Art Friday: Paper Cranes

A photoshopped picture of a crane on a string of cranes. This is from the baby shower. I still have some hanging in my living room.

In the Spring of 2012, I had a miscarriage.   I didn’t know I wanted a child, but after finding out I was pregnant, I was overjoyed. I was so overjoyed, that I blurted out to my best friend, ‘I’m pregnant!’ at the tender stage of 6 weeks.  She gave me an ‘Are you kidding look?’  she was also 6 weeks pregnant.  Four of my high school friends were pregnant at the same time, and we were all 38.  So when I miscarried at 10 weeks, it was sad with an extra side of bitter.

Skip ahead 28 weeks later, I’m throwing a baby shower.  Please note: I WANTED to throw the baby shower. And I decided to make my own decorations.  Paper Cranes.  At the time, I didn’t know anything about paper cranes, except that I knew I could figure it out, they looked cool strung together, and I had a ton of brightly colored magazine paper waiting for a purpose.  So several weeks before the shower, I dove headfirst into a pool of YouTube videos on the Art of Origami’ing Paper Cranes, and I became a Boss.

What I didn’t realize until later, when my friend shed a tear over her love of the cranes and she shared with me the meaning of Origami Cranes, was just how special these cranes are.

From Wikipedia:

“An ancient Japanese legend promises that anyone who folds a thousand origami cranes will be granted a wish by a crane. Some stories believe you are granted eternal good luck, instead of just one wish, such as long life or recovery from illness or injury. This makes them popular gifts for special friends and family. The crane in Japan is one of the mystical or holy creatures (others include the dragon and the tortoise) and is said to live for a thousand years: That is why 1000 cranes are made, one for each year. In some stories it is believed that the 1000 cranes must be completed within one year and they must all be made by the person who is to make the wish at the end. Cranes that are made by that person and given away to another aren’t included: All cranes must be kept by the person wishing at the end.

A thousand paper cranes are traditionally given as a wedding gift by the father, who is wishing a thousand years of happiness and prosperity upon the couple. They can also be given to a new baby for long life and good luck. Hanging them in one’s home is thought to be a powerfully lucky and benevolent charm.”

During that time,  I focused on folding bits of paper, creating cranes.  Beautiful cranes.  These make for awesome decorations.  I used old magazines, National Geographic/Southern Living/Catalogs etc., I was saving for a project.  I found a great project and these cranes helped me heal.   Making them and stringing them together became an after work ritual; I’d make ten and string them together; make ten and string them together. I’m not sure if I made 1000, more or less.  Had I known the tradition, I would have made 1000 exactly.

This process, working with my hands to create something beautiful, opened me back up to new possibilities, and one of those cranes granted me a wish.

I spent a lot of time singing THIS SONG, but substituting the word crane for many of the words… try it.  You will see what I mean.

This is my Friday Shout out to the Art of Origami Crane Making.

Categories: Art

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