Immersed in the Vivid World of the Echinopsis with @echinopsisfreak

To see more vivid time-lapse videos of Greg’s diverse echinopsis family, follow @echinopsisfreak on Instagram.

Three years ago, Greg Krehel (@echinopsisfreak) encountered a cactus that would change his life. “I’ve always loved cacti and succulents,” he explains. The sogginess of his hometown Miami, however, always killed his desert-loving plants.

All that changed with a cactus Greg selected at random from a local garden store. Not only did it survive—it thrived. “Moreover, the flowers it produced were knockouts,” he says. “Over six inches in diameter and an incredible mix of colors.”

After some sleuthing, Greg realized he was in the possession of an echinopsis, a genus of cactus that thrives in humidity. Not only that, there were hundreds of other varieties out there. “My single echinopsis acquired by accident was soon joined by 5… 25… 50… and now I’m at 100 other echinopsis species and hybrids.”

"My passion for the cacti themselves soon morphed into a passion for imaging them," says Greg. Echinopsis flowers bloom in a day, and peak for only an hour or two. "Their brief existence pushes you to photograph the heck out of them." Inspired by his videographer son, Greg began using time-lapse to capture his cacti’s blooms and quickly found a community of like-minded people on Instagram. "It’s just a kick sharing my passion for this super type of cactus."

By then it’s too late

I would like to say that I’m getting an old, but that’s disrespect to actual old people—I still see settlement as a terrible option.

By 25, we should be surrounded by great people. Heck, I could argue for 23; the sooner the better. Parents were right. Don’t get mixed in with bad people. Push that concept even further; don’t get mixed in with people that don’t make you better.

You know who I’m talking about. Your friends that seem to like everything that you do or say. People who idolize you. People who always give advice you want to hear. People that when you think about them, you mostly just think about you helping them. People that you understand completely. 

And god forbid, if before any of this, you cannot seem to have a mental connection. You might as well forget whatever kind of bonding you had. It is not your problem that you cannot mentally connect with someone. It is also not your responsibility to bring that connection out. There is a place and time for everyone and you should let them fall into place naturally.We cannot be caregivers.

Cherish the ones that argue against you. Cherish the ones that make you shake your head. You may love hamburgers, but that does not mean vegetarianism is incorrect. It’s also important to recognize your comfort zone. What you enjoy and more importantly what you cannot tolerate. Let your friends crack your barrier.

Life is too short for mediocrity and mediocrity might as well be shit. Because by then it will be too late, you will already have confirmed that your friends are fine. 

It could have been today. Actually tomorrow, because I would be flying.

It’s times like these that I reverse and ponder about the impossibility. What was I doing this time last year? Was I thinking about this moment then? Did it ever cross my mind that this would happen? And the most dreadful thought: Could I have prevented this? 

I do this often. My head tilts. I began to create a gif : twirling of a pen, tapping of a finger, opening and closing of a case. My eyes lock onto an object and my face freezes. I enter endless imagination. 

I begin to torture myself of the happiness I could have gave and the pain I could have prevented. I relish over idiosyncrasies that gave me joy. It’s only when I begin to crumble that I end with a proper statement. It wakes me up, but never conclusively.

Linus stopped writing. He took a deep breath and a sip of his cappuccino sake.

It’s a pipedream to say this, but I really hope (Keating would be furious) that one day you will fully appreciate me.

Linus: " Gosh, I’m such an asshole"

Linus folded the letter in half and sharpened the crease by dragging his finger down the edge. He lit the edge on fire with a lighter and crumpled it into his empty cup. It was the same for all of them. The one he wrote when he came back drunk that one night. The other one he wrote to her about supporting everything she did; on the day Linus was suspended from college. And then that crazy one, where he explained his lust to eat her out(crazily) so she would dip her hands in his hair once more. But Linus knew that wasn’t reality. Linus knew that even if she read them, the words would never connect with her. She would never write back. 

Linus went back into his room and slipped into his messy bed. His girlfriend leaned over and kissed him on his cheek. An act of unconsciousness. Linus didn’t love her, but people say that a relationship is just give and take. 

Linus’ imagination began to bubble.

Linus: ” I want katsu.”

