Virginia Barton

25 August 2017: Nineteen Paper Cranes



25 August 2017


Dear Reader,

This is the sort of Commonplace I hate writing and would delete were it to pop up in my Inbox. You, however, may be teased by the title; so I shall continue and hope that you will do the same.

In Japanese culture the wings of a crane carry souls to paradise. When our eldest grand-daughter was born in Tokyo and not expected to live, I remember one mother on the ward spent many hours making paper cranes, tiny delicate paper birds which she hung on a string beside her baby’s cot. (Origami is for patient artists, not a pastime for sausage-fingered grandmothers in a hurry.)

Our grand-daughter lived, and is now a lively, loving 33 year-old who has brought more joy (and hilarity) into this world than almost anyone you care to mention. She has Down’s Syndrome.


When Beloved Snail crawled off the “Look what I’ve done” shelf at Amazon, the foolish author left out the vital detail that any proceeds from the sale of the book will go to L’Arche. How can I have been so clump-headed? What an oversight.

Fortunately all is not lost, and If you bought a copy of the book, hug yourself in the knowledge that a percentage has gone to an excellent cause — and immediately order lots more copies to give as presents. (Yes! I have started my Christmas shopping!)


Carefully honed entries on the internet explain the work and mission of L’Arche so much better than I ever could in a brief Commonplace. And the last thing you want is a barrage of stats. So please, do visit the website and explore it’s history. In particular click on “About Us” and scroll down to the #AsIAm Project, a series of beautifully crafted short films that speak better than the written word.

I smiled through tears when I watched the film about Sachiko, a young woman living in a L’Arche community in Japan.

Had I any doubts, which I hadn’t, her story would have confirmed my decision to send any profits made by the Snail to a cause that reaches both heart and mind.


To order Beloved Snail on, click here.






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