A Moment for Courage

Dear community and friends:

It’s been little over two weeks since my lockdown in my New York apartment, though it feels like a lifetime. The world has taken an unexpected turn.

The current of events — and the way we make sense of our circumstances — are evolving so rapidly that, even as I draft these lines, I cannot know which will hold true tomorrow or the day after, much less during the weeks and months ahead.

“Existence flows past us like a river,” wrote Roman emperor Aurelius centuries ago. “The what is in constant flux, the why has a thousand variations. Nothing is stable, not even what’s right here.”

And for all that remains uncertain, it is the courage to continue that counts.

With a crisis of this magnitude, we all wonder, what can I do? What can we do? Over the next days, I will be focused on finding ways to directly support and respond, but I don’t have all the answers. If you have a good idea or want to help, please reach out to me.

While we all face a long road ahead and practice social distancing, we need the arts more than ever to help us find comfort, hope, and a sense of unity. With that in mind, we have worked with our partners at Google Cultural Institute and LIFE Photo Collection to present a retrospective on the Albanian-American  photographer, Gjon Mili

I invite you to explore the many stories from a different era to help lift spirits and shift your attention to something bright during these difficult times, and hope Mili’s extraordinary work and life inspires you as it did me.

As we navigate the uncertain times together, each one of us should choose to trust scientific data and healthcare experts, and rely on information from trusted sources.

We need caution, and courage, and calm.

No time for despair, no room for fear, in Toni Morrison’s words of wisdom. We have more of a responsibility now to look after family, protect our mental health, and show kindness to each other and to ourselves.

I want to end with a thank you note. Thank you to our frontline and healthcare workers, from doctors, nurses, cleaners, and scientists, and everyone doing heroic work day and night, risking their lives to save lives.

That’s courage.

We are grateful for you! As the Irish prime minister put it last week, never have so many asked so much of so few. We must support them, they will need all our love and gratitude.

While it is impossible to know how long this situation will last, I know we will come through on the other side. When that great day comes, I will be there to welcome you to a new gathering in a new world.

Wishing you good health, wherever you may be, courage, and a good dose of optimism.

Dino Korca