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Spider Wisdom


Don’t force women to live in something that looks like a funeral shroud. It will become prophetic.

When I looked out onto the portal this morning, I saw a single, shimmering strand of spider filament extending many feet from a post to the trumpet vine on the coyote fence. It made me think about our problem with Iran.

But first about the spider. There must have been many at work during the night, because as I stepped out to take a closer look, I saw aerial paths in the juniper as well. How do they do this? It was a breezy morning, so maybe the spider launches on a draft, filament unraveling as it goes.

The distance airborne is amazing. What’s the plan? Is this a shortcut to a destination where a web will be spun to catch prey? Does the spider have to rest to produce more web material, or does it reel the line in for re-use? I thought guiltily about all the mornings I must have barged through the mystery on my way to the bird bath.

Human beings always seem to be barging around, but Mother Nature is acting up as well, this time in Iran. The country is reeling from twin earthquakes (6.4 and 5.3) that have stricken the northwestern part of the country. Although we stand ready to back Israel up when they attack, possibly this fall, we have sent an official message of sympathy and “stand ready to offer assistance in this difficult time.”

Confusing. However, this moment strikes me as a shift in the wind that the spider exploits so cannily, a moment that could be used to speak directly to the people when leader to leader is not working.

Iran has major faults, and Tehran has long been known as one of the five most likely places (along with Los Angeles, Tokyo, the Pacific Northwest, and Indonesia) for devastating quakes. In fact, an Iranian seismologist is even now predicting a 7 quake that will cause an unprecedented loss of life in a country that does not build protectively.

In anticipation of this possibility, a cleric announced back in 2010 (I keep notes) that women who wear revealing clothes and behave promiscuously in violation of Islam’s moral codes are to blame. I personally do not believe that Mother Earth has a moral or dress code, and this could be a teaching moment in that regard.

President Obama could address the people of Iran, bypassing their misguided leadership, and ask,  “What are you doing developing nuclear capabilities when your country is riddled with faults and when damage to a reactor could multiply by many times the destruction that will be caused by the earthquake your scientists have already warned is inevitable?

“Of course, we will be there to assist you in the event of such a tragedy, and I’m sure the Israelis will do the same. It is Mother Nature who rules in the matter of earthquakes, you mustn’t be misled by any claim that women are at fault in this matter. Look at us. We allow our women to appear in public in any vulgar and revealing costume they choose, and we haven’t had a catastrophic incident since the San Francisco earthquake of 1906—when they were wearing long dresses.

“In fact, we have found feminine equality a tremendous asset to the vitality of our country, and you should consider the same. Don’t force women to live in something that looks like a funeral shroud. It will become prophetic.”

Like I said, opportunity is knocking—the opportunity to start being clever diplomatically and to advance civilization rather than perpetually throwing our weight around in pursuit of apocalypse.

We must watch the spiders in the garden, and the way will become clear.


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