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Nostalgia

Nostalgia

NOSTALGIA

Is the arriving waveform of a dynamic past, newly remembered and about to be re-imagined by a mind and a body at last ready to come to terms with what actually occurred. Nostalgia subverts the present by its overwhelming physical connection to a person or a place, to a time in which we lived or to a person with whom we lived, making us wonder, in the meeting of past and present, if the intervening years ever occurred. Nostalgia can feel like an indulgence, a sickness, an inundation by forces beyond us, but strangely, forces that have also lived with us and within us, all along.

Nostalgia is not indulgence. Nostalgia tells us we are in the presence of imminent revelation, about to break through the present structures held together by the way we have remembered: something we thought we understood but that we are now about to fully understand, something already lived but not fully lived, issuing not from our future but from something already experienced, something that was important, but something to which we did not grant importance enough, something now wanting to be lived again, at the depth to which it first invited us but which we originally refused. Nostalgia is not an immersion in the past, nostalgia is the first annunciation that the past as we knew it is coming to an end.

©2014 David Whyte

Excerpted from ‘NOSTALGIA’ From the upcoming book of essays CONSOLATIONS: The Solace, Nourishment and Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words.

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