YOW!!! There’s a HUGE Spider in the Bathroom
My husband’s first question is always, “Define ‘HUGE’.” Makes me stop and think but I still fight the “ick” urge, and do that spontaneous Spider Dance. You know the one, where you are trying to get both your feet up off the ground at the same time…just in case the spider’s relatives are already down on the floor…waiting to attack!
After I have calmed down, here’s what I think about:
My biggest challenge since 9/11 is the discovery of how prejudiced I am. ME, the most open minded and unconditionally loving person I know! I aim to be completely colorblind. My calling, my life’s work has been primarily to teach about the gray areas in life, and to help students and clients see how two seemingly opposing “truths” can both exist simultaneously. Pluralism vs. Absolutism is my battle cry! CHOOSE YOUR PERSPECTIVE is my mantra, for Pete’s sake!!! I actively campaign against snap judgments, globalizations, and stereo-typing!! Just ask people who know me. Really.
But here’s what I discovered:
I am vehemently, rabidly prejudiced against prejudiced people.
I was raised by a mother, who barely escaped from her family’s religion. They were particularly devout due to our direct ancestral link to one of the church’s founders. In her young adult life she left (or maybe she was excommunicated) because of her religion’s extreme prejudices. At the time, they wouldn’t allow Black people or women to become a part of their Priesthood, and to her that was hypocritical. So I did inherit some of my devotion to the fight against bigotry from her.
It was only after 9/11 in my deep exploration of my own dark corners that I discovered how bitterly angry I was at those who harbor intolerance based on broad sweeping categorizations. I mean I hated all the narrow minded, racist people spouting off all their judgments about the terrorists. I hated my Mother’s childhood church for their reaction. I had nothing but distain for them ALL.
This was my first Uh Oh, but I have been exploring the nature of fanaticism ever since.
Who would have guessed that an innocent, well meant gift from my two grandsons would send me much deeper into this examination.
The short version is this. They got Giant Spiny Australian Leaf bugs for their birthdays one year. And I, trying to be unflappable, gushed about them, even held one in spite of my life-long terror of all things crawly. (A tarantula in the bottom of my sleeping bag and a bite from a Black Widow spider are enough to impact a child for life!) But I wanted to be the “cool Gramma” for my grandsons. SO I gushed.
And guess what I got from them on my birthday that year??? Of course! Two huge, I mean, palm of the hand-filling, BUGS of my very own. Hmmm. That’ll teach me.
Fast forward 5 years, a long and interesting saga for another day, and I have now “raised” over 100 of these terrifying creatures. Oh, and by the way, I have fallen deeply in love with them!
I could write a book about these bug guys. Actually girls. And have I ever learned a lot about “parthenogenisis”!
Then, last summer, I made a horrifying discovery about myself. I loved THESE bugs but still vehemently hated all other crawly things.
I gave up killing bugs a long time ago, and became a devout “catch and carry out of the house” devotee. Granted, I had to do the “spider dance” every time, or for the extra big ones, I had to enlist male help!! (See, I am filled with biases!) But last summer, my own favoritism hit me in the face (and the heart) when one day I found myself blithely crunching carpenter ants that had eaten their way into my house.
This sent me into a spiritual crisis that I needed spiritual counselling to get out of. (Thanks Karuna!)
How can I raise, and truly LOVE one bug and be so freaked out, to the point of murder, by ALL the others???
Cock roaches, mosquitoes, spiders, carpenter ants…they are all bugs too!
Lots of people are not freaked out by bugs (meaning insects or arachnids). And of course, a bug smaller than your thumbnail, that can kill you, is worthy of your respect.
But try this test.
It’s a warm sunny day. You are sitting outside in a comfy chair, relaxing, eyes closed, absorbing vitamin D, listening to the soft rustling of wind in the tops of beautiful trees and you feel the slightest touch on your hand. You open your eyes and see this.
For many people this would be an amazing experience, a gift, right?
Not so much!!!
Since apparently, I learn my biggest lessons best from the concrete and mundane, rather than the more dramatic and universal experiences in life, I am now on the lookout for anything that highlights my current challenge; how to look at life with no predetermined conclusions.
Here are some lessons I’m finding….
Caesar Milan (The Dog Whisperer) taught me that not all pit bulls are killers.
Our housemate Shawn, taught me that not all African American men are bitter about history.
My lovely cousin Lori taught me that not all Mormons are single-mindedly out to convert.
My best friend’s father, Tad, taught me that not all fathers will abandon.
Jean Clarke, beloved mentor, is teaching me that not all women must become ugly and bitter as they age. She is still stunningly beautiful, inside and out, at 90.
My husband is teaching me that not all men will cheat or be vicious.
The experience of contributing to this wonderful Blog is teaching me BIG TIME, that not all Blogs are simply social media substituting for real human connections.
Oh, and not all BUGS are icky.
I use these pictures to help smaller kids be less scared of these guys:
An outing to visit the Monkeys
Teddy, holding court
I am inseparable from my title of Gramma. But I also have important stories to share so I write. I don’t even want the title of Writer. I hate writing but am driven, reluctantly answering the damn CALL to write.
So to be clear, I’m not a Writer. I just write.
Need more clarification? Ask me to sing a song. I sing all the time but am NOT a singer.
One tune from me and you’ll get the distinction right away. You can find me at https://chosenperspectives.wordpress.com
Written for Walking With Intention. If you’d like to be a part of the challenge, find more info here: Walking With Intention. But first, leave a comment and let Kathie know how you feel about what she said, and then be sure and visit her over at Chosen Perspectives when you’re done.