Open Orchidae

“But Jana insisted to see this little miracle, this antidote for the mundanity of existence.”

Photo by Arad, Wikipedia. Permission to share by Creative Commons License.


For the rest of the short story, you are most welcome to read it here, and leave your lovely (or muddy, if need be) footprints on this blog if you could not leave them over at Fictionaut. Your kindness in leaving feedback will be most appreciated.


13 thoughts on “Open Orchidae

  1. So what’s the difference between cynicism and optimism? And what distinguishes subjectivity from objectivity? And is not the end of something (like the midpoint of a pendulum’s swing) the beginning of something else (including nothing…if/when the clock at that point stops)? In short, is not reality defined only by one’s point of view?

    And mine is: The “Open Orchidae” story is a quite beautiful reflection of the extraordinary mind that penned it.

    • Thank you, William, for your thoughtful comment and wonderful compliment. You have raised some very interesting questions … material for new essay-stories. From a cynic’s point of view I would say that optimism is a state of denial. A denial of what could go wrong. I suppose beginnings and ends are the same, depending in which direction you view them … from the past (our usual view) or from the future? 🙂

  2. This is very much a philosophical and poetic essay to me, rather than a short story. Beautiful language. I like the move from very close observation of each moment that same day to the telescoping of years, decades, millenia. It feels like you are zooming out from the molecular level to the galactic level.

    • Thank you so much, Marina, for such a meaningful response to my story. You are right, it is more like an essay. The zooming out was necessary to lend the story its perspective, that on a cosmic scale the things we worry about are negligible in a way.

  3. Thought-provoking story with some wonderful imagery within it. I thought this particular passage was superb:

    The sun was busy setting on a midsummer’s day, and it was still Tuesday, the same one, and the flower stretched itself open and completely up like a yogi in warrior pose looking up at the sky like there was no tomorrow. No longer was it a downcast bud of promising potential, but it was now fluorescing in full Fibonacci splendour: three outer petals, two inner petals, all of the petals veined a darker shade of pink, with a delicate speckled, and finely petalled, fertile core. If she were a six-legged creature, she imagined:

    “I would want to enter there and imbibe its perfume, drink the nectar of the gods, and leave with gold dust on my belly.”

    Really enjoyed the read, Quirina ~ it enthralled me at the beginning & kept my interest until the final lines. And why, I wonder, still musing about your story, did I wander down the stairs & almost automatically begin to water the plants on the kitchen windowsill? Perhaps it is my unconscious hope/desire to ‘keep things going’ … keep me & mine & the world going … regardless of the beautiful truths of decay & regeneration. Wonderful & very enjoyable piece ~ thank you 🙂

    • Thank you so much, Peter. You of course did find the jewel of the whole story, which was the reason to write the story. And I smile knowing that you are nurturing the plants in your house and keeping decay and rot at bay. 🙂

  4. A beautiful, thought-provoking and disturbing story, Quirina. As I’ve already written, I think it needs to be read more than once (I will definitely do so). Somehow, it reminds me of Katherine Mansfield – not her writing or style, but the mood and ideas I see in her stories. Do write more!

    • Thank you, Sylva. When one searches for truth one must be prepared to cope with disturbing aspects of life, in my humble opinion. When we can appreciate what we could have lost or did loose, we can truly understand happiness. I was very curious about Katherine Mansfield and searched for her work online and read a little piece set in Germany. What did you read of hers? Not to worry, I shall keep on writing … 🙂

    • Thank you, Sammy. I am afraid I can’t help myself getting into cerebral knots and I am glad that you find enjoyment in it too. I love God too, usually in the shape of a Buddha, but to me it does not matter in what form God appears to people. The important thing is that God appears to people in some acceptable form (and by that I mean not as fanaticism). All peoples of the world have different ways of seeing God. I believe in tolerance and kindness. As for science, it is an inseparable part of me … the scientist. It is a blessing to know you, Sammy.

  5. Hi Quirina,

    This is a HUGE short story. Gripping from start to finish!

    As a fellow procrastinator and some time cynic I feel a connection to the story I am struggling to describe, it is a wonderful story you have created from within you 🙂 x

    • Thank you, Abi. I suppose I did cut a long story (of cosmological scale) short to less than 2 300 words. I do believe that all human beings experience cynicism at times. It would be worrisome if someone is incapable of feeling that. All stories, no matter how fictional, tell a truth of some sort in some way, because we can only really write something believable about something we know. 🙂 xx

  6. Having looked on page for a comments box and not finding one, I left the following comment in the FB conversation. But, for the record, here ’tis in its proper place:

    “O yes, Omniscience is the key word! Knowing everything. And it’s no coincidence that this word breaks into two parts: omni and science!

    My word, Quirina, that’s one hell of a story, but it’s also a whole lot more than a short story, or a long story for that fact! It is simply epic in its scope, its fathoming of thermodynamics (and what an appropriate use of the law of entropy is that) and philosophy, the universe and everything! It’s unbelievable! Mind-blowing!”

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