He was big, and he was black with long legs, and he was sitting by the back door to the house, the one from the bedroom to outside. I've been telling people for a long time that I don't kill spiders, that they are good creatures, that they do a lot more good than they do harm. But last night I picked up a shoe and smacked this one. He immediately folded up his legs, quivered, and died.
And I can't tell you how much that image's been on my mind. That dead spider with his curled up legs. The rationale at the time was he was big and scary and he might be dangerous, but this was just giving myself permission to kill him.
The fact of the matter is I feel bad about killing the spider. Isn't that nuts? Somehow, though, it feels like a violation of the pact that exists between all living things: the pact of mutual respect, the pact of being fellow travelers in the world. Maybe having the new dog in the house has stirred up these thoughts of the connection between ourselves and the rest of God's creation. I don't know. But whatever has caused it, I know that I've got a different outlook on living creatures than I did previously. Call it an enlargement of vision. Or call it the silly ruminations of an old man. Whatever: I still feel it.