Just the other day I was chatting with someone who mentioned that my thoughts tend to spread a bit like spiderwebs. A little of this, a little of that, and a bunch of random things all in between that are connected, hopefully, by some common threads.
This can be a good thing, a fascinating and interesting thing. But it can also be incredibly confusing and hard to follow thing. I tend to write, teach, talk and generally exist in a weird type of stream-of-consciousness-blur that eventually gets to the point. But also leaves me literally walking in circles because I keep remembering different things I need to do.
My thoughts tend to be a little too spread out, and those themes and ideas a little to scattered to always make sense. When it works, it’s great (so I am told) and when it doesn’t, no one knows what the hell I’m talking about (my wife’s look of incomprehension at whatever just fell out of my mouth is a beautiful and hilarious thing.)
But, regardless of anything else, it make me think of spiderwebs.
There’s a lot that goes into them (as I know after 10 minutes on the internet), but the basic template is a few signal threads that run through the whole pattern, giving it both structure, and letting the spider know what going on in this planar world of it’s own devising. Different spiders all have different ways to handle this concept, but they all work on the same general theme.
Which is pretty cool.
Everything is held together by these tension lines. There are only a few of them (5-7), and they are the only things that make this whole spiderey dream of hope, vibration, shelter, and maybe even joy, extant in the world.
We all have our own tension lines that tie us to the world, that let us create something fantastical and wonderful in the space of our heads. Marriages, careers, books, movies, and children all come from, in a way, worlds of our own devising.
But, sometimes those tension lines get pulled ever tighter. So tight they start to sing in the wind and hum in the dark. Stress, no sleep, more demands, more responsibilities, more things to worry about and more people counting on the decisions that you make. The silence all of a sudden starts to fill all the available space with velvet need. And it’s impossible not to hear it.
It pulls those lines so tight they become razors. The very things we tied our dreams to now cut us. Deeply, but yet, we hold on ever tighter. Because if we fail, if we slip, if we let the things go too far. Everything is ripped apart in the blink of an eye and we watch our world gently fall to the ground (OR quite possibly crash to the earth amidst screaming, burning, and random explosions. To each, their own).
This is where spiders have the right idea. When something goes wrong, when a tension line breaks or even when everything fails so utterly and completely that the silk snaps and it crashes to the ground, they just make another web.
We could learn something from spiders. In the face of devastation, they just rebuild. Creating something new and wonderful anchored to new pillars, new ideas and concepts, created before the old one has even blown away.
Always working forward.
But, they always make the same things. Spiders are, after all, not particularity bright, they just have an incredible trick.
We, however, have a few incredible tricks of our own.
As scary as it is to hear the hum of those lines in the dark, and as absolutely terrifying as it would be to have everything snap to pieces and fly apart. Sometimes that is exactly what’s needed. A complete and utter failure so all encompassing there are no other options that to restart from ground zero.
People do it. Every single day. And they go on to create some of the most inspiring, earth changing, and incredible things because of it. Walt Disney, Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, J.R.R. Tolkein, and almost every major figure you’ve ever heard of, had a twirl with complete failure. And, as they watched that big beautiful web they put so much into crash down, they mourned, they raged, they had some quiet moments saying some not very nice things in the dark, and then they started again.
And now, just look.