I finally visited the Exploratorium’s new location; it was even more wonderful and inspiring than the one I grew up with. They had a whole section on automata – something I’ve always been inexplicably drawn to since I was a kid and always wanted to try making myself, but never have. Why? For all the usual reasons: too many other “important responsibilities”, not enough time, not enough space, don’t have the tools/skills/materials/whatever and the real show stopper “why?”. That annoying question I heard whenever I had another “crazy idea”, that question that I never had a good enough answer to and which ultimately stopped me in my tracks.
But then I saw Scott Weaver’s, “Rolling Through the Bay” sculpture at the Exploratorium and learned that it took 37 years and 105,387 and 1/2 toothpicks for him to create this moving sculpture of San Francisco. (Take a minute and see it in action here. I’ll wait.)
Uhh…. what was my excuse for not making stuff again???
Time for me to get started. Luckily, my best friend j just issued another 30 day challenge. She’s going to make something every day for 30 days and she’s invited the world to join her. I’m in (with a slight modification to fit my life); I’ve decided that since I exercise 20 minutes a day 5 days a week, then I can do something creative 20 minutes a day 5 days a week. It’s time to exercise my creative muscles.
Wanna join in? Feel free to link here to your creations. I can’t wait to see what you make!
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.