Brown University Women’s Launch Pad (WLP)

Make-A-Crane brought some love to Brown University’s Women’s Launch Pad (WLP)! Students learned how to make origami paper cranes if they did not know how to, and many also contributed from afar if they couldn’t make the workshop. This made the end-of-year graduation celebration and panel discussion––”Amazing Women at Brown: Creating Social Impact On Campus and Beyond”-–the loveliest kind of colorful. Make-A-Crane founder and owner Meia Geddes moderated the panel. Many thanks to all the mentors, mentees, and WLP supporters, especially the Brown Women’s Leadership Council, for all your energy and inspiration.


Musical Cranes

It’s amazing what one can use to make a paper crane. Make-A-Crane made these musical cranes after a fun and successful library sale trip.


Make-A-Crane featured in Brown Alumni Magazine Annual Holiday Gift Guide

Make-A-Crane was featured in the Brown Alumni Magazine’s Annual Holiday Gift Guide this past Nov/Dec 2016!  Meia began Make-A-Crane thanks to having taken a course on management of nonprofit and industrial organizations at Brown University in her freshman year. Professor Barrett Hazeltine, who has mentored many an entrepreneur at Brown, let Meia write a case study on a fictionalized “May Ah” and her hypothetical business, Make-A-Crane, in liu of a final paper. That fiction turned into reality, of course. Since graduating in 2014, Meia has continued her work as “the crane lady.” Make-A-Crane a.k.a. Meia is very grateful for the recognition.

Spread of Make-A-Crane in the Brown Alumni Magazine November December issue 2016.png

Tweeting all about cranes

It’s incredible what one can find on Twitter. Make-A-Crane (aka Meia Geddes) tweets all about cranes through the Twitter handle @makeacrane and also attempts to favorite everything to do with cranes. A qualitative, vaguely quantitative analysis suggests that common themes include:

~Getting tattoos of origami cranes on one’s body
~Making paper cranes out of homework assignments 🙂
~Finding peace in folding cranes
~Surprise at having learned how to make a crane
~Yearning to know how to make a crane
~Making 1,000 cranes for individuals and organizations, often for causes
~Former President Obama’s gift of paper cranes to Nagasaki Mayor Tomihisa Taue and the Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum
~Crying when receiving a crane as a surprise gift
~Making the tiniest crane possible
~Making cranes out of any kind of materials
~Encountering beautiful crane mobiles and other lovely installations

Here’s an exquisite, uplifting example of an installation by French designers Maxime Derrouch, Typhaine Le Goff, and Emeline Marty, featured in Boing Boing:


Please keep making things and creating beauty. Consider taking time to make a crane today. Then give it away. 🙂

The beauty of washi paper

Washi paper is one of those beautiful inventions that makes you want to tell everyone you know about it once you have discovered it… So Make-A-Crane is making ample use of it, now…

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Make-A-Crane Earrings: Meia Explains!

An educational Prezi presentation on the process of making and selling Make-A-Crane Earrings. Those interested in starting a small business should definitely take a look 🙂

Since I’d Left the Church

Since I’d left the church,
Had I found some other way to practice,
She asked.
Hmm, I replied—
I’ve turned to words,
I said.
And try to live a good life,
I added.
I felt a little inadequate.
But really, I was thinking of my origami cranes,
Folding them over and over,
Every slip of paper a piece of potential,
Trying to create a more beautiful world.
And isn’t that what religion is for, I should have thought and said,
Like one prayer or one blessing at a time,
An invisible force of feeling and good.

Origami in South Africa

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Some Small Cranes at the Cambridge Public Library

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Some Large Cranes at the Cambridge Public Library

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300-Crane Donation

Megumi Ando donated about 300 beautiful big paper cranes to Make-A-Crane! Come get a crane or two or three or four or five at Harvard Square in front of Au Bon Pain 🙂 We are often there sunny afternoons.

2014-09-05 Megumi's donation

The Golden Crane Carriers

Make-A-Crane sent golden cranes on a journey into the world with a little note attached…

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Quoted Cranes (Ongoing)

Make-A-Crane sends “Quoted Cranes” to those in need of some hope. Each crane contains a quote especially picked by Make-A-Crane and/or loved ones. If you know of someone who could use some Quoted Cranes, please be in touch!

quoted cranes

“The Wild Place”

This May 2014, Make-A-Crane is excited to have brought origami paper cranes to “The Wild Place,” a peaceful sanctuary for weary travelers and passersby, envisioned and created by Diana H. Jackson. The Wild Place is a short walk from the Peter Pan bus terminal in Providence, Rhode Island.