  • Daisy: Oh Em Gee Lawrence, thank you so so much for picking me up. I missed my flight because I wanted to Instragram the Hello Kitty Store. It was so pink and pretty! I got so many likes too!
  • Lawrence. I feel like I just downloaded a PDF about you.
  • Daisy: What?
  • Lawrence: You want to go to In-N-Out right?
  • Daisy: Yes Yes! I hear they have a secret menu? But I'm not eating, I just want to take a pi- Hello? Yes Mom, I just arriv....Yes, Lawrence is right ne.....What?
  • [ Daisy goes on speaking Cantonese in a furious manner. She begins to gesture with her hands and shakes her head many times. Daisy ends her call.]
  • Lawrence: Is everything okay? Auntie isn't mad right?
  • Daisy: What do you mean? She was just asking how to save pictures from Google Images.

Man: I don’t understand why we’re so obsessed about gay rights. Being gay is equivalent to being straight. Its bisexuality that we should be concerned about. Being bisexual is evolution. Bisexuality is REALLY what we should be “progressive” about.
Friend : yeah, love should not be limited by gender. We should all learn to love people for who they are.
Man : yeah but one problem….I just cant fucking do penis. I just cant.
Friend: what the..
Man : im serious, i also love pussy..
Friend: well do you still want this donut?
Man stares at the circular sweet as he focuses in on the empty circle in the middle.
Man : yeah i still want it.
Man puts chopstick through the hole and locks eyes with Friend.
End Scene.

  • Man eats sandwich while waiting for the bus.
  • Girlfriend moves in and tries to grab a bite.
  • The Man : What are you doing....I'm hungry.
  • Girlfriend : But I'm your girlfriend!
  • The Man stares at her for a brief moment and then continues eating.


You are introduced to someone at a conference. They look nice and you have a brief chat about the theme of the keynote speaker. But already, partly because of the slope of their neck and a lilt in their accent, you have reached an overwhelming conclusion. Or, you sit down in the carriage – and there, diagonally opposite you – is someone you cannot stop looking at for the rest of a journey across miles of darkening countryside. You know nothing concrete about them. You are going only by what their appearance suggests. You note that they have slipped a finger into a book (The Food of the Middle East), that their nails are bitten raw, that they have a thin leather strap around their left wrist and that they are squinting a touch short-sightedly at the map above the door. And that is enough to convince you. Another day, coming out of the supermarket, amidst a throng of people, you catch sight of a face for no longer than eight seconds and yet here too, you feel the same overwhelming certainty – and, subsequently, a bittersweet sadness at their disappearance in the anonymous crowd.

Crushes: they happen to some people often and to almost everyone sometimes. Airports, trains, streets, conferences – the dynamics of modern life are forever throwing us into fleeting contact with strangers, from amongst whom we pick out a few examples who seem to us not merely interesting, but more powerfully, the solution to our lives. This phenomenon – the crush – goes to the heart of the modern understanding of love. It could seem like a small incident, essentially comic and occasionally farcical. It may look like a minor planet in the constellation of love, but it is in fact the underlying secret central sun around which our notions of the romantic revolve.

A crush represents in pure and perfect form the dynamics of romantic philosophy: the explosive interaction of limited knowledge, outward obstacles to further discovery – and boundless hope.

The crush reveals how willing we are to allow details to suggest a whole. We allow the arch of someone’s eyebrow to suggest a personality. We take the way a person puts more weight on their right leg as they stand listening to a colleague as an indication of a witty independence of mind. Or their way of lowering their head seems proof of a complex shyness and sensitivity. From a few cues only, you anticipate years of happiness, buoyed by profound mutual sympathy. They will fully grasp that you love your mother even though you don’t get on well with her; that you are hard-working, even though you appear to be distracted; that you are hurt rather than angry. The parts of your character that confuse and puzzle others will at last find a soothing, wise, complex soulmate.

The answer to life

In elaborating a whole personality from a few small – but hugely evocative – details, we are doing for the inner character of a person what our eyes naturally do with the sketch of a face.

We don’t see this as a picture of someone who has no nostrils, eight strands of hair and no eyelashes. Without even noticing that we are doing it, we fill in the missing parts. Our brains are primed to take tiny visual hints and construct entire figures from them – and we do the same when it comes to character. We are – much more than we give ourselves credit for – inveterate artists of elaboration. We have evolved to be ready to make quick decisions about people (to trust or withhold, to fight or embrace, to share or deny) on the basis of very limited evidence – the way someone looks at us, how they stand, a twitch of the lips, a slight movement of the shoulder – and we bring this ingenious but fateful talent to situations of love as much to those of danger.

