today my daughter and i participated in an origami workshop in one of our favorite art-ing spaces. it was an über peaceful way to spend a saturday. the instructor was patient and kind as he walked us through bunny, mouse, crane, dragon, heart.

still in a reflective spirit in this first week of a new year, i began to view our movements metaphorically. we folded and creased. brought edges together only to pull them back apart. we marred the pristine crispness of pages to turn clean, square sheets into delicate and recognizable figures that stood on their own. we worked slowly, methodically. followed models and instructions.

to create a visually recognizable representation, most of our work required precision, correctness, uniformity. but often times, near the end, once structure had been established, we were told to gently pull an edge to wherever we thought it should be and ‘now smash it!’ this, we were told, was the art of the thing, the personal touch. this conceptive positioning of necks, ears, toes, tails, in whichever way felt right. and then crushing the speculative joint into certainty with a burst of index-thumb strength.

as my daughter and i compared pieces, we realized that, although we had speculated differently, our pieces were still easily recognizable, equally beautiful. as the afternoon went on, slight trepidation turned to deft confidence as we fashioned free-standing bodies from flatness. after minutes of carefully focused alignment, there was certain liberation in small, reckless moments of eyed-up assertion.

for 2017: ‘just smash it.’


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