Surviving the moments: mental origami

Then there are the days that I can’t explain or understand the mood I’m in. I am neither happy nor sad. I feel nothing. And it hurts.

But something unknown, doing I don’t know what * is conspiring to lift me from this haze.

Upon walking into my campus office this morning after teaching my early class, I discovered that my colleague (who is extremely pragmatic and highly unsentimental) had left me a gift.


My colleague’s greeting card, 2016.




[Nothing says you care like a patronizing “coping” card. She knows me well, I love and strongly dislike this kind of pandering.]





I was worried about her. This is the woman who’d simplified her life last year, donated most of her belongings — including her wedding dress. Then, over the summer break, she and her husband had biked from the Mexico – New Mexico border all the way to Canada. Perhaps, she’d been abducted and replaced with a sentimental impostor?

Maybe she was still suffering from dehydration?

But then I opened the card:






[Now that’s the woman I know. (!!)]





Beneath the card was a Zen Origami kit. Little folding papers and an instruction manual to create 20 modular forms for “meditation and calm.” I love origami. It challenges me in ways I cannot explain. I relish the challenge.

I’ve been doing origami since grade school. But I am certainly no master. I tinker and practice with no endgame in mind — except to do the experience of making origami. If I’m lucky, I make something beautiful.

Perhaps this is where I can rediscover my self-worth. I am not here to please others. I’m not here to earn money. I’m not here to help others. I’m not here to be overly happy or morose.

My intrinsic value lies in the act of doing my life, experiencing my life. If my life entails helping others or earning money, then great.

But only I get to discover that.

[Mental note: remember to mention this revelation to Dr. Jasmine.]

*Paraphrase of Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington quote regarding the quantum theory description of an electron.


5 thoughts on “Surviving the moments: mental origami

  1. I am going to say I love this post, and I do. Then I imagine someone groaning, so I think I should say I highly enjoyed it, but don’t because it doesn’t express the joy I felt around the heart area.

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  2. Pingback: let these troubles fly far, far away from here | a bliss of birds

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