Thank you to Megan Brown for donating to our Kickstarter for The Wild Project to raise money for origami paper, funding the entire project! Below are some pictures of The Wild Place with and without cranes.

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Cranes and Thread

A wall installation on Floor 3N at the Granoff Center at Brown University. An exploration of suspension, boundaries, space, emerging pattern, March-April 2014, by Meia Geddes d.b.a. Make-A-Crane.

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The Crane Campaign

Silver cranes placed in the deep dungeons of Brown University’s libraries. An exploration of the miniature + Coca-Cola-inspired happiness marketing.

The Crane Campaign

Gandhi Jayanti Celebrations in India

Ghandi CelebrationsDeepak Sharma/Associated Press

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

Check out The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, which 193 countries have ratified, excluding the United States, Somalia and South Sudan:

The Syrian Conflict in 5 Minutes

Check out Animated Press.

“The Robber, the Judge, and the Case for Leniency”

Two quotes from former bank robber Shon R. Hopwood, who recently won a prestigious clerkship:

“Too many Americans go to too many prisons for far too long, and for no truly good law enforcement reason,” Mr. Holder said.

“From my experience,” he wrote, “sentences over five years do little to help society or the prisoner.” 

Read the article.

The Book Lady – Dolly Parton

Wonderful country singer Dolly Parton began Imagination Library, which has sent children almost 50 million books. Check it out!

“The older I get, the more appreciative I seem to be of the book lady title. It makes me feel more like a legitimate person, not just a singer or an entertainer. But it makes me feel like I have done something good with — with my life and with my success.” –Dolly Parton, The Book Lady

Interview With Philip Shepherd

Below are some excerpts from a wonderful interview with Philip Shepherd. All are found in the April 2013 Issue 448 edition of the exquisite magazine, The Sun. The interview was conducted by Amnon Buchbinder.


Buchbinder: You’ve said that we have a misguided cultural story about what it means to be human. What does that story tell us?

Shepherd: It tells us that the head should be in charge, because it knows the answers, and the body is little more than a vehicle for transporting the head to its next engagement. It tells us that doing is the primary value, while being is secondary…


“…We are missing the experience of our own being…” –Shepherd


“You cannot reason your way into being present. You cannot reason your way into love. You cannot reason your way into fulfillment. If you wish to be present, you need to submit to the present, and suddenly you find yourself at one with it. You submit to love. There’s that great quote from the Persian mystic Rumi: “Your task is not to seek love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” –Shepherd


“Indigenous Polynesian sailors use information from ocean waves to navigate their way across the Pacific and find an island up to five hundred miles away — an unimaginable feat to the colonial Europeans who first encountered them and still sometimes got lost even with sextants and compasses. This native navigational tradition was suppressed and prohibited by the Europeans, but it has survived. Navigators are chosen in infancy and are placed in tidal pools for hours, feeling the water’s rhythms and currents. When they’re fully trained adults, they can sit on the ocean in a canoe and feel multiple swells moving beneath the hull. These deep swells are refraction patterns from islands far beyond the horizon, and they guide the navigators across the trackless ocean.” –Shepherd


“Quantum mechanics tells us that information cannot be destroyed. It lives on through everything it has affected. Eastern philosophy has known for centuries that there is no existence except through relationship. We diminish our sense of being — our sense of our own reality — as we systematically disconnect from body and world.” –Shepherd


“In the same way that a pond on a still day will visibly register the smallest insect alighting on its surface, but on a windy day it won’t, our ability to feel the whole is directly proportional to our ability to become still within ourselves.” –Shepherd


“Yes, in England they talk about the “three Bs,” where the greatest scientific discoveries are made: the bed, the bath, and the bus.” –Shepherd


“Experiments with isolation chambers have shown the extreme disconnection leads to hallucinations. And that, on a large scale, is what’s happened to our culture. We’ve gone mad.”  –Shepherd


“Once you come to rest in the body, you come to rest in the wholeness that is the trembling world itself. It’s as the Greek philosopher Plotinus said: “All the world breathes together.” –Shepherd


“There’s a story about George Washington Carber, the brilliant African American botanist. Someone asked him, “How is it that you understand these plants so well?” and he replied, “If you love it enough, anything will talk to you.” –Shepherd


The Dalai Lama, when asked what surprised him most about humanity, answered “Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money. Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health. And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present; the result being that he does not live in the present or the future; he lives as if he is never going to die, and then dies having never really lived.”


