Reading parts of The Puzzle Box again. Wish I could have read with this sort of understanding while Paul Squires, the poet of Gingatao, was still living.  Read just now the Tiger Meditation near the end.  I had felt something very similar only it was the spider in the web waiting in poised stillness that I felt, a spider that would always be waiting, alway just before the moment it seizes the bug, the moment just prior.   Strange too it was the spider because I’m afraid of them, yet that’s where I saw it most clearly — in the beautiful orb of the spider (and her descendants) that have built on the porch summer after summer. 

The Tiger Meditation

One night when I was becoming increasingly frustrated with a Scott Joplin waltz that just wouldn’t swing she appeared beside the piano having just despatched some troublemaker and told me this story.  I went in search of the earliest religious rite that is still actively practised and I came across this along the way.  Imagine you are the top predator in your area, in this case , a tiger.  But you are not a hungry, angry tiger.  You are a satisfied, content tiger asleep, yet tiger-like, still somehow alert.  Asleep in a tree on a branch which overlooks the only path to the only water for miles around and it is a hot, dry afternoon.  Asleep but aware, alert for the first trace of scent or snap of twig, the first vibration of the approaching, thirsty weary creature in need of a cool drink.  And in that moment just before the first trace, immediately prior to the first vibration and alive to its inevitability, in that moment remaining.  And looked back over her shoulder as she swung and waltzed away.

— Paul Squires, The Puzzle Box

The spider’s web is the work of art or is the fabric of consciousness, is the sense of the self existing, having identity, knowing oneself as an “I” — or as Paul might say an i.

I understood it prosaically, but got the message too — and from the source (was the spider taught me).  Just a different animal.

When your eye focuses on the web, the world beyond and around it is blurry.  When your eyes are focused on the world, you miss seeing the web with the spider in it.

The tiger is a strong meditation, the spider a small one — abstract, theoretically, without emotion, more naturally machine-like, emptier, compact, quick, easy to disappear, ultimately spiders hide and are hidden, they are more anonymous, small black or bright ball with legs, with most spiders the venon is harmless.

Paul was more a tiger, whereas I have wanted to weave and hide unseen, in invisible orb web, but sticky and catches things, flying things, winged flying things.

2 thoughts on “Puzzling over the Box and finding some enlightenment

  1. ‘The Tiger Meditation’ – perfect – he was searching for that moment, that perfect moment of stillness, peace, satiation, but still alert and anticipating the future. Thanks for this Aletha.

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