Perambulations inspired by a spider

Brain things / Thursday, May 4th, 2017

Today begins a week’s worth of daily, pre-scheduled blog posts. This will clear my written but unpublished backlog and make a valiant attempt at ending the navel-gazing I’m fighting this spring. I’m sorry the posts don’t really ask much of you; that feels a little selfish but I can’t fix it right now. Thank you for your forbearance in this matter.

I was watching a spider crawl down my wall and thinking I ought to get up and squish him.

He was just a little spider, though, and I was waiting for my daughter to go to sleep, and I thought I wonder how he decides which of his eight legs to move next? He decides so fast. It’s hard to believe there is really a brain in that little blob at all. Is there? Do spiders have brains?

What is a brain?

If that is the smallest brain, what is the biggest?

Maybe – I was getting very tired, lying there and beginning to think in pictures, not in English – maybe the whole world is the brain of a creature so big and so Other we cannot imagine it. That’s why it’s so important to keep talking to each other – we send the electrical signals within a gigantic brain. Every conversation, every text, every shared smile, every successful connection lights up the whole, and when we stop signaling, something big dies.

I thought on these things sleepily, for some time, and all because of a spider.

After a while I got up and squished him.

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LuAnn Peters
6 years ago


Kendra Sensenig
6 years ago

? Love it!

6 years ago

This is classic! And to think he/she (the spider I’m talking about) has no inkling what it inspired. How can such a small brain inspire someone brainier than itself? Do we inspire brains bigger than ourselves? Hee hee. Ok, this is nonsensical jibberish…I’ll stop while I’m behind.

6 years ago
Reply to  Shari Zook

Hee hee hee! I didn’t tell you but your post prompted the exact same childhood memories in my mind. That’s so funny!

6 years ago

I just wonder if there are creatures that look at me as you looked at that spider and ask themselves: “could she have a brain??!!”

6 years ago

Aww… and you squished him anyway? You are right though, communication with others is so important.

6 years ago

LOL! This is great. Been there and started similar musing over something so small. But couldn’t he have been allowed to live? 😉

Edna Yoder
6 years ago
Reply to  Shari Zook

OK, here is woman # 3 who campaigned for your spider’s life, but privately in her heart! 🙂
Confession: this is my first time commenting on your blog, though I’ve read and enjoyed it for a few years. No excuses, that’s just me. But I had to comment on this. I’m 48 years old, and I still have these kinds of “other-worldly” brainstorms, too. But I let the objects live. Remove them from the house, certainly, though, if they don’t really belong there. 🙂
Seriously though, I think the most profound thought in your essay is “That’s why it’s so important to keep talking to each other.” Thanks, sister. That gave me the courage I needed.

Mama Zook
6 years ago

I can more clearly see where your children get their creative, imaginative, and very expressive brains…certainly not from their very “intense” father! LOL Maybe that’s where they get their intensiveness?! Loved being with all of you this weekend!