And of course spiders aren't evil but the thickness of the web and the death all around and the way that the hole at the top was a lair from which It at first wasn't present but then from which It suddenly and silently appeared when I wasn't looking,
made me think of Shelob,
Tolkien's evil sideshow that killed for the sake of death, and served "none but herself...weaving webs of shadow, for all living things were her food, and her vomit darkness."
"Shelob the Great, last child of Ungoliant to trouble the unhappy world."
And scattered around THIS spiders web were what was left after the feast. Remnants of physical forms that once walked of their own power towards their own purpose for their own satisfaction,
And the scene begged the question:
"If the main thing you have to do in life is stay alive, how could you so easily walk into your death?"
for the evidence of wanton death was clearly visible to them in their sentience, and yet they still carried themselves towards the web, willingly wandering into their deaths, seemingly relegating themselves by choice into dust and nothingness.
And it is a curious circumstance, and I pause to think of Shelob.
For Tolkien knew how to disguise the riddle. And while Shelob was great evil,
there are struggles that are bigger than Darkness.
the dead that lie around this web in this Churchill Drive basement maybe wandered into their deaths with what amounts to grateful oblivion, not knowing the danger, and maybe not caring,
and, as Frodo warily followed Gollum, we see the imminent distractibility that occurs when fear grabs our minds,
And as we walk to our own death, advancing through a world which preys on insecurities (where even religion christens us “God's Unhappy little sinful children”), echoing self-talk so damaging we need therapy and medication to survive it,
the struggle isn't between us and Darkness,
or between us and great evil.
The struggle is between us and our own selves, navigating this world with impossible vulnerability,
from which wise Tolkien knew, there was no escape.