In grade 2 we learned about Sadako and her 1000 paper cranes. Sick with leukemia, she'd become obsessed with folding. Accomplishing 1000 paper cranes would buy her life back. Her atom bomb disease would reverse itself and she'd get to leave her hospital bed and walk back into everyday(more) life and live normally. If only she folded enough origami birds to flap their paper wings and peck the air when their paper tales were pulled.
It was a Catholic school and we were steeped in superstition. We believed in good luck charms, the Stations of the Cross, and patron saints. We believed we were always under observation from Jesus himself. It was not a far stretch to believe in the restorative power of paper birds. Perhaps with enough paper cranes we could reverse history. Fold an impossibility of cranes and the atom bomb would not fall at all. Through such innocence it became our fault. If we could fix it, it meant we could stop it. This is the way of believers. It is the way of the ignorant. We folded cranes feverishly, never knowing how to locate Japan on the map, ignorant of geopolitics but certain we might rewrite history somehow. (less)