Learning Discipline

Spinweave, with water drops by Wusel007 Wiki Commons

I watched my little spider – I have no idea what type she is – finish her web this morning.

Every morning as the sun comes up; she takes down her web from the night before and weaves a new one. It doesn’t matter if the web has been damaged or not. Every morning she makes a new one.

I’ve never seen the whole process. Her web lies in one of the windows that climb beside my spiral staircase. It is at just the wrong level for me to sit and have a cup of coffee and watch her. She’s very small, not even the size of my thumb nail, and the web about the size of a dinner plate.

Like my spider my mornings start off the same too.

Every morning I get up, make coffee, and climb up the spiral stairs to my computer and my office. I love the sensation of being perched high above the world looking out on the dawn through the muted glass of the skylight.

There is little perfection in my life but like my spider I love my corner of the world. Every morning she spins her silk into a trap and I spin my words into worlds.

She is more industrious than I. But she is an inspiration. That every morning I can take down the world of the night before and recreate anew.

One of the most difficult things for me is working without expectations. I had this problem in the business world. We tend to become attached to outcomes.

The last several weeks I’ve been on a reading blitz – thrillers – written by Preston and Child. One of the things I’ve noticed is that they create tertiary characters that are overconfident and often have become attached to specific outcomes. They almost never have a good ending and rarely make it through to the end of the book. Their heroes, in comparison, have their minds completely on the job at hand unimpeded by the distraction of what might be.   

This intrigued me since I am a dreamer and like to spin out my present to see what my future might contain. I can get attached to outcomes.

The life I am leading is precarious with no givens. I could write my whole life and never publish another piece. This isn’t a job where you get credit for just showing up and being a warm body. No work comes to me – I have to chase it. Spending hours, days, weeks working on projects and then sending them out into the universe hopeful…

This morning, however, I thought of my spider and her, no doubt, genetically programmed discipline. Thought about of the value of working though the moment focused solely on the task at hand.

The list for the day is made. Lots of writing to do, lots of random bits to get through and get done and tomorrow I’ll get up, make my coffee, and check on my spider and start all over again.     

~ Tess


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