New Year's Greetings (2016)

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The Laussy del Valle family presents you their first New Year's wishes. They are the first because Julia wasn't yet born last year and we weren't a full family without her, who, by Spanish custom, links our name with a soul.

We wish that everyday will bring you, and us, and everybody, something good. While 2015 has doubtlessly been a great year for us, it has also been heavy with tragedies for the planet, and the course of things since many years already follows a trajectory where it only gets worse. But let us live with the optimism of the hopeless, and do as if our civilization is not dying of cancer but is just passing a bad cold. Who knows what will be, anyway? Maria Rilke, with whom we share a passion for Europe in the old sense of the term—in particular Munich and Saint-Petersburgwas welcoming "the new year, full of things that have never been." Let us embrace this unknown future, let us open wide our arms to the still-dark tomorrow. Even the night is full of poetry. Let us bargain that next year will be even greater, we shouldn't expect anything less.

As a celebration of this now much awaited 2016—I can't wait to be tomorrow already—from the top of the first day of the Year, let us contemplate the last one as a teaser of its successor. In Moscow, I had an idea while running through the pictures of my camera, to make a movie out of our trip by flashing all the images in rapid succession, just as they do when you keep your finger on the ▶ button. I realized this gives a pretty good and fond idea of the trip as one takes pictures precisely of key and/or favorite moments. When I put the idea to the test, I realized that both the burst mode and the shooting of panoramas lead in this way to animated interruption to the subliminal fireworks of your memories, by inserting something flowing naturally, with beside, an adorable vintage feel of old 8mm films. Another delightful encounter of the state-of-the-art with the past, embracing the universal and ageless. It also takes advantage of all the pictures of one's collection, even those of low quality or focus, as their flaws do no matter when getting a tenth of a second of your attention, though still conveying something of their original intention. The result is great. I wonder how it looks on a collection of pictures I've never seen. I invite you to try. We will definitely extend this blitz time-lapsing technique to our future adventures and explorations, but we are glad that our first delivery covers a full year, namely, the one that we have just left behind: 2015.

The movie compacts 19519 pictures in 32 minutes and 31 seconds, from our January Goodbye to the Plaza Mayor, that opened the previous year since we had the grapes at the level of the Puerta del Sol, till last night, in Tres Cantos's c/ Girasol, where we kissed Goodbye Julia's birth year. In between are most of the places we've been (including the trip in Russia where the idea was born, from 13:19 till 14:53), the people we met, the things we did, those we saw and, as they run by, we see Julia's transforming, from a frail baby to a jerky one, smiling, weaning, crawling, standing up, walking, dancing and, as you almost start to see when things go that fast, growing. Growing to take the face of a little girl, whom we still have to meet, in 2016.

⇠ See also the 2014 greetings.
⇢ See also the 2020 greetings