Books Plants

Of found gold and ghost orchids

After the orchid photos last week, a friend recommended that I check out the The Orchid Thief, by Susan Orlean. As serendipity would have it, Mike Golby just wrote a fascinating essay on the movie version of the book, Adaption, and the topic of passion, Gibson and otherwise:

We all have our desired Ghost Orchids and, damn it, we need them. I’m all for orchids. But the stronger our passions, the more we project them and the larger our shopping baskets become. Sometimes, we’re given opportunity to fill them. But I sometimes find myself hoping that, if confronted by one of my Ghost Orchids, I’d duck and run. Well, maybe not run; I’ll just play things cool… thinking things through, you understand.

There is beauty in the Ghost Orchid; beauty that can act as both impetus and anchor, and there’s only a thin fragment of self separating the two. As for me, I’m not sure that I am that passionate, about anything. I think, though, if I did come face to face with my Ghost Orchid, knowing who I am now, I would be content to look and not own. Regretfully.

Returning, though, to more mundane matters in passionate absentia, I was able to find The Orchid Thief at my city library, and the movie Adaption at my county library, along with a much desired documentary film on James Agee. I feel like a woman who has discovered gold coins when putting her hand into a seemingly empty satchel, and I will now indulge in an unseemly fit of gloating.


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