A friend’s friend organized an Origmai workshop a couple of weekends ago. I promptly signed up. It seemed like a good way to meet new people while indulging my creative side.
For those who don’t know, Origami is the art of making stuff using paper. You work with a piece of paper and keep folding it (never cutting it) till you arrive at the end result – a box or a flower or a bird or anyone of the many patterns enthusiasts have invented.
After three hours of making boxes, birds and flowers, I realized
- the only new people I had met were two ten year olds. Interesting kids but not quite suitable for sustained conversation
- An afternoon of Origami is fine but was clearly not going to become a long term hobby. Seriously, how many cranes can you make before you wonder where you are going to store all of them?
- My life has changed so much since I was a child
The last one of course hit me the hardest.
While working with great concentration on folding papers just right I thought about the last time I had worked on any kind of arts and crafts. And the last memories seem to date back to school.
Back then, arts and crafts was part of school work and as a matter of routine, I had to embroider hankies, weave crochet bags (with a lot of help from my mom) and make TV covers with cross stitch work. Over and above the school work, I also made a lot of stuff, mostly birthday cards and anything which our parents would not throw money at us for (which was basically everything other than food, necessary clothes and education). So a Christmas tree made from shoe boxes, papers and a hanger appeared once. Clothes for my doll with old/leftover cloth kept me busy for hours. At my most ambitious, I even cut an old denim skirt to make a shapeless waistcoat for myself.
The first time I had enough pocket money to buy a birthday card, I promptly abandoned handmade cards and proudly began to give people store-bought stuff. My face shined with the pleasure of what wealth could buy.
Shortly later, I also learnt that time was not as infinite as I thought it was. School had plenty of holidays when time used to stretch on for hours and I could fill it up with every single thing I wanted to do and still have some hours left. (Back then, TV was very unexciting and parents were not too fussed about having their children jump from one hobby class to the next). By the time I reached college and had charted out a rather ambitious study programme for myself, it became clear that I had to choose my activities wisely.
The choosing has gone on for a long time now, with the time vs money equation gradually altering in favour of less time and more money. Currently, all my activities usually revolve around household chores, planned social interactions or chosen hobbies.
Yet there I was, in an Origami class, looking at two ten year olds proudly display the very things I could make at their age – a windmill, a flower, a balloon – and sorely missing something.
I am not quite sure if I can ever go back to the spontaneity of my childhood but have been thinking that maybe the time has come to change a few things. So, springs the plan to try and not preplan my weekends to the last minute and instead try to leave a few hours open. Also, I think it is time to rediscover the creative streak from childhood and the next time I want something, think about whether I can make it instead of just adding it to my shopping list.
Waiting to see how this goes.