Paper has inspired creativity in people since its inception. On each colourful paper sheet adorned with patterns of all descriptions, we wrote the things that we were letting go of or were inviting in before we started the careful process of clumsy folding. We created origami cranes to symbolize that things we want to fly away with the 2017. For the things we hoped would hop (pun intended) into our life in 2018, we created origami frogs that carry our secret wishes for the upcoming year -- and they actually hop too!
Once I knew the difference between valley and mountain folds, I was utterly absorbed in the folds, all other distractions forgotten. There is something affirming about carefully lining up the edges and pressing the paper with one’s fingertips. While they didn’t turn out as polished as I’d hoped, there were plenty of laughs about our folding mishaps mirrored the secrets that our origami creatures contained. For example, my crane with a slightly demented head enclosed my desire to let go of being a know-it-all and be more empowered by the joy of discovery vs application. My frog that hops limply hold my hope for a more financially prosperous 2018. It’s hard not to imagine this is art mirroring life while secretly hoping this isn’t foreshadowing!
The cranes were set alight on New Years Eve, letting their hidden secrets be released, loosening their grips with the turning of the calendar year. Perhaps instead of cranes, we unwittingly created a phoenix when we set them aflame. Perhaps it was a remind that once we’ve shed these feathers that are holding us back we will return stronger and refreshed. I still have a few more frogs to create but the others made the transatlantic journey and sit on my dresser using a makeup compact as a lillypad, as a daily reminder of the hope and optimism I imbued into 2018, of the areas I want to grow, and the secret wishes I hope the universe hears. While the choice to make frogs was random, it is curious that my quick dip into Google revealed that the frog as spirit animal or totem reminds us of the transient nature of our lives. As symbol of transition and transformation, this spirit animal supports us in times of change so perhaps there was a little divine intervention...
Part of the appeal of origami is its curious combination of creativity and rules - a perfect metaphor for life. Folds represents each step we take. Early folds may not be the papers final resting place but instead leaves a crease to guide the next stage of the process much like a memory. When we go too fast, we might miss a fold. One wrong crease and things might fall apart. On our path to creating, we may feel lost, frustrated or just want to give up because our we can’t figure out where we’re supposed to fold yet. But when we slow down, be patient with ourselves and take things one fold or one step at a time things begin to take shape. In life and origami, you can always roll out the creases, unfold where you’re at, and start folding to make a new pattern. Like this ancient paper-folding art, the goal of life is to just keep folding and step-by-step something magical is created.
Nice to meet you...
I'm Andi (hence the blog name). I'm a travel aficionado, passionate eater, tireless explorer of internet rabbit-holes, and amateur thinker. Join me as I give it all up (ok, that's a bit of an exaggeration) and go around the world on a mid-career "soul sabbatical" & year-of-learning to figure out what to be NEXT when I grow up. Won’t you grab a cup of chai and stay a while?
Learn More >