"Paper Crane" is out now!
"Paper Crane" is the second single off of my upcoming debut full length album Alight Beyond The Sea!
I released it on International Peace Day since paper cranes are a symbol of peace. I first learned how to fold origami cranes in college when one of my former bandmates taught me how. I fell in love with the meditative, repetitive process of folding them. After college, having had a mystical spiritual experience the summer before my senior year, I looked for a spiritual director when I moved back home to Los Angeles.
I had my first meeting with my current spiritual director 12 years ago this month! I still remember our first meeting and how he told me that my heart was like a wild stallion that I would need to learn to tame before riding it, or like a powerful fire that I would need to learn how to channel so that it doesn't burn me. He used Mother Teresa as an example of a saint who learned to channel her inner fire (whose feast day is today!), not knowing that she happened to be my confirmation saint.
Around that time I was also attending a contemplative prayer series led by Jim Finley and learning about the mystics like St. John of the Cross. John has a reflection where he describes God like a loving mother who wants to carry us, but that when we kick and cry and insist on walking by ourselves, we get nowhere. Jim would also remind us that to encounter God we had to take the spiritual posture of "an unlearned child".
As I sought to grow spiritually and to surrender myself more fully into the hands of the God of my understanding, the image of folding a paper crane came to mind, the way that being molded and shaped in God's hands might allow me to reflect more beauty in the world, the way an already beautiful piece of origami paper reflects beauty even more when shaped into a crane.
In some of my first experiences with Ignatian contemplation, I imagined myself flying, and the imagery in Psalm 139 "if I fly with the wings of dawn or alight beyond the sea, even there your hand will guide me" (Ps 139: 9-10, NAB) came to mind as I was writing "Paper Crane".
These images and insights inspired the lyrics in the song.