| drew davidson |
 

 

an idea of a story, a story of a spider, a spider of an idea

by
Drew Davidson


It feels different now.
It crawls about, looking for Its proper place in this world. A world of words, images.
And reality.
A place to nest is what It seeks, to germinate, to get others, to grow. It's on the ground, feeling the need to get higher. But the ground is a good place to start. On solid, well-packed dirt.
On the dirt, It wants to make Its way, to get a sense of Its surroundings. It stretches, trying to extend itself in many ways. Boldly, It tries. It may lack specific direction, but It has substance, form, action.
It is dark brown, with short hair bristling off eight legs that support Its arachnid body. The bulbous abdomen with spinnerets sprouts a narrow stalk which connects to Its head. Little feelers clean Its fangs. It views multiple worlds through Its multiple eyes.
Each world a different possibility, yet similar.
It uses Its long, segmented legs to reach out tentatively. Skittering around, It's making progress. The rhythm It has attained is comforting.
Its jumping, tapping legs.
Up, down, up, down.
The pitter-patter of little fingered feet.
It feels a cool breeze, flowing over the dirt. A hinting breeze, promising grass, soil, water.
Life.
It toils on tirelessly into the suggesting zephyr. The breeze gusts, turning back behind It now, blowing hot, dry dirt.
It stops.
Instinctively, It produces a long, thin strand of silk from Its spinnerets. It casts the strand into the breeze. The strand slides high into the air, lifting It off the dirt, ballooning It toward the promise held in the air.
Up in the air, so high, It can see the green forest, growing bigger and greener as It drifts closer. The sun shines down in approval, nice and warm. The big blue sky is an open invitation and It whisks onward.
It looks down.
The plain of brown dirt gradually gives way to the thickening green forest. The wind slackens and It slowly falls. Down It slides as the towering tops of the evergreen pines rise up to meet It.

Off in the distance It spies a hawk floating toward It, riding majestically on currents of air. The hawk draws near, seemingly unaware of It. Closer and closer, It can hear the wings slicing through the space. A gust and It slaps off the hawk's plumage.

It falls inevitably earthward, disconnected from Its web.
Colors blur, the blue of the sky , the green of the grass, the brown of the tree trunks.
It flips and flops, end over end, bouncing off, and being buffeted by, branches.
Thump, a branch. Thump, another. Thump, thump, thump.
Thump, the ground.

Or so It thinks, at the very least It feels Its body has stopped moving. At least in relation to the world.
Its inner balance is dizzy, still rapidly flipping in free fall. A whizzing whirlwind of images still zooms in front of Its eyes. It realizes It's upside down, and flips right side up. The whirling readjusts perspective but doesn't go away.
Unsteady, unsure, It stumbles forward, back, then forward again.
The trees push It akilter, off to the side, the other side.

But It manages to keep moving, through the blades of grass, the pine needles and leaves. Feeling more in control as It attempts to take initiative in Its movements, still wobbling from side to side and slowing down as the forest continues to lean.
But It makes progress.
Onward, through dogwoods, pines, elms and oaks. A forest that has stopped careening about so violently.
Onward, the world has regained solidity without losing any possibility for It. Onward, approaching something new.

A clearing opens up. The dirt of the clearing is soft, loose. The warm sun shines through the canopy of leaves. It senses the happy gurgling of a creek nearby, the cool, inviting water. Across the sand It sidles, back into the bush, the shade.
Slip, slide, splunk.

It finds Itself upside down in a dank gully. Righting Itself, It regains Its situation with the ground, slightly wary, and somewhat weary. But, It is ready for whatever, and It continues toward water.
It feels firm in Its footing, legs in motion. Through the undergrowth and over the forest floor, It weaves Its way to the bank. The creek meanders by, giggling down the rocky bed, winding back and forth, happily following the path gravity has dictated.
It finds a bush with roots embedded in the water's edge, and sturdy branches reaching out across the water. It climbs the bush onto branches overhanging the water.
Here, within this bush, this setting, this context, It will weave Its web.
Here is the place where It will nest, and fully grow.
Innately, It trolls a strand of silk up into the air. The strand sticks, attaching to a branch above. It secures the silk to the branch It's on, and climbs onto the thread, adding more yarn to reinforce the webbing. It then drops, riding a lengthening filament to a lower branch and anchoring a strand of web there as well. It repeats this process, laying out the strong foundation, the thick spokes upon which It will weave Its fine yarn.
The base completed, It works out from the hub, connecting the thick spokes with a spiral of thinner twists, interlocking them together.
From nothing but Its jumbled self, comes this wild, beautiful, organized something. The whorled quirks of silk coalesce and form an elegant orb as the web nears fruition, and realization.

The web is complete, exquisitely done, but not quite finished. For the web is merely an invisible masterpiece, an undiscovered gossamer delicacy. Now comes the hard part. The waiting.
It climbs onto the branch, above the web. Hidden in foliage, It keeps a leg on one of the spokes, ready to sense any vibrations, any reaction to Its web.
And It waits.
The sun slowly sets, sparkling off the rippling water, illuminating and modulating Its web into a glinting, ephemeral rainbow.
Darkness falls and the web's prism fades with the coming of night. It withdraws from the web to rest. Gradually, It falls with the night into sleep. The fleeting gossamer rainbow of Its web remains a tangible image, still vivid.

A wind picks up during the night, racing through the forest, whipping up leaves and twigs, stirring up trouble. The wind slices through the web, leaving the spokes unharmed. But leaves and twigs strike the web, some ripping through the silk, leaving gaping holes and loose ends. Others catch in the threads, snagging and sticking, blocking up the filament.
The wind dies down, but damage has been done.
Overhead, the moon silhouettes the silken spiral, showing the web's shimmering, tattered remains.
The rest of the night passes peacefully, till the sun peeks over the world again for a new morning, a fresh start.

It awakes and crawls to Its web, feeling out the damage, the holes, shreds, and garbage in Its yarn. It simply begins fixing Its web. It pulls leaves and twigs out of the threads, dropping them into the water to be washed away. Then It mends the holes and snips off loose ends. It works out the troubles, not returning the web to the exact, original form and composition, but a new one, a better one.
If only because the similar but different webbing works just as well, possibly even better.
Once again, It returns to the branch, ready for any vibrations.

It hears a slight buzzing of an approaching fly. The fly is humming over the water, right toward the web.
The fly drones around the gossamer beauty, zipping so close as to almost touch the strands.
But the fly doesn't make contact. The threads don't capture, the yarn doesn't enmesh, It doesn't grow. The fly appears to notice the web, buzzing about the intriguing yarn, and yet hesitating, possibly finding flaws in the filament.
For no web can be perfect.
So off the fly buzzes.

Leaving It to wait.
And while It waits, a second fly advances, buzzing to the web.
This fly purports to be enraptured with the yarn, perhaps
finding the web wonderful, the imperfections endearing, honest. For this fly doesn't buzz about, but dives into the threads, sticking.
Becoming a part of the web, but more importantly, a part of It.
The fly adds to It and It adapts to the fly. They accumulate and innovate each other together.
The consummate symbiotic, symbolic and systemic relationship.
It reaps what It has sown and returns, ready to grow some more.

The web is done, but It will never be finished. Alive and well as long as others get entranced with Its web, and make It a part of them and them a part of It. It can flourish indefinitely, forever. It gets others as others get It.


 

 


 

| drew davidson |