With all those legs you might think a spider would have less wisdom. You might think she’d draw a blueprint, beforehand and hold it up in two of them for all her own eyes to see. But she doesn’t.
Wiser, she just builds it. Across rafter triangles small at odd angles around the rusty screw and over the fluff of the moth and past the old abandoned mud daubers’ clump of hive looking like outsized dusty honeycomb. She builds it from the most ragged leaf dangling off the irregular limb of the branch hanging in morning light and so dried from first dew. She attaches it across on the other side, equally jagged.
She is a master improviser.
The web itself always turns out beautiful and so seemingly standard and recognizable in shape but most of all function. It is the graceful junction of use and beauty. Practical artistry like culture. She builds it through work from working gorgeously.
Not from a master plan.
And then to think of her playing it. Like a harp. In duet with whatever she catches. Reciprocated tugs and snagging snatches against the silk, in concert, a net of twitches equal to song.
Not altogether different, I tell myself, from what I am doing as I clean and purge my own humble abode and make an effort to fully declutter my environment. I pick things up and move them, shifty.
Some I shift out into the garbage, black plastic bag first and then the pile stacked in the back of the pick-up truck. Some things I clean and find a place for, I place them, then. Others i move to some other room. Some room not yet cleaned and then after the first room, sometimes backward to some room already done. Re-cluttering the already decluttered thus requiring another round of de-decluttering.
A dance that alternates between building up the web and tugging it loose again, playing it’s harp strings and preserving the initial structure but improving and accommodating and breaking it and twirling it round.
I am driving to the landfill, parked on the scale, thinking about the law of conservation of mass, of energy, of everything and all forces. I realize, this decluttering truly is nothing more than shifting that no matter how far I take things, to the next room, to the curb, to the landfill, to the burn, no matter they still exist and they do it in connection with me.
I feel all the things I’ve ever “owned” or touched or even seen like the harping heart strings that are the spider’s web weaving us all together in a million interlocking little netty netted systems. Conserved, connected, collaborative - forever and inescapably. I feel my place and its roots and its veins and the rain of it all washing us clean off into each other. An ocean of each other from out ourselves.
Buoyant bodies shifting up next to each other. Tender images sloshing, I invite you into them at the end of a long strong and gentle armful of fingers tipped soft and curled in welcome. The light weight of the child in waist deep adult water. pulled in easy hands to the chest clinging comfort for both close at heart the warm skin of wet necks to wet shoulders. Grown apart into together. Over and over, never.