Nostalgia

Nostalgia is denial – denial of the painful present. The name for this denial is golden age thinking – the erroneous notion that a different time period is better than the one one’s living in – it’s a flaw in the romantic imagination of those people who find it difficult to cope with the present.-Midnight in Rome (2011).

I am consumed with nostalgia, drowning in it. The littlest thing triggers it and I am in that state for at least a few minutes. Sometimes I come across a song or video from the eighties and I am devoured. I think of how everyone back then, so carefree and young, is now old(er). I think of how my mother must have grooved to it in her youth. It is even weirder when it is something relating to another country. Why does this make me nostalgic? I ask myself. All it takes is one thing to set it off and I spend hours scouring for more. Everything is up for grabs- films, TV shows, newspaper articles, TV adverts. Gimme gimme gimme more.

Unlike some fellow nostalgics, I do not wish I was born in a different time. The nostalgia is not because I wish I was present back in those days. I think of my nostalgia as a consistent longing for home, whatever and wherever that may be. The “memories” just make me feel so homesick even when the thing has nothing to do with my literal home.

“The Greek word for “return” is nostos. Algos means “suffering.” So nostalgia is the suffering caused by an unappeased yearning to return.”
― Milan Kundera, Ignorance

I think the whole thing has to do with an underlying sense of unfulfillment and dissatisfaction with life. The constant yearning for something else has to be due to a discontent with the present.

The other part of it has to be my intense curiousity. I want to know everything and I want to fully immerse myself in all the experiences (from the comfort of my bed). I cannot experience life in those times so I do the next best thing-devouring everything I can find about that era.

There is also my fear of time and aging. One day today will be the past; the days we take for granted will become the so called good old days that we reminisce over.

Of course there is the yearning for a (supposedly) simpler time and this is perhaps the chief cause of nostalgia. The good old days when we were young and carefree with no worries whatsoever. Back in the day when our lives were someone else’s problems and all we had to do was play and complain. So when something evokes the memory of this relatively blissful time it is hard not to feel a bit sad really, especially if the present is all too stressful.

I even get nostalgia-or something similar- the present. A picture of a comfortable couch is enough to get me in my feelings- the couch represents cozy which represents comfort which means home. This is the cause of my fascination with interior decoration-I don’t fancy myself as a decorator, I just really crave pictures of home; the airy rooms, the big sofas in cozy parlours, the warm soft beds, the laughter and so on.

All rounds lead to home. The never ending search for home. One day I hope to find it.

 

One thought on “Nostalgia

  1. Pingback: Something restful. | Gobbledygook

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