Sunday, August 26, 2012

Spiders and Snakes

  It's been over a month since writing some Notes, and well, there it is.  I do want to be more consistent about writing this blog. No excuses or promises of being better about it this time though.  Either I will or I won't.  I have been doing a lot of writing though.  Just not for this blog.  I guess you could say I've been using writing as therapy lately.  I've been lucky enough to find a therapist I don't have to pay.  Someone I don't even have to go see for that matter.  Someone who reads the words I vomit into the ether without direct judgement.  And I feel I've come a long way.  I was in stasis for a long time.  As often as I've told you that change is good and all the other  things we've discussed here, sometimes you just lose sight of your path.

  Some of you reading this might remember me mentioning in a past post or two how writing this blog started becoming very formulaic for me.  How I started trying to satisfy some set of self-imposed parameters.  That should've been a clue for me right there.  There was something wrong and I couldn't see it yet.  The thing was I wasn't really being creative any more.  Not in how I was approaching writing.  Not in how I was approaching life.  I really need to be creative in some fashion.

  And then there was the whole social aspect to life.  I have been spending the bulk of my time alone.  Not that I particularly mind being alone.  I never really feel like I get lonely.  Well, maybe every once in a while.  Nothing major though.  My point is that the whole purpose of this blog started out as a study in interaction. Kinda hard to talk about living with other human beings if you're always only in your own head.  I just didn't feel comfortable enough in my own skin I guess to want to be around others much.  I have been reconnecting with life outside me a lot lately though.  The all important human interaction drives my creativity with this blog.

  Right.  Now that that's out of the way, let's move on shall we?            

  I've wanted to write a post for some time now.  A lot of things have crossed my plate that I might have written to you about.  I just couldn't though.  Until today.

  Are you familiar with any Native American belief systems?  About totems and the medicine they carry?   As usual I know just enough to get me in trouble.  I've been blessed enough in my life to have been close to someone who exposed me to it.  I've  talked about it and even found out what my personal totem is.  I can't for the life of me remember what it is, but I knew at one time.  The idea is that everything around us has something to teach us.  A totem can be anything in nature.  If you notice a feather on the ground don't just pass it by.  It's trying to tell you that you are on the right path in some aspect of your life.  Have you seen a Red Tail Hawk lately?   He can see the distant hill and the rabbit trying to hide right under his gaze.  Hawk sees the bigger picture without losing the detail. Hawk may be telling you that you are ready to make a decision about something or make some change you've been pondering.  This way of thinking was an every day part of life.  Not a fad or religion, but a way to see the world we walk on.  A way to be part of the world along with every other single thing.

  Many of us don't even come close to realizing that we are part of the world and not its lord and master.  Few people would be mindful enough in today's world to realize that a simple spider that is seen in a corner every day might be a messenger.      

  Snake medicine smacked me right in the face today.  There was no being mindful about it.  I would've had to have been dead to miss it.

  I'm sitting in an Indian joint waiting a long time for service.  I was under the impression this place had a buffet on Saturdays.  At least the banner hanging on the building said it did.  When I walk in the guy who greeted me seemed kinda surprised to see me.  I held up my forefinger to indicate that there would be just one.  His extended arm invited me to sit anywhere I so desired.  He came over with a menu and I inquired about the buffet.  I'm not sure exactly what he said, but I knew the gist; there was no buffet.  I looked over the menu and decided what to eat pretty quickly.  Then I sat and waited.  And waited.  And...  

  Suddenly the two young girls and their mother sitting at the only other occupied table leapt up screaming and dancing.  I hear the word snake.  There is no one else around.  Whatever staff was on duty was M.I.A.  I go over to see what the problem is.  There's a tiny little black field snake on the window sill next to them.  The sill was in full sunlight.  Geez it musta been nice and warm there.  I took the snake with me and let it go outside as I left. I guess neither one of us should've been there.

  While I had the snake in my hand and it was trying to wrap itself around my wrist my mind travelled 25 years maybe into the past.  There was some stage production or other that I was involved in.  Now I don't remember the exact particular, but somebody saw a snake on the stage.  A tiny little black field snake.  I took that one outside too.     

  Snake medicine.  Snake medicine is about transmutation.  Perhaps turning something toxic or poisonous into something of value.  Like turning snake venom into antivenom.  It's about the process of change I guess.  In its simplest form the snake sheds it's skin to become seemingly new.  When it's done it's still a snake, but it's changed.

  At that very instant I couldn't help but see in full force the lesson of snake medicine.  I am definitely changed by life and choices I've made.  I have shed many skins.  But I am still me.  I am still the same person with the same things that drive me to live as I must.

  Stay on your path.  Find it.  Embrace it.  Walk it.

  Alright.  I'm outta here.

  I'm pullin' for ya.



  1. Uh oh . . . I'm in trouble then. I've been encountering spiders (no snakes) en masse lately, big, ugly, speckled bastards building huge webs in every nook and corner of my outside environs - right where I run the danger of walking into them while watering the flowers or when coming home from work at night. I keep a broom handy now and I've been . . . killing them. Now I don't usually like killing things, but these critters just feel threatening, and yes, I'm afraid of them. I'm sure there's a lesson in here for me somewhere . . .

    1. The spider embodies creativity and weaving your own fate. And besides that, spiders are our friends. They eat all those flying pests that would otherwise pester you.

  2. That may all be true, but I beg to differ in at least 1 case. In June of 1987 I was bitten by a brown recluse! Never even felt the little homicidal bastard, but I have a 3-inch oval scar and indentation on my left shin from where the surgeons had to remove all the muscle tissue! Yucky!

  3. Rereading your post thinking my totem is Crow, the trickster...