Autumn’s Web

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“Sometimes it looks like I’m dancing, but it’s just that I walked into a spider web.”  — Demetri Martin

It was with 8 tiny toe shoes I watched the spider dance across the strings of her melodious life:  Freshly sticking, as if it was to force a staccato step to the dulcet tones of Mother Nature: a Flamenco stride across the glistening grid.  Dressed in black, as if she were going to an opera, stepping precisely as not to confuse her audience, she spun her story with such clarity, such precision, there was no room to question why she was cast.

You see, she wasn’t just ANY spider; she was a spider of Mother Nature’s Design: an appreciator of life and erudite in life’s beginning as well as its end.  Knowing her seductive kiss was intoxicating, and the realization that she could wield a power that would drive her prey to a standstill–and if she allowed them to speak, before their mummification, she would revel in the whimpering tones of their abstract-pious-last-chance-negation for life—still, she would finish them off with her petrifying dance; her nefarious glance and her skilled need to take.  She was more than a Charlotte; she was an artist on her stage:  a stage set with silken strings, finding their way to place their sterling-silver kaleidoscope against life’s sky, stretching from limb to post—yes, a stage of her own making.  But, not without a dastardly plot, smoldering in the wings.  

And so here comes the poor and pathetic fly:   buzzing in its perilous ineptitude; doing flips looking for its next landing pad while playing stall-out and performing loop-de-loops through the autumn air.  Like the Jester, believing in the power of its rebirth and the notion of its future.  Because the players are strong; because Mother Nature has written her words in her book of lifetimes, the fly suddenly sees a glimmering:  a fine sequined line off in the distance; a line that emits a fragrant of come hither and try me, you won’t be disappointed; an intoxicating invitation:  And so the fly, like all flies born from nothing but a pile of manure, goes in for the adventure…

Is it intermezzo?  Oh no, it is a ¾ rhythm of fierce power:   Mother Nature.  With toe shoes wrapped tightly; with strings hotly tuned while the spider waits in first position: like a shadow waiting for you to catch-up, standing silently anticipating the landing of the fly:  Waiting to be partnered: waiting anxiously for her curtain to rise, so she may mummify her muse.   

Bzzzzzzzzzzt.  The fly finds his way to the calling; the art of the wheel, the web of intoxication—drunken, he stumbles into it with satisfying pleasure.  Dumb fly?  Oh no, a very smart fly.  A fly who understands his fate is nearing in the chilled winds; a fly resenting the impending closed windows; sealed doors; a fly with nothing to gain , a fly, who takes on the surrender with muster; bravado and alas, the final “ping”…  The Diva, the star of the show, leads on Pointe while wrapping her final feast up for the day.  She pirouettes’ back to center stage where she recoils, waiting for her next encore of the un-suspecting.   Ode to the autumn, she sings; ode to my impending sparkles which lurk between the bushes…

Now, if you’ve gotten this far, in my little story today, you’ve come to know the pacifying story I share with my husband, come autumn.  One of the stories I try to demonstrate artistically, so he might be reminded by how special autumn is and to welcome what comes with it.  He hates spider webs; it’s the rain in his autumn.  While cleaning up the garden, he is forever wiping them from his head; while pruning, yep—wiping them from his head; emptying trash…..well, you know where this is headed.  I on the other hand, see the beauty in the web—almost all webs, when it comes to the living.  We weave them every day; whether it is by truth, or for evil and selfish means.  There’s magic in every season, and autumn brings the magic of looking at life in retrospect: the magic of what aids in the beginning of new life and magic in the beauty it took to bring life to its end.

The web for me, is far more significant.  It reminds me that we’ve turned a corner from growing life to reflecting:  some times from within us and sometimes outwardly—but reflection, none the less.  We feel our mortality: our joints ache a bit more; our memories become a bit sweeter—like the caramel-apple, we prepare to wrap up in all of the sweetness while we look toward holidays, family gatherings, and a glow from the living room fire place:  it’s the axis of looking forward to the seasons of births anew and the charted death of what once was.  It’s everything in many ways.

I love autumn; I love the webs we spin to get there.  I love seeing the webs–like shining ribbons—set atop Gary’s head:  it has become my own heart-warming tradition.  I love the reminder that all life soars toward its own zenith spun from grace and all life must come to an end:  the goal is to come to an end with honor and a wake of love.  I love the execution of Mother Nature and each performance she brings, without the worry of paying for parking or a good seat.   A story we look to; a chapter we live in; and each one has its season…   “To every season…” Yes indeed, autumn is a favorite, spiders and all.

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