little things for big places: To cut the sound, I rose up and opened the window next to my bed, letting in some of the world’s noise and light. A good first step, I thought. In the window a spider rolled around a strand of web. From its body came the thin thread, gently batted by the breeze, sometimes conforming to the shape of the web but more often just twirling and hanging down. When the threads failed to land where they belonged, the spider ate them, taking its work back down to the abdomen, absorbing the proteins. And then it tried again.