Eternal Good Luck

1000 origami cranes is called a senbazuru, which translates as “1000 cranes.” Legend says the crane lives for 1000 years, and from that legend arose the mystique behind the senbazuru. Paper cranes have come to be a symbol of peace. Before that, they meant healing. Before that, a person who folded a 1000 paper cranes was said to have one special dream come true. Originally (at least I think it was originally — the legend has become so entwined with the story of Sadako and Hiroshima that it’s hard to find the original meaning), folding 1000 paper cranes gave a person longevity and happiness — one crane per year for a thousand years — as well as eternal good luck. (Which is why the cranes are often associated with weddings.) Further, the cranes must all be folded within a year. 

I had no special wish when I started folding my 1000 cranes at the beginning of this year, though I was taken with the idea of good luck forever.

I’m not sure my 1000 crane project is strictly a senbazuru because from what I can gather, a senbazuru has come to mean 1000 cranes strung together and mine are in plastic bags, 10 cranes per sandwich bag, ten sandwich bags per gallon bag. That was the easiest way for me to keep track of how many I had folded, and now that I am finished and my good fortune stowed so neatly, I see no reason to string them. (Though I did string some other origami birds and hung them in my garage so I know where to stop when I pull into the garage.)

Whatever the name — “senbazuru” or simply “1000 paper cranes” — I just finished folding my origami cranes, well within the required time frame. So now it’s a matter of waiting to see what will happen.

Even if the cranes came with a guarantee of eternal good luck, I don’t expect my life to change all that much. I used to think I was bedeviled by bad luck, but over the years I have come to see that I have more good luck than perhaps I deserve. So often, I don’t get what I want (becoming a better selling author, for example) but more often, I get what I need (a temporary job, for example,) Even better, I sometimes don’t get what I neither want nor need (the Bob, for example. I didn’t want it, didn’t need it, and didn’t get it even though I was definitely exposed to the virus).

The biggest example of more luck than I deserve comes in the form of my house and even perhaps my yard, which, with a little more luck will one day be breathtakingly beautiful as well as safe for an aging woman to navigate.

Whatever the future holds, I know I did my part by folding 1000 origami cranes this year.


What if God decided S/He didn’t like how the world turned out, and turned it over to a development company from the planet Xerxes for re-creation? Would you survive? Could you survive?

A fun book for not-so-fun times.

Click here to buy Bob, The Right Hand of God.

3 Responses to “Eternal Good Luck”

  1. rami ungar the writer Says:

    Maybe they just gave you some good luck, and that’s not a bad thing. A bit of luck can go a long way.

  2. Uthayanan Says:

    You are going to write soon a new novel or a book with short stories.
    Making cranes is a wonderful manual meditation. I am a Japanese student but I have no moral or mental strength to do cranes. But you can restart with another beautiful and little more complicated. Pandemic stopped my japanese studies at school. At home it is impossible to revise japanese lessons because of psychological trauma. I am waiting with patient to restart my studies when it is possible. I hope fifth year may give some hope to get interest something new. I don’t know.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      All I know is that it takes time, both folding cranes and waiting to get an interest in something new, or in anything for that matter. I believe it will happen to you, too.

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