From the Horse's Mouth

iou some Adaptation

Posted in Dreams, Mind Goo by theskinhorse on July 25, 2009

I glanced at your blog and saw:

oui oui oui oui oui oui … over and over again, taking up pages…

until the word and the form broke down as the spacing became different and the letters ran together.

ouio uiou ioui oui ouiouiouio uioui ouio uiou iou iou iou iou … the transformation to iou over and over again.

Instead a string of oui’s without any other content, the message became extremely different: iou. This begged the question of what, what does the I owe you?

It read somewhere down the page of nonsensicle things to owe another: iou sky, iou soft, iou heart… iou love. That was the one that struck me: iou love. I wanted to reach out to hold you and tell you no, love is not something you owe another. I knew I was not the you being spoken of or to in the spiraling message. But I have been in that I before and in that you. It was so diificult to see a loved one be the I in the owing. You don’t owe him anything; you do not carry the responsibility of making him realize beauty and life. You have showed him all you can by action and example, with your affection and words, in all times and spaces that togetherness was possible.

In Adaptation there are four central characters: Charlie, Donald, Susan and Laroche. If you haven’t seen the movie, the associations break down like this: Charlie and Donald are identical twin brothers both screen play writers but with very non-identical personalities. Susan and Laroche become romantically involved despite the fact that Susan is married and that she originally thought Laroche was a madman. In these couples, it becomes apparent that one of the 2 “know how to live,” in a sense. They exude passion and exuberance in the face of life. They take chances and opportunities for experience even if it may cost them time and pain. These characters are Donald and Laroche. Susan and Chralie tend to be more isolated, at least personally, emotionally. The way they live their lives is more governed by sadness, anxiety or fear. They don’t put all their chips on the table, rather they don’t even sit down at it most times. Susan hides her truths from people, even herself. Charlie believes that his truths are ugly and so hides himself from people. What’s the point in all this? Donald and Laroche have elements in them that are so bright, they ignite others around them. If the Charlies and Susans of the world want to really live, they should learn from the Donalds and Laroches. It is not an easy process and certainly not a quick one. Sometimes, as unfortunate as it sounds, for Charlie or Susan to start living, they must burn on their own, learning to create their own light in the abscence of Donald and Laroche.

Charlie Kaufman: There was this time in high school. I was watching you out the library window. You were talking to Sarah Marsh.
Donald Kaufman: Oh, God. I was so in love with her.
Charlie Kaufman: I know. And you were flirting with her. And she was being really sweet to you.
Donald Kaufman: I remember that.
Charlie Kaufman: Then, when you walked away, she started making fun of you with Kim Canetti. And it was like they were laughing at *me*. You didn’t know at all. You seemed so happy.
Donald Kaufman: I knew. I heard them.
Charlie Kaufman: How come you looked so happy?
Donald Kaufman: I loved Sarah, Charles. It was mine, that love. I owned it. Even Sarah didn’t have the right to take it away. I can love whoever I want.
Charlie Kaufman: But she thought you were pathetic.
Donald Kaufman: That was her business, not mine. You are what you love, not what loves you. That’s what I decided a long time ago.
Donald Kaufman: Whats up?
Charlie Kaufman: Thank you.
Donald Kaufman: For what?”

John Laroche: You know why I like plants?
Susan Orlean: Nuh uh.
John Laroche: Because they’re so mutable. Adaptation is a profound process. Means you figure out how to thrive in the world.
Susan Orlean: [pause] Yeah but it’s easier for plants. I mean they have no memory. They just move on to whatever’s next. With a person though, adapting almost shameful. It’s like running away.”

And the one we must never forget:

John Laroche: Point is, what’s so wonderful is that every one of these flowers has a specific relationship with the insect that pollinates it. There’s a certain orchid look exactly like a certain insect so the insect is drawn to this flower, its double, its soul mate, and wants nothing more than to make love to it. And after the insect flies off, spots another soul-mate flower and makes love to it, thus pollinating it. And neither the flower nor the insect will ever understand the significance of their lovemaking. I mean, how could they know that because of their little dance the world lives? But it does. By simply doing what they’re designed to do, something large and magnificent happens. In this sense they show us how to live – how the only barometer you have is your heart. How, when you spot your flower, you can’t let anything get in your way.

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2 Responses

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  1. redpillneo said, on July 25, 2009 at 6:15 pm

    I like it. John would do well to advise, however, that these beautfiul insects must be hard enough to survive the occasional venus fly trap.

    I wonder if one can really be pants – to have no memory, to go and be and love simply because we are. In a number of ways, it would make us deeper, but also shallower; only loving what’s there, never seeking that one unfathomable blossom that spreads before you and demands awe.

    • theskinhorse said, on July 27, 2009 at 7:47 am


      And yeah, John recognizes many different facets of Nature and her harshness, gentleness, trials, requisites and miracles.

      I never read Watchmen, but I saw the movie last night and your response in regards to plants makes me think of Dr. Manhattan. He is more non-human than human during the course of the story, and watching his example, one can see the beauty, the love, the coldness, the impartiality of the Transformed Children of Nature. Humans seem too connected to each other, life and their condition to understand Dr. Manhattan or plants. There is nothing innately positive or negative about the mindset… any of them.

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