Friday, April 04, 2008

Phenomenon: TTC Oragami.

Oh, TTC. Just when I think you're a quotitian piss-pot to get me from point A to point B, you surprise me with little gems that make me happy.

Exhibit A: TTC Oragami.

At each station, one can procure a transfer. This allows a customer to change subway lines, or means of transit (i.e. from subway to bus to streetcar), all in a one-way trip. Now, I have a monthly pass, so I just show my card when I change, so I don't need to grab a transfer. (Hurrah for not having to waste paper!)

Late last year, as I sat on the relatively quiet ride north to start the day of work, I spied a tiny oragami crane abandoned on a subway seat. I picked it up and examined it in my palm, a la Frodo. I took it to work and showed it to my co-workers. They seemed chuffed by it, but not as much as I would have hoped. My crane sat in my cupboard for months.


Why would someone create a little piece of meditative art out of a transfer? Most people would consider its usefulness expired once he or she boarded that subway car. Those transfers litter Toronto as a testament to this attitude.

Some might shrug it off as boredom, but I like to give it more meaning than that. The crane was left sitting on a seat. It wasn't tipped over; it wasn't crushed.

I think it was left to be found.

About a month later, I found another piece of TTC Oragami. It was one of those fortune teller things we made in grade 4 to figure out which of the boys we would marry. (I always wished for Nick MacAvoy.) It was so tiny, I could barely manipulate its miniscule corners. It also found a home in my work cubby.

Recently, I found my third piece of TTC Oragami! This time, it was a cube! It's very very small, but it's so crisp and precise, I might like it best of the three found bits of art.

It's small, but one can still read that it was printed at Runnymeade station on the 89th day of the year (March 29th).

If the other two pieces of oragami aren't crushed and are still in my cubby at work, I'll bring them home and photograph them, too. I think the crane is out of a streetcar transfer, which is different from a subway transfer.

Anyhow, those days when I think I don't like this city and people are just out to "get me," I hope I think about those little pieces of found art and cheer up a little.

Wouldn't it be nice if they were all done by the same person? Wouldn't it be nice if that person made one every morning, and every morning someone got a little anonymous smile from it? Wouldn't it be nice if we were older? Then, we wouldn't have to wait so long.

1 comment:

Marilyn said...

This post makes me happy! Thanks Fern.