It’s Thursday. After a thoroughly regular day, another day of nothing particularly great, things changed.
I woke up feeling great. It’s amazing how easy it actually is to know when something feels right, you know?
Being happy doesn’t require effort.
Date: September 5, 2013
Days Spent on Project: 200
Location: Apartment, Washington Heights, NYC
Person I would have sent it to: Krista A.
I didn’t meet Krista until her final year at Kenyon, when I was a sophomore. We were friends at that time; I thought she was incredibly smart, striking, confident, a gifted actress, cosmopolitan and chic, and just fun.
Because of her experience there, I decided I would go to BADA in London during my junior year. She came back with what appeared to be such a better understanding and control of acting, I knew I wanted that experience as well.
After she finished Kenyon, I would stay in touch. She would encourage me as my time to head to London approached.
And, afterwards, she introduced me a program that would become a huge chapter in my life. She told me of a summer program at Northwestern that was looking for college-age students to assist teachers and directors, who were working with high school students. She was the one who told me about the National High School Institute at Northwestern, a summer program that I would be a part of and love for seven consecutive summers.
And I really have to thank her for that: for the desire and courage to go to BADA and then introducing me to NHSI, the program, and also the scores of brilliant people I would meet through it.
Krista is still an actress. She works in Philly, and I think she even runs a growing theater company there. She’s married. The last time we were able to meet up in New York, she was very happy. She seemed like she had found a great place to be.
She’s one of those souls you meet in life that seems like a calming anchor, a soul that people gravitate to because she’s great at making you feel like things are okay.
Music I listened to while sewing: I just found this group called Fort Fairfield. Do other people know about them?
I’ve been listening specifically to a song called “Zob am Funkturm,” which from what I can tell is a bus stop in Berlin. Knowing that makes the song seem more emotional than it should; don’t know why, but it does…
Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: So today marks the 200th day since I made my first Crane, back on February 18th of this year. As you’ll remember, I had to take a week off as I waited for a new sewing machine to show up… hence the reason I may seem seven cranes behind.
Is it time for reflection?
I now have a stack of Cranes on my desk that is a almost a foot high. At this rate, when the first part of the project is completed, I’ll have a pile of Cranes that will be taller than some people. Each Crane is pinned with a date and a number, so I can remember when they came along and who they’re dedicated to.
And it really is striking to me how each one, in a physical way, represents an hour of my time for the past 200 days. Each one symbolically represents a person whom I’ve met (or in some cases, a group of people: like my first job or high school) in my life. It represents some sort of connection.
That these Cranes will eventually be sewn together, connected into one larger group… it’s an idea that really affects me sometimes.
These separate, unique individuals are represented by separate, unique origami cranes (no combination- so far- is identical, and I hope to keep it that way). They have all been a part of my life, in a variety of different ways, and most of them will have no idea who any of the other people are or have any connection to them. The connecting thread amongst all of them is ME.
In a way, unknowingly, I’ve brought a group of people together. Because of me, this group of people has been a part of something. So, therefore, they haven’t been alone either.
I’m starting to understand that I’m not alone. Because of a stack of fabric origami cranes, I have been here and I have been a part of the world. Just as much as I see these people as being a part of my past, present, and future, there are other people in the world that think of me in their past, in their present, and maybe in their future.
Regardless of how alone it can be/feel in New York City, regardless of the times when you feel so incredibly isolated or insecure or lost or afraid or beneath and above it all or forgotten or unwanted or unworthy or meaningless: regardless of all of that, I’m not. Sitting near me, I literally have a pile of fabric origami cranes that I’ve spent an hour (each!) sewing together and then have pieced together thoughts into a small dedication to people that I believe have influenced my life, however big or small, however positive or negative.
It’s a wonderful thing; to realize you aren’t as alone as it seems. You haven’t been alone. You never could be alone.