I've been thinking a lot about my recent adventures into the wider world of origami. I have always been The Origami Guy. I know it, I share it, I talk it. And no one else did. I was in isolation for so many years where the only other artists were limited to folding half the crane from memory, or folding a flower. I was the regional origami master as far as I knew. Intellectually, I realized that there were those who knew more than me, who could compile their works and publish them. I read their books, I saw their superior skills. But they were so far away. East-coast, west-coast, Japanese. And they were obscure enough that only I knew their names among my social circles.

But suddenly, through Origami Minnesota and attending a lecture given by Robert Lang I realize that I am something of a nobody in the origami world. My compositions are not spectacular. My philosophical observations are not particularly profound. I am not a master, not much of a teacher, not a specialist I am just a guy with knack for reading diagrammed instructions.

Do I now re-invent myself? Do I want to be the greatest composer? do I want to be a renowned teacher? Author? Does it really matter that I be great? I guess it sort of bothers me that what I was uniquely in charge of, able to share it as I wished, is now out of my grasp. At the lecture I saw the joy of children learning a new composition, but it was not related to me at all. I might as well not have existed. So very weird. I feel like a priest who leads his small congregation for years, and then suddenly is called to the Vatican and is stunned by the realization that in Rome being a priest really doesn't mean anything. But Sadako is not considered a master. She only knew a few compositions, maybe only one, yet her name carries weight.

I just don't want my love for folding to be overwhelmed and diluted by others' love. I want theirs to strengthen mine, and mine to strengthen theirs. Hopefully, that is what will happen.


  1. Amazing...Dude. This is what it means to be a philosopher that was beautiful. Wow I am kind of blown away a lil. I have been desensitized by all this academic work and I sometimes forget that I have the ability to philosophized things that happen in my life. That was well put, a reflection that teaches how to reflect. I am done , I know that too much flattery leads to fattery. LOL!!! If that is even a "thing"?

  2. I'm glad I could give you something to think about!

    The more I studied in school, the more I believed in a democratic philosophy. Two things led me to that. First, everyone's knowledge is highly limited. There is no mortal on Earth capable of fully understanding the complexity of any given situation. We use patterns and outlines to navigate our baffling reality. Thus, no single person is equipped to make decisions for us all. Second, each person is equipped with the capacity to make decisions (even if they are flawed). So I think it best if we all make our own decisions with the knowledge we have, while paying attention to the decisions of others.

    That means that we are each capable of philosophy independent of anyone else, but it's really useful to hear what others think!