Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Craftsmanship Revisited

Many of you know I've been trying to get back in touch with "me" time and what makes me happy. In relation to this, I am re-running an excerpt of a post from the early days on my blog, about pursuing who and what you were meant to be.

I'm a busy busy girl still ... please forgive my lame blog habits. But hey, recycling is good for everyone, right? ;)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

A painted garden spider was building a web between the dogwood and the hedge outside of my front window yesterday evening. The Hub and the boy were cutting the grass, so I had the time to sit for a while and watch her work.

I love spiders. I know this is an oddity among women, but I really do. Not only do they eat bugs that I’m less fond of (like mosquitoes and flies), but they are nature’s graceful epitome of the trade master and artisan. Delicate. Precise. Patient.

All the things I’m not.

I was reminded of a class I took in college as I watched her weave. It was a strange class of which I don’t remember the title, about becoming aware of our connection with Mother Earth and all her beings and elements. It was taught by an aging hippie with pewter colored hair that had not been cut (or shaven) for a long time. She wore cotton tee shirts and peasant skirts, and always jingled faintly when she moved, the way Hindu women do.

Part of the course involved picking a creature or element that would be our “life form” for the duration of the course. Something we would connect with, commune with and essentially become, symbolically and transcendentally. As our exercises evolved, so would our connection with their roles and purposes on the planet.

I chose the spider. The spider is a creature that I have always been fascinated by and respectful of, and this exercise in observances taught me much about why – and what I desire in myself metaphorically - perhaps the root of my admiration of them.

These memories of lofty standards pined for came back to me as I watched the garden spider work. She busied herself intently with her project, weaving skillfully. A perfect web. Beautiful. Delicate. Strong. Practical and functional. Graceful slender legs moving, maneuvering, measuring effortlessly. I thought upon the lessons of how success is rewarded for immaculate craftsmanship, lack of discouragement, and a bottomless well of perseverance and patience.

Perhaps my flippant attitude towards the notion of pursuing my crafts more seriously relates directly to that. The skills and traits of the spider within are not what they used to be. I don’t take myself and my so-called talents seriously anymore. But perhaps it’s not a matter of taking, but of simply being. Being what you were designed to be – doing what you were designed to do. The spider doesn’t worry about failure, only in creating what she must to live the life she was meant to live.


Michelle said...

I had several comments forming in my head as I read this beautiful post and I haven't been able to decide which one's I want to leave here. Maybe all of them.

A. I hate spiders. I've had a strong fear of them for a very long time. One that I don't even want to be cured of. The fact that you like them and chose that species for your "life form" surprises me because I like you so much! :)

2. I can't even think of what creature or element I would chose to become symbolically. But I'm intrigued by this and am going to give it some thought.

C. The spider doesn’t worry about failure, only in creating what she must to live the life she was meant to live. I'm going to use your own words against you in the future. Beware.

Rebecca said...

I KNEW you and I were alot alike. I love spiders.... I always say a big spider, is a well fed spider! I love when I see a spider crawling along the ceiling because that means the chances of mosquitos being present are slim to none!

ANd - being a fan of Charlottes Web as a child didn't help either. ;)

*** said...

Again, very well written. And as I read it a second time, I'm wondering about myself and my purpose. My flippant attitute as well...leaves me feeling a little lost.

Martie said...

I, too, have always had a healthy respect for and a strong fascination with spiders. But I'm with Naive on this one.....I'm scared to death of them and don't like them....especially in my house! I'm not like Rebecca, I would rather have a flying around.

You have made me wonder what creature or element I would chose....defintely needs more thought on my part!

Martie said...

Oops....I forgot the word mosquito in there....just before flying around! Crazy old people, huh?

Anonymous said...

WHOA! This is really beautiful and thought-provoking --and I HATE spiders!

All I gotta say is if there's more of these hidden gems in your blog, then keep recycling!!!

Anonymous said...

I love it ! Very creative ! That's actually really cool Thanks.