photography, San Miguel de Allende, Writings

An all-natural pod cast on a world wide web

“The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider’s web.” — Pablo Picasso

Spider webs are beautiful things. Unless you walk face-first into one in the dark of night.

Then, not so beautiful. Or interesting.

My friend Sonny once sat for hours on the floor of our Cape Cod house staring at a spider as it wove a stringy orb behind a door. Sonny insisted he learned a lot from observing the construction of the web.

He applied the engineering principles gleaned from the web to the construction of a hang-glider which we tried to send soaring off a high dune on the upper Cape, with Sonny hanging on the underside. What we needed was a lesson in materials. The frame and wing sheeting were all way too heavy to get any lift.

Anyhow, being stoned most of the time, it was all good for Sonny, me, and the rest of our band of ersatz artisans.

The mangled mess was added to the top of a pile of other thwarted, misplaced, and smoke-vapored ambitions that we brought to the Cape from Washington D.C.

Getting back to Sonny’s spider web, that image above all others from the early-1970s stayed with me. It was the embodiment of Sonny’s mantra” “Stay curious.”

Stay curious about everything, especially things that have no obvious use in your life.

Because you never know.

Curiosity bestilled Sonny’s restive mind. He would aim his curiosity like a laser beam at a project, an object, a subject, a reject — and he wouldn’t eject until he knew everything there was to know.

The only thing Sonny didn’t have back then was a direction in which to take all this knowledge. None of us did really.

I don’t know what happened to Sonny. I saw him once shortly after I graduated from university. It was July 4, 1976. He was still living on the Cape and had taken up commercial/industrial diving and possibly smuggling of pre-Columbian artifacts. I may be imagining that last part.

I know it is a leap from Sonny’s website to this one but … what is this?

A spider has wrapped a sprig of faded geraniums into a silken purse.

Nice home if you can afford it.

I can’t find a spider. And I see no eggs inside. Nor is there a cache of desiccating bug parts.

Do spiders eat dried geranium flowers?

I could certainly see flies and mosquitoes looking into this place and thinking, “I ought to check this out. It smells like honey and … hey wait! What’s this sticky stuff? Aaaaargh!”

So, I too, peer into its depths, avoiding the sticky stuff.

There is a TV/media room, a full bathroom, two bedrooms, very modern kitchen, a two-car garage, and a nice patio with a view of the San Antonio church steeple.

Just kidding.

Only a view of the San Antonio church steeple.

Do San Miguel fairies contract out homebuilding projects to spiders? Several, from what I know of local fairies, could live in here comfortably. That’s it: A fairy pod.

Under construction.

I’m going to check back from time to time, search for clues. Observe any future developments. Or decay.

You know, stay curious.


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12 thoughts on “An all-natural pod cast on a world wide web

  1. Sharon says:

    Hello Robert, I am the person who wrote you back in February about buying you a cup of coffee in March. I am sorry that our trip had to be cancelled, especially now that I know more about you. We began renting in SMA in 2006 and stayed opposite the San Antonio church, about ten times, on and off through the years. Now I read that you used to come to the outer cape at some point in time. We have had a house on the elbow of Cape Cod for 30 years, and have lived here full time for the past 20. I am sorry that our paths were not able to cross this past month. Wishing you the very best, Sharon


    • Hi Sharon, yes, the Cape was a second home for many years and I still have many beloved family members living in Chatham/South Chatham. One brother-in-law is a prominent homebuilder there and another has been Harbormaster of Chatham as long as I can remember. My mother-in-law is in her 90s and lives in South Chatham in what was once the family’s summer home. They are all my ex-wife’s family but remain family to me as well. Visited briefly last summer and despite the fact that my former employer, Nickerson’s Liquor is now a clothing store, it seems to be much the same. Coffee is on me when you all return to San Miguel!


      • Sharon says:

        How inter3sting. Our first home was in Chatham near he COA, had it for ten years, then sold it to buy land in E Harwich, very near the Wequasett Resort. My husband wanted to build his own house which he did, took him three years, then I retired and joined him. We will have been here 20 years as of June. Chatham has changed dramatically since we bought in 1991, Harwich a bit less so. I am sorry that our paths didn’t cross sooner. Sharon


  2. Jeff Drew says:

    I actually admire spiders and marvel at their web work. Except when they turn up unexpectedly on the back of my neck as I’m driving down a neighborhood street. I ended up rolling on the pavement and my car came to rest in a big hedge.

    Liked by 1 person

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