You read that right! I, a life-long arachnophobe, have found some spiders to love.
Well, it’s a longer story than that, of course. From my infant self becoming imprinted with my mothers terror, to my father’s cruel attempts to “cure” me, to my own decade’s long campaign to educate the fear away, I have a long, long and complicated relationship with spiders.
I’ve kept them for pets and fed them. I’ve watched them spin their webs in the porchlight. I’ve killed them with poison, a shoe, the vacuum cleaner (are they really dead, or will they crawl out and GET REVENGE?)
I’ve explored the deeply graphical nature of my phobia. ‘Six legs good, eight legs bad,’ my brain tells me, and I can detect those excess appendages half a block away. I have trouble with fabrics and wall coverings if they have too many little dark spots, because my heightened spider-scanning radar is constantly blaring an alarm. I can scare myself my moving my own hand in a creeping, spider-leggedy fashion.
But this post over at Wired magazine’s blog really made me happy to see spiders! (Through the safety of the digital photo, of course.) What amazing beasts! Check out Nicky Bay’s stunning photos of the remarkable variation in southeast asian arachnids.
There are lots more. Don’t be squeamish, go look at all of them. They are evidence of a profoundly creative Universe.