The cynical voice wants to declare that these enthusiastic imaginings at the conference or on the train, in the street or in the supermarket, are just delusional; that we simply project a false, completely imaginary idea of identity onto an innocent stranger. But this is too sweeping. We may be right. The wry posture may really belong to someone with a great line in scepticism; the head tilter may be unusually generous to the foibles of others. The error of the crush is more subtle, it lies in how easily we move from spotting a range of genuinely fine traits of character to settling on a recklessly naive romantic conclusion: that the other across the train aisle or pavement constitutes a complete answer to our inner needs.

The primary error of the crush lies in overlooking a central fact about people in general, not merely this or that example, but the species as a whole: that everyone has something very substantially wrong with them once their characters are fully known, something so wrong as to make an eventual mockery of the unlimited rapture unleashed by the crush. We can’t yet know what the problems will be, but we can and should be certain that they are there, lurking somewhere behind the facade, waiting for time to unfurl them.

How can one be so sure? Because the facts of life have deformed all of our natures. No one among us has come through unscathed. There is too much to fear: mortality, loss, dependency, abandonment, ruin, humiliation, subjection. We are, all of us, desperately fragile, ill-equipped to meet with the challenges to our mental integrity: we lack courage, preparation, confidence, intelligence. We don’t have the right role models, we were (necessarily) imperfectly parented, we fight rather than explain, we nag rather than teach, we fret instead of analysing our worries, we have a precarious sense of security, we can’t understand either ourselves or others well enough, we don’t have an appetite for the truth and suffer a fatal weakness for flattering denials. The chances of a perfectly good human emerging from the perilous facts of life are non-existent. Our fears and our frailties play themselves out in a thousand ways, they can make us defensive or aggressive, grandiose or hesitant, clingy or avoidant – but we can be sure that they will make everyone much less than perfect and at moments, extremely hard to live with.

We don’t have to know someone in any way before knowing this about them. Naturally, their particular way of being flawed and (consequently very annoying) will not be visually apparent and may be concealed for quite long periods. If we only encounter another person in a fairly limited range of situations (a train journey, rather than when they are trying to get a toddler into a car seat; a conference, rather than 87 minutes into a shopping trip with their elderly father) we may, for a very long time indeed (especially if we are left alone to convert our enthusiasm into an obsession because they don’t call us back or are playing it cool), have the pleasure of believing we have landed upon an angel.

A mature person thinks, not, ‘There’s nothing good here’, but rather ‘The genuinely good things will – inevitably – come mixed up with really terrible things’

Maturity doesn’t suggest we give up on crushes. Merely that we definitively give up on the founding romantic idea upon which the Western understanding of relationships and marriage has been based for the past 250 years: that a perfect being exists who can solve all our needs and satisfy our yearnings. We need to swap the Romantic view for the Tragic Awareness of Love, which states that every human can be guaranteed to frustrate, anger, annoy, madden and disappoint us – and we will (without any malice) do the same to them. There can be no end to our sense of emptiness and incompleteness. This is a truth chiselled indelibly into the script of life. Choosing who to marry or commit ourselves to is therefore merely a case of identifying which particular variety of suffering we would most like to sacrifice ourselves for, rather than an occasion miraculously to escape from grief.

We should enjoy our crushes. A crush teaches us about qualities we admire and need to have more of in our lives. The person on the train really does have an extremely beguiling air of self-deprecation in their eyes. The person glimpsed by the fresh fruit counter really does promise to be a gentle and excellent parent. But these characters will, just as importantly, also be sure to ruin our lives in key ways, as all those we love will.

A caustic view of crushes shouldn’t depress us, merely relieve the excessive imaginative pressure that our romantic culture places upon long-term relationships. The failure of one particular partner to be the ideal Other is not – we should always understand – an argument against them; it is by no means a sign that the relationship deserves to fail or be upgraded. We have all necessarily, without being damned, ended up with that figure of our nightmares, ‘the wrong person.’

Romantic pessimism simply takes it for granted that one person should not be asked to be everything to another. With this truth accepted, we can look for ways to accommodate ourselves as gently and as kindly as we can to the awkward realities of life beside another fallen creature, for example, never feeling that we have to spend all of our time with them, being prepared for the disappointments of erotic life, not insisting on complete transparency, being ready to be maddened and to madden, making sure we are allowed to keep a vibrant independent social life and maintaining a clear-eyed refusal to act on sudden desires to run off with strangers on trains… A mature understanding of the madness of crushes turns out to be the best and perhaps the only solution to the tensions of long-term love.

i scrolled through this late at night and wondered why the bolded text read so familiar. 
something to read again and again.
points in the direction of why so many us are emotionally immature. why we give in to conveniences.
beguilement of modern society.