I don’t like killing spiders. They’re beautiful creatures and an important part of our eco-system, but on Mondy, I killed a spider. I can’t stop thinking about it, feeling guilty. I killed it because it looked like a black widow, which we sometimes get, but more than that, it was in one of my favorite hats. It was like an invasion, a crossing of a line. I can handle a spider in my sink for my week, in my shower for a month, but as soon as that spider gets in my loofa, it’s done.
I don’t know why I’m so fixated on this spider killing, but maybe I do know. Maybe it’s easier to focus on the killing of a spider than it is to face the violence that’s happened in the world this week. It’s easier to focus on my own small, comprehensible act of violence than it is to expose myself to the 58 dead and 489 wounded in Las Vegas.
So now, I’m forcing myself to face it because if I don’t I think I’ll become a person I don’t want to be: jaded to the world’s pain.
I think part of what makes this particularly hard is that it happened at a country music festival. I’ve played at country music festivals – nothing so big as the one in Vegas, but it still hits close to home. And maybe that’s why I’m having such a hard time facing this one. I can’t help but think about something similar happening at festivals I do go to and that’s a scary thought that I don’t want to pursue.
I think I’m hyperfocusing on that dead spider (turns out it was a false black widow, a less dangerous cousin to the real kind), because it’s an easier thing to contemplate than yet another mass shooting. It’s a small scale tragedy that I can handle, but I think it’s time to move on. It’s time to allow myself to feel the tragedy of what’s happened, to engage in the world, to connect with my emotions.
Thank you for reading.