Friday, March 31, 2017

Thoughts on Cozying Up to a Spider

            Thoughts on Cozying Up to a Spider
            “Come visit me in my web,” said the Spider to the Fly. We all know that story!

            I’ve been called a stubborn woman. Maybe I am. I don’t understand why I can’t learn a life lesson once and for all. Some lessons make me feel like a mouse on a treadmill; Every time I roll around the wheel, I get smacked with the same lesson.  

            I like people. People generally like me. I like for others to like me. Some wise men (and women) claim that all we really want is for someone to love us. Sometimes we go about finding love or liking or approval in strange ways.

            An aside that still has me giggling, I just discovered that a Harlem man who doesn’t like me and never made that a secret, has the same birthdate as me! The man says I’m crazier than a coot. Who am I to argue?

I came to view that man with compassion, while staying out of his way. I’ll bet anything he only wants people to see things his way, but when they don’t, “Off with their heads!” (Metaphorically speaking.)

Back to my treadmill. This time the shoe is on the other foot. The person acts as if he likes me, as far as I can tell. But I feel uncomfortable. Squirmy. I locate the closest exit.

I don’t like to not like someone. I want a good reason. I want to like everyone. Impossible, I know. And I do believe people are put in our path to teach us. I try to be open to the lesson.

What got me started telling this is that I cannot seem to let go my discomfort. I keep mulling over my situation as if I could/should “fix” it. I’ve gone to bed too many nights pondering—what lesson am I supposed to learn? I’m assuming, since person is in my life for a reason, a light-bulb will suddenly appear, bright and shining, above my head, illuminating a parchment scroll with problem and solution laid out in an orderly manner.

Ah, patience. Ah, tolerance. Ah, live and let live. That’s all well and good.  Fortunately, for me, I don’t have frequent interactions with the person.

In the night, one of my muses, the plain speaking one, shook my shoulder, “Wake up, Dummy. You know that little problem you’ve been turning over and over with no solution? I can’t stand it when you are so obtuse. Listen up. If I handed you a poison mushroom, would you eat it?”

“No, of course not.” I sputtered and rolled over, still half asleep.

“Don’t ignore me. I’m installing your lightbulb,” insisted my Muse. “If a person is toxic to you, do you keep hanging out with that person? Do you willingly want to be poisoned?”

The Muse handed me a scrapbook. For a moment, he looked like the Ghost of Christmas Past. I sat up in bed and turned the pages. 

“Oh, yes, I remember her. Gosh, I had forgotten all about him. And this one.  Ouch! I see what you mean. Toxic relationships. Spiders and poison mushrooms and such.”

“Now you get it,” said my Muse. “It’s the nature of the spider . . .:

“To spin a web to poison the fly.” We finished together.

The pictures in the scrapbook were from my past, persons who had not been good for me, who were “poison” to me in some way. Once I had recognized the toxicity, I realized each person was a gift, to teach me what I needed at the time. I remained polite, respectful, but didn’t have make them best friends. The lightbulb shone brightly.

“Thanks, Muse.”

“Da nada.”

“Hey, You there, Spider. Go spin in your own tangled web. I have better places to be.”

Sondra Ashton
HDN: Looking out my back door

March 30, 2017

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