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A Study in Reverse Origami (VIDEO)

I was born with a last name

and all the expectations that

came with it

from birth, I was crafted

to be an origami swan

to have perfectly folded edges

to exist on a shelf

to be looked at from a distance

to appear complete

to live precisely

I tried to live that way

~ I swear I did

for so so so long

I would resist the urge to

let go of the form

I was told to live by

they said my happiness

would be directly tied to how

impeccably I held my shape

they said that if I could show

any blemishes or faults if I

wanted to be honored

even during the days

when I could feel the

geometry inside of me

start to become wild poetry

I stayed as folded

as I could

despite the growing

sound of crinkling paper

coming from inside of my

loose leaf heart

~ I clung to my folds

one morning

- not too long ago

I woke up and I noticed that my perfectly

shaped swan wings had a wrinkle in it

I tried to hide my imperfection

from the world by only letting

people see my good side

my faultless side

my seamless side

a short while later I noticed

that my other wing had lost

its tight fold and was curling outward

I was coming

undone and unfolded

right in front of the world

the rest of me

started falling

apart soon after

within a short time

I no longer looked

like a perfect swan

I had become a flattened out piece

of paper with more crows-feet

creases in my form than I could count

eventually, a breeze came

and took me off of my shelf

and carried me out of the window

into the untamed wild

it was that moment

when I was my most unfurled self

that I called out to God

“where are my perfect folds?

where have my straight lines gone?”

I asked the empty sky

God spouted out of the ground

next to me in the form of a wildflower

“they are gone, my love,

all those things you once

thought you were are now gone”

I cried

“why are you crying?” God asked while stretching out above me with flower petals of at least a half-dozen colors that had never seen before from the safe shelf I had lived most of my life from.

“because without my folds and lines that I was given I have no purpose,” I sobbed. “Without my hard edges and defined creases I don’t know who I am anymore.”

“I do,” God said while exploding into an Easter bloom.

I held my breath.

“You finally get to be you. You are now an untouched canvas who decides what it gets to be marked with. You are lucky enough to be a piece of blank paper that gets to choose what is written on it. You get to be a selection of art that you get to help create. You are now able to leave behind the expectations this world has for you to be perfect - and now you get to become whatever you want to be.”

God was now a towering wildflower that was riding up to kiss the sun.

“Oh,” I replied while looking at myself with new eyes.

Instead of being tightly bound together, I was now an outstretched creation. Instead of being a perfect sculpture, I was an open hand.

“What now?” I asked the wildflower of God.

“What now?” God laughed. “Anything. Everything. It’s all in front of you. It’s all adventure from here.”

Suddenly a gust of wind picked me up

again and started carrying me to the horizon.

Even though I had been a swan my whole life the first time I ever flew was when I lost my wings.

I smiled.

What an adventure it is to come undone.

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This poem is so timely for me. I’ve been feeling so lost. Not sure of who I am or who I’m supposed to be anymore. I didn’t see this time as a chance to recreate myself without the boundaries and expectations of other. Thank you! I love your words!! I will cherish this poem! ♥️


Oct 12, 2021

This is a stunning poem. It is breathtaking when you discover that your perfect wings never enabled you to fly. I was unsure whether there is a word missing in this bit: they said that if I could show

any blemishes or faults if I

wanted to be honored


Doreen Karp
Doreen Karp
Oct 06, 2021

I loved reading A Study in Reverse Origami!! I believe there is a lot of truth in your writing! Thank you for sharing your beautiful works. ❤️

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