The beauty of origami
A friend told me once how much she loved origami, the art, the skill and the transcendence of folding paper. She is an Aquarian so I humored her. One birthday I went searching for unusual books on origami and discovered a veritable cornucopia of folded paper life. And death as it turns out. There were even guides on origami skulls, skeletons, spooks and specters.
I choose the ones that had water themes as she is a lover of all things water borne and is quite like that element, fluid, ebbing and flowing, graceful and changeable. Delight seemed to follow her home on that gift giving day as she hugged her potential sea friends to her chest and smiled her mermaid smile.
I haven’t thought about it since. Until today.
One week ago my youngest son was unfolded from his lovely, 22 year old boy man shape and refolded into a broken and misshapen wounded thing shape. The origami of a car accident. For a week I have watched while pain made permanent creases in his psyche. And in mine.
During the week I folded a new shape for myself. And I saw that others did the same. Rather different from my friend’s watery wonderland, my shape and the shape of my emerging world was the Garden of Eden with water restrictions. Dry, dusty and unrelentingly hot. I allowed the long moments of bedside contemplation to give shape to the unnamed landscape. Over the days it folded and refolded many times finally creating a kind of softness to the creases so that they had more ‘give’.
I guess it’s the creases I find so interesting as the shapes can change in a moment. We all had a baby shape once, even an embryo and a foetus shape, even maybe the shape of our conception and perhaps a previous life shape. It’s just a shape. Each of those shapes left creases.. I don’t like to think that all the work of folding and unfolding and refolding hasn’t left a mark.
We are all looking at our creases today. And how the week refolded us. Youngest son gets to change shape again into shuffling bear who hunches over his wounded self and waits to heal, and the rest of us look in wonder at the newly created ‘give’ that comes from the shape shifting of sadness, fear, anger and worry.
I remembered being saddened when my youngest son chose to heavily tattoo his body and he said ‘its ok Mum, it’s just the costume we give back to God when we die’. I realise now that he already knew about origami.