For the past couple of weeks, I've checked in on the black widow spider at the studio. She's been in the same spot for a while. But these last few times I've seen her, she hasn't looked well. Seeing her gave me a sad, sickly feeling of worry. I found myself wondering if she was even the same spider I had fallen in love with. Not because I didn't love her - but she just didn't seem so strong and powerful as she once was. Remember when E.T. started getting sick, needing to be home and Elliot could feel his pain? That's how I felt. That's how I feel. There's a big part of me in her. And vice versa.
I work at the studio only two half-days a week and I always see her. Cheryl is co-owner of the studio and never sees her. Cheryl always sounds surprised [and a little disappointed] when I report a sighting and give her updates. One time I came by while Cheryl was working and tried to point her out. But when Cheryl walked over, the spider scurried. I guess it's just not meant to be that others see her. You know, like Big Bird's friend Snuffy. For the longest time, no one could see him.
On my way home from the mountaintop this afternoon, I decided to pick up photos I left for developing about a month ago. I remembered I had taken a far shot of the black widow and today, for some reason, I just had to see the picture.
I arrived at the studio and looked at the pictures. The above photo is not the clearest image - but it's the only picture I have of her. I wish you could've seen her the night I first met her. She was big, bright and bold - with her red hourglass out and proud. Beautiful.
After seeing this picture, I went to her corner to check on her. And before I even got over there, I saw her - but I hoped it wasn't her. There. On the floor. Curled up. Dead.
I dropped to my knees and begged to God, "Please don't let it be her." I turned her over, looking for that distinguishable marking on her underbelly. She seemed so frail, so small, so powerless. Her hourglass was hardly noticeable. I wept. And wept.
I scooped her up and put her someplace safe. She deserves a ceremony. I'm still secretly praying this is a decoy and my totem is still alive and well somewhere watching over me. I'm not fully convinced she's gone.
But there are many lessons in this. The black widow spider has been a powerful presence in my creative world. There have been some shifts in my life, my creativity, my writing in the last few months. Perhaps now that she's home, I will start this next phase of my journey with a bigger heart, a clearer mind and a stronger spirit.
Goodbye my hero. You may have left your shell, but your spirit lives on.