house.  He is now starting from the corner of the house and tying out with ONE STRAND to the Loropetalum that sits across from the corner of the house in the flowerbed.  He is very skilled, and I continue to be amazed with his intricate designs.  I suppose as long as he stays there, and I keep “limboing lower now” under where he attached his web to the bush, we’ll all be okay.

Here’s the thing that I’ve been trying to wrap my brain around all day long.  The very thing that sustains Aragog is the thing that transforms and ultimately destroys the web he worked so diligently on. And then he has to start over, and he usually moves on to another spot. That’s powerful.  And hard.

Are we like that too?  Do we need the things that we work so hard on, those things we throw ourselves into, to be transformed or destroyed so we will actually move? Move to do something bigger and better and bold, like hang our whole well-being and existence on one well-placed strand of webbing?  When things we work hard on are destroyed, do we have what it takes to begin again?


I have not lost my arachnophobic ways.  I found a small spider crawling across the floor this evening.  He was crawling IN MY HOUSE.  My house, my rules.  And that’s all I have to say about that.  But I am beginning to respect Aragog; he must be doing all right for himself because he seems to be getting bigger.  BIGGER.  But he’s also being bold.  He started out with a much smaller web just over my front door, and now his web and all its connecting lines are stretching out at least four times as large as the original.  That one strand thing is blowing my mind.  How strong it must be.  Well played my bold friend.  Well played.

And by tonight it was gone.  Between the breakfast, lunch, and supper he caught earlier and the  breeze blowing and the neighbor child who came up and used one finger to break the link with the bush (that took my breath away for a moment, I’m not kidding–I was NOT happy), it was all but gone by the time the sun settled down behind the copse of trees.

Seeing Aragog begin again each morning this week has given me hope.  I know, weird, considering how I feel about spiders.  But the fact that he can begin again each and every day and NOT GIVE UP, though he must be extremely tired, THAT is the stuff that movies with great soundtracks are made of.  You know, the ones that have you cheering on the character who, by all rights, should be curled up in the fetal position because he or she has been through so much.  But no.  There he/she goes again, picking him/herself up and starting again.  With one strong strand hooked to the Loropetalum, slowly but steadily working step by step in the dark of night.  When things are the darkest, he or she finds what it takes to begin anew.  And to do bold and beautiful things, no matter how fleeting they may be.

That right there.  That’s what I want my story to look like.

Be Nice to Who Say What Now? I Don’t Think So.

This morning as I was taking our puppy, Sophie Ru, out for her morning constitutional, it hit me.  In the face.  An intricate spider web strung across our front door.  I was spitting and spewing and using my spare hand to quickly wipe away the web bits and to assess whether the creator of said web had made a quick jump onto my head during the demise of his work.  I am sure anyone watching would have been entertained.  I, on the other hand, was not.

I do not like spiders.

At.  All.

It goes way back.  I remember being terrified of them when I was small.  Unlike Sister.  Family lore has it that when one was crawling across the floor when she was just barely walking, she smacked it with her hand and was preparing to chow down before Mama quickly stopped her.  The joke was she did it to protect me because I was quite likely terrified.

We had plants on our little front porch at the house on Boy Scout Road.  Mama would take clippings and we would put them in Styrofoam cups for the PTG’s Halloween Carnival sale.  They were quite popular.  They were called airplane plants.  Or spider plants.  Ahem. For a reason I cannot recall, at one point there were some paint chips that had fallen into the pots of these plants.  As service for some infraction, I was sent out there to clean the paint out of these plants.

‘Cause it’s a good idea to send an arachnophobe to clean out plants that are called “spider plants.”  I was absolutely certain that the reason they were called that was because, in fact, spiders lived in every single one of them.  I was miserable.  But I did obey.  Finally.

Can you see that HUGE spider up there?  If not, rest assured he is MUCH MUCH larger than he appears.  Must be a problem with the camera on my phone.  Believe me, much, much bigger.

Can you see that HUGE spider up there? If not, rest assured he is MUCH MUCH larger than he appears. Must be a problem with the camera on my phone. And I could only get so close.  What if it was a jumping spider?  Believe me, much, much bigger.

So back to this morning.  Webbed in the face.  The spider started crawling, and I still had to go back through this door to get inside.  It was me or him.  He crawled up high onto the transom area.

Y’all.  Aragog?  That big huge spider from Harry Potter?  The one as big as an elephant? *whispers* He did not disappear in the forest.  He is not dead.  He is up there on that glass on my front porch.

It’s a lose/lose really.  I don’t want him up there, but I don’t want him to just disappear either.  I WANT to know where this thing is at all times.   He is up so high, I can’t get a shoe up there to whack him, and I’m figuring it would be my luck that the wasp spray I have won’t touch him. That it would only serve to make him madder. Yeah, that sounds about right.

I don’t know why I don’t like spiders.  For whatever reason they terrify me.  I’m constantly checking to see if I feel any possible bites when I see one out and about.  This whole disliking without a real explanation is almost enough to make me believe in previous lives.  If that’s the case, I know bad things, spiders, and me all hung out for quite a while way back before when.

Mama tried everything to try to help me get over what was an unhealthy, almost crippling fear of spiders.  She even got the book “Be Nice to Spiders.”  She read it to us.  A lot.  In it a little boy named Billy leaves his pet spider Helen at the zoo because they are moving to a no-pets apartment.  It’s all about how Helen helps the other animals at the zoo.  Mama wanted me to see all the good that spiders can do.  I appreciate Mama’s efforts, but I still don’t think I will find myself ever being nice to a spider.  If I ever run into Charlotte, she’d better spell quick, because my MO with spiders is kill first, assess the toxicity later.  If I can reach them, that is.

Note to self: Don’t use that door in the morning.