Sunday night I came home to my roommate having an anxiety attack. Her body literally felt like it could not breathe, and convinced her it was dying. She panicked because she could not grasp air. I think we all forget to truly breathe sometimes. And I think it would be a much more reasonable solution to go into full-out panic, desperate for God mode. But we don’t. We just sit back and go, eh, I’m not really even alive right now, but I’m not dead yet, so my predicament can’t be too bad, right? And people around us commend us saying, “Wow! You really have it all together!” Ha. If they only knew.
Let me encourage you to recognize your lack of air, but don’t panic just yet. The God Who knit your lungs and set them in motion is the breath you’re searching for. And He, like the air around you, is ready to be breathed.
Just thinking about this makes me wonder; who showed me how to breathe? Who told me how it works, how to use it for speech? Who taught that lesson?
When Adam told me that he wanted to bring Singular Spectrum back, I was ecstatic. I had just come home from school and I thought everything was going right for me. What better way to top it all off than to start blogging with my best friends again? Then everything changed – some things went wrong, but for the most part they just stopped going quite so right. We moved ahead with the Singular Spectrum reboot, but my passion was gone. Every week I tried to think of something for the topic and every week I came back with apologies and a blank page, but not this week. This week, finally, I have something to say. A lot has happened in the months since I came back home, and I’m ready to talk about it.
In addition, this week, we will have a bonus post. Our friend Mason has volunteered to write something for Friday.
“Terribly misunderstood creatures spiders are. It’s the eyes I reckon, they unnerve most folk.” -Hagrid (from Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, the film) “‘It’s not ev’ryone appreciates how beau’iful they are,’ said Hagrid to Slughorn’s back, tears leaking from the corners of his crinkled eyes. ‘I didn’ know yeh were int’rested in creatures like Aragog, Horace.'” -Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Anyone who has read the Harry Potter books or watched the movies knows and loves Hagrid, the half-giant groundskeeper at Hogwarts. He loves all animals, and has a penchant for the dangerous ones. He can’t seem to find any fault in them, be they a giant three-headed dog, a feisty baby dragon or a giant spider. Aragog the acromantula was Hagrid’s first monstrous pet. He raised him from an egg while he was a third year student at Hogwarts, keeping him hidden in books and such. Unfortunately, that same year a monster had been released in the school by the Heir of Slytherin, Tom Riddle. Riddle found out about Hagrid and Aragog and framed them for the attacks. Hagrid managed to get Aragog to the safety of the Forbidden Forest, where he grew to an enormous size and had many children. Hagrid was expelled, but Dumbledore allowed him to stay on as gamekeeper. Throughout the years, Hagrid paid frequent visits to his friend Aragog, who commanded all the other spiders to leave Hagrid alone.
It wasn’t until Harry’s second year at Hogwarts that anyone besides Hagrid found out about Aragog. The monster that Riddle had released so many years ago was loose again and attacking students and Hagrid had been hauled off to Azkaban, leaving Harry and Ron with the cryptic clue that they should “follow the spiders”. The spiders led Harry and Ron to Aragog’s hollow, where he explained about his relationship to Hagrid. But even the kindness of Hagrid was not enough to overcome the acromantula’s nature and Aragog proceeded to tell his children to eat the two boys. Only the fortuitous arrival of an enchanted car prevented Harry and Ron from becoming spider food.
Later, in Harry’s sixth year at Hogwarts, he received a tear-stained note from Hagrid telling him that Aragog had died and requesting that he, Ron and Hermione come to the burial. Ron and Hermione refuse, but Harry, under the influence of Felix Felicis, the lucky potion goes, running into Professor Slughorn along the way. Professor Slughorn comes along, because acromantula venom is extremely rare and valuable. At the graveside, Hagrid tells them weepily all about how wonderful Aragog was, and Harry doesn’t have the heart to tell him about his experience with the spider. Hagrid notes that they have to bury Aragog by the pumpkin patch because the other spiders won’t let him come near their hollow. It was only because of Aragog that they didn’t attack him. They bury Aragog and Harry and Slughorn stay with Hagrid to comfort him.
On the one hand, Hagrid’s friendship with Aragog shows that even the most despicable monster is not immune to friendship. However, Aragog’s interaction with Harry and Ron shows that while Aragog was friendly to Hagrid, he was still a monster. These are both important things to take note of. The first in our relationships with other people: there isn’t a person who is so horrible that they will not respond to kindness. The second in our personal lives: no matter how nice and friendly evil seems, it is still evil, and it will still destroy you when given a chance.
