At one time or another, we have all come upon this scene…an innocent bug caught in a spider’s web. I’m sure this insect was minding his own business and going about the day like any average bug, yet unaware of what was in its path just ahead. The spider, on the other hand, knew that some unsuspecting victim would come along and become entangled in the intricate web spun just for him. The spider, also going about his average day, purposely planned to capture a victim. Of course, we all know why a spider spins a web…to eat in order to survive. Without the web, this particular spider would not have its next meal. The next time you happen to walk through a spider web and damage the threads or knock it down completely, realize that the spider has to repair or re-spin the damage in order to eat. On average, it takes a spider 30-60 minutes to completely spin a web. It only takes a second for its prey to get entangled within the silkiness.
Although this picture captures the exact moment the bug is about to be devoured and the detail of the threads can be seen, professional photographers could show a more up-close-and-personal view. While aiming upward and the zoom in focus, I watched this scene act out through the lens of my camera. Why did I find this fascinating? What was I thinking as this victim struggled to break loose of the spider’s strong web? I suddenly pulled the camera away to watch through my mind’s eye. I was caught up in the moment of struggle. Just before the time of contact with the victim, the spider had been sitting in the middle of the web… waiting. Once the bug was caught, the spider had to delicately step from thread to thread to avoid the sticky blobs to minimize the chances of getting caught in its own web.
Again, I ask myself…”Why did I continue to watch this?” Maybe it was the “photographer-want-to-be” coming out…maybe it was the “good guy-bad guy” scenario and wanting to know the outcome…or maybe…it was because I could relate.
Throughout life, we have all felt caught, captured and preyed upon while struggling to get out of webs others had spun, or even worse, a web we weaved ourselves. The web could represent the entrapment of the enticements we, as humans, get so caught up in. Sometimes we are unaware of the entrapment and other times, we walk directly into the web, thinking we are strong enough and won’t get caught.
Back to the “Why?” Why did I continue to watch? As I stared at the struggling victim and saw its doom, I wanted to turn away. I couldn’t bear to see this innocent insect go through the agony of death and possibly, a slow death. But I didn’t turn away. Why? At one point, I wanted to help the helpless but something held me back…I refrained. What does that say about me? Would I do the same if I saw an innocent person about to be the next prey in a violent struggle? I would hope not. I don’t know how long this insect had been caught in the web before I walked up on it, but timing was of the essence. The spider was within reach and the victim was not only caught in the sticky web but also within the grip of the spider’s leg. The spider was about to have its next meal, and the insect, his last breath. The struggle continued as the silken threads began to break. The fate of the creature was about to be known. Then, in one quick jerk, the victim fell below. One more chance to live, as the bug hit the pavement and moved on.
The fate of the creature could have been morbid, but I still continued to be fascinated. Why did I not come to its rescue? The urge was strong enough but the fear of being the spider’s next victim was even stronger. But yet, at times, I allow myself to become a victim as I become entangled in my own desires, feelings, self-righteousness and compromises. Aware or unaware, I stumble and become tangled in the sticky threads of the worldly web.
The spider, its web and the innocent victim reminds me that I need to be more aware of my surroundings. I need to be more aware of others surroundings. I need to realize I am vulnerable. The world is so easy to get caught up in, with its money, prestige, fame, the”what-about me” attitudes, a “judge and jury” mentality and “I-want-more” lifestyles. If only the world could have and express more empathy. If only…..
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