Monday, October 7, 2013

Thoughts | Waurn Ponds Night Time Excitement

It is 12:40 am AEDT at 38°11'25.48"S 144°18'14.55"E.
I have just finished my shower and brushed my teeth, and am about to start a savasana / yoga nidra, often included in my bedtime ritual as last conscious effort to relax before sleep. I am approaching the yoga mat and notice something which provokes a scream: a furry spider which I immediately associated with a tarantula. 
The spider does not move, perhaps dead; this is what my rational thinking suggests as it alternates to the adrenaline surge, triggered by some of my primordial fears: poisonous spiders, snakes and rats. In my rational interval I grab my phone and take a photo. The adrenaline returns as the tarantula starts crawling on the carpet toward my bed, settling next to the side table. Always keeping the creature on sight (not difficult in my cell size room) I reach for a cup and am able to trap it.
My scream did not produce any reaction. With the phone still in my hand frantically I try to find people in the residence who could come to help me. I have palpitations, my breathing is extremely fast, I cannot focus on anything beyond fear. I dial a number by mistake, then I text two “neighbors”. Noura replies to my text and immediately comes to my room.
Blessings to her! Very calmly she asks for a sheet of paper where she moves the cup with the trapped spider. In a skillful motion she is able to transfer everything totally enclosed (with the spider probably squeezed to its death) to the rubbish bin in the corridor. She hugs me good night and moves back to her room. I am still in fear that there may be some other creepy intruders in my room and go to the bed with the bright fluorescent light on. I have a restless light sleep, and finally give up. My morning iPad email bed reading is welcomed by a message by Gavin, who also sent his beautiful meditative visual poems; I am truly looking forward to his return and to breaking this scary isolation. The lack of reaction to a scream in the middle of the night adds extreme sadness to my sense of vulnerability.
And this morning I am asking myself again the usual question: how much more endurance is required to pursue this PhD research?