See this site:

No Man’s Land (2001)

What do you get when you stick a Bosnian and a Serb together between the front lines? Plus one Bosnian stuck on a mine? Absurdity and allegory abound in No Man’s Land, set in 1993 during the Bosnian War. Consider watching this very funny and very moving Oscar-winning, debut film from director Danis Tanovic. BTW, it beat Amelie (2001) for the best foreign film Oscar–which is saying something.

What else to be?

“For myself, I am an optimist–it does not seem much use being anything else.” –Winston Churchill

Kind and Generous: Natalie Merchant

Future Conflict Risk

Read this article on a study by the National Intelligence Council. The study is fascinating. The future condensed! Let’s remember to look back at it and see how accurate it is. Here’s an excerpt (vague though it may be):

About 50 countries around the world will be at risk of internal conflict or wars with neighbors, the study says, most sparked by increasing nationalism and border rivalries fought out in the absence of any regional security architecture to resolve them.

The risk of conflict within a state — like a civil war or an insurgency — is expected to decline in Latin America, but will remain high in sub-Saharan Africa, in parts of the Middle East and South Asia, as well as in some Asia-Pacific island hot spots, the study warns.

“A more fragmented international system increases the risks” of conflict between states, the study also cautions. “Additionally, increased resource competition, spread of lethal technologies and spillover from regional conflicts increase the potential for interstate conflicts.”

Most worrisome — and already part of the global security dynamic — is an assessment that future wars in Asia and the Middle East could include nuclear weapons.

Powerful Images

Be ready to be moved.

“Gifts that Change Lives”

Listen to Nicolas Kristof! Here are organizations that he mentions in this op-ed:

Heifer International
International Rescue Committee
Shining Hope for Communities
Vital Voices
Polaris Project
Fair Girls


Check out StoryCorps! Here is a description from their website:

StoryCorps is an independent nonprofit whose mission is to provide Americans of all backgrounds and beliefs with the opportunity to record, share, and preserve the stories of our lives. Since 2003, StoryCorps has collected and archived more than 40,000 interviews from nearly 80,000 participants. Each conversation is recorded on a free CD to share, and is preserved at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. StoryCorps is one of the largest oral history projects of its kind, and millions listen to our weekly broadcasts on NPR’s Morning Edition and on our Listen pages.

Melville on War

Read about Herman Melville and consider Battlepieces and Aspects of the War (free Google eBook). Here is an excerpt from “The March into Virginia”

Did all the lets and bars appear
      To every just or larger end,
Whence should come the trust and cheer?
      Youth must its ignorant impulse lend—
Age finds place in the rear.
      All wars are boyish, and are fought by boys,
The champions and enthusiasts of the state:
      Turbid ardors and vain joys
            Not barrenly abate—
Stimulants to the power mature,
      Preparatives of fate.

Cease-fire in Syria

If only every day were a holiday! The Syrian Army has announced a truce for the most important Muslim holiday of the year. This reminds me of WWI’s “Christmas truce,” though the happenings in Syria are less heartwarming. Here are some details about the Christmas Truce:

It began in most places with nighttime singing from the trenches, was followed by shouted overtures and then forays between the lines by a few brave men. There followed, in daylight, a burying of the dead that had lain for weeks on the denuded ground called no man’s land. After that, large numbers of soldiers poured over the front lip of the trench.

Throughout the day they exchanged food, tobacco and, in a few places, alcohol. Some chatted, usually in English, a language enough German enlistees spoke to make small talk possible. In several places, they kicked around a soccer ball, or a stuffed bag functioning as one, although contrary to legend there appears to have been no official, scored matches.

Mostly, the soldiers survived, which is what they wanted from the day. They did not shoot each other.

Instrument of Peace

Definitely watch him play “My Guitar Gently Weeps” here.

On Compassion

An especially good observation, one that I hope this blog communicates–compassion is more than charity:

“True compassion does not come from wanting to help out those less fortunate than ourselves, but from realizing our kinship with all beings.” –Pema Chodron

Dalai Lama

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama, Tenzin Gyatso, brought his laughter all the way to Providence to give the 86th Stephen A. Ogden, Jr. ’60 Memorial Lecture on International Affairs today. The speech was called “A Global Change: Creating a Culture of Peace.”

