The Web of Last Year
Reflections on a year gone by
I submitted my dissertation this month. Hurrah! My one year MA is finally over. From my side at least. Now it is up to the graders to discover my work and tell me it’s brilliant. That’s how it plays out in my head, anyway.
Over the last few days, I’ve been reflecting over the year gone by.
My desk here in London sits by a window. Writing away, I’ve watched the seasons change from winter to spring to summer and now back to autumn. Last month, a huge spider spun a web across the window and it’s been hanging there catching fruit flies for a long while. Last week, I saw a bee bump into the web and get trapped. The spider was nowhere in sight, but as soon as the bee hit the web, out jumped the spider and crawled to its centre. It stayed there, watching.
The bee struggled. Its legs were stuck to the web but slowly and surely, it broke the web strands and started to wriggle free. It was an effort, the bee kept jerking, throwing its full body weight on the web. Many strands snapped and finally the bee was only stuck to the web by one feet. It was almost free.
The spider hadn’t moved from the centre. It stayed still, watching the destruction of its web, watching the bee struggle like some sadistic beast and just as it was about to fly off, the spider scuttled toward the bee, raised its front body and wrapped itself around the bee like an eight-fingered fist. The bee struggled but the spider did not unclench. Within the grip, the bee jerked for almost a minute before going completely still.
The spider moved fast then, rolling the bee’s body around, spinning a web around it, turning it into a package. Once wrapped, the spider left the bee to hang from the edge of the web and moved back to the centre. But the web was damaged in the bee’s attempt to flee and the neatly wrapped package dangled precariously. On a single strand of web, the spider jumped from the centre and caught the package. With another web strand it held the bee and with its other legs mended the damaged web. Once it was all tidy, it pulled the bee up toward the corner of my window’s vision and out of view into the unknown.
All this in the space of five minutes. I was spellbound.
When I look back at the last year in London, this is the closest I can come to describing it: there were moments when I was the spider, often I was the bee, but on most occasions I was me, an unassuming observer, watching the world unfold.
It’s been delicious.
Until next month, Don’t stress over your to-do list, Akshay
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