I wrote this really gentle paragraph about a spider a few weekends ago. With my legs resting on the chaise in a quiet hotel room, I unfolded my laptop. I figured out that the window cranks open, so the cool morning air kept me company as I listened to Amber Run Radio.
Kal was sitting outside enjoying the last hour before checkout. He sat in a little nook where the day before I had propped my feet on a wicker table while reading The AJC. I’d snuggled under the spa robe guests were encouraged to wear everywhere throughout our stay, and I’d read a grainy newspaper–from its obituaries to the Dear Abbey column. I even read the comics since I didn’t have anywhere else I had to be.
In the small weekend of luxuries, we celebrated his birthday and remembered what adult quiet feels like.
So my paragraph was all about this spider I encountered on the other side of the restaurant’s glass during our first breakfast. A dried leaf had fallen onto the invisible web, and the spider wrestled with the trapped leaf for a little while. Spiders creep me out, so I didn’t stare for long. By the time I finished eating, I looked up to see the spider release the leaf. She was indifferent about it. The leaf fell gracefully down to earth, and the spider went quietly about the business of living.
I’ve tried to figure out why this image stood out to me. We were at a vineyard, an old, hidden treasure; I had a few moments to write about gratitude, about the tipsy dinner the night before, about how it takes a full day to get the kinks out, and about how commitment can take you somewhere new.
But my focus included this independent spider who untangled something out of its careful design.
Maybe to look up and see something release a burden so swiftly is what intrigued me the most. Sometimes it can take us giants years to release just fragments of the matter that doesn’t serve us.
Reading back on the writing now, spider and all, I recognize how much I want to hold on to that temporary calm; a weekend of both shared and independent experience that count in our business of chasing after life.