Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Embrassez votre été invincible!

Outside my front door in beautiful Upstate New York on January 21, 2014,
on a welcome sunny winter day.
It's once again that time of year where the perception on the part of most is that the winter season has dragged on too long, been too cold and generally too much; the key word in that statement being, of course, "perception."

Though we in upstate New York are nowhere near the empirical "depths of winter," (despite the occasional nor'easter tail end of frigid air) it certainly feels as though that is the case: the ongoing lack of consistent bright daylight, fluctuating temperatures, and a general malaise have many of us feeling a little wintry. Some personal events of the past few weeks, have put yours truly a bit of a funk. But, even in the early-morning/late-evening darkness (some real, but the most dangerously self-imposed), it is important to remember that we, you and I, all hold within us the potential warmth of the invincible summer.

In times like these, I try to focus my mental energies on quotes or mantras that were previously useful in adjusting my mindset to better assist me in barreling through the challenging winter months. One quote, in particular, that I find myself returning to when feeling a little blue (or in today's case, grey), is ironically, from noted Existentialist ("a sense of disorientation and confusion in the face of an apparently meaningless or absurd world.") philosopher and author of The Stranger, Albert Camus:
"O light! This is the cry of all the characters of ancient drama brought face to face with their fate....In the middle of winter I at last discovered that there is in me an invincible summer."
To those who have not read Camus broadly, the use of his lines as inspirational mantra will certainly seem ironic. He remains closely associated with the dark and brooding black-and-white photographs that perpetuated this image of the artist as an "intellectual Frenchman." Despite those iconic photos, Camus' writing does include quite a few nuggets of warmth, as evidenced by the one above.

It is in these recent grey, cold days that it becomes even more important to make the concerted effort to grab that inner light and hug it close! Until the outside world (as accurately communicated by the local news) more closely matches my desired sunny state. By continuing to do one's best to keep the sun inside stoked and burning, hope remains of influencing one's perception of the winter to stir a sunnier disposition, rather than the other way around.

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