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“Let’s have a look,” said the serviceman from Arenz Pest Management as he knelt down, flipped on his flashlight, and poked through the dark stubble massed in the corner of my back porch. I looked over his shoulder, eager to have expert eyes analyze this disorder that had reappeared since last week’s vacuuming.Text Box: “I don’t see this very often,” he said squinting, adjusting his uniform cap. “You’ve got lots of spiders in your attic—having a bash. What you see on the floor are the remains of dead insects they spit out. See that opening in the joint, above the windows? That’s where they’re having the bash. In time, the spiders will die off, and so will your problem. Keep vacuuming in the meantime.” 

As I reflected upon this experience, a metaphor surfaced. The spiders are likened to covert spin-doctors, propagandist experts, and masters of media distortion; they take a truth, chew through it, and spit out what is foreign to their ideologies. What remains is deadly and creates havoc within the populace, asleep with their eyes wide open. In no way can societies live in harmony. The sickness even permeates those in leadership roles.

On the other hand, “the clean of heart,” simple, humble folks, often poor, are like trained servicemen and women who adhere to the whole truth in their psyches, name the half-truths in our maniacal culture spinning around us, and find solidarity with the like-minded.

There is a way out, but it requires consciousness and work. In the meantime, as counseled by the Arenz tech, “Keep vacuuming!”

isolated red vacuum cleaner.3d render.See also:

Sizzling aromas of bratwurst and curried mustard tweaked my appetite following the morning’s sightseeing in Munich, Germany. Cloudless skies warmed hundreds of other tourists seated at circular tables and chairs that filled the Marienplatz, Munich’s Civic Center, first established in 1158 AD. Across from us rose the Neo Gothic New City Hall with its clock tower and Glockenspiel. Soon it would be time for the show.

It was June 1977.



Around our table conversation was brisk. Only thirty-two years before, this entire area smoked in ruins, the result of Allied blanket bombing that ended World War II. Blueprints and photos of pre-existing buildings guided workmen in the square’s reconstruction, purposely weathered with centuries of wear and tear to look Medieval. In another part of Munich, a bombed brick wall, resembling a jagged tooth, still stood, a reminder of what had happened here. Ambivalent feelings tweaked my stomach as I dipped the bratwurst in mustard.



Suddenly from above, metallic bells jangled conversations as we leaned back in our chairs and holding hands over our eyes, squinted at the Glockenspiel; on its upper level, animated figures enacted a royal wedding and a jousting tournament; on its lower, three coopers danced a jig signaling the end of the 1517 plague. Then the show was over, the diversion well received.

Still uneasy, I wondered about humankind’s tendency, as well as my own, to bury the scars of evil within recesses of the unconscious, kept in bondage by sloth, and what it takes to face truth, when stripped of defense mechanisms.

Long ago, I was told that nothing is, as it seems. I’m still learning …



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