Sunday, 17 November 2013

Quiet time.

19:13:00 Posted by Shaun Brookes , , , , , 4 comments

The very first piece of origami I can remember doing was a simple box. It was my old headmaster, a man called Peter Higgins that taught an entire year group how to do it and it is something that I have never ever forgotten since. Simple in its premise, the aim is to turn a single sheet of A4 paper into something useful- and useful it was as I have made one for every girlfriend I have ever had at some point, as well as using them myself for simple desk tidies and trinket holders. 

This week I've been thinking of loss. We had some bad news that a dear friend of the family- one of those faces from every special occasion- had passed away. At the funeral I found myself swept up in the emotion, the turn-out and indeed, the humour of the moment as a brass band began to play outside the crematorium mid-service. I should say, there was an element of doubt as to whether it had been pre-arranged by the man himself- such was his reputation for bringing a smile and a bit of mischief and I'm sure he would have appreciated the sentiment of it in against the saddening backdrop of the military standards. I wasn't alone in my smiling and from what people were saying afterwards, it seems everyone had the same flash-thought as the drums and trombones struck up. 

To me, Wilf will always be remembered. I will remember the way he scored his charm across my sheet of paper and once that mark has been made, it can never be undone- even paper has a memory. So I did what I always do- I made a box and took the quiet time to do a bit of considering the many good moments to be cherished. For Wilf then, and for Peter Higgins my old headmaster, here is my origami poem. 

Thanks for reading, S

Quiet time.

Give me one blank sheet and I’ll make you a picture
Measured out with the precision of a cross legged boy.
It will be a paper box, a collection of memories
All thoughtfully gathered with a hard scored crease.
I was ten, in assembly and the headteacher’s gift
Was to give us a way to collect up our thoughts.
I bring the top corner down to the side, trim the excess
Take my new perfect square and fold it in half,
Bring each half of this to the middle again.
Unfold, turn the paper through ninety degrees
And repeat, you should now have a squared gatefold sleeve.
Bend  the top corners inwards but just to the first crease
Then the middle edge back up to rest over these
Again with the bottom, you’re aiming for symmetry
Pull the middle lips out and you should start to see
The shape of the box I remember from childhood
Taught to me in assembly hall years ago
That man may have passed now but back then he marked me
Took my blank sheet of paper and scored on his line
With a mountain fold, peaking to see a potential

That would help me reflect in the fullness of time. 


Adele said...

So poignant Shaun and hauntingly simple. Sorry for your loss and proud to know such a sensitive soul.

Ashley R Lister said...

Have to agree with Adele. This is poignant and moving.

Condolences for your loss.


Colin Davies said...

From within the soul come beauty. A fitting tribute to all that have been the ingredients to the man you have become.

You are a credit to their memories.

vicky ellis said...

That's a beautiful poem, really visual. The observations are spot on. It never occurred to me that you could use poetry to help remember the instructions for origami. Top idea.

Sorry for your loss Shaun. Brass bands should be banned from funerals. They square sadness.