White paper cranes are just one of those things that I am just drawn to! You know what I mean? When every time you see something you just think “ahee that is just wonderful!” and then you realize you’ve had the same thought about the same thing multiple times and finally realize its time to think about why you think that in the first place? Mmhmm. Paper cranes. Always captivate me and draw me in with their mystery. So, it was time to dig in to the reason behind this quirk-love of mine.
Historically, cranes are an animal of special value. They have served as a symbol of various things including love, joy, happiness, light, longevity and a spirit of wisdom. Greek and Roman myths portray the dance of cranes as a love of joy and celebration of life and Japanese refer to cranes as “the bird of happiness” and the Chinese call it a “heavenly crane.” Personally, I just like them. And God speaks to me through them.
I love paper and I love white and I love birds. So, it just kind of makes sense that I would be drawn to this concept. But the more I think about it, the deeper I go in meaning.
One individual crane is so beautiful! So many creases, folds, corners and surfaces- they are so intricate! One can stand alone. So why make a million more and tie them together? Simply put, because there is beauty in the repetition.
The tradition of folding 1,000 paper cranes started with Sadako Sasaki, a girl diagnosed with leukemia after the bombings of Hiroshima, and believed 1.000 cranes would bring about recovery to good health, happiness and a world of eternal peace. She only completed 644 before she died, but her classmates folded the remaining 356 to honour her. Now, folding 1.000 cranes is a tradition that has carried into events like September 11 as a gesture of healing and sympathy. Although I don’t believe in the superstition of this tradition, I think the heart behind it is remarkable; the heart of healing, peace and hope (which, really come in their fullness from the Spirit of God). I love what is represented and communicated through the form of a crane.
And, to me, for some reason, the repetitiveness is captivating. Its like a pearl. One pearl is intricately made, but a string of pearls adds a depth to the beauty that is otherwise not conveyed. One folded crane is striking, and a string of them is just marvelous!
In light of paper cranes, Breathturn by Hammock (click it!) is the most creative and amazing music video I’ve ever seen. its overwhelmingly beautiful and moving.
and, alas, I love paper cranes.