Tag Archives: cranes

1000 Origami Cranes

IMG_1733.png

Yes, I counted them.

On December 8, 2015, I decided to implement 2 minor changes in my life. First, I began teaching myself to play the ukulele, and second, I began folding 1000 origami cranes. Now, just under 5 months later, my time investment has manifested into accomplishment. Not that I will ever be performing Led Zepplin’s greatest hits on the ukulele for an appreciative audience, but I can make songs come out of the thing, anyway. And here are my 1000 paper cranes.

If you’re unfamiliar with the legend of the 1000 paper cranes, it’s an old bit of Japanese folklore: whoever folds these cranes in less than a year and keeps them in their home will be granted a wish, or lifelong luck. Some say they stand for prosperity and health, or for prayers for peace. Things like that. It was a more obscure superstition until after World War II, when a little girl named Sadako Sasuki, dying from leukemia caused by her proximity to the atomic bombing of Hiroshima as a baby,  started to fold them in the hospital while praying to beat the cancer. She didn’t make it, but her determination was communicated throughout the country until she became a symbol herself.

Traditionally, the cranes are threaded together on 25 strings in bunches of 40. I think I may put them into a less rigid accounting, but the main thing is to keep the rainbow pattern.

I never had a specific wish associated with these cranes. I’d like peace and prosperity and good health, surely. But really I was just trying to remind myself what it’s like to see a big project through to the end. For me, the end wasn’t about wishing, but about returning to the beginning. From the beginning, I knew that when I finished folding cranes, I would start writing a new book, a different book from the other books I’ve written, a book that would be unconstrained by the world’s notion about what’s OK. A horror novel, a ghost story, a tale of obsession, a metaphor for addiction. A book where extremely messed up things happen to wholly innocent people because the world is inherently unfair. A book without apology, that doesn’t care if it offends you, because frankly, the world doesn’t care if it offends me, so why pull punches? My 11th unpublished novel…

Selling is boring. Selling is the worst. Creating things is exciting, and it is the best.

To that end, I’ll probably be changing the format of the blog in the near future, but it’s uncertain what that would look like right now. It doesn’t seem possible to just stop drawing comics, but it been proven repeatedly that 4 comics a week isn’t feasible. There are other things to do.

Dragon Comics 133

dragon comics 133_edited-1.png

Hoggle, I don’t think we’re in the Goblin City anymore

I am less dead than yesterday. Hooray! I even went to a Reddit meetup for some reason. That was surreal. Although maybe it was just the cold medicine. Accomplished some, but not all of the writing-related tasks. Book reviews stack up fast. Or maybe not that fast, since most of them were already overdue. Maybe I’m just slow. However, I’ve emerged from a dense cloud of origami cranes, and it only took 4 months, 3 weeks, and 3 days.

37 Paper Cranes

IMG_8235

So majestic! Watch them swoop and dive across the marsh, reveling in their freedom.

I thought I could try to fold 100 origami cranes as a sort of a symbolic intention for peace but as it turns out there’s a vast difference between doing origami as a kid and doing origami as an adult, and the difference is that when you’re a kid you can do whatever you want with your body and not feel it. When you’re adult, you might start off with, say, nerve damage in the thumb of your dominant hand, which makes it difficult to keep your creases straight, and then, after a while, your terrible posture activates the bad disc in your cervical spine and before you know it, you can barely even hold a piece of paper. And it doesn’t help that you didn’t start until 11 o’clock at night, because people wanted to talk to you before that, and it also took you a while to remember how to fold a paper crane.

So you fold paper cranes until you’re in terrible pain all over and also kind of nauseated, about 3 hours, and you end up with a rainbow of 37 paper cranes, proud and proper, if not perfectly straight.

Should have started earlier. Could have gotten at least halfway. Something just snapped, though. No more paper cranes today.