spider and the moon

An Evening When I Discovered My Own Noiseless Patient Spider + The Poem by Walt Whitman

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That evening, I returned home disappointed.

However, it was one of few rare occasions when the Moon had fascinated me and had inspired me to create images. Yes, hundreds of poets and writers have admired the elegance of the moon in thousands of ways, but, for some reason, I am a Sun person.

I stopped on this hilly highway of Cyprus when I saw that huge disc of the Moon… Oh it looked so big, as if it had come several miles closer that evening!


Bright and brilliant, assuming this graceful position above that mountain far away, the Moon looked splendid!

In the foreground were some wild thorny shrubs where I stood. Pure, cold breeze was blowing as it usually does in vast open spaces like this. Except some occasional cars passing by, there was not any source of light other than the Moon itself.

But this darkness was beautiful. In its tranquility, in its divine silence, that place looked nothing but surreal.

I bent down and positioned my lens behind one of those shrubs to create a classic frame where the soft, delicate disc of moon would be seen peeping from in between those brutal looking thorny branches.

I took some shots but they were not that great, probably because my attention kept diverting to the fact that I was in the middle of a deserted highway. Breath-taking it was, but it was a night, and I was thinking to leave that lonely spot soon. Alas! Even amidst the oceans of peace like this, our mortal minds introduce disturbing noises.

I created few frames hastily and left. On my way home, I did not even bother to review the images in the camera…I was not happy with them.

However, a couple of hours later, I discovered the treasure! After transferring the images to the computer when I was looking at them I spotted some spiders in those frames!!! Not one, not two, but three! They were hanging on the filaments bridged between those branches.

How come I did not see them right there? I got surprised pleasantly but at the same time, was angry with myself…if only I had noticed them there, my photographic creations would have been something else, totally different, much grander, much richer!


Sadly, my single-minded pursuit in that dark was the moon. I was looking at those shrubs but all I was seeing was that beauty in the sky.

Finding those spiders when I looked at the big screen (or at the “big picture” should I say?) was nothing short of a dream, or perhaps, waking up from a dream…

I had found my own Noiseless patient spider! :)

The one mentioned by American poet Walt Whitman(May 31, 1819-March 26, 1892) in his book “Leaves of Grass“, with this incredibly beautiful, subtle, insightful poem:

A Noiseless Patient Spider

A noiseless patient spider,
I mark’d where on a little promontory it stood isolated,
Mark’d how to explore the vacant vast surrounding,
It launch’d forth filament, filament, filament, out of itself,
Ever unreeling them, ever tirelessly speeding them.
And you O my soul where you stand,
Surrounded, detached, in measureless oceans of space,
Ceaselessly musing, venturing, throwing, seeking the spheres to connect them,
Till the bridge you will need be form’d, till the ductile anchor hold,
Till the gossamer thread you fling catch somewhere, O my soul.

Images & Article © 2012 Gyaneshwari Dave

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