Monday, October 20, 2008

Fierce Eight Legged Storytellers

Something mysterious and cool happened to me while in Costa Rica this past August. It didn’t hit me until I was back home in Southern California; the magnitude and significance of what I have come to refer as the “Gargantuan Spider Incident 2008”.
We had just travelled several hours by mad hatter cab driver, twin prop plane and panga boat. My legs wearily wobbled me to the main lodge at
Playa Nicuesa (this nutty jungle lodge is ridiculously amazing!) and all I wanted to do was take a shower and rinse the tired off of my body. Our host Marie (she’s French, cute and says her name like this: Mah-eee) walked us along the dense winding paths to our roost. Little forest crabs scuttled out of the way. Imagine what lurked a few feet deeper in the dark green greenery! Muuuuaaaaahhhhh. Muuuuaaaahhhhhh. I'll tell those tales at a later date.
The casitas at Playa Nicuesa are nothing short of dee-lux. I wasn’t sure where the jungle ended and the gorgeous castita began-quite the union. If you haven’t ever had the pleasure of visiting a jungle, then you don't know how dark it gets, so early in the day.
Back to the spider.
I stripped down to my bare self and peered into the outdoor shower to make sure there weren’t any hissing snakes or bats or spiders-after securing the clear coast, I tiptoed in and turned on the water. Ahhhh. Yes. Perfect. Warm water washing away the tired. I turned my back to the shower head to rinse the shampoo…wiped my eyes and turned around and saw this bitch staring me in the face. Literally. It was at eye level on the shower wall right. In. Front. Of. Me. How the hell did it get there so fast? What do you think this self confessed arachnaphobic sissy did? What would you have done?

You guessed it. I fuh-reaked out, screamed like a pansy-banshee, flung myself out of the shower (covered in soap), tried to not pass out, hyperventilated, peed a little (I think) and immediately wanted to go home. Fuck it. Stick me back on the boat, the plane, the cab...get me away from this hairy scary beast. I tell no lies when I say this thing was as big as my's legs were as thick as my fingers. I know. Cringe. Yak.
I pleaded with Husband to get his ass in there and make it stop! He rolled his eyes (he's had to deal with my phobia for years) and figured it was a wee daddy longlegs. He puffed his chest (him man) and went in and proceeded to.... fuh-reak out and scream like a pansy-banshee! Houston, we have a problemo!
I toweled the soap off, threw some clothes on and we headed to the main lodge for lunch.
Of course, I quickly cornered the naturalist/guide and begged him to come see the spider and to please make it stop. Giovanni is his name and spiders and snakes are his game (he's also a biologist). Thank the Lawd for Gionvanni! He followed us back to our casita and went in and nonchalantly said,
"Oh, thats just a wandering spider. They aren't aggressive, poisonous or nasty."
He then proceeded to valiantly remove the wanderer and gingerly place him outside far away from our jungle nest. He laughed at me. I didn't want to seem like a baby. I mean we were in a jungle for chrissakes and of course I know there are all sorts of creepy crawlies and monkey's and bats and you name its. Still, I will take bats and monkey's and huge geckos, snakes, poisonious frogs/toads, iguana's crocodiles and nightfall over spiders ANYDAY! Did I mention I signed a release in case of injury or death? Well, I did.
That night over a gourmet dinner I brought up the spider topic. No other guests had any signs of spiders in their rooms. Hmmmm. No one to share my fear with. The notion that spiders are the original storytellers fluttered quickly through our conversation.

Fast forward 24 hours.

Lulling afternoon rainshowers made me sleepy so I retreated to our casita alone. Husband went hiking. I crawled under the mosquito net making sure to tuck it under the mattress, placed my head on the early pillow, grabbed my book and started reading. Sleep came quickly. It was so beautiful to sleep to the sound of heavy rains and to feel the squeezing warmth of the surroundings. Ahhh. Blisss. Knock knock! Whose there? Oh, it has been brought. By him again:

I had gotten up, taken a anxiety riddled shower, dressed and went to lift up the mosquito net to retrieve my earrings (cute ones I might add) and there he sat. At eye level on the mosquito net. Shit, he really means business. Does he have a beef with me? What did I ever do to him. Nothing. Not a single stinkin thing. Husband returned and gagged. We had a thick ginger leaf that Husband used to scrape the wanderer off the net. Mr. Eight Legs landed on the floor with a heavy thud. Oh hell. I couldn't bear to look.
"Don't kill it," I shouted.
"I'm not. It's gripping the floor. Oh my God! Aaack! " he blurted.
Finally he got the spider out.

Crime scene photo:

So pretty though.

Crime scene photo number deux:

It was so beautiful and glorious there, that I had to pluck up my courage and go with it. I prayed to the spider realm to please be nice to me. Hey, I am a fellow storyweaver here on a writing assignment. We have things in common. Let's make friends. Whats your name? Do you believe in re-incarnation? Who are you voting for?

I had this to look forward to at mealtimes:

Giovanni, the spider whisperer: (check out my pink suitcase)

Roostin in the jungle.

Back home, as I re-hashed the whole gargantuan spider incident 2008 over lunch it hit me like a white hot flash of lightening. In addition to going to Costa Rica on a travel writing assignment, I went there in hopes of expanding my writing and opportunities and such. I, the travel writer dares the universe to bring me bigger badass assignments, national publications, who knows-limitless.
In turn the universe brought the original story weaver, a spider to greet me (while I was vulnerable and naked) immediately upon arrival. Not only was it a spider but a 'wandering spider' he too is a travelling storyteller. He was removed and came back the next day (tenacity) on my bed where I was sleeping and dreaming of travelling and writing. The tears welled up and poured down my cheeks. My body and soul tingled with total reverence and gratitude at the awesomeness and true unconditional co-creation and support the universal muses gifted me with. It was if they were telling me to 'go for it! 'Dream bigger dreams!' 'You are on the right path!' Keep following your bliss!' 'YES!'
I am not as afraid of spiders or dreaming big now. Thanks.

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