*snuggling in with*winter*

“In the depths of winter, I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer” Albert Camus

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We are influenced by nature- our environments, weather, seasons, etc. They all carry their own energies, symbols, comforts or discomforts- all of which effect our own energies, our emotions, perceptions and in turn, our behaviors. When I was young and would take Myspace surveys, I remember always struggling with the “Favorite Season” question. I thought for sure it was summer. It’s sunny and warm, I have no school, I got to explore a lot more.. but I would always stop myself torn, as every season holds such intimate personality and beauty/fun/mystery of its own.

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Now that I am a bit older and happen to be in a very introspective, reflective, committed-to-personal-growth era of my life, winter has become a special friend for me. Its resonance feels to parallel my own and leaves me feeling so free, supported, motivated, with confidence and manageable stress. Winter and I can also feel isolated and lonely but I feel a deep “okay” with that; aware that just as life’s cycles continue like spring returning each year- so too will new life bloom in my world, in its own time.

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Winter is now here in full swing. The neighborhoods have been blanketed in ice from sunrise to sunset for about a week now and many areas have received snow. The temperature last night was 28 degrees (-2 degrees Celsius for readers in other countries) and now at 2:30pm the next day only 33 (1 degrees Celsius). I really hate being cold, REALLY, so it is a bit surprising for me to be so in Love with winter, but it’s just so cozy and reflective.

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Winter is beautiful for it’s scenery

But most of all for me,

Winter is beautiful for being a nurturing catalyst to growth.

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In such a busy, commercial American city it can be difficult to find true peace and quiet. With winter in the city I observe a slower pace, a greater awareness of appreciation, holiday good cheer and deeds, more quality time with loved ones, more quality time with ones self, cultivating creativity and more opportunities to “just be” alive, cozy, live simpler. It’s refreshing.

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“I do an awful lot of thinking and dreaming about things in the past and the future – the timelessness of the rocks and the hills – all the people who have existed there. 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.” -Andrew Wyeth

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“In a way Winter is the real Spring- the time when 
the inner things happen, the resurgence of nature.” -

Edna O’Brien

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. M i k a e l a . M a e .

Once upon a college art class, I met an intriguing girl named Mika Jones.

[^Christopher Hills^]

Not only did she have a deep, emotional style to her art that really spoke to me, she was ethereal yet dark and let off a mysterious, alluring vibe. I had the pleasure of working with her a few times in class and was indefinitely charmed. I am so grateful that I get to witness her art and modeling grow, which is inspirational for me as an artist, photographer and a transforming woman myself.

[Maggie West ^]

I recently began reading bits of her writings and I am thrilled. Her stories beautifully drum on the abstract human journey through life, love, pain, darkness and Self. There are not many living, modern-day artists that I hold such creative admiration for, I feel blessed to know her.

. . .

Death liked to be inconvenient and once M asked her why when they had run into one another by chance. It was at a bar in Milan and M was drinking a cappuccino the size of a thimble when death bumped into her, causing her to curse.

“Ciao Bella” Death said with a sly smile and a cat’s tongue. M knew her too well, for death had made many appearances and was too beautiful to forget. M watched coldly as Death snorted white powder up her nose and laughed with electric eyes.

“So you want to know why I keep coming by, do you? Why I keep talking to your friends? Why I have your boyfriend’s number?” M nodded with her hair in her eyes. Why was she even talking to this creature, for she surely was not the woman she disguised herself as? Death kept laughing as she read her thoughts. “Well it’s not because I like you, that’s for sure. Don’t flatter yourself missy, you’re nothing special in the scheme of things.”

“Then why waste your time?” Forcing herself to look Death in the eye finally, stung by the harshness of her tone. Death stroked her cheek and sighed slowly, her shoulders small and fragile with the weight of her breath.

“Because you remind me of me, and I’m lonely too.”

. . .

[^Rachel Q Waniewski]                                                                  [Kelly Withers^]

Her artist page goes by “Mikaela Mae”. She’s studied art in China, Italy, and America and currently lives in Los Angeles, CA. Her work is for sale, she does commissions, tattoo design, vintage clothes/accessories, models and writes.

mikamaejones[at]gmail[dot]com

                                                                                                  [Maggie West^] [^Amanda Paredes of Swae-Photography^]

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