A year ago, Cristian Marianciuc was experiencing a feeling many of us are familiar with: 2014 was coming to a close and he was wishing he'd done more with his time.
But 2015 was going to be different. He was going to make it count, and he was going to do it through a journal — although it wouldn't be your typical journal.
On January 1, 2015, he started his own daily journal and named it the 365 Origami Crane Project. Using paper, colors, textures, and light, he began to describe his daily thoughts — from philosophy to what was for lunch — in the form of paper cranes. Marianciuc shared 11 of them with me, along with their official titles and his thinking behind them. They're beautiful.
1. Obscure Glimmer
"There is a silver lining in everything. And if you can't see one, then make one up."
2. Wire Me to Your Heart
"A warm breeze outside and, in the air, the feeling that this autumn is full of good things. My face is itchy; I am growing a beard again."
3. Fortress of Regrets
"Sunny morning, ready for a well-deserved break. Brushing off nagging regrets."
4. Give Me Back the Night
"I cannot even remember the last time I was able to lie down in bed, before falling asleep, and not be bombarded by thoughts and faces and 'what ifs.'"
"Woke up with a severe feeling of being out of place."
6. Vivid Dreams
"Lately I have been having extremely vivid dreams, and I even manage to remember most of them once I wake up."
7. Running on Fumes
"I have been put into a not-unpleasant state of numbness from the humming of the generator ... we are out of electricity again. Things that would otherwise go unnoticed come to the forefront these days, which is good, I think."
"There is something in the air, a sense of expectation, a silent preparation for something momentous."
9. Silence is Golden
"I have a long way to go in learning to keep to myself and just observe things unfold as they are meant to."
10. Cristian and the Cranes
"In the past couple of days, I had the pleasure of telling a number of people a few things about this project. It's a quiet afternoon, my room smells like Mi Goreng instant noodles and mandarine."
"I woke up today to the most gloriously warm morning. But as the day progressed, clouds came in, it all became dark and menacing. All I could do was to surrender! And I love the feeling of letting go."
These are just 11 out of more than 300 amazing cranes he's created so far.Many can be found on his Facebook page. Some took 10 minutes to make, some took all afternoon. Marianciuc says, "Looking back at my cranes, I can, at a glance, remember at least a tiny detail about the day in which it was made. And that makes me emotional, but also extremely thankful."When I asked what inspired him to make paper cranes, I wasn't expecting to be so moved by his answer.
He was inspired by the touching story of Sadako Sasaki, a young girl who lived in Hiroshima in 1945, when the atomic bomb was dropped. She survived but was diagnosed with leukemia a decade later. In the hospital, she embarked on a quest to fold 1,000 paper cranes in order to be granted a wish, but never reached that mark.And then it got personal with the loss of his sister.
"One of my sisters was also too eager to pick up her wings, and, at the hand of leukemia, left us some years ago," he said.
To honor his sister, Sadako Sasaki, and to push himself to be more present in 2015, he started his origami adventure.
What a cool project. And even though 2015 is approaching an end, Cristian has decided his paper cranes won't stop.He's going for that big number: 1,000, so that he can too, be granted a wish in the end. Just like his inspiration Sadako Sasaki sought out to do so long ago.