Cranes

March 14, 2011

While cleaning out closets this past weekend, I came across a beautiful pack of origami paper. I remember getting it shortly before we left Japan (2006) and in a rare pack-rat moment of glory, I was very glad I had stashed that paper away. I spent most of this afternoon folding paper cranes and thinking about Japan. My heart was so sad and heavy, but as I started to fold and crease the little sheets of paper I was transported back to my first time in Japan (1996). I was sitting on the floor of a chilly classroom, surrounded by a small group of students, and we were folding cranes. A thousand cranes which we eventually laid upon the steps of the local peace memorial. A thousand tiny multi-colored cranes. An offering of peace from an American teacher and her Japanese students in a small village in Southern Japan. 

The next time I attempted to fold a thousand cranes was when my room mate in grad school was dying of a horribly aggressive cancer. I enlisted the help of other students and we attempted to fold as many cranes as we could. We boxed them up and sent them to Holly. A desperate plea for recovery, but it was too late. 

And today in Sicily, Italy I stood at my kitchen counter and started to fold little cranes. Blue and white cranes. Feeling fearful, helpless, and so far away as my fingers began to transform the little squares into individual birds filled with wishes for hope and healing. It's not much, not much at all, but it was what I did today.
se7en said...

Your paper cranes are so very beautiful, we made paper cranes last week for Christ Church NZ (http://lilmagoolie.com/2011/03/04/a-thousand-paper-cranes-for-christchurch/), and we are going to have to make some more for Japan.

Dawn said...

Beautiful Lucia... something beautiful in such a helpless time.

Jujudo said...

All the news from Japan are so heartbreaking. I will sit down and fold cranes and think of the japanese peolpe.

Francesca said...

Sometimes thoughts are all we can offer when the tragedy is so, so incommensurable. But it's better than nothing at all.

likeschocolate said...

How sweet! I know it is so horriable. It is sad that it is moments like these that bring us closer to one another and closer to God.

Mom2Isabel said...

Your words and images leave me speechless.
Thank you, sweet friend.

Corinne said...

this is a really beautiful post Lucia. What a heartfelt gesture.

Laurie said...

They are beautiful...and I think I may fold some cranes myself. It's been a long time.

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