Thursday, March 21, 2013

Thursday's Children - Spiders...?!

Okay, disclaimer time here - I hate spiders.

No really.

I straight-up loathe them.

I don't care how big or small they are, I don't like them.

They're evil bastards. In fact, at our house, we call them "Satan's Snowflakes." Each one is unique, individually handcrafted by the god of the underworld.

(Yeah, we're a little dramatic here.)

So anyway, my hatred for spiders is...um, well, pretty intense.

I should clarify, I don't want them to die or anything, I just want them as far away from me as possible. Australia would be great! (Sorry, Raewyn.)

But as deep as my fear and loathing for spiders are, I love what they make. I find webs utterly fascinating. I'm not saying I like to unsuspectingly walk through them. That makes me do the Spider Dance of Terror (When neighbor kids point and laugh you know you're doing it right.) but I do love webs. I even love to watch them being created - you know, from a safe distance and through a pair of high-powered binoculars.



I love the intricate beauty of them.  They're as delicate as they are powerful - not unlike stories. You've got the straight bits that form the structure of the web - or the plot points, if you will. Then you've got all the wind-y, lacy parts. They're like the details of the story - the breathtaking turns of phrase that stop you dead and beg you to re-read them.


Webs like stories have a seductive kind of power about them. They invite the bugs and readers inside and the really good ones trap us there. The bugs are toast, but we get away from the story eventually. But the the really great ones take up at least a little bit of permanent space in our minds - catching wisps of thoughts and ideas.

A few years ago, my family and I went to the Bristol Ren Faire in Wisconsin and we came across this woman. She was a storyteller in the Fairy Glen. And while she told stories, she worked on this giant web.






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24 comments:

  1. Okay, now I KNOW we were sisters in a past life!! Just ask my family how loud I can scream (and how fast I can dance) if a spider is anywhere near me. But the webs and stories? EXACTLY. You'd like Anansi, the trickster spider-god of Africa who tells stories. :)

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    1. I knew there was a connection there! :D Anansi sounds like he's right up my alley. :)

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  2. AWESOME post! (You know how much I love metaphors, lol). And I also love webs. I'm not terrified of spiders because we don't have poisonous ones in Maine. But we're moving to a place that does. I may be joining you in that Spider Dance of Terror. "Satan's Snowflakes" bwahahaha - perfect!

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    1. Thank you! :D Should you need to perform it, remember that the Spider Dance of Terror requires lots of arm flailing and high pitched shrieking. ;)

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  3. I've always been a little obsessed with the three sisters from Greek mythology spinning out our fates but in reality I'm also terrified of spiders. I blame it on that awful 80s movie "Arachnophobia." That was it for me. I'm a total wimp. Even with daddy long legs!

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    1. The Fates are fascinating, but I always really loved the tale of Arachne, despite the whole spider connection. Daddy long legs are super creepy - I think because they look like they're going to fly apart at any moment. o.O

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  4. LOL. I can tell that you had a lot of fun with this metaphor, haha. A web really is a beautifully designed, intricate thing, just like a story. Just make sure it doesn't unravel!

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  5. Your post made me laugh (and I needed a good laugh)...Spider Dance of Terror, lol! And yes I too love spider webs. They. Are. Amazing. My first novel pays mention to them...so yeah, I like 'em.

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    1. Yay, I'm glad I could make you laugh! :) As long as there aren't spiders in that book, I'm so there! :D

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  6. I don't mind spiders. Oddly, my daughter who will catch a snake with her bare hands has much the same reaction to a spider that you do. Go figure.

    I loved this post. The story as spider web...fabulous!

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    1. Snakes don't really faze me all that much. Now, my brave spider slayer sister is utterly incapacitated at the mere mention of snakes. It must be a one or the other sort of thing. :)

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  7. I feel that way about snakes, but spiders are okay. Though I HATE being first on the trail in the morning and riding or walking through one. Shudder.

    Love the analogy.

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    1. I walked though a web last spring and a spider bit my lip. It swelled up something awful. Worst morning ever.

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  8. I reallllllly want to see that storyteller. How wonderful! And Satan's snowflakes, love it.

    My least favorite are bathtub spiders. Nothing like being naked and having one of Satan's minions glaring at you from a few inches away. Shiver.

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    1. She was so cool! Oh ick! Bathtub spiders! *SHUDDER*

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  9. Oh wow! That was an awesome post! And it's true about webs and stories. They don't refer to it as weaving for no reason!

    I also love webs, they are amazing. I used to be scared of spiders, but after doing research on them and owning a tarantula, I got over it.

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    1. Thank you! :) And I have to say, you are far, far braver than I'll ever be!

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  10. Oh I hate spiders too - although I'm not offended by the Australian destination - there's a giant ocean between it and NZ! My south african friend told me about a day she was on the motorway with her parents, boyfriend an orange tree and a new kitten in the car and her mother found a tarantular on her head. They pulled over and leapt out in record time. Eventually the spider climbed out of the window and onto the roof of the car. They all jumped back in and sped home (quite a distance away) and found the spider still clinging to the roof. Aparently it took a whole tin of kick-butt South African bug spray to kill it... I only laughed fit to burst because it wasn't me...

    Great post.

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    1. Oh. My. God. O.O

      That would have me rocking in a corner!

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  11. What an interesting analogy and that storyteller @ the Bristol Ren Faire sounds fascinating!

    Thanks for sharing a great post : )

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  12. I remember the spiders! Hate them. Hehe. But, it is amazing how they do their webs. Also, I think writers are spiders!
    Think of it, when we write, we hang on a web of unknown things, and suddenly, where take a strand and go on a journey of who-knows-what.
    Amazing spiders and us.
    Awesome post!!!!

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    1. I love the journey - even though some days I feel like I'm stuck in the web rather than creating it. :)

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