Paper Cranes

Last night I found a stack of colored paper. They were 12″x12″ and dusty from having sat on my shelf for the past three years. I don’t remember why I got them, but I’ve always remembered them being there.

I took them from the shelf and I dropped them on my desk, their purpose still uncertain, and I didn’t expect myself to do anything.

I then proceeded to spend a while doing homework, doing laundry, and preparing dinner. In this time I had forgotten about the stack of papers and allowed myself to get lost in the routine that I had mindlessly adopted over the past month.

When I came back to my desk while going through the motions of cleaning my room which I now do routinely as well, the stack of papers had a new appeal to them. It posed itself as an opportunity to escape my regimen. So I sat down and I flipped through the seven different colors that repeated themselves tirelessly and considered what I could feasibly do.

I never considered myself to be particularly talented or artistic in any way, art classes have always marked themselves as the low points in my grade book. But I was suddenly inspired to do something with them. I knew I couldn’t draw so I eliminated that, my painting skills were on par with my drawing, but folding paper, I was a beast at folding paper.

Photo: Museum of fine arts, St. Petersburg

Now I had never really attempted Origami, but I approached it rather confidently because of my unexpected prowess in the field of paper airplane design. So I went online, and I decided to make a crane.

When I finally completed my first crane about 15 minutes later, it looked decent, and that presented itself as an incredible surprise.

But I had done it, I’d done something that wasn’t typical of me during this drawn-out period of self-isolation, and it was invigorating. I had suddenly found a simultaneous outlet and power I had over the nationwide restrictions.

I was restrained to my home, I had little power in that regard. But nothing could stop me from making those little paper cranes. In the last 12 hours, I have made an embarrassing number of paper cranes but I don’t see an end in sight.

If only I could make them fly.

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