I saw a strange thing lying among litter on the sidewalk. It was a three-dimensional star, about five inches tall, made of clean white paper. I picked it up, examined it.
The origami star was composed of many sheets of lined notepaper, folded perfectly together by a patient hand. Sprinkled upon the star were jumbled words and phrases from torn pages.
I took the origami star up to my office on the twenty sixth floor. I looked down through my window at the tiny sidewalk where I found the fallen star. Far below people flowed in a thin trickle.
I hung the paper star on a bare spot above my desk.
Nearly every day I looked up at it.
Over many days, weeks, months that perfect origami star composed of jumbled words and perfect folds took on for me special significance. It seemed to represent my own bewildering life. Many pages, one after another, removed by time, but carefully retained. It was a hopeful reminder that with effort, precision and devotion a miracle could be folded together. A star might coalesce and take form.
When I gazed at that strange star, the essence of my own dreams seemed to shine forth.
One day I rode home on the train, thinking about a troubling day at work. As the train halted at a station, I gazed out the window and saw a destitute man sitting on a bench wrapped in a dirty blanket. His head was bowed.
He was concentrating very hard, folding an origami star.