Tuesday, March 3, 2020

paper wish


a paper wish
tied on a living branch

There are many ways to memorialise. An alternative to inscribing a name in public view is this traditional Japanese paper 'wish'. It can be knotted on a branch and left behind as a quiet act of remembrance. 

The softness of Japanese paper makes it easier to fold and loop. It weathers in a tender way, gathering flecks of mould and gradually decaying in the rain turning to a mache knot. You can be reassured that they do no environmental harm.

As we adjust to Cornonavirus this Spring the reality of death may impose itself in our consciousness in new ways, but there are always personal losses of loved ones to mark.

For a group of people that walk together such a simple gesture as tying a paper wish is a touching way to mark the passing of someone who shared the same paths.

Most art shops sell Chinese or Japanese calligraphy paper that is suitable; it's best to choose a size larger than A4.

The first photo is by Hannah Devereux and it shows a paper wish that I tied for my friend Martin Lucas, by the John Muir Way; the second is by the Taigh – National Memorial for Organ and Tissue Donors – in the Botanic Garden, Edinburgh, tied on my 54th birthday.

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