The Demon Winter

Winter is a demon, but necessity precedes its existence. The skies here are the ubiquitous dull gray of hibernation. We don’t get to sleep for months though. We must work. Cycling or walking or driving through the insistent peck of drizzle, you turn the music up and pop an extra Vitamin D tablet, in order that you don’t commit some serious felony against yourself or others. Winter here describes the content of the drab stuff of existentialism. Sad Camus sitting at the toilet, listening to the rain rail ceaselessly on the ventilation shaft that leads to the roof of his ramshackle apartment. Something like that. It’s necessary though, and you have to keep telling yourself as much. It is necessary that we suffer. You map it out on a line graph. The low points are directly proportional to the highs, and vice versa. A single line running linear through the middle is unacceptable. Breathe deep to maintain. Only months to go. Beyond the gray stuff of cloud, beyond the months of precipitation, there lies a future of sun and leisure. You’ll toss your Vitamin D to the back of the cabinet, and repeat “Be here now” in your head like a TM mantra until it loses all meaning and the big gray head of fall comes into view again.

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This is depressing, I know. But to meditate on it allows us to escape from it. It’s definition creates delineation. There it is and here is all the rest. Beer, wine, sleep, books, entertainment, coffee, etc. This is where we can live until the pressure lifts. Life is absurd. To know its absurdity is to see the levity. Here comes Camus again, from the Myth of Sisyphus:

“Yet a day comes when a man notices or says that he is thirty. Thus he asserts his youth. But simultaneously he situates himself in relation to time. He takes his place in it. He admits that he stands at a certain point on a curve that he acknowledges having to travel to its end. He belongs to time, and by the horror that seizes him, he recognizes his worst enemy. Tomorrow, he was longing for tomorrow, whereas everything in him ought to reject it. That revolt of the flesh is the absurd.” – Camus

I am thirty now. I will soon be thirty-one.

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