Straw into Gold: A Writer Wednesday Post

January 15th, 2014 | Posted by Irene in Essays

Paper Tree by OrionPaper Trees, art and photo by Orion Langdon, © 2014

As I was considering whether or not to post from my retreat, this mesmerizing photograph arrived. It is a detail from an art installation created by artist Orion Langdon, who is also a gifted writer and musician. If he were your nephew, you’d post this, too.

Once I expressed my admiration, I asked him about the construction. “What did you use? Did you have to glue a lot?”

” No glue at all, actually,” he replied. “I cut my trees out of discarded books. Then I used a single piece of thread for each one and suspended them from a net, so there were even distribution options.”

Below, his installation:

Orion's Leaves in SituPaper Trees installation, art and photo © Orion Langdon, 2014


Simple, artful, elegant. Cost-free.

A pile of old books, a spool of thread, a net.  These are articles from fairy tales–to make beauty from them seems an impossible witch’s command. But with faith in the magical powers of creativity, Langdon has spun this straw to gold.

When we so sensitively re-envision and reclaim that which is discarded, it more than good for the Earth. It is good for the soul.


Did you look at anything with new eyes today?

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  • SaxonHenry

    Beautiful, Irene! Thanks for sharing. I looked at old books with new eyes today, thanks to you and your talented nephew!

    • IreneOGarden

      Thanks, Saxon–looking forward to your new book!

      • SaxonHenry

        So kind of you to mention it! I hope you are having an amazing first week back from your retreat.

  • Laura

    Fantastic Art and artfully described.

    • IreneOGarden

      Much appreciated, Lara!

  • Mana

    This post was good for my soul today. Thank you, Irene and thank you, Orion <3

    • IreneOGarden

      You are so welcome, dear Mana!

  • giom

    thank you …it is always fun to see new uses for things…a coat hanger with clips to hang washcloths hold my razor and a scrub brush…I may very well use Orion’s installation in my “centering” room…

    • IreneOGarden

      Thanks giom–I made it my screensaver!

  • Scott

    It is so wonderful to hear from Rumplestiltskin this week. I am particularly impressed with the power of the net to evenly distribute each individual treasure.

    • IreneOGarden

      Not unlike the Inter-Net, I guess, dear Scott!

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