The Superpowers Of Paper

William Blake Albion Rose

Walking through the back room just now, I noticed that something I had propped up in a bookshelf – an image, in this case, of Blake’s ‘Dance of Albion’ sometimes called Albion Rose, or Glad Day – this piece of paper had absorbed the newly moist air on this early Spring day and collapsed in a gentle curve against the books behind.

Having worked with paper for decades, as an artist and also as a commercial printer, I knew exactly how this could be adjusted very nicely. I pulled the sheet down and gave it a gentle crease in the middle causing it to bow slightly backward.

I remember dear Prabhupada remarking that every species of consciousness had one siddhi – mystical power. The mystical power of paper must include being totally open to influences in the atmosphere while able to creatively adapt to new conditions.

Placing the image back in the bookshelf, it held for a moment and then collapsed against the books again. Knowing that this was simply a process of trial and error, I took the page again and gently gave it a slightly more pronounced crease in the same place.

Back on the bookshelf, Blake’s wonderful image of Glad Day stood out proudly again, maybe even more resplendent than before because of the slight outward curve.

Not to put too fine a point on it, our own creativity, adaptability, and capacity for change works in a very similar way.

Our whole lives are paper mâché that we can gently and knowingly adjust to get the experiences we want.

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