At the end of 2018, you may recall that we had an ongoing interactive origami installation. People who came through the shop each wrote down a wish or benediction for the new year, and were instructed on how to fold a star box with their piece of paper. The dozens of star boxes all dangled in a net hung from the ceiling, each concealing its message in the geometric folds.
Now, the year is 2019, and it’s time to unleash these thoughts and hopes into the universe! There’s great release in the act of unfolding; it’s a relaxing of structure, and a simplifying of form. And, most importantly, these messages are now exposed for others to absorb and contemplate.
We received a beautiful and complicated range of wishes on the star boxes. There were children’s doodles, one-word replies, long paragraphs, and some exceptional calligraphy. Some were general positive messages, bestowing love and hope on the world. Many people crossed their fingers for greater action against climate change (and a few against the G.O.P). Other people opened up on a more personal level. Some were writing to or about a specific person in their life who is enduring hardship. Some wrote about their own struggles with health or happiness. I found these ones to be the most poignant; I was surprised at peoples’ courage to be so vulnerable in such an open format, even with the security of anonymity.
But above all else, one very prevalent theme caught our attention: the desire for greater connection, both with the self and with the community. When we began this project, we hoped to bring people together through this unusual activity. It was so heartening to realize that people, in return, are seeking that same togetherness.
Now that the paper has been unfolded, we have one thing left to do. The final stage in the project is to stitch the squares together to form a patchwork quilt. This is our community; the threads that weave in and out of these messages, binding them together, are a symbol. Even though we don’t all know each other, there is a binding energy that unites us in this city and on this planet. We each are different, but we also have a lot more in common than we might think. We all want to see more love, happiness, and bravery in the world around us.
When the quilt is hung in the shop, the energy that everyone put into it will be manifested onto everyone who stops by to read it. We can’t wait to share it with you.
To those of you who participated, thank you so much for taking the time and care to share a piece of yourself with the rest of us. In the words of one star box, “Love yourself. You’re amazing.”
(In the words of one other star box, “Just top-shelf booze!”)
We love you all :)