He Was A Friend Of Mine
He was a strange bird. Not your average student or friend. He never talked much and often you would find him folding up into himself.
To say he was an intovert would almost be an understatement. I always thought of him being selective with the company he chose.
Ask him his favorite thing to do, he would say reading and playing chess. He found in chess, he was like a pawn, small in size and a different shape from the other pieces. He called pawns, sacrificial lambs willingly going to slaughter to save their King, to protect their Queen, and defend honor with their last breath.
Those words alone told me the kind of person he was.
When it came to reading, he almost always talked about the supporting characters that gave the hero the ability to shine. He would say if it weren't for them, the hero would be just another person in an endless stream of words on a page.
As strange as he was to most people, once you were able to ger close enough to know him, you would find he has a big heart he would unfold and take in the pain of one he thought so dearly of.
And here I stand, nearly sixty years later, looking at his headstone, slowly shaking my head and as I walk, I whisper these words, "Ori Gami, the world never knew you the way you wanted them to, but I did."
I was a blank page once - simple, neat, full of potential, but I didn't stay that way for long.
For the next several years, I was folded. They were gentle folds - careful, intentional. I was different now. Those folds changed me. I had more depth. I was more interesting. But I was still sleek and clean, and still very full of potential.
Yet the folding didn't stop. Some folds were creased again and again until the edges started to crinkle. Some folds were flattened and refolded with an ever so slightly different angle. Some folds were still very careful and intentional, while others seemed pointless - undone so quickly there seemed to be no purpose to them at all.
I felt smaller and more cramped, forced into this new shape that I didn't recognize. I wanted to be something - something beautiful, something impressive - but could it truly be worth all of this?
The folds became rougher - forced and frustrated. My edges were beginning to tear, and I began to fear I would never amount to anything more than a crumpled mess tossed aside and forgotten. Who would want something ripped and torn? How could something so broken become anything worth making?
Still, the folds didn't stop. But they were more careful now. There was a shape - a shape I almost recognized. Each deliberate fold brought with it a new layer, a new depth to be explored. Could it be? Could these countless, endless folds still do their work? Could this old, beat-up piece of paper become something beautiful?
One last gentle fold and it was done. Gone was the simple, blank page that I once was. I could never be that way again, but I wouldn't want to be. Certainly, a new, clean sheet of paper has its own beauty, but without each fold, each crease, each change, that blank, clean sheet can never fulfill its potential as I have. I couldn't see where I was going. I didn't know what I would become, and though many changes were difficult - some seemed pointless, and some were painful - without each one of them, I never could have become the beautiful and impressive piece of origami that I am today.
Her eyes laughed,
They sparkled like diamonds.
We danced hand in hand, laughing together.
Another day, another time, her eyes were not the same.
They filled with hate, they burned like heated red coals.
Her words stung, they burned in my mind like fire.
Yet another day, another time, she came by.
Her attitude changed, her friendliness to me gone.
My heart was hurt, my mind was reeling.
I was warned, she was like origami.
I saw the proof, but refused to believe it.
My eyes watched her change everytime a new person went her way.
She folded, creased, and bent her personality,
To be liked, accepted, and loved by anybody.
Our eyelids slowly fold,
your fingernails creasing my skin
as you tell me not to cry.
Suppressed by geometry,
there's no room for imprecision
in our origami sorrow.
There will come a day,
when wet and wrinkled,
our tears will finally fall.
Passionately we’ll surrender.
Wading through waste paper,
we’ll sigh before we die.
I unfold the thin paper for what seems like the millionth time, a tear spilling down my cheek as I recognize the familiar handwriting scrawled across the surface of the origami heart. All the old feelings resurface, a sudden rush of memories filling my numb mind.
A bright smile when my heart feels like breaking.
Soft fingers gripping my own scarred hands.
Suppressed laughter in my dark closet.
Tears fall silently down my face and onto the bright pink paper in my hands, the words written there becoming unreadable. But my mind keeps reading them over and over.
I love you too.
The first time she ever said she loved me.
The last words I ever recieved from her.
If only I could turn back time. Refuse to open this small peice of paper folded so delicately. Maybe then she would still be here with me. Maybe then I could still have her by my side.
Even if it means I will never again hear those words, I would accept it, if only she were still alive.
My sweet Callie.
"Please take it back, please don't leave me," I whisper.
The heart crumples in my grip.
There once was a little boy. He lived in a country house with a pond. The boy also liked to fold origami. He had a big book of origami instructions. One day he folded out a boat and went to the pond. There he let the boat float in the water. But the boat floated out of the boy’s reach.
He went home and folded a swan. It was so beautiful that the boy didn’t want to ruin it. So he gifted it to his cat. His cat was his best friend and companion. The cat gratefully looked at the boy and picked the swan up. Then he and the boy went to the garden. There the cat put down his swan and blew his breath on the swan. And then a miracle happened. The swan shook one wing. Then the other one. Suddenly the swan was walking. The boy, the swan and the cat went to the pond.
