I have a friend, going through a pretty rough time right now. Some frightening health issues have made a lot his friends, many artists, want to do something. So we've started secretly folding origami cranes for him. The japanese tradition of folding 1000 cranes as a gift, Senbazu, is often done for a couple to be married, or a wellness wish for someone sick. What we're all finding, that after we finally get the folding down, the repetition has become addictive. We're texting each other results from obsessed lunch hour folding sessions. I find myself during stressful moments thinking, maybe I'll just fold for twenty minutes. The big number, the results we need, fades to the background and getting lost in the rhythmic moments brings a calm. Meditation. The irony is, my friend's illness is bringing so much of us gratitude for what we have, for having him as an exceptional friend, and now a peace through origami. It's a secret mission, a surprise, maybe for his birthday or just a day in the near future he may need 1000 little reminders of how we feel about him. In the meantime, my elbows are a little sore, the arthritis in my right thumb is flaring but I keep knowing he's going to be ok.
My friend, Alison Bruun, who often refers to herself as an art elf, is patiently teaching all of us how to fold. An amazing paper and metals artist in her own right, she can get a little extreme when she takes on a project. She's been seeing how tiny a crane she can fold. Yes, that is a regular size penny and Alison's finger. Photos thanks to Jason at Rag and Bone Bindery.