14 January, 2008

The orchid lives!

In July, I was given an orchid as a birthday gift.
By October it looked decidedly dead.

Now... I admit to having a bit of a black thumb when it comes to plants (I can't even keep my virtual chia pet alive), but I was pretty peeved because I had been doing do well with my indoor rose bush, lilly plant, and had put such a great amount of effort into NOT killing this lovely flower as well. At first I was quite happy to blame D's mother who had come to visit in late September, but I could not pin the orchicide on her with full confidence.

My last attempt at orchid keeping was back in 2004, in Glasgow. I named the it Lady Olivia. I made LO a sign, put her in a perfect window, watered her every day... and.... drowned her... with my love. Sigh. She met Ophelia's fate. (I am loathe to admit this, but 2004 was sort of a "dark time" for me, if you will, and I must confess YES, I wrote a haiku elegy for Lady Olivia, which I recited as I threw her away in a dingy Glaswegian tip...
Lady Olivia's petals
have fallen down
dry, fragile, orchid death

... I did mention it was sort of a dark time...)

SO. Upon Orchid Attempt #2's demise, instead of chucking the remains, I decided to place the still green leaves in a less conspicuous living room windowsill (vs. the kitchen; it's previous home). And there, throughout the following weeks, I forgot about it. I left it there unwatered, unloved, unnoticed.

... UNTIL TODAY. Today, I was doing a bit of deep cleaning, and whilst wiping down the windowsill in the living room I was accosted by a borage of orchid foliage!! Hurrah! A few seconds of celebratory dancing later, and I had tidied it up and placed it back on display in the kitchen where I intend to ignore watering it again for weeks on end. Thank you lovely orchid for returning to me.

But this presents itself at such an interesting time. Allow me to elaborate.

On Saturday I had what can only be described as a Meltdown. I won't go in to the details as it is not entirely relevant, but the point is I was incapacitated to the point where I could not do the evening performance. The subject matter of Fiddler, and the many nerves it hits with me, just hit a little too close to the issues at hand on that particular day, and I (as well as several other people) felt it best to leave rather than risk another, highly public, meltdown.

It all began with a dream. (Dreams are terrific and terrible, no?) We often think we've moved past something and then when we least expect it we're forced to face the dark feelings anew-and they unfailingly seem much worse after they've laid dormant... Anyway, in short, exhaustion, plus circumstances, created a well of emotions I was not anticipating, and I was caught terribly off guard by my outburst. (Note: Henry thought I was experiencing "feminine troubles." Love that.)

I came home and practically boiled myself in a bath, and fell asleep still in a towel, wrapped up in a duvet like a sausage roll. The next day I had what I like to call The Post Meltdown Migraine. Fine now. Just shaken.

I don't know WHY saturday. (exhaustion? illness? the last straw?)
I don't know why it hasn't hit me sooner.
I just know it hit me like a ton of bricks.
(Allow me to illustrate with this little vignette:)

Delivery Man: Hello, ton of bricks for an AL SIB-LER?
Al: Um, it's SIL-ber, yeah. That's me
Delivery Man: Uh huh. Sign here please...[i do] ...thanks. Right, Here you go!
Al: AHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

But oh, little orchid. You have renewed my sense of possibility.
Life after seeming death, a new lease.
A fresh beginning after months of lying dormant.
Survival with such few resources.
Reward after strife.

... Thank you.


  1. There is just too much I could over-analyze about that piece of writing. I could ramble about life just being one big metaphor etc...
    But I'm not going to because it's yours alone.
    Ironically enough though, all this emotional build up has resulted in a beautifully entwined, well rounded piece of writing, prose, whatever you will call it.
    I certainly have taken something from it and I'm sure other readers will too.
    I send your orchid happy karma and may she live a long a prosperous life.
    Take Care
    Hayley x

  2. there was that other orchid as well, that i sent you for WIW. glad to hear this one is making it! apparently orchids are only supposed to be watered once every 10 days or something, and just a little bit. such finicky plants!

    glad you can share in its resurrection!



  4. There is so much love for you in my heart my dear.
    Beauty blooms when we need it most, says I. Cherish it.

  5. It's distressing that you had such an unpleasant episode, but I'm glad your orchid make you feel better. It is unusual that it came back after so long! They never do that for me. Consider it a gift from God.

  6. Darling girl, (I write on my new Macbook, which is ALMOST as beautiful as you) I'm so happy you found rebirth in the birthday orchid. As The Road Less Travelled says in its opening sentence 'Life is difficult'. IT DON'T SAY IMPOSSIBLE THOUGH. SEE YOU TOMORROW LOVELY. BLOODY CAPS LOCK! Ooh - little green light to say it's on! xxx



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