angry little man

I just read The Orchid Thief. Susan Orlean—who I am now following on Twitter and who says things such as “How do seasick-prone people live in Venice, I wonder?”—manages to be funny without losing her depth, and this is something I strive to be. She describes orchids, those over-sexualized, over-idealized flowers, in amazing ways that are not sexual or idealized. I read The Orchid Thief for my plant class, and in this class we had an activitiy: describe an orchid in a way that is not sexual.

I can’t see anything in this orchid now except my angry little man. He frowns over my kitchen now, frustrated to be pegged to the refrigerator by a flimsy magnet. He’s on my fridge to remind me to find the funny—the frowning little man with a flamboyant hat—in otherwise darkly bulbous blossoms.

From Susan:

The world is so huge that people are always getting lost in it. There are too many ideas and things and people, too many directions to go. I was starting to believe that the reason it matters to care passionately about something is that is whittles the world down to a more manageable size. It makes the world seem not huge and empty but full of possiblity. If I had been an orchid hunter I wouldn’t have seen this space as sad-making and vacant–I think I would have seen it as acres of opportunity where the things I loved where waiting to be found.

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