Posted on November 19, 2004 2:2 AM EST
The point is, what's so wonderful, is that everyone of these flowers has a specific relationship with the insect that pollinates it. There's a certain orchid looks exactly like a certain insect. So, the insect is drawn to this flower... it's double, it's soulmate... and wants nothing more than to make love to it. After the insect flies off, it 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. How could they know that because of their little dance the world lives? 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 cannot let anything get in your way.
- John Laroche in movie Adaptation
Follow this link to read an interesting discussion of this quote on Sulekha Coffeehouse: Adaptation Quote Discussion
My final comments in the above discussion:
Looking at the responses on this thread, I have been surprised (and a little disappointed) at the narrow and literal interpretations. I am reminded of the time when I told my grandchildren that they should be like the bees. The young dears ran around the garden, from flower to flower, kissing them. I had to gather them and bring them back inside to tell them that I really meant they should be hard working team players. The young dears who have responded to this thread seem to be showing-off that they are grown-up by talking of (in)fidelity and polyamory. Dear, dear! They have concluded that this message is about jumping from lover to lover.
Some alternative tracks for your train of thoughts:
1. When the insect leaves one flower and moves on to another flower, do you think it is still thinking of the previous flower in any manner or form? Or has it made a clean break from one flower and moved on to the next? If there is a clean break, how could it be polyamory, which by definition is having relationships with more than one person? So, may be the gist of this message is to make a clean break when a relationship ends and to be totally involved and devoted when a relationship is going.
2. The flowers are separated by distance and cannot really travel to one another. Yet, they manage to establish a connection, to share something special, to love, to mate and to help the "world live". They accomplish this without even leaving their places. Is that possible for our hearts? Can we love despite being separated by distances of any kind (geographic, mental, etc.)?
3. It is the natural way of the insects to fly from flower to flower. The insect can't just spend its whole life on one flower or die after "making love" to one flower. The insect is being perfectly true to its nature in what it does, in the way it lives and loves. So, if this message tells us we should love like the flowers and the insects, perhaps it is telling us to love in way that is true to our nature. And not encouraging us to fly from one flower to another (unless that is our true nature).
4. Although the message says the insect and the flower are soul-mates and the insect makes love to the flower, is this really the case? The true mating happens between the flowers and the insect is only a messenger. So, the true lovers are the flowers.
5. The insect is not consciously helping the flowers mate. The insect goes from flower to flower for its own purposes, perhaps for its own mates. So, the insects are also true lovers too.
6. Perhaps that is gist of the message. That the insects, the flowers, everyone are true lovers who make the "world live" by living and loving as per their true nature.
7. There is no need to really speculate or think too much. The central point of the message is in the message itself: the only barometer you have is your heart. when you spot your flower, you cannot let anything get in your way.
PS: When I heard those lines in the movie Adaptation, I did not even think of polyamory or the fleeting nature of love (the insect flies from flower to flower). The thought that first came to me and stayed was that we are all lovers - flowers, insects, all - and by loving in a way that is true to our nature, we make the world live. Feels good to know I have not lost the innocence and idealism of love. :)