Perambulations inspired by a spider

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 This will clear my written but unpublished backlog and make a valiant attempt at ending the navel-gazing I’m fighting this spring.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.