A beat. High school. A Japanese penpal sent me some origami paper, and it was pleasing to every sense. It was quality paper, thick and creamy, with a rough, pulpy texture on the blank side that was a delight to fold and touch. It had an austere foreign scent to it, and I would often just open the plastic package just to dream about the world its fragrance conjured. It got its name, "harmony paper", though, for its coloring: along one diagonal ran one color; along the other ran a color complementary to it, and the effect was at once both simple and striking in its calmness, and the forms made from the paper always seemed to possess an otherworldly, vivid tranquility.
The leeward surface of Lake Washington was rippled by a gentle wind. The near sides of each ripple reflected the indigo skies that had already fallen into twilight; the far sides reflected the salmon-pink sunset. The surface of the lake was positively radiant with being, with presence. In that moment I felt as though I had received the authoritative answer to somebody else's life-question.
The origami cranes made from harmony paper were beautiful to behold, but inaccessible in their enigmatic form. Some are happy to coexist with this enigma, regarding beauty as a gauge of inaccessibility: that which, having been experienced, is still unapprehended becomes yet more beautiful. Johannes the Seducer, having experienced and possessed, makes the object of his conquest common, and moves on; Howard Roark, having experienced and not possessed, pursues more fervently. Some live in constant preparedness for the uncapturable moment when the origami crane unfolds, when in a single moment it offers both its form and pattern. We're not so different -- we all pursue something. Maybe the difference is that some pursue the abstract concept and some pursue that which embodies it; maybe it's just that some people, having gotten what they want, are simply better about continuing to want it.
Everybody will, in time, understand; it is unlikely that any two will agree. The truth thus remains a vigorous horse, roaming the spaces between the minds.