Friday, October 1, 2010

The Dragonfly Project 101


Once, in a little pond, in the muddy water under the lily pads, there lived a little water beetle in a community of water beetles. They lived a simple and comfortable life in the pond with few disturbances and interruptions. Once in a while, sadness would come to the community when one of their fellow beetles would climb the stem of a lily pad and would never be seen again. They knew when this happened; their friend was dead, gone forever.

Then, one day, one little water beetle felt an irresistible urge to climb up that stem. However, he was determined that he would not leave forever. He would come back and tell his friends what he had found at the top. When he reached the top and climbed out of the water onto the surface of the lily pad, he was so tired, and the sun felt so warm, that he decided he must take a nap. As he slept, his body changed and when he woke up, he had turned into a beautiful blue-tailed dragonfly with broad wings and a slender body designed for flying.

So, fly he did! And, as he soared he saw the beauty of a whole new world and a far superior way of life to what he had never known existed. Then he remembered his beetle friends and how they were thinking by now he was dead. He wanted to go back to tell them, and explain to them that he was now more alive than he had ever been before. His life had been fulfilled rather than ended. But, his new body would not go down into the water. He could not get back to tell his friends the good news. Then he understood that their time would come, when they, too, would know what he now knew. So, he raised his wings and flew off into his joyous new life!

Symbolism of the Dragonfly

The meaning of the dragonfly in many Native American Indian cultures is that they are messengers from another world or souls of the dead.

How this project started

I had recently lost my grandma in 2008 and my dad in 2009. On the 2nd anniversary of my grandma's death on my skylight I saw 2 dragonflies. I had never seen any around my house and I thought it was strange. They hovered over the skylight for about an hour and they were quite beautiful. I decided to look up the symbolism of a dragonfly and I came across a meaning in Native American culture that dragonflies are the soulds of the dead. I believe they could have been the spirits of my dad and grandma.

I wanted to do an art therapy project for the bereaved. The idea of this project is to create a massive installation of origami dragonflies. I would encourage those who wish to participate to create an origami dragonfly; design it to represent a lost loved one, a traumatic event, or even to send a message of hope for the bereaved. The process of creating/sharing can be healing to those who are hurting. Seeing these dragonflies come together in a beautiful way will be quite inspiring! Please post pictures and stories of your process and who your loved one is to share with others in hopes of inspiring them. I will be collecting them at Ohio Dominican University. Please contact me in regards to the collection.

Why Origami?

Many mental health therapists have used this art method in their sessions for it is a great way to reduce anxiety, stress, and aggression. It also can create positive self-esteem through the act of creation. All which can be very important benefits of Art and Healing!

Please check this out on Facebook to share with others as well

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