jb: Part of my paper-crane-army-of-health-and-love flying off into the world…

jb: According to Japanese legend, if you fold a thousand paper cranes you will be granted a wish (usually for long life, recovery from illness or injury). This past week, I have been part of a group folding cranes for one of the moms in my son’s first grade class who has stage-4 cancer.

Making these cranes was quite a learning experience for me and it wasn’t just about the paper folding part. (Although, I must admit my first few cranes where suspiciously not-crane-like and I never really seemed to get much faster, even though my cranes, thankfully, looked better.) It’s also common to write a message on the inside of the paper before folding it, so I wrote my wishes for her “health” and “full recovery” and “cancer-free life” on each paper. I tried to meditate and infuse each little origami paper with my wish as I folded it. (Although, in all honestly, some were also infused with frustration at trying to get a 3×3 piece of paper to fold into a recognizable crane without ripping.)

The whole process got me thinking about other people in my life that might benefit from cranes. A friend that was undergoing brain surgery that week definitely qualified. (Unfortunately, it was a sudden event, without enough notice to make cranes. Gratefully, the surgery was successful, even though she was crane-less.) But who else did I know that could use a little paper-crane-army-of-love on their side? Would cranes help with emotional injuries and other life challenges, too? If so, what would I write in my friend’s cranes? What would I write in mine?

j: My view… a lot of the time.