Thankful in a Difficult Year

I’m thankful in a difficult year. Thankful for a good 2020 photographically despite a difficult world situation. Thankful for commercial & editorial client of many years as well as new ones connected with this year, even if the number of billable hours is way down, we’re all struggling. Work is difficult right now.

Thankful for the number of photo projects I was able to take on and complete this year. I thought of the time off work and at home as a gift of time to create. And so I was able to make my 4x4x5 project, plus I’ve continued The Wise Photo Project and even worked on some others (Alley Series, Bus Stop Series, Lost Chair Series). I was able to safely teach a street photography workshop at the Colorado Photographic Arts Center in Denver this summer. I spent many an afternoon this summer sitting in my car at the nearby golf course writing a stand-up comedy routine as my alter ego, Kenney Kaye, that I will take out to mics once the clubs reopen their doors–laughs will be quite needed by then, and I am ready. I am grateful for the time to create my act.

It’s easy to get down on 2020 for as tough as it’s been for all of us. But if we’re still in our homes, if we have been able to successfully avoid the virus, (hopefully our families are safe, too) even if it has impeded our ability to find work, to make money and have the time and freedom to do the things we are used to doing–socializing with friends, going to movies and events and many other things–we still have much to be thankful for.

Remember not everyone is making it–let’s offer help where we can. I offer food items to those folks standing out holding signs at the ends of parking lots. It’s a little thing, but it might mean a lot to someone who feels hopeless. What can we do that can brighten a dark day? What are we doing as a society to create a war on poverty?

I posed a question to friends recently: Does participating in the stock market, with companies’ goals to make the biggest return for shareholders mean the stock market investors (players, gamblers) are responsible for keeping workers in retail and other service industry jobs low-pay and some even at poverty levels? A person wrote in this NY Times article: “My money is mostly stocks, which means it comes from underpaying and undervaluing working-class people, and that’s impossible to disconnect from the economic legacies of Indigenous genocide and slavery…”

We have work to do if we really want to be the greatest nation by making sure no one is falling through the cracks. That people are able to work and with that work afford to live in a home and feed their families. Hopefully a new administration in the White House will take on the need to help those not making it have new ways to try. I think of FDR and the jobs he created to combat the Great Depression. We have money for war and defense, we need to have money for citizens or what’s the point of defending the country?

All in all, I have much to be thankful for, I have savings to get me through tough times like this, and a house (it’s a rental, but I call it mine), and I realize that we are only nine months into this pandemic. That’s not very long. There is light around the corner. This is a temporary situation. But remember, it’s impossible to see the mountain while you’re on it. You need to step off it to see it. We will step out of this pandemic and see life past the way it’s been since the spring. Remember the roaring 20s followed the 1918 pandemic. We will grow and prosper. Good things and happy times are to come.

Wishing for a positive and healthy 2021 for everyone.

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Check out my YouTube Channel of Photography Talks: my 6×6 Portraits Blog (you’re here) and my Daily Photography Podcast. Thanks!

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