Saturday, October 22, 2011

We Are Spiders In Our Own Right

"He is adaptable, versatile, and nearly always productive. Creators are often unpredictable--how could they be else? Creation in itself involves envisioning that which hasn't been done before."
-from Changer by Jane Linskold

Spiders weave webs to survive, creating a net of thin strands that appear to be weak in order to capture the strong. Artists are not so very different. We cast our lines and our words between two distant anchors, one in the here and now, the other sometimes so distant that it only exists in the realms of the imagination or dream. Between those two anchors, our net grows to ensnare all that we can in the fascination and wonder of the unknown, unperceived, or overlooked.

Productivity, like beauty, is often relative to the eye of the beholder. I may spend an entire day sitting in public watching people pass by; to some, this may appear to be idleness, while to me, it is studying the material before taking the test, which always comes in the form of an essay question (and like the essay questions in some of my more liberal teachers' classes, I am as likely to reply in poetry as in prose). Spending an evening weaving a web across a oft-traveled pathway, knowing full well that it will be destroyed in the morning by humans who think they rule the earth, may still be productive if it captures something before the dawn.

Webs are designed to catch something, regardless of what they are woven with. My material of choice is usually words, though in my bouts of inspiration I've been known to use walls and features (architectural modeling), thread (stitching), and action and non-action (life itself). And on that note, I do believe that living is in itself an artistic endeavor, which, in my mind, is a sufficient answer to the ever begging desire of its purpose.

The character above is indeed speaking of a spider, and one in particular, who has gone by the name of Anansi, though in this novel, goes by the name of Anson. The book, Changer, is one of many modern-day stories that attempts to build a bridge or a web between the mystical (that we do not always see) to the material (that we sometimes cannot escape from). It takes, mythology, historical fiction (Arthurian-era, literally), and modern (written in 1998) technology and weaves them together into a wonderful story, highly recommended for those adults who do not mind reading young-adult fiction when it comes stacked with many layers that young-adults do not often appreciate.