the design above is borrowed some from cards I made at this time last year to remind myself that winter – in the world or in the soul – is not unconquerable.
From absurdist philosopher Albert Camus, one of my very favorite quotes. The philosophy of the absurd is concerned with what it sees as the essential paradox of human existence: the struggle to find meaning in human life given our own mortality. Some thinkers in this tradition embrace nihilism; not Camus, who believed that despite our own very real and certain mortality, it is possible to find and embrace meaning in human experience.
Admittedly, I find this increasingly challenging every year come February. There is something about this short month that feels very long and bleak, especially here in Ottawa (Canada), the land of snow! Recently, when I was starting to feel that sense of futility – that the cold was beating me and might even go on forever – I had the most beautiful winter experience.
A short drive from Ottawa in Chelsea, Québec is Le Nordik, a gorgeous scandinavian-style outdoor spa. I went on a quiet and snowy February evening. There were mountains of snow in the woods surrounding the baths, and it was snowing those gloriously perfect large fluffy snowflakes. Very late in the evening, I found myself in a large warm salt water pool at the edge of the resort. The mist rising off the water was so thick I couldn’t see to the other side. Floating on top of the salt water, I could feel the snow falling on me, and above me was a perfect (waxing gibbous) moon with the most beautiful winter halo encircling it. It was magical.
this beautiful limited edition poster by chelsea petaju of oh my deer is no longer available,
but please visit her etsy shop for more of her gorgeous quote prints.
It has been a cold, snowy winter for many of us this year. For some of you, spring really is just around the corner. Here in Ottawa, spring is not exactly around the corner, but we are still moving it its general direction!
Taken from his 1952 essay Return to Tipasa, I think it is worth sharing this extended passage, as it so eloquently elaborates this thought:
In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back.
Also, please check out this web comic adaptation by Gavin Aung Than over at Zen Pencils in its entirety. So cute!