Friday, November 16, 2012

My spider friend

comes out only
for me who won’t kill him
scampers across the cold floor, stops
to bond.

Intelligent Life

I wrote that cinquain after my nightly visit from a spider recently. A couple of days later my mom stayed up un-characteristically late. The spider came out for his visit. And she stomped it.

I felt sad but then next night, out came his sister. Mom doesn’t know about her yet and I won’t be telling.

The whole thing made me think about the effect fear has on people.

My dad never saw a spider or snake that scared him. He would trap them and relocate them for my mom’s sake. He taught us the value of snakes, especially the snakes who kill the poisonous snakes and keep the rodent population down.


For my mom the only good spider is a dead spider, the only good snake is a dead snake.

My dad was raised by country people who weren’t afraid of anything much. His world was poverty but not debilitating poverty because his dad was a sharecropper who also raised livestock. And his mom was well versed in the arts of preserving food. They always had food. They frequently fed others. Back in a day when women didn’t work much outside the home, there were several boys in the family to work and to bring home money.

My mom was raised by her mom who was a small town girl, afraid of everything. Mom's dad was mostly absent and when he was around it wasn’t pretty. There were 7 girls and only one boy and very little food.

My father had a way of knowing the world was a safe place for him. (It would have been different if he wasn’t a straight, white male, but that’s a whole nother story.)

My mother is still certain the world is not safe and mostly out to get her.

If my dad had seen the spider he would have said – “It won’t hurt you. It’s just an old wood spider.”

My mom stomped it.


It makes you see everything as a threat that must be annihilated.

I have some of both my parents in me. Having seen the little box my mother’s fears keep her in, I try to follow my father and make decisions believing the world is a safe place.

Not sure how successful I am.

What about you? Do you tend to be led by fear of the world or confidence in it?


  1. Excellent post! (But I still don't like spiders. *shudder* Though I don't kill them. Like your dad, I'm a re-locator.)

    I wouldn't say I'm led by fear, nor would I say I have total confidence in the world. I'd say I get out there and face things in spite of my fears.

    1. That sounds reasonable. And, of course, sometimes fear is a good thing. Keeps us from danger.

  2. WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT TO ME?!?!?!?!!! I can't even begin to tell you how revolting I find spiders. I know, I know, they're beneficial and harmless and blah blah freaking blah. Let me tell you, any spider who has the nerve to enter my house will die. There is no reprieve. Irrational? Probably. Do I care? No. I imagine hell to be nothing but a squirming, writhing mass of spiders I have executed come for their revenge. Gah.

    1. I'm sorry. I didn't know or I would have warned you.
      Okay Julie - cats, Delia spiders. Got it.
      In any case, if there were a hell, you wouldn't be going there.

  3. I have to draw a line in the sand when it comes to those creatures. This is my house and it's a small one. They have almost 70 acres to creepy crawl on. To come in to say hello would be a fatal mistake. Just like the poor two inch bastard that did the other night. Sorry, he should had known better.

    But still a nice article Judy. And your nice. So please be nice and come and collect all of my spiders :o

    1. I'll get right on that. Where are you again? Still in Alaska? Are there a lot of spiders that live in the cold Alaskan climate? Interesting. I need to look that up.

  4. I'm with Delia and braless: spiders belong outside and if they venture into my space, they aren't going to last long. Right now I am besieged by invisible (or probably tiny) spiders that are leaving bits of web all over the place. I am not pleased. Plus, I then feel like I have them on me or in my hair. Ugh. If I were less afraid, I would probably relocate, but that is not possible currently.

    I am glad you can be friends with your spiders. I know they are good for taking care of other bugs. I'm fine with all my spiders coming to visit you if they like. :)

    1. Sending your visitors to me would be find except my mom would freak out.

  5. I have an (irrational?) intolerance of fear. People like your mom, kept in her box of always being afraid, tend to make me...... uh, angry. I know, I need to get better at this, I'm trying, I promise. I just don't understand it. So, ya know, that's obviously my lesson.

    Spiders? Meh. They have a job to do, and I am grateful for them, as I am bats. And of course, I adore snakes.

    Excellent post, I would have liked your dad.

    1. I have spent time in the past being angry with her. I'm over it mostly. I also get angry at fearful people when their fears create obstacles to my freedoms.

  6. We have to get rid of spiders here because of the parrots--can spook them, and then fly up and hit a window and hurt themselves or something.

    But back in Montreal we always let them live. In the summer lots of flies and such get in, so it's nice to have the spiders. My mum lets them live too, likes to watch them adventuring around.

    I do kill ants, to ward off an invasion. And I do kill fruit flies, cause it's hard to just free them. And i would get big invasions of them if they have time to lay eggs.

    Silverfish are fine, I let them live. I don't like Earwigs, but try to ignore them. I'll try to kill flies that are annoying the crap out of me, but prefer if I can shoo them out the window.

    Moths: The cats love to chase and kill and nom them.

    MY WORST: Hornets. OMG. Those I fear, and fear they'll sting a cat. Last summer was the worst, they came in EVERY time I opened the balcony door, any time of day. I don't even kill them cause I'm afraid to! Shiver.

    Fear was a big companion for me these past two years. And i felt like it was embodied in the hornets. There was some fear attached to finding a new job, but the biggest fear was of losing my marriage. Which, it seems, is happening. So maybe once My Worst Fear has fully happened, well, my fears will be gone right? O.o