Origami cranes

It seems that the older I get, the more early memories of my life simply disappear. I’ll get a glimpse of an image, but for the most part, there are whole chunks of my childhood that I cannot remember. What I do recall doesn’t follow any kind of pattern. There’s no telling what will flashback, or when.

There are even events in my children’s lives, those moments I told myself I would never forget… gone.

Yet, moments that seem of no consequence are forever remembered.

When I was about six or seven, my family lived in a huge apartment complex. Our building was near the entrance, and the road in ended in a cul-de-sac. All of the neighborhood kids would congregate there, playing ball, riding our bikes, being complete nuisances.

One summer a new family moved into the complex. They were Japanese and the parents spoke very little English. They had two young daughters, one a little older than me, the other a little younger. I don’t remember their names, but I do remember the older girl taught me how to fold origami cranes.

For whatever reason, I can recall that lesson and 45 years later, with a bit of trial and error, I can still fold a paper crane.

It intrigues me that this simple memory has remained with me… how to turn a piece of paper into a bird. Why was this significant enough that it is perpetually embedded in my brain?




wordpress button grunge
Submitted to Daily Prompt. The photography theme was, “show TEACHING”

*From the Vault of IMSO, edited and updated. Originally published Feb. 5, 2010

11 thoughts on “Origami cranes

  1. That’s beautiful. I know what you mean about memories — some come and wash over me, some are dream-like and tantalize me with just a hint but not enough to recall and some are lost forever.
    Love the crane!


  2. I have huge gaps in my childhood and adult memories. It’s true about some of the most seemingly insignificant things staying in your memory. Whatever stays is treasured because it’s mostly about family. I do love the origami.


  3. What a great memory and lesson for all of us.

    I totally understand and I’m in awe of people like David Sedaris who remember hilarious details of their childhood. I guess that’s the masterful thing, learning how to fill in the gaps.

    My husband makes fun of me because I can never remember lyrics but I’ll tell you what, I remember the lyrics of Alouette a French song I learned in kindergarten, go figure.


  4. I heard something about childhood memories a little while ago I found quite interesting… Apparently when you remember things from your childhood you’re usually just recalling the last time you thought about that event rather than the event itself. I guess if you spent time thinking about it, practising it or telling people about it, it would make sense for you to remember the origami all this time later?


  5. Oh this is an excellent example of showing teaching. A bit different too! As for memories, I find short term memories will escape me these days but I can still remember being tumbled about trapped within a wave when I was four, and that leading into me sitting on the stairs when I was five and sneaking a viewing of Jaws and then screaming bloody murder when we went to Cali to visit my grandfather on the beach….


Join the discussion...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.