That’s my take on Aragog, King of arachnids.
I don’t remember much from my early childhood, I guess I deleted the unimportant things. But one of the few things I do remember just happens to be about a spider.
I was about four years old and I was living in a different house that had a narrow stairway leading up to the second floor. I don’t remember what I was going to do but that didn’t matter to me once I got to the top because all I could think about was the tiny and terrifying eight legged creature, about two whole millimeters large, that was hanging by a single web strand about five feet from the ceiling and only inches away from my face. I screamed loudly and uncontrollably as the spider shook in fear and tears came like waterfalls down my face. Suddenly all that existed in the entire universe was just me and the tiny arachnid. And I for no real reason thought that somehow it had attached a web that I couldn’t actually see to my lower lip keeping me from going anywhere. It must have been a super evil magic web or something, I thought. After what felt like hours my mother came out of her bedroom afraid that I had hurt myself somehow and not seeing anything wrong, just me standing in the way of the stairs, she asked me what was wrong and I managed to lift my arm up and point cautiously at the spider. She quickly grabbed a children’s book that was nearby and smashed the creepy thing between the thick cardboard pages. I don’t remember anything else besides feeling relieved that I might actually live to see another day.
Since then I’ve grown out of my crippling fear of spiders. Now I actually think that they are some of the most fascinating creatures of all the things that God created. All 43,678 different species. 🙂 I can’t say that I have a favorite but most any kind of tarantula I find to be pretty cool. And sometimes, to me, spiders are even cute. I mean, look at those eyes!
I sometimes half-joke to my sister about getting a pet tarantula when I move out and they always reply with “If you do I will never come visit you.”. I guess some of us don’t ever grow out of those childhood fears…
(I couldn’t find who took that photo, but I got it from Google.)
Hello. Today I am going to tell you some facts about spiders:
The average spider eats a dozen people each year in its sleep.
Spiders have 14 legs, but they are very good at hiding 6 of them.
Spiderman had to eat 3,950 spiders before they finally surrendered and gave him superpowers.
The spider caught the fly, the frog, the cat, the dog, the cow and the horse but still died because old ladies be wack.
Spiders were supposed to be the size of a car, but God had to back off because all the dinosaurs were getting freaked out.
Spiders have a symbiotic relationship with frogs, who metamorphose the spiders into their ghost-spider form.
Ghost-spiders are not more scared of you than you are of them.
Spiders are the world’s smallest mammals, but all scientists are arachnophobes and won’t acknowledge this fact.
Diamonds are made from spider-silk, but the De Beers will kill you if you tell anyone.
All of Picasso’s best works were actually painted by spiders.
Spider silk is a chain of baby spiders holding hands.
Some spiders are vampires and turn into bats by sucking your blood.
Only one dragon-Spider is born every 10,000 years, and the Great Cleansing is almost upon us.
Spiders are white on the inside like an Oreo.
Witch’s nose is an essential ingredient in all spider cough syrups.
Spiders find “arachnid” a terribly racist name but still say it to each other as a term of endearment.
Most spiders love golf.
All spiders are terrible at golf.
Look: the moon is full, and you are becoming Spider. Can you feel the extra legs growing? Can feel silk churning in your gut? Hello Spider.
All hail dragon-Spider. May his flames consume all.
I push my cramped up legs against the sticky mesh cage that has been imprisoning me until this moment. I can feel the fresh air, I just need a little bit more space. If I turn my head like this, I can just…almost fit….through the hole I made! Oh. My. Sky. I can feel this great giant world greeting me, and if I could have the thoughts to think, what praises I would sing to the Creator of all this!
I scramble up this wall, and discover more of my limbs as I do. What luck! I can’t quite feel how to use those back legs yet, but I just know they move and will come in handy once I get better at this. There is a strange feeling inside me, but I don’t know what to do about it so I just keep crawling. I have to keep going. I have to find something. I don’t know what else there could be to this world that already seems so amazing and new, but I think I’ll know it when I see it.
There. That. What is that? It is smaller than me and jumps a good five inches further away as I approach it. Ha. It doesn’t know I can be fast! Ready? Here I am!!! Bwahaha! It worked! The thing is in my mouth and I feel it wiggle and then my mouth clamps down harder and the thing goes still. Oh, what a wonderful world!
