It looks at me – Derrick Jensen


From Derrick Jensen
Endgame Volume II Resistance

May 22, 2009 Ukiah, Mendocino County, North California

It’s a beautiful day, and solitary bees are flying low to the ground, buzzing around their homes, then crawling underground to deliver food to their unhatched babies. Small black spiders scurry everywhere, and I see an ant carrying an impossibly large piece of wood from who knows where to who knows where for who knows what reason.

There’s a slight breeze, and the tips of redwood branches sway softly. A small blue butterfly lands on my elbow. I walk to the pond. Tadpoles hang beneath the surface, and if I get too close they dive and wriggle their fat bodies into the mud. Caddisfly larvae, looking for all the world like clumps of wet duff (probably because their armor is clumps of wet duff) trundle along reeds. Bright blue dragonflies dip their abdomens into the water, laying eggs, and tiny mayflies hover there, too. A couple of mayflies must have been caught earlier in spiderwebs, for now they’re motionless, suspended.

I sit cross-legged on the ground a couple of feet from the edge, and begin to edit this morning’s work. A quick movement catches me, and I see that a gray jumping spider has landed on my hand. Fearful of accidentally crushing it, I try to wipe it off on a piece of grass. It slips around my hand, always away from the grass and toward me. I let it stay.

It turns to look at me, and I look back at it. I lift my hand so I can better see its gray face and many black eyes. It shifts, too, to keep my face always in view. I shift my hand. It shifts its body. I put my hand back on my knee, and begin to write with my other. The spider moves to the edge of my right hand that is closest to my left, clearly considers the distance, and finally jumps.

It makes it. I stop writing. It peers again at my face, then walks to my wrist. I’m wearing a long-sleeved shirt, and the spider crawls in and out of the folds, stopping now and again to look up at me. It gets to my shoulder. It stops. It looks at me. I look at it, eyes straining to focus this close. I don’t know how long it stays there. Maybe five minutes. Maybe ten. Then it makes its way back down to my wrist, to my hand, and jumps off into the grass.

Life is really, really good.
~~
Spider photo from PBase.com

One Comment

This can be a regular occurrence for anyone who ventures beyond the inside world. I find myself looking at robins looking back at me; conversing with frogs, perhaps too startled to move; even chatting to ants as they crawl across my hand looking for a scent. We have no idea what they are thinking, but they *are* thinking, and so are we: all of us just different components of life.

Civilization despises connnection; which is why it is so important.

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