There they carefully let in the swan in the water. The swan found the little wet paper that originally was a boat and carried it to the shore. There the cat again blew his breath on the boat. This time the boat was repaired. That’s how this story ends. Happily.
Slender, soft, smooth
Caress the paper
As she folds
A rectangle then triangle
Precise then torn
Becomes a square
Her hands are rough
Hardened and gentle
Crease the square
Angled and layered
Shaped to a pattern
Her hands misshapen
A final inspection
With her mouth she
Crinkles pop, expand
Hands changed by life
Are beautiful with memory
Of all her strife
Ruins as far as the eye can see,
That's if you have any eyes left to see.
Yet, sitting untouched among the rubble,
A beautiful swan of Origami.
Poorly folded penguin
I will always remember my tiny basement room. Our cave.
We spent hours, days, weeks - hiding away.
It was not long after it all happened..
After she tried to kill herself,
that we moved in.
You were so tall, and the walls were so low.
But it was perfect. It was what we needed.
A little space to call our own.
But that’s when the changes began. The deepness rolling through your bones.
Death, and almost-death, changes you. I should know.
Trauma. Traumatic events, making you bend and bow.
Folding into your head.
You screamed - “DON’T LOOK AT ME!!”
- and hid under a pile of blankets and pillows.
I wasn’t allowed to touch you sometimes. So fragile, so tender.
Other times, you couldn’t bare not to be held. So delicate and subdued.
You melted into yourself, as I mothered and cared for you.
Holding you while you cried. Bathing together in a smoke-filled tub.
Loving you, even when you became manic, and depressive,
needing every part of me.
I poured my light over and through you, completly.
Sometimes, it feels so unfair; that I carried you through this, and myself;
and you still left me.
You couldn’t handle me.
You got better. Well, maybe?
You got different.
There was a space she made that night, inside of you,
that I just couldn’t fill.
I just can’t fill.
I’m proud of you, really, for finally giving yourself this time.
For trying to pour your own light into yourself.
But it still hurts, I’m still in pain.
I hold no blame. This is life. This is love.
But it still hurts.
and I’m still in pain.
Sleeping on our floor bed, playing toss the ball in the hole.
We tried so many things, took up so many hobbies in that room.
We would trapes around charity shops, collecting games, and things to do.
Dim music, and reading in softly lit corners.
Blanket forts and talking about the deepest parts of ourselves.
The silence, that was always comfortable.
I loved it all. Every part of it.
Even our darkest moments.
It was real. It was us.
Our foundations were strong, but the land on which we chose to build,
was soft and low-slung. Even the people with the greenest fingers would have struggled to grow something lasting here.
One of my fondest memories, is making origami.
I watched, as you’d chew your tounge with concentration.
You were so good at it, and I was terrible.
Your brain worked like that- intricately and steps ahead.
You showed me how. Step-by-step, we would fold together.
Once a teacher, always a teacher. You had such patience.
We sat for hours, in our glowing cave, folding, crimping, crumpling;
You were so delicate. Just like those pieces of paper.
Once you make a fold, you can’t unfold it. Well, you can, but you will always see that first fold. It will always be there, visible to the trained eye.
And I suppose that’s like a trauma brain -
once the trauma has been made, you can’t undo it.
You can flatten it, and it can be unfolded, but that dent,
that dent, will always be there.
You will always see the trauma, in some form.
It will change, and lessen, but it will always be there.
And that is why, I can wish you the best.
That is why I can understand.
Why I can let you go, so peacefully.
Why I can’t hold you back.
I have to let you find your spark again.
I have to let you grow.
To find a new groove, that fits this era of your life.
Maybe one day, we will find eachother again.
Maybe we can find new land, to place our foundations and build.
But maybe not.
I know that we will see eachother on the otherside, when we are older and wiser.
A spark reignited in us both.
We will come full-circle, as you so fondly say.
Just in a different way.
So, until then,
I will hold my poorly folded penguin, so close to my heart,
and remember the sweetness of our love,
the sweetness of our possibilities.
Never Stop Folding
Life is like a never ending origami. We start off flat, crisp, clean, a blank surface. The world is our oyster. We can be ANYTHING! As time goes on, we start with one fold, then two, then more. Today I may be a swan, tomorrow a cat, and the next day, I may even add the action of being a jumping frog. As life goes on, I may add another person, and we may fold together to make a pinwheel, and even more, as we grow, add smaller people to become a full geometric three dimensional shape, or not. Either way, each day, just keep folding. Keep being. Because once you stop folding, you return to being that lifeless blank piece of paper, just now with old forgotten creases, and dirt from smudges from so much activity. Maybe even some tears. But as long as you keep folding, those creases and tears are out of sight and out of mind. The world is STILL your oyster. Just as long as you keep folding. Never stop folding.