Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 fades out

It's the ritualistic end of the year sunset ... I was apprehensive that the rather sullen clouds wouldn't clear in time, but they disappeared, leaving this somewhat Samuel Palmer-esque tower against the setting sun.  I suspect that it's really an air conditioner - whatever it is, I find, looking back through earlier December 31sts, that it's been something of a regular feature.  This is certainly the warmest Dec 31 that I've recorded - usually there's been snow on the ground; sometimes thick ice.

Let's all hope for a better 2018.  I can't complain in personal terms - I've had a good year (apart from the horrors, the tedium, the tension, the exhaustion of executing well over 100 picture permissions for Flash!), but that pales by the side of the continual sense of anger and outrage generated by this country's politics; Brexit politics, etc.  It felt good doing the other ritualistic December 31st practice today - not the photographing of the sunset, but the sending off of charitable donations to the Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, Southern Poverty Law Center, New Mexico Wildlife Center, etc etc etc - with a sense that every cent is even more necessary than usual (and then the dilemma - would one big donation matter more to one organization than spreading oneself out ... and how does one choose, how does one choose? - in addition, that is, to one's monthly giving, which is probably the best way to do it ...).  But I think that spreading out one's giving matters for more than financial reasons.  I've been reading a good deal of John Berger very recently (for MLA related reasons), and when he was accepting his Booker Prize and simultaneously sharing the prize - and the money with the Black Panthers (and regretting that the prize wasn't bigger so that he could give more), he emphasized that "the sharing of the prize signifies that our aims are the same."  That, I think, speaks directly to the symbolic importance of showing one's support.

And even as I typed this up, I remembered one more destination I'd meant to give to, and paused, and clicked ... 

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