02. Origami

Origami is a Japanese art of folding paper that goes way back to the 17th century AD. The most common form of this beautiful craft-making we all see today are paper cranes, but there are other forms. While we were all sitting apathetically in our high school chairs, once upon a time, many of us made paper airplanes or the annoying “paper footballs.” With poorly-constructed airplanes buzzing around our ears and students hollering and hooting whenever games of paper footballs were in session, many of us forget that origami is an art. We forget the word.

It’s amazing what people can do with mundane pieces of paper. Swans, different geometric shapes, elephants, roses…so many choices. They are beautiful.

Being the over-analyzer, I noted a connection these paper creations held with our lives one random day while I stared and shifted through online photography.

It’s bewildering and admirable how each piece of origami can be unfolded and made into something else. It exemplifies that no matter how different our culture is from the person standing  next to us freaking out over raw meat or the fellow friend who always calls at awful hours, we are all the same inside. We all have synonymous souls and the equivalent capacities to do anything.

Humanity just needs to embrace this thought more.

Inter-racial marriages. World-wide adoption. Global mission trips.

And we have done so. The degree of the acknowledgement of this theme is growing. Proliferating enough to give me a modicum of tranquility at night.

But moving forward, origami represents something else I find college students will be able to relate to more.

A sheet of paper. Your life; your vast horizon. The end work of art. Your destination.

People have different views about how fate, destiny, and God play into our lives. As for me, I firmly believe that everyone has a destiny God has created for us. We do not have fates which, to me, resemble a permanent path we have no control over. Instead, everyone has an end point we are all supposed to reach, and it has been established by God before we were placed on Earth.

How we get there is up to us. We carve the road, and we make the choices. The choices we make are influenced by the personality God has given to us. Although He does not lay before us the direct path, He guides us there. All humans are born with magnanimous destinies. The environment around us is what changes us and directs us away from our intended ends. Some sadly never reach the goal God wanted them to reach, and some arrive at their destined spots faster than others. Our destinations or our destinies are the places filled with the righteous people and the honest occupations and the virtuous…well…everything. It is the place that gives us fulfilling peace.

It’s kind of how origami is like. Each piece of paper is intended for something. It’s just up to us to fold it and bend it into a resplendent creation. Every paper creation is different and special and when placed together, it represents the Earth. Many colors…many ethnicities…many purposes…many destinies.

Paper is light and fragile, and that’s how I feel many times when I receive and breathe disheartening news, vexing results, and tormenting auras. But seeing how delicate paper can undergo metamorphosis into an object or a shape with the ability to astound never fails to tug a tiny grin onto my lips. Because the transformation and battles the paper goes through to finally fall into the correct angles is just a snow globe version of what I go through every day. Of what every one clamors through.

It’s comforting to see how the end will be alright. The end will be glorious despite the extremely large hills and rumbling avalanches.


The end. The end. The end. It will be triumphant. We have to have faith in that or we won’t achieve it, of course.

So therefore all my friends, focus and absorb the process/path/road. My eyes are only enraptured when the person is spinning the construction paper.

After all, the small tears and pokes that paper swan battled stubbornly through only makes it more enchanting.

Current Song: Lions by Lights

I own none of the photography.



  1. June 19, 2010 / 02:26

    dearest rattana,

    your diction is exquisite.
    the photos [that you take from other people] are well chosen.
    you put up with my disgust at raw meat.
    and you let me use your rice cooker to mix butter with other ingredients for our culinary creation that just exited the oven. the aroma is quite… ritzy? ha.

    mucho amor y sraw-lan. 🙂


  2. Jenny
    June 19, 2010 / 04:37

    magnanimous destinies<3

  3. Augusta Daley
    September 2, 2010 / 18:09


    You are so insightful. All the conversations that we have (when we’re not updating each other or when I’m not making fun of the way you say your “th”‘s) are always thought provoking and I love hearing your view on things.

    I especially liked your quote analyzing the similarities between origami and college life. It really helps you to appreciate current life rather than constantly thinking about how great the destination will be. Although you are always keeping the goal you want to reach in mind (In the talent of origami, the usual paper crane), it’s the hard work that really makes that final destination so satisfying in the end. I recall making my own paper crane origami figure. I had to use two sources of ways to figure out how to make it. I followed the paper instructions and I also had to have someone teach me and guide me through each step. Although I had to back track sometimes with certain mistakes I made, finally accomplishing that crane was a “Thank God” moment. The same relates to life. You have to use the guidance of both knowledge (the paper instructions) and God (the person hopelessly trying to help me for an hour) in order to reach that goal you make for yourself and that God instills in you. Even though you’ll no doubt make mistakes (Since we’re all only given one piece of paper. No new sheets.), those mistakes make it so much more enjoyable when you’ve overcome them and have completed another phase in your life that brings you closer to God’s will.

    I just thought I’d write you a novel here. The analogy was very thought provoking.


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