My Shakespeare professor chanted the first lines of Beowulf in Old English to help us better understand the rhythm of Anglo-Saxon poetry. While I’d read the poem multiple times, I didn’t exactly have the first line memorized, but it didn’t matter. There was magic in these words I couldn’t understand and wouldn’t have recognized if you’d placed them before me. But the archaic words hailed something otherworldly, and my soul longed for it, though I couldn’t tell you what it was.
(In this second entry in this three-part series, I will introduce both Mrs. Sir Isaac Newton and Mr. Walt Whitman to our conversation on spiders and longing.) She appeared in the doorway of our deck about five years ago this upcoming September. I never appreciated the arachnids who decided it was their responsibility to decorate the front porch or deck every night and hang there, front legs extended, staring into the house, but I first noticed this speckled and bulbous-bodied spider early in the morning while eating a bowl of cereal.
I had just turned left onto 25-E, headed towards Knoxville, when I felt something looking at me. I glanced to my right. Something definitely was looking at me. Something with too many eyes and too many legs, it’s inky, fuzzy body skirting across my dashboard.