My fear of spiders dates from the earliest years of my life. I’ve written before about an episode in my past where my efforts to confront this fear paid off, during that phase of my life during a summer long ago when my nightly habit was to finish the chores early so that I could spend an hour watching the porch spider build her web.
Years prior to that time, during an autumn interlude, I confronted this fear a different way: I made spider drawings which culminated in a spider etching. In my youth just looking at photographs of spiders was enough to move the dial of my internal fear meter. Yet for some unknown reason a hidden prompting from life led me into drawing spiders. I don’t recall consciously making a decision to face my fear. It was more like an unconscious decision shaped my choice, and I got a book, picked out the creepiest examples of spiderdom, and began drawing. I sought to express the fullness of the creepiness to the best of my ability. I wanted the perfect image of arachnophobia.
Looking back upon it now, I wonder if it set the stage for later spidery encounters in a continuum of gradual rapproachment between me and the spider kingdom.