on October 2, 2010 at 2:13 AM
A gift of origami from Obachama. Nine lucky cranes.
Folding origami is calming, says my friend, Agnes. The closest activity I can think of is quilting. Agnes' mother folds origami everyday. I call her Obachama. She just turned ninety years old but she looks younger. She can fold many things, some are very complex like the diamond sculpture we folded together.
Obachama folding origami.
Agnes folding origami.
You always start with a square piece of paper, and the paper is never cut or glued. It's all about how you fold the square. That's what I like about Origami. Obachama folds really well. She uses the corner of a pencil sharpener to crease the edges clean.
We talk stories while we fold. Obachama has good memory, mostly of good things like when she talks about her grandson Ben. She calls him, "Watshino Takaramono," which means my treasure. But sometimes, there are things she cannot forget because they are sad memories. Like what happened to her family in Hiroshima during the war. On the day the atomic bomb was dropped in Hiroshima
, Obachama was not in the city. When she returned home, everything was gone. Her brother was severely burnt and one of her sisters died in the bombing. They never found her. Obachama regrets she couldn't help her sister. "War is a terrible thing," she says and the sadness fills her face, but she continues folding, remembering.
After the origami lesson, Obachama takes me upstairs to show me her room. Her origami collection is in a glass case and also in boxes. She opens one of the boxes. "Take whatever you like," she say, smiling. I pick the gold and silver cranes. They shine like jewels.
We folded diamonds today. Each diamond takes 30 origami.
Obachama's elegant hands.