Home > General, self-help, women's issues > Orchid-Speak or Why I Changed My FB Pic

Orchid-Speak or Why I Changed My FB Pic

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Art imitates life, they say.  But in my home, life has become art.   Specifically,  an orchid that is now for me an objet d’art .   Arcing in hues  from boldest to barely blue, it commands the surrounding space, silently shouting “Pay attention to me.”   I’ve become enamored of this exotic plant.  So much so that I photographed it.

Which brings me to Facebook.    Previously an image of a blue butterfly served as  my FB “photo.”  It was a stock drawing, available to any and all for creative use.  I had chosen it because butterflies emerge from cocoons and fly free. I liked that symbolism.  It’s still a nice idea, but I no longer want someone else’s work (even at no charge) to represent me.  Nor is my self-image any longer that of a butterfly, social or otherwise.  Time to proclaim a new public persona.

If you look closely at  the above photo, you’ll see there’s a new, pale flower that doesn’t have the darker colors of its predecessors.  In fact, it’s not even from the same branch, but from a side off-shoot I had overlooked when I bought the plant.  Just above the newly emerging  blossom is a shriveled, not-going to-make-it floweret. Both of them are surrounded by an abundance of beautiful blooms.

In a thought-provoking little book, When I Loved Myself Enough, author Kim McMillen repeated the name of the book on each page and then added what she saw happening in herself as a result.  On one page she wrote, “I began seeing the abuse in trying to force something or someone who isn’t ready — including me.“  On a later page, she continued, “The impulsive part of me learned to wait for the right time.”

Maybe she had an orchid in her home.  Because as I’ve  learned from contemplating this exotic plant,  you don’t force an orchid.   It’s going to wait to open a pregnant bud and birth a beautiful blossom until it somehow knows the time is right.  So it is with me.

I’ll intuitively know when it’s time, so to speak,  to blossom socially again. And I’ve learned as a writer — sometimes to my dismay — that  I have to let some ideas  wither on the vine and focus instead on other ones that are appearing right before my eyes.

Before getting this plant, the only thing I knew about orchids was that they were the prized corsages at prom-time.  I had no idea they have a language of their own that I can hear if I sit quietly and listen.  It took a while to learn orchid-speak.

Now the more I sit silently with it, the more this orchid slowly reveals what’s budding in both of us.

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  1. Maureen Purcell
    May 7, 2015 at 4:39 pm

    So glad you had an issue with your blog and that you posted on FB! I did not know you had a blog but for forward to catching up and enjoying from this day forward!

    • Pat Schudy
      May 7, 2015 at 6:46 pm

      Thanks, Maureen – so glad to have you following and look forward to your insight/comments. As the name of this blog says, it’s intended to be a forum for opinions.

  2. May 17, 2015 at 8:11 pm

    Pat, your article really resonated with me. I know some of what you are going through about losing your husband. But I lost mine gradually during the last 25 years of our marriage. He died 5 years ago this August. About 5 years into our 38 year marriage I believe he developed diabetes. He was formally diagnosed 7 years later with a blood sugar of 800!! He was living normally but tired easily and became more irritable. The toll it took and his subsequent high blood sugars, stroke, surgery and finally heart failure changed him over the years. When he died, I was thankful for his release from a failing body. But I started my life over and am healing from the emotional abuse. I want to blog to help others but would love any input on how to do this without making him sound like a bad person. He was a sick person. Thanks. joyful2bee@gmail.com

    • Pat Schudy
      May 17, 2015 at 9:07 pm

      J2b — I am sorry for your loss and wish you the best on your recovery journey. From what I understand, all this takes time.

      Regarding your desire to write a blog that will “help others” without putting your husband in a bad light. This is a common dilemma for many writers and an important consideration. Perhaps it would help as you write the drafts for each blog to look at the things you are saying and ask yourself, “Does what I am saying help someone or am I just getting something off my chest?” Pointing out that emotional changes may take place in a person suffering from diabetes could help a reader; simply saying that you husband “became more irritable” as the disease progressed shows that you have personal experience with the subject but does not make him sound like a bad person. It sounds like a description of a fact. You could also strengthen the point you are making by quoting an expert from the American Diabetes Association and/or providing information about the Association and its services.

      • May 17, 2015 at 9:17 pm

        Great!! That is excellent advice. Would you recommend I start a different blog site for this kind of writing as as opposed to writing it on joyful2beeblogs since the subject matter may be more sad? I plan to talk with someone at our local domestic abuse care center about how to go about it as well. Thank you for taking time to answer my question. My life is good. I have always been a positive happy person because I wanted to be and now I suspect it is how I survived as well as I did. Thank you again.

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