Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Becoming Spydra

Happy Birthday to me -- originally published June 2010

I was always terrified of spiders. 

I’d scan the walls and ceilings of any room I entered for them, often finding it necessary to call my father or my husband -- sometimes call them home from work -- so that THEY would come and kill a spider for me.

The house my husband and I first bought had trees everywhere, and our bedroom was in the finished basement.  I encountered them frequently there...and when I went to sleep at night, it was typically with the sheets covering my head in a spider-shield manner -- terrified one might crawl in my mouth as I slept.

Shortly after the three dreams I had in the year 2000, I was sleeping, spider-shielded...and dreamed a dream that served as an affirmation of the miracles that had occurred upon dreaming them.

Behind the now-closed Bennigan's 

sat the even longer closed Traildust Steakhouse.  It was a huge wooden building that resembled a giant barn,

with very long picnic tables where people would eat;

and if a diner made the mistake of wearing a tie into the place, a gang of singing waitstaff would surround you ringing a cowbell, and snip off the tie with a pair of scissors.

Anyway, I walked into the building, and there were ALL KINDS OF PEOPLE there, standing around a long table murmuring, and staring intently at something in the center.

“What’s everybody lookin’ at…?” I wondered, elbowing my way in so that I could see more clearly. 

To my utter amazement, there in the center of the table was the largest spider I'd ever seen.  About the size of a 32" television, it was shiny and wet, laying motionless on its back with its legs all folded in.  I perceived at once it was newly born.

It was made entirely of opals.

I caught my breath, and thought, "That is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen."

At that moment, the spider began to slowly unfold its long opal legs.  Everyone looking on gasped with horror and took a step back…except for me; fascinated, I leaned in closer.

I then awoke…and from the moment I opened my eyes, I knew I was no longer afraid of spiders.  And I knew it was another God-dream; I knew it was another miracle.

I tell you this story now because I was just looking up the word “watcher” in the Bible, and was surprised to read the following defininition: 

Strongs Concordance defines a watchman as: 6822  tsaphah (tsaw-faw');  a primitive root; properly, to lean forward, i.e. to peer into the distance; by implication, to observe, await: KJV-- behold, espy, look up (well), wait for, (keep the) watch (-man).  

I spend some of my time serving as a Spider Ambassador, pointing out their benefits, teaching others how to practice good spider awareness and spider avoidance, and encouraging children not to fear them.  Here's a link to my absolute favorite childrens' story about spiders:  Sophie's Masterpiece.

Betcha didn't know the Dutch word for "spider" is "spinn."

When I encounter a spider, if lets me see it only once – say, crossing the ceiling from one side to the other, and continuing on its way -- my usual habit is to leave it undisturbed.  If it shows itself to me more than that, or dawdles, or surprises me, I dispatch with it quickly.  

Thrice I've been moved to catch one in a jar and set it free outside:  once, due to its absolute enormity; another, because it was still alive six weeks after some kid had trapped it in an airless jar; and a third, because it was the loveliest shade of lilac, and was just dangling there, delicately.

The other day in my bedroom, I moved a scanner, and was surprised by a weird little black spider with spots on its back; I screamed like a little girl, and killed it quick.

I hate when that happens.

But now, other people actually call me up frantically, begging me to come and kill a spider they’ve encountered; and though it pains me somehow and fills me with a sense of betrayal, I come and I slay the spider – often with my bare hand -- panicky friend shrieking and panting and thanking me, regarding me with awe and wonder.

That's how I became 

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