The first full summer we lived in the South we encountered massive and prolific webs of this indigenous species of spider, the Golden Orb.
The spiders themselves get to be quite large and are wickedly beautiful…meaning, these are gloriously colored arachnids that come equipped with some seriously sharp and long legs.
What I found most intriguing was the amount of detail in their webs. Many spiders offer intricate designs in their web-construction, but these Golden Orbs use those as a base on which to further weave additional layers of web construction.
I call them the Jacob’s Ladder addition.
In reality, my ‘Jacob’s Ladder’ weave is called ‘stabilimenta’ or ‘bags of zigzag silk’ which are incorporated onto pre-existing and/or skeleton webs made by immature spiders and used as molting platforms.
No matter, they do leave a lot to the imagination. (Perhaps as an arachnid ‘stairway to heaven’?) And serve as a great visual for understanding some of life’s puzzlements.
Shortly after I returned from my first extended visit with Dad in Colorado, I spent an entire morning with a Camden Compadre re-connecting and discussing our respective creative passions. In addition, we are both in different stages of dealing with the decline and eventual loss of a loved one – specifically our dads. Her father passed away at age 96 a few months ago after a year of hospice. My dad isn’t too far behind that timeline.
Over iced tea (both of us take ours unsweet) we exchanged numerous stories of our respective dads before and during each one’s dementia/Alzheimer’s decline. We shared plenty of laughs. Since we were meeting at a local indie bookstore with a little coffee & tea bar in the back, we managed to keep the tears to a minimum while recounting especially touching tales.
During the course of our discussion, I mentioned that before leaving South Carolina to be with my dad and the extended visit, I was satisfied with how I had organized my projects. The recording sessions were already set aside to continue at a later date and it seemed the well-laid out plan on the edits of my SwS vignettes would be easy to do as snippets of ‘down time’ would allow.
But upon returning I found it overwhelming to even consider picking up where I left off on those edits. And, I struggled to find the path I was on to proceed in the doing of it.
I drew a complete blank on why I even thought I had a clear path in the first place. The organized plans I confidently left in place, were in reality just a pile of papers filled with scribbles.
Forget about progressing to the next level of completion – I couldn’t even find a way through the incomprehensible maze before me; couldn’t see the forest for the trees…the stories for the words…something like that.
My friend Kathryn, in response to my frustrations, spoke these words:
“I’m there, too…it’s like a spider web. For some reason we had a hold of the main strand and it was the strand that lead us through the creative web of content and made sense of it all. For now, just this bubble in time – we’ve lost the strand.”