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  • Writer's pictureerikaraskin

a siege of cranes

Updated: May 12, 2019

Eden, my baby sister (younger than our youngest) is getting married to a wonderful young man next month. Brandon, who is half Japanese, introduced the Raskins to the tradition of senbazuru — the folding (sans staples, scissors or Scotch tape) of your basic slip of paper into a bird. A crane, to be exact.

1001 of them.

The origami is done for luck and the granting of a (as in singular) wish.

Also, apparently it’s a test. If a couple can make it thru this prenuptial activity then the rest of marriage should be a breeze. Which is kind of funny since apparently there’s no restriction on who can be enlisted to complete the task. Clearly outsourcing is recognized as a marital skill.

For months my sister has been holding crane folding “parties”. These events have spawned tons of photos on social media with hashtags like #EdenAndBrandonFreeLabor.

For those of us with two left feet protruding from our wrists, each square takes about a week and a half to contort into anything resembling a bird. One time I was driving and this big black hideous winged thing jumped up from the road and threw itself into my windshield. That’s what my one (and only) crane looked like.

Anyway, after the fowl were folded they were spray painted with silver glitter and then strung on pieces of dental floss. The stringing took (and I’m serious) two full weekends of five adults knotting ten cranes per strand. I was able to participate in this part of the process but kept getting hung up on making knots exactly this

distance apart. Also, I seem to have perfected that magic trick of disappearing bonds — resulting in multiple bird clusters and interventions by more practiced (patient) fingers.

Oh, yeah. And Eden being Eden decided that since the tradition called for a mere 1001 cranes she would just go ahead and double that number to achieve the effect that she wants of a flock taking flight over the dance floor.

I’ll post pics of the big event. It should be beautiful.


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