Wednesday, October 01, 2008

more signs of autumn

I went out on the front porch just now to take a photo of the fog. It's lifted already, and it's cooler out than I expected on this gray day. Immediately I noted the trees - several are changing colors to gold and red already, and even the green ones are a duller green. Autumn is happening around us.

There are three dead garden spiders on the front porch. They have lived and died, and I believe the perfect egg sacs I see hanging in various spots up near the porch ceiling belong to them. I am both afraid of and fascinated by spiders, especially the yellow and black ones, the ones I grew up knowing as the "writing spiders."

They represent writing in all its glory: the mystery, the brightness, the sticky web, the creativity, and the fear, too. I think if we as writers don't feel a little fear as we write, we probably aren't going deep enough. We are staying in the zone of our own comfort. The novels and poems and stories that touch us deeply are the ones that go further. Readers can feel the journey of the writer between the lines of the story.

It was sad seeing the spiders curled on the porch, legs unnaturally bent, color already fading.

There is one huge one left, just outside the porch but perfectly visible through the railing. She had a gigantic horse fly in her clutches. I'm glad there is still one living out there, writing until I get the keyboard and take up where I left off with the books.

I tried to take a photograph and the little icon flashed - the battery was dead. Fitting on this autumn morning when the end of so many little seasons are all around.


Grey Horse Matters said...

Spiders have never bothered me, I guess it's sad that they have to die at the end of a season. They seem to take care of a lot of insects I'd rather not have around. I never knew about the writing spider, that's interesting. My main concern has always been snakes, I'm happy when they finally go underground for the winter and I can't happen upon them and be surprised.
Our trees are starting to turn colors too and lose some of their leaves. I do love the crispness in the air at this time of year.

billie said...

Yesterday after Halloween costume shopping, the kids and I went by the Arboretum - a favorite place for all of us. We saw the most beautiful garden snake.

Last night it got down to 49 - and this morning the geldings are running and rearing and bucking and looking quite Baroque in their movements out there. It's almost as good as watching the Spanish Riding School Lipizans. :)

Peggy Payne said...

Funny when machines provide omens and messages, like your battery dying. My computer has run amok. It types things I didn't type. Not quite sure what to make of this, but I'm heading straight to a repair person tomorrow morning.

billie said...

Peggy, that's odd - hope it's fixed quickly!

Although I'm intrigued with what's being typed out!

Laughing Orca Ranch said...

As usual your writings made me sit still, focus and relax. You have such a way of calming.

I don't mind spiders if they live outside, but inside, their little webs filled with dead and dying little black carcasses gives me the willies.
Makes me feel as if my home is unkempt and forlorn, as well.

I wonder if Charlotte was a Writing Spider?


billie said...

I always think of Charlotte as a writing spider, although I think the description in the book says she was solid black.

We have many of what I call the ballerina spiders in our house. They are very delicate, whimsical creatures, and they stay in their little areas, very respectful of my space.

There are several near the kitchen window, and I leave them there because they actually help with the ants that sometimes come through the window. For some reason, the little bundled ant bodies don't bother me. They drop them down in a neat, tidy little pile beneath their webs when they're done, and I wipe them away.

I've never seen the ballerina spiders until we moved here - and I attribute much of my making peace with arachnids to their delicate beauty.