It’s been close to a month since I last posted regularly, but what can I say? I’ve been busy with all kinds of things in my time away. Life lately has been a whirlwind of love and loss and work and responsibilities and exercising (I’m still hanging in there!)… But even though “life” gets in the way, art always finds its way back.
The other day I stumbled upon a package of origami star strips. I remembered I used to like making them as a teen, so my creatively-deprived fingers quickly went to work. It was both relaxing and stimulating–it made me remember all of the things I liked to do, but wasn’t giving myself time to do. Folding each star was slowly pushing me towards balance.
Few people know about my love of visual art, but I think even fewer people know that I like to write. Or I liked to, anyway. The last time I recall writing something (outside of daily journaling) was 2012 and before that, 2010. I don’t really know why I stopped, but the truth is that I miss it.
As I try to open this part of me back up, I’ll hopefully get to sharing some of my old writing along with any new snippets that come up. The following is something I wrote when I was in high school. I thought it appropriate given the inspiration for this post!
Wishing Stars (2005)
Published: In Relief (Mainland Regional HS) & Grimoire (La Salle University) literary magazines
I bought the narrow, glossy strips of folding paper from a small shop on the street corner, next to a bakery that sold pork-filled, steamed white buns and slushy fruit drinks with gummy tapioca pearls that settled at the bottom. I picked up a pack, attracted to the shiny swaths that glimmered like diamonds underneath the flickering fluorescent lighting.
“Those are wishing stars,” said a woman standing behind me. She wore a friendly smile on her face, her almond-shaped eyes almost disappearing in the amiable gesture. I realized she had been watching me all along, as she probably did with so many people day after day. I read the plastic name tag that was safety-pinned to her chest. Mi Yeon, it said, a spicy and exotic name.
“Wishing stars?” I repeated, turning the package over. Neatly tucked into the package was a set of directions depicting how to fold the stars along with explanations tidily typed in Korean.
“You fold them,” Mi Yeon explained. She pulled a strip of similar paper out of her pocket. Like a clown making balloons at a circus, she began to fold and twist the paper. Like a child at the circus, I watched in awe. I hardly realized that my mouth hung open as she pushed in the sides and pinched, forming five perfect points that gave birth to a tiny pink star. Mi Yeon placed it in my hands. “You fold them like this, pinch the ends, and you have a star. When you’re done you wish on them. You can give them to someone if you like. They make great presents.”
The performance had me sold and I walked out of the store with five packages of folding paper. I didn’t care that I hadn’t picked up on anything that Mi Yeon had shown me. I didn’t even care that I couldn’t read Korean. All I could think about were the potential wishes I had tucked away in my purse.
Is there anything you feel like you should be getting back to? What is it and how to you hope to get there?