Friday, March 25, 2011

What you make of it, it is!

I have spent some hours over the last several days at a table on the Driscoll Bridge at DU helping with fundraising efforts for the relief efforts in Japan. We've been collecting funds, writing in a "Book of Condolences", and folding origami cranes. The table has been staffed throughout the day by students, faculty and staff -- most of whom are Japanese or are studying Japanese. All of them are much more accomplished crane-folders than I!

I have learned over the past several months to fold two - count 'em: TWO - different kinds of cranes; one is just an additional set of folds different than the other. And this morning, I finally folded a crane from a smaller sheet of paper! Quite an accomplishment. Not! The students were folding smaller and smaller cranes. The smallest I saw probably measures less than a half-inch, wing-tip to wing-tip!

But what was eye-popping, and worth a bit of reflection, were the other creations that emerged from a single, square, sheet of paper. Boxes, frogs, multi-petaled roses, stars, bunnies, and on and on! One student had her laptop open, and was web-surfing to all sorts of creations. Their skills, and understanding of the folding-and-tucking techniques, allowed them to see instructions for something new, and turn out a polished product in a minute or so. And all from a single sheet of square paper (and, for the purist, no scissors!).

A single sheet of square paper. Potentiality. What it becomes dependent on the skills, talents and wishes of the folder. That paper has no internal intention; it doesn't lie there expecting to be a crane or a frog . . . or a Yoda. It is pure potential.

A quote I acquired sometime back (I can't remember the source) reads: "Every new morning is a new beginning of our life. Every day is a completed whole." Remembering that at the beginning of the day helps me put away the previous day with it's accumulated baggage. The next several hours spread before me may have appointments or specific tasks, all with ostensible, predictable (or desired) outcomes. But those are not the ONLY possible outcomes. By bringing who, or what I am, to them, I have the opportunity to steer them in one direction or another. Much like choosing to fold a star or a box.

I will admit that I'm not a fan of fate, or determinism. I believe that I am always involved in a process of co-creation—the Divine and I working together for something better than the present. That implies that each encounter, each decision, is much like a 6x6 sheet of origami paper. I bring my experience, my talents, my values, and my desires to them. And that are full of potential.

What I make of them, they are.



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