Funny memory: His humor is beautiful — particularly memorable was his talk of baldness. He prompted laughter from the audience over explanation of the two competing tufts of hair on either side of his head.

Nice memory: I wasn’t taking copious notes, but I recall that he said something like, “This 21st century should be the century of dialogue,” which I liked a lot.

Awkward memory: Unfortunately his last two words sounded too much like “F*** it,” though it is safe to assume that he intended to say “Forget it.” Oddly enough, the translator writing subtitles for the audience chose the former… I am sure the Dalai Lama would laugh very hard at that one.

1000 cranes

Make-A-Crane has donated a string of 1000 cranes to Half the Sky for their silent auction 🙂

Half the Sky

Just saw New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof speak at Brown University! Wonderful, invigorating presentation from a man doing a lot of good in this world. Kristof spoke of numerous women he has encountered through his work, expressed hope that us students would challenge ourselves to experience the new despite fear of the unknown, and presented a very nuanced reflection on just how much a difference we can make. We’ve won “the lottery of life,” he said — we’ve got a bit of responsibility to those who have not.

International Day of Peace

Today is World Peace Day!


One might be generous with:

text messages
kind words
reading material
handpicked bouquets
(Money isn’t even in that long sentence!)

Let me know if I forgot anything.
Oh and comments and likes 😉

Realizing Peace

“When you produce peace and happiness in yourself, you begin to realize peace for the whole world.” –Thich Nhat Hanh

I really like this quote because it bridges what appear to be two different conceptions of peace, the internal nature of our own individual worlds, and the external nature of the entire world. Like the quote, this blog is all about showing how the two are inseparable. To change the consciousness of a world, one must start with those who inhabit it.

The Dalai Lama: Peace Through Compassion

Henry David Thoreau

Here is a wonderful 3-part series on Thoreau, a great thinker who lived peacefully, with integrity, and in harmony with nature. He stressed the importance of individual reflection and thought.



One Lovely Blog Award Nomination

Thanks to Stacie for the One Lovely Blog Award nominations! I have finally gotten it together to write a post of celebration.

The requirements of the Lovely Blog Award are to mention who nominated me and link back to his/her blog, display the award image, reveal 7 things that you may not know about me, nominate 15 blogs for the award and tell them of the nomination (linking their blogs in this post) including a link back to this post.

7 things:

1-I will not kill bugs and other creatures if I can help it.

2-I’m into writing, photography, and journalism (sorry that counts as 3 things).

3-I admire the Buddhist approach to life.

4-I interned at an online news platform this summer,

5-I make a crane in about 1 minute.

6-Reading sources include Ode, The Sun, Google News (individualized of course),  GoLocal, Fast Company, Good Reads, Mother Jones,  NYT, BBC, Tweets, WordPress, etc. (Er, books too.)

7-I’m interested in social entrepreneurship.

15 nominations:

1-Hardly a blog it’s so beautiful:

2-Gorgeous all around, with words and images:

3-An inspired idea:

4-A collection of “all things beautiful” from two architects:

5-This blog has been nominated for everything, it seems!:

6-Some good nature photography:

7-Some solid quotes can be found here:


9-You can never have too many quotes!:

10-The writing is as clear, crisp and engaging as the site’s format:

11-Hoping to see more…

12-Sincerity at its best:

13-Who can resist joyology?:

14-Inspiring quotes!:

15-The title is self-explanatory!:

Wise Words on War

“A country cannot simultaneously prepare and prevent war.” –Albert Einstein

Brain Pickings

Brain Pickings is a must-read from Maria Popova for those who care about anything interesting! Subscribe for emails, check out recommended books, find some wise words, enjoy learning about life, love, writing… Here is the websites’ description:

Brain Pickings is a human-powered discovery engine for interestingness, culling and curating cross-disciplinary curiosity-quenchers, and separating the signal from the noise to bring you things you didn’t know you were interested in until you are.


World’s Most Powerful Photographs

See this:

Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry. Very inspiring. For artists and thinkers.

Self-described as “a brand for liberal thinking and individualism…”


International Book Project

Check out the International Book Project. Found it through GoodReads.


Creators, artists, idea-lists (people who like ideas), check out Pinterest! I recently tried it out and found why people love it. Here is my page. I think of it as Twitter for artists. But it’s important to remember to take some time out of the day to take pictures, not just pin them…