I’m discouraged. It’s not uncommon for me during the winter months, but it is still hard. I do all the things you are supposed to do when you are low and feel defeated. I light candles, I chase beauty, I seek out joy. But sometimes no matter what you do, you still feel the weight of life, still feel the limitations of candlelight and beauty. Beauty may save the world, as Dostoevsky claims, but it doesn’t necessarily take away the weight of winter.
Some of this has to do with things that cannot be changed – feeling the sadness of my brother’s birthday coming on Wednesday, knowing that he is not here, that a phone call is impossible. In addition, my own birthday arrives later this week and I feel some of the emotional cost of aging, the heaviness of responsibility coupled with the weight of wrinkles and a changing body.
What do other writers do with the weight of winter? They write. They describe and, in their descriptions, I find comfort. The quote by Andrew Wyeth is perhaps my favorite. this idea of the story being hidden, but still present is something I think about all year long, not just in winter.
If you are feeling the weight of winter on this Monday, I invite you to read these quotes and to write or find your own.
“I prefer winter and Fall, when you feel the bone structure of the landscape–the loneliness of it, the dead feeling of winter. Something waits beneath it, the whole story doesn’t show. “
“How many lessons of faith and beauty we should lose, if there were no winter in our year!”
–Thomas Wentworth Higginson
“I pray this winter be gentle and kind–a season of rest from the wheel of the mind. “
“The hard soil and four months of snow make the inhabitants of the northern temperate zone wiser and abler than his fellow who enjoys the fixed smile of the tropics. “
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
“What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness. “
What are your favorite winter quotes? How do you face the weight of winter?