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.
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.