Block 999: April 18, 2016



(holy crap.)

Date: April 18, 2016

Crane: 999

Days Spent on Project: 1153

Location: NW Portland, OR

Person I would have sent it to: TBD

Music I listened to while sewing: Surprise, I’ve got Youtube playing Alexander McQueen’s “Widows of Culloden.” Today is all about strings and wind instruments.

Thoughts/Feelings behind the block: As we sum things up, I’ve taken the time to discuss the structure of this blog over the past few days and entries.

I talked about the legend of the 1000 Origami Cranes a bit yesterday. I wrote why I listed the “where” this project is happening. I mentioned why including the music was somewhat important for this project and this blog.

I know I’ve put this information out there before, but I want take a moment to discuss the most important aspect of this project: The People behind it, the “who,” the individuals who would eventually get a Crane.

I needed, when this project started its genesis in my head in December 2012, to remind myself that I was not alone. I needed to remember that I wasn’t abandoned. I needed to feel connected to other people.

I needed something tangible and physical that showed me, yes, I was here.

My life had worth.

My life had meaning.

I, like everyone else, was a gift worth sharing with the world.

As 2012 was wrapping itself up, I felt so isolated and lost and confused.

I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t happy with the direction of my life. I wasn’t happy with the location I was in. I wasn’t happy with the ups and downs, the unknowns, the uncertainties in the life I was leading.

That year, I had worked on another Broadway show. I had moved to a new apartment way uptown that was so much better than the one I had been living in. I had managed to find work sporadically and consistently, if that’s possible.

But I was unhappy.

I know now that I was most likely severely depressed. I know now, not that I’ve been evaluated professionally, that I most likely suffer from depression throughout life. (Even now, with health insurance, I’m hesitant to go to a doctor for an evaluation or seek medication for this… I don’t know why I continue to have a hang up about that.)

I was really, very, truly unhappy.

And, to be purposefully ambiguous, I was taking that unhappiness out on myself. And I was scared by it.

If I making 1,000 Origami Cranes could earn someone a wish, I wanted to be happy enough so that I’d take care of myself. I wanted to be okay. I wanted to feel good. I wanted to be a part of Life, rather than apart from it.

I wanted to know my life had had worth and that I had worth and that continuing to live it would be worthwhile.

What was the connector that made me link 1,000 Origami Cranes with 1,000 people? What thing made my mind bring the two together? What caused me to think thanking 1,000 people with a quilted origami crane would be a worthwhile “thank you for being a part of my life?”

I honestly don’t know.

I can’t remember how I made the connection. I wish I had written my thought process down as this project was forming… Maybe this is another reason why I’ve seemingly written down and over-shared or under-shared so much on this blog; I don’t want to forget any of this creative process.

By thanking 1,000 people, I was hoping to show myself- one day at a time- that I wasn’t alone in this world. I had made it to the then- and the now- present not by myself, but constantly surrounded by people who had given me something.

Maybe they gave my friendship or their time or a valuable lesson or a job or a paycheck or experience or an evening out or heartbreak. Everyone included in this project has given me something- good or bad, boring or exciting, helpful or harmful, pleasant or tedious. It’s obvious and easy to think of your many friends, of your blood-family and the “family” you’ve collected through living Life (the family you’re born into and then the family you choose and collect for yourself.

But, to be honest with myself and my life and my feelings, I chose to include the not-so-great experiences and people, too. They’ve (perhaps more) done just as much shaping as the people who’ve positively affected me. So, the middle school bullies would be acknowledged along with my family. The ex-boyfriends would be there along with friends from college. The work frenemies would get a shout-out along with the people I’d met through my dog.

Thanking 1,000 people has and always will be the true goal of this project.

I stopped doing that, on purpose, after Crane 722 because I’d hit the present day in Portland, OR and I didn’t feel like I had enough perspective to make any dedications objectively.

The last aspect of this project, maybe the biggest part of it, is somehow and somewhere acknowledging these 1,000 people publicly. I really do want to figure out a way to show this off. I want people to have the opportunity to arrive at this and see it and experience it and feel like they’re a part of it too.

I post these pictures on Facebook and have been doing so for the entirety of the project. As I post my last Crane tomorrow (and I already know what it is and will look like… I have two pieces of fabric left to use; I bought just enough for this part of it), I’ve wondered if it’s time to let those people on Facebook know more about the project. They don’t really know why I’ve started it. I’ve been elusive and haven’t said much about it.

I feel like it might be too early. But it might not?

I have 24 hours or so to think about that choice still.

Anyway, the people in your life are the real reason to keep living it.

I was at a point in my life- back in December 2012- when I really questioned my worth and myself and why I wanted to keep going.

You keep going for the people around you.

I’ve learned that I can’t please everyone.

Not everyone will like me.

I won’t like everyone.

Not everyone can make me happy.

But the people who enter your life and affect it- and so many do in so many ways- are the ones to keep living for.

I’m not sure if we owe people anything, just by being alive.

I don’t think that other people owe us anything, just by being alive.


It really is about experiencing the world and the people around you.

I think that’s true right now.

One more.


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