x365 was started by Dan Waber on his 40th birthday. The idea: write 40 words (no more, no less) every day for a year, and each day he’d write about a different person (in no particular order) who touched his life. But not just anyone, it has to be someone he’s actually met in person, someone whose name he still remembers. (See How x365 Got Started.)

I’ve varied it slightly – I’m 35 so I’m writing 35 words. I may not write one per day but I love the concept and will try to honor it. Starting now.

1/365: Ellie: You brought peace to my core when I first held you. Your smile sparkles but, niece, I confess it’s your eyes, blue, like mine, that thrill me every time. Thank you. So very much.

2/365: Becky: I was six and you were seven, but you were worlds older. Taught me to jump-rope by tying my laces together, to rollerskate, to sled, hopscotch. You were my first friend in 2nd grade.

3/265 Nancy: You wore jeans, walked daily to midtown from downtown, made me earn your smile, held my feet to the fire, taught me that phrase. Major newsweekly internship advisor? No way. You were a goddess.

4/365: Amy: Freshman orientation, life beyond high school arrived. We shared one laugh and became soul-deep friends. Slept outside the dorm, cried, danced, ate grapes and cookies, sang sad songs. you taught me what joy is.

5/365 Ben: Two years old. At bedtime, under your covers, after stories, after water and teethbrushing for you and your brother, you tell me, “but I still have words to say.” I remember this 20 years later.

6/365:”Yellow-Line Friend, 2005″ He won’t be coming to the airport, so I take the train through the winter morning, 2005. I can’t stop crying. You hand me a tissue and say it will get better. I believe you.

7/365: Mr. Marusa: In fifth grade, I wonder if I can become an author when I grow up. You say I have talent, and (NOT “but”) that the future is up to me. Thank you for the “and.”

8/365: Joserra: “Do you know of a band, the J. Giles Band? I think that this is most excellent American band, don’t you??” My Basque country hiking guide, you coached me well, guiding me in laughing again.

9/365 Roald Dahl: In Europe, when I was six, we devoured your books. “Danny, the Champion…” Dad read in our Dutch apartment, “James and the Giant Peach,” waiting for the ferry. They were funny and smart and home.

Part of my 35/365 project. What’s 35/365 or x365? See here.


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