Creative Wordshops Aug 2019 Writing Newsletter

re-story, re-create and re-imagine your life and work
See ‘what’s on’ for upcoming wordshops, retreats and ongoing opportunities

A little freezing Spider rags and arms gathered in her chest…I saw old Granny At Harare Market,….A torn little blanket was her web. (Bonus Zimunya)

Anansi the Spider
In Ghana and the Caribbean Anansi, the trickster, is the keeper of the Skygod’s stories. Anansi tales abound. In one he buys the stories off the Skygod when in consultation with his wife, Also, he meets the Skygod’s price – catching the python, a live fairy and 47 hornets.

There are many retellings of this creature’s escapades. Here is one: Anansi has six children, each named after a special gift. One day, off on an adventure, he falls into a river and a fish swallows him. The first child, See Trouble, detects that his father is in danger. Then Road Builder cries, “Follow me,” and leads his siblings to their father.

River Drinker sucks up the river, while Game Skinner splits open the fish. Just then Falcon swoops down and takes Anansi into the sky. Stone Thrower hurls a stone that knocks his father out of the falcon’s claws. The last child, Cushion, provides his father with a soft fall.

That night Anansi finds a globe of light shining through the trees. In consultation with the God of All Things, he rewards his six children with the gift of the moon. None will possess it, but they all will enjoy it.
Children enjoy this tale of co-operation and delegation. A corporate group I facilitated in Accra were delighted that they could apply one of their folk tales to sound business principles. One observed “we often have to rescue our CEO.”

Often in storyshops I ask participants what they know about spiders. People offer: 8 legs…some are poisonous…spin a web from their abdomens to catch prey… the toughness of silk… parachutes. arachnids … bullet-proof vests… etc.

Here is an image from a friend , Gerrit Cloete’s ([email protected]) Monday Memos – worth subscribing to.
No wonder the spider is a mythical and symbolic creature. In Greek mythology, Arachne, a talented mortal weaver challenges Athena, goddess of wisdom and crafts, to a weaving contest; this hubris results in her being transformed into a spider.