I live many days like this. I get better and better at using my legs. Did you know I have eight of them? I meet others like me, but they aren’t as fast. Instead they are artsy and use their talented spinning skills to lay traps for other insects. It’s a good thing I am large, or else I might fall into their silly traps. Some spiders just don’t understand the joy of the hunt. All they do is sit around in their hammocks and wait for their food to be delivered to them. How silly is that? It’s like they aren’t even living their lives, just sitting around in apathy waiting for all their hopes and dreams to show up.
But not me. Sometimes I run just for the thrill of it. And sometimes I run for fear of the things larger than I. I know I don’t want the things larger than I to catch me, but I’m not actually sure what would happen if they did. I guess I’ll never know, I’m way too fast and wonderfully made for them to get me.
The scenery changed today. I’ve ventured farther than ever before and now the air feels different. I don’t know what that means, so I crawl up this pretty wall. Vibrations around me suddenly rumble and quake. The wall I’m on and all that exists around me violently shakes like a trillion tiny hurricanes trying to loosen me from my perch. I cling to the wall, desperate to stick, but alas I am a spider without a web and I crash to the floor. Good. Sturdy. I start to go my way, when I clearly see a large white square traveling quickly towards me. “No big square, I’m much too quick for you,” I exclaim.
But the white square keeps descending no matter how fast I scurry, and when it reaches me I curl my legs in anticipation. This world has been wonderful. Time to venture back to whence I came.
I adore spiders. They fascinate me. Even as a kid, I was never scared of them (I reserve all my fear for truly evil things like millipedes and silverfish). I used to play with Daddy-Longlegs by seeing how many I could keep walking around on me at the same time, and for that I must apologize to my mother who desperately wanted her only girl to be at least a little girly. Also, it should be noted that the spider commonly known as Daddy-Longlegs are not, in fact, spiders. Which is why my later post will not be about Daddy-Longlegs. Even though they are wonderful and make great childhood friends.
I am a huge fan of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series, so when we decided to do a week on spiders I of course thought immediately of the giant spiders in those books. I decided to take a look at the spiders in Harry Potter, specifically Aragog, the biggest and baddest of them all, and try to point out some of the symbolism and lessons that we can take from their place in the story.
Spoiler Alert! If you have not read all of the Harry Potter books, my post has major spoilers for book 2, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, and minor spoilers for book 6, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
I like spiders, but I don’t have a ton to say about them. Instead, this week, I decided to let spiders speak for themselves. They’re some of the most interesting creatures on this planet, so in my post I present several facts you may not have known about spiders. My hope is that you’ll find that spiders aren’t so different from you and me.
-Adam B. (Wednesday)
I don’t remember much from my early childhood, I guess I deleted the unimportant things. But one of the few things I do remember just happens to be about a spider. When I was little, I was terrified of spiders. But now I’m not. I don’t know what changed but I’m glad it did. I think my life would be very different if I was still afraid of the same things I was afraid of as a child.
I don’t have a lot to say on this topic but I will share a short story about an experience I had when I was very young about a seemingly-all-powerful, absolutely-frightening, three-millimeter spider.
The song itself speaks about a familiar point in life that many of us come to, myself included; the point of despair. But it also speaks about how when we thirst for God we are faithfully renewed, like a bed of rest from our despairing troubles.
I’ve sung the song hundreds of times. I’ve performed it a few times. Over half a year ago I was at a despairing point in my life. I won’t go into all the details here, there’s a time and a place for that. For now all I’ll say is that I was alone and I felt worthless. I won’t say that this song itself pulled me out of that but I do think had I not sung it so many times this summer, things would be different.
Satisfied In You
And a flood is welling up behind my eyes
So I eat the tears I cry
They know just the words to cut and tear and prod
When they ask me “Whereʼs your God?”
Why so disturbed within me?
I can remember when you showed your face to me
So itʼs time to lift my brow
When I loved to worship you and learn your ways
Singing sweetest songs of praise
Let my pain reveal your glory as my only real rest
Let my losses show me all I truly have is you
And all your breakers and your waves crash down on me
Iʼll recall your safety scheme
And your Son went out to suffer in my place
And to show me that Iʼm safe
Why so disturbed?
I am satisfied in you