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The Spider and the Sage

This is dedicated to my sister Amy who gives and gives and gives.  Some people appreciate it; some don’t.  But she keeps giving anyway.

Worse, she’s misunderstood.  A lot.  And that makes my heart hurt.

This story reminded me of you, Ames!  I love you.

From Mark Nepo’s The Book of Awakening:

In India, there is a story about a kind, quiet man who would pray in the Ganges River every morning.  One day after praying, he saw a poisonous spider struggling in the water and cupped his hands to carry it ashore.  As he placed the spider on the ground, it stung him.  Unknowingly, his prayers for the world diluted the poison.

The next day the same thing happened.  On the third day, the kind man was knee deep in the river, and, sure enough, there was the spider, legs frantic in the water.  As the man went to lift the creature yet again, the spider said, “Why do you keep lifting me?  Can’t you see I will sting you every time, because that is what I do.”  And the kind man cupped his hands about the spider, replying, “Because that is what I do.”

[Post image: Amy with one of our beagles, September 2009]

5 Comments


  1. worthy
    May 21, 2011

    Love this! It is the perfect story for beautiful Amy.


  2. Kaya
    May 21, 2011

    Great story for all of us!


  3. Susan
    May 22, 2011

    That is a lovely story. I wanted to just tell you, I love your sister. I have never met anyone like her! Amy is an amazing woman, and an even better friend!
    Even though I don’t get to see her very often, I will Always hold her dear to my heart!


  4. Don Rogers
    May 23, 2011

    What a great story! We must learn to appreciate contributions from all people. I would love to know your sister!


  5. Troy
    May 23, 2011

    She sounds beautiful and gracious. I do hope that her own prayers for the world dilute poisons of misunderstanding. (Also, beagles know the score, and this one seems to dig her, so there’s that..)

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The quote I live by

Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day.
--Rainer Maria Rilke in Letters to a Young Poet

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