Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Nostalgia for the present

Have you ever felt nostalgic for what is currently happening? The chromosomal nostalgic spends years on end floating in melancholy hot springs pools, glued to the floor of mental anterooms, where he keeps on watching shreds of recent memories, making them more novelized and sweetened at every loop, unable to get out and start to live again. After years of practice he's become an ace, a meticulous expert, a cheat when he needs it. He can recognize the circumstances and the people who are going to ignite the familiar sensation. He forestalls the afterward, compressing the process, feeling nostalgic for what he's living right now. It's an addictive feeling, a drug for the soul, a fix of moments, a snort of life. Detoxifying is impossible, the waiting unnerving, therefore this junkie becomes proactive. Detecting the opportunity is no longer enough, he learns how to seek it, drive it, compose it. The life of this person might not be conventional, it steals his sleep, turning him upside-down, but it's a pressure cooker of emotions and intensity. And he wouldn't be able to live a different one.

Image "Violin with Record Player and Nostalgia" by Martin Fox, from


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Joseph Rowe said...

Very well-written ... but it misses another possible meaning of "nostalgia for the present" which is far more wholesome: a skillful and courageous transmutation of the POWER of nostalgia into enchantment and keen appreciation of the here and now. I assure you this is possible, for it is my own spiritual practice, one which counteracts the toxic varieties of nostalgia.

Fabio said...

Neoanimist: thanks for your contribution, it's an interesting point of view. In a different way I also wanted to point out a "positive side" of nostalgia.