It's finally here.
January first is only another day of the year no objectively different than any other. On each day of the year, you have traveled an entire orbit around Sol from that same date the previous year. January first is only significant because you become aware of this fact more accutly than on any other day, except perhaps your birthday. Except this date carries with it a collective awareness, because your birthday is just yours. January first is like the birthday for the whole world, except of course for the fact that it isn't, because the Earth wasn't born in a day, and it isn't 2,017 years old. However we humans like to scale things down and simplify them so our brain can make sense of them. So we celebrate these markers.
For me, looking back on this past year is a crowded view filled with many changes. I started a new job doing something that I never imagined myself doing. I've built relationships that I didn't plan on building, I've become reconnected to a very important place here in Mammoth, and all the while I've produced photographs that document my journey.
Also, I have watched (as everyone has watched) the rise of the clearest embodiment of classical fascism that America and possibly the world has seen in decades. As a political leftist and active dues paying member of th Industrial Workers of the World and the Socialist Party of the USA, this is no great surprise. Fascism is capitalism in decay, and America has been in decay for more than a generation now. That generation, in the avsence of a clear class analysis of their suffering, will turn to the political hucksters and glorified con artists willing to give them a direction to point their rage. Moving into 2017 and beyond will mean people like myself must become better at communicating our solutions.
Despite all of the failings of 2016, I wanted to begin the new year with the freshest perspective I could, so I decided to venture out before the sun rose on January first (despite having been up until 1:30 the night before) to view one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world be painted for the first time of the year. In the pitch dark morning I drove out of the Town of Mammoth Lakes, onto US Highway 395 and behind the airport to a volcanically active area called Hot Creek. I took set up my camera and started taking photos while the stars were still visible to the naked eye above.
I turned my camera around to take a photo of my car. This is my first time being in the Mountains without a 4wd truck and I was nervous about my ability to access the locations I most want to photograph. I have been undisappointed by the VW's ability to get me where I need to be, and it's heated seats have been a godsend on mornings under 20 degrees.
The new year.
I hope every day of it is as good as the first, filled with new experiences, new friends, new views, and nu-didty.