That word can really give some the weebeejeebees. Such small and delicate creatures and yet they send many of us into a widespread panic. Personally, I’ve never been overly scared of them, but haven’t not been scared either. (I’ve seen Arachnophobia though and that movie freaked me out.) I mean, those bulbous, brown-near-transluscent ones are not my favorite nor are the flat, close-to-the-grown brown/black ones that scurry around, fast and unpredictable. I never really minded Daddy Longlegs for whatever reason. 🙂 I could appreciate their webs catching insects and keeping areas cleaner in that regard. But I never had an affection for those brown and black beings that frequented my environments. Only loved the Fates. In Greek mythology, the Moirai—often known in English as the Fates—were the white-robed incarnations of destiny. There were three of them: Clotho (spinner), Lachesis (allotter) and Atropos (unturnable). They controlled the metaphorical thread of life of every mortal from birth to death. I even dressed up as Clotho one year for Halloween. Metaphor and reality are two different things though.
My beloved, however, is an animal and critter lover. We went to the Butterfly Pavilion to see the scorpions, the spiders, the butterflies, the chrysalis, and Rosie the tarantula. I had some trepidation about holding her, obviously. It’s one thing to see a spider and not yelp, quite another to purposely hold one. But, he told me that they removed her fangs to make sure she can’t bite anyone, but to keep it on the DL because they didn’t like to talk about it, PITA and all. So I stepped into line to hold her…if he said I was going to be fine, then I was going to be fine. And I was! Rosie was so gentle and tickled my palm. She was very still with me and just hung out on my hand. And I had this overwhelming feeling that I was communing with nature, a side I had yet to experience and appreciate. We put so much of our own human fears onto these species, thus transporting them out of their intriguing natures and into a realm of resistance and fear. As a result, many of us are blind to the genius and ingenuity of many spiders. Did you know some make trap doors to catch their preys or tunnels to get around? Many don’t even use their webs to catch their preys, they tackle their meal! Who knew? Not me 🙂
One day as I’m sitting behind my desk at work, my beloved sent me a picture of a baby blue spider. Yep, an electric-blue, fuzzy, little, baby spider. He sent me a pic of what she would look like all grown up…emerald body with pink and purple legs. I never knew spiders could be so pretty. And before I knew it, I was holding a little Avicularia Versicolor sling in my palm.
One of the things I get asked the most is about her (no, we don’t actually know if she’s a female yet) biting me. And my answer is one that I learned at a Arachnid exhibit we saw in New York.
Spiders work hard to develop their venom and when used, they have to create more. As a result, they don’t want to bite us. The size differences alone make spiders wary of us. We are huge beings to them and they aren’t trying to get close enough to us to bite us. They most likely know that their venom can’t affect us as we are not on their meal menu. Biting us would be an effort in futility. Spiders avoid us and would rather shit and run, or use their urticating hairs, than waste their venom on us.
There has to be a metaphor in that aspect of spiders too. Maybe it’s that there are some things about us that are too precious to give away freely. Perhaps that not everyone deserves our venom. The “pick your battles” adage comes to mind as well. They all ultimately come down to, be aware of where you exert your energy and that the quid matches quo. Some events, situations, people, etc. don’t warrant our attention and may in fact, be more detrimental and draining to ourselves than beneficial. “Precious and fragile things, need special handling,” Depeche Mode.
You are an intriguing, idiosyncratic being. Thrive in your unique flavor of venom. Exert your energy in ways that allow you to flourish as your amazing self and help you along your path. Bypass the futile. You are the only one living your journey. Revel in it 🙂