Yesterday I awoke to find a spider had spun its web in front of the door to the patio. It had suspended its gossamer world between a coffee maker and the door lintel in such a way that when I swung open the door, the spider–resting in the very center of its creation–was unperturbed and the web held.
It took my dog, Leela, walking inadvertently through the web to destroy this little spider’s home-base. She was the perfect height for destruction.
Spider was fast. She rappelled down to the floor and then zoomed a new line just like Spider Man to the top of the door. I was left feeling awe for her resilience, compassion for her innocence. She had built her place of refuge and nourishment in an unsafe space-time co-ordinate. Ironically, and laughably, she did not trap a fly, but rather attempted to net a 60 pound German Shepherd.
My dog Leela was named the same Sanskrit word that means “a way of describing all reality, including the cosmos, as the outcome of creative play by the divine absolute (Brahman).”
In my kitchen that morning, the play of God was a tragi-comedy starring a spider and a dog. And the observer…me.
Nothing I encounter is ever without meaning. Alone in my kitchen, barely awake and making my morning coffee, this was my first interaction with the manifest world. Just like when I dream at night, I choose to be lucid in my life. I choose to see that all happenings are reflections of my own creation, a story unfolding in each moment. A story that is not just random, but gorgeously divinely inspired.
So I looked a my spider episode and asked: Where do I need to find compassion for another today? Do I need it for myself? Am I the resilient one in the face of a clumsy destruction? Or has someone else blundered into a web of meaning and destroyed it?
It was only after the spider web dialogue with the universe that I opened up my laptop to discover I was the target a friend’s anger. That something I had written to this person a few days ago, had ignited a protest (a thinly veiled public one and a volley of private messages).
And I saw at once how the spider, the web, the dog Leela, that moment of sudden unravelling, was a premonitory metaphor for what was to unfold minutes later. And so allowed compassion for my predicament to be present. And compassion for the other, who lashed out in pain and reaction.
And most surprisingly, there was no need to rush to restore anything…spider will rebuild her creation elsewhere. It’s is not mine to recreate.
I wrote this poem a few years ago, featuring spider. It seems appropriate today, to share it.
Did you know? Something good
is always trying to happen,
even when a loose thread unravels
the whole of existence, or one snag
in the dreamtime becomes a gap
in the fabric of your plans?
I walked through a web one morning,
a shimmering creation that spider
had spun right over my door,
placed so that when I crossed the threshold
I tore right through all the hard work,
all the nights weaving, leaving
a hole in my path.
And in a certain light, I knew
that this was not a destruction
but a way through to something,
that my clumsy passage had left
a possibility–in my wake,
trying to happen.
Dec 17, 2009
Awareness is here, weaving her story,
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