She chose the lamppost. As good a spot as any. Two sides of support and a light by which to catch supper during the blue hour. She begins. And so I watch. Already pictured in her mind, she creates the foundational threads. There are many tasks that I need to do today, but a few moments watching the spider weave….
“The spider’s touch, how exquisitely fine! Feels at each thread, and lives along the line” -Alexander Pope
She is resolved in her design. Her execution. Her path. She knows nothing of creativity, and yet everything. The circular shape begins to take form. Observing the spider is a waste of time. Tasks to accomplish. The necessary. Expectations. Go and do.
She is lovely and nimble and delicate. She is murderous and calculating. Her art is life, it is death. It is strength, it is fragility. Dew begins to form gem-like beads. It is beauty, it is horror.
“’Will you walk into my parlor?” said the Spider to the Fly; “‘Tis the prettiest little parlor that ever you did spy” -Mary Howitt
She has my fixed attention. But I stand in guilt. It is foolishness to be so captivated by her. It is ridiculous luxury to do nothing but watch a task-oriented spider go about her day.
Cars drive past, productivity surrounds me. She has not torn a single gossamer thread. It glistens in the morning light. Jagged circles. A gentle breeze catches the nearly completed web. It sways. She pauses. The lovely web holds firm.
The spider finishes her grand art, unaware of its grandeur. Settles back in an innocuous spot to look from afar. To watch. To observe. To feel the subtlety of motion that ultimately motivates her action. She does not look guilt-ridden. She is present. She waits.
I smile, bid her a good day and leave.
“The artist is a receptacle for the emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.”