It’s 2020 and no one expected it to start this way.

Feeling scared, powerless and angry.

Time is a construct and it is useful to see a new year as a mental refresh.

However, there is no such thing as a blank slate or a fresh start. Every day brings us new reasons to doubt the institutions and structures around us and it is increasingly clear that we can not escape the past that created them.

And it’s so easy to let it be that. It takes willpower to educate yourself and ask yourself the hard questions. You must be strong to speak up. It takes so much courage to continue believing you can make a difference.

It’s one thing to say things and it’s another to show up, even when you doubt how much good a rally can do. I observed this rally getting organized within a day and I saw something more than just the act of showing up. I saw amazing hand made signs; sharpie on torn cardboard, a scribbled out logo, thought out words on a box, neatly handwritten lettering on poster paper, the words “NO WAR” spelled out with tape on colorful umbrellas. I saw the effort and care. That warms my cynical heart. I’m a photographer, but something at the rally got to me enough to bare my heart and write these words for strangers to read on the internet.

At the rally, I saw friends and caught up since the last action or meeting we attended. I made new friends – new to the community or new to the cause.

There’s such a disconnect between what we experience in these actions and the abstract system that we fight. A system with rules stacked against us, designed to distract us with civility or semantics to lead us into dead end stagnation and apathy.

These are not new revelations. I hope to inspire just as I was inspired. This is a reminder to myself of the bigger picture – to hold strong our values towards a better world, a more compassionate and brave world. Everything we fight against didn’t just start yesterday or even two years ago. What we fight doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Big ideas are worthless without foundation work. We must get loud, get organized, and support large scale change.

This year, there is no start, there is no finish, there is only keep going.