"In the midst of winter, I finally found there was within me an invincible summer." - Albert Camus
“To be or not to be: that is the question.” - Hamlet, William Shakespeare
Not to confuse two great literary geniuses, but despite the distance in the time spans of their lives, ultimately, is what Shakespeare wrote not also what Camus was saying in his famous quote? With mere words, Camus had definitely decided to live - not in his or anyone else’s shadow, but in the brilliance of self-awareness, most likely discovering an unknown strength buried deep within himself. Quite simply, Camus had decided to be. To be all that he could despite the trials and tribulations life offers on a perpetual, reoccurring basis. To be the transforming butterfly, breaking free of the restrictive cocoon and learning to spread its wings, flying through the universe known as life. To be the soldier who perseveres and fights against those things that threaten to consume or destroy. To be the indomitable, brilliant philosopher and writer who easily captured – and still does - the attention of a minuscule ant as well as the millions in the world. To be all that he could despite obstacles that often discourage one in the pursuit of peace, happiness, or more importantly, identity. Though he may have been labeled as an existentialist or absurdist, Camus decidedly placed an importance on human existence with this quote. Perhaps this was largely due to what he endured in Paris during German occupancy during World War II. However, as a member of the resistance, he was willing to take a stand and do what he could against the atrocities and horrors he witnessed or survived during that war.
Without a doubt, there is a wealth of knowledge, wisdom, survival, and self-identity housed in this one quote. Camus had found much more than he bargained for when he discovered that “the invincible summer” existed within him. Much like the philosophers of old, Camus was not fortune’s fool but made much more of sterner stuff.
Eons of Warmth
It was the stars, I think.
They're brighter in the winter, the skies are clearer. It's with their clarity found snippets of peace.
At night my body shook, hard wracks against the wood of the chair I slept in. The sharp stab of wood against bone was a common cause of bruising on my right shoulder.
I never much liked the feel of cotton, yet in those days cotton is what I clung to. Though touching it sent goose bumps up my neck I envoloped my body in the dead plant. Two layers of it if I could. Even now I can still feel the horrid texture gently sliding against the very tip of my left forefinger. Yet my body shook with chills and the cold hurt. Life was stiff joints and cramped muscles. Cotton would do.
I would sit on the back of the truck and look at the stars. Look at them through the thin whisp that was my breath. I'd feel the wind bite through my three layers as the wind whipped about my loose hair. My stomach would growl and the sharp pain right below my diaphragm would stab. The dull ache spreading down to my lower gut because the moldy bread I had for breakfast was not enough. It was never enough. Nevertheless, I looked at the stars.
Mornings were filled with coughing and freezing showers, if I could work up the courage to endure such torture. The smoke from the nightly fire would be so thick I could taste it down the back of my throat all day. It would scratch with every word I spoke and flavor my food. My eyes burned. So when I got home I would sit on the truck and I would look at the stars. I would breathe the daggered air because only the sharp pain of the frigid winter could cure the taste of raw smoke.
I dreamed of a warmth I did not have. Of people I did not have near. Of bread without mold. Of a bed.
What is summer but the celebrated prime of the survivors? Spring is but a youthful testing. The summer is the celebration where not a single fear is held of the soul-piercing wind of a winter night.
Stars live outside the wane of a freezing winter. I took comfort seeing their warmth, eons old. I dug deep down, seeking to find my own warmth to last the eons and I found it. It's like the fires that I made that *did* last the whole night (many did not). At the coldest point of the night the embers burned. Not with brilliant fire, for those went out the fastest. No, with a dull glow and steadfastness.
These days I work with people who never found that fire and I only hope to spread the flame. Spread the summer. To burn through one more winter.
"In the midst of winter, I finally found there was within me an invincible summer"
you did not break me
You did not break me.
That's all I can think about.
My youth and yours.
My tears and your laughter.
My joy and your anger.
My desperate need for company,
and my loneliness.
My desperate need for happiness,
and your killing touch.
You never gave me a moment of rest,
I had to steal them.
You never gave me a home,
I had to break in.
you did not break me.
But lord knows you tried.
Love is frozen
I felt raw-
Everything was now frozen-
Frozen from the inside
I need to see the light
Feel the warmth on my face
I just can't take this damn cold weather
I just can't take this birds warm coat feather
yes I am Frozen
I felt raw-
When I told you that "I loved you"
My body frozen now in fear
A conversation that you weren't supposed to hear
As you reject me, I shed a tear
I need to see the light-
But my body goes pale
I felt raw
I felt naked
Emotions running at will
Sometime my heart will completely melt through
I'll get over this frozen fear of loosing you
The embarrassment that I felt, the warmth on my face
What I wanted was your love
Not a gust of win sending my tears on a race-