Notes on Nostalgia

September 10th, 2006 § 1 comment

For someone who is hopelessly romantic in my conception of reality, I feel very little nostalgia for very few places. I suppose it is striking to me because I used to. When I first moved away from home I had little desire to return, but when I went back for visits I felt weakened by familiar places and their powerful memories. I could not help driving around Castaic looking at my old house, noting all the little stains and stresses I had long since disregarded. It was such a satisfactory experience that it made leaving it again equally pleasurable knowing it would all still be there when I came back, in some form or other–it would change and I would change and so we would meet again.

What I never really anticipated was a return many years later where I looked around and thought, wait, where am I? Places where so altered they did not read as familiar, and the locations of so many memories had been carelessly changed, remodeled, and simply built over by the hands of careless and ever greedy city planners. Living back home for the summer, I consistently got lost. I went on automatic pilot but where I used to turn at the first light now the first light was a new light. Not only had all my memories been replaced with new ones of other places, but the old ones here no longer seemed applicable. The place I wished to see and experience again exists only in my mind.

It is easier to see it for what it is now, rather than then, so I suppose I will just retain my last look at the place that I have in memory, I would like to keep my last glance at the place I never saw again, as I drove happily away, rather than the disgust and disappointment I feel for it now; I am sure I will retain both, however. It has become a place of contradictions, my current sour feelings to an artificial place are countered in my mind by the word “hometown“. But, when one can become lost in one’s own hometown, what remains? My latest set of images seek to answer this question.

§ One Response to Notes on Nostalgia

  • rc-d says:

    it is too soon. one sees more differences in – say – five years than 30 for with the later one expects change and looks for what hasn’t, with the former, it is the opposite. at five years one looks to a place for safety at 30, roots. it is the preface for what you become.

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