Monday, November 23, 2009

Memories...All Alone in the Moonlight...

There has been a definite theme to my experiences this year; it's nostalgia...old friends. And you know, I've heard the same from other individuals in that group (not just referring to their relationships with me). We are searching out (or being searched out by) people with whom we shared significant memories, or repeats of the experiences themselves. What I want to know is...why?
As a 52 year old woman, I believe that most of my emotional angst is behind me. I am in a stable, happy relationship, am independent, am well established in my profession, and have grown a healthy adult daughter who has a family of her own. Things are pretty calm right now (knock on wood). There are the usual problems; we have financial struggles, illnesses in the family to deal with, young grandchildren and aging parents, and all of the logistic problems of a family spread to the winds; but in terms of my day-to day life, it's probably the most stable time I have ever actually experienced. So why the nostalgia? Is it because I'mfinally stable enough to look back, or be looked back at? I don't think so, but I may be too close to it to see the reality of the matter. I feel like it's something outside of me...something that I am being drawn into.
Tom said it best. He said that this last year, for him, was all about reconnecting. Not just with his living friends, but with friends and lovers who are gone. For him, it was so real that he nearly expected to see them; the veil between this world and the next had thinned for him, at least when we spoke of it a few weeks ago. The only time I expect to see my friends who have passed is in my dreams, where they carry on as if nothing has changed; maybe it hasn't, in some dimension untouched by time and our mortality. In my dreams, we still boat and fish, and cuddle under warm blankets. Is it real? We won't know until we...know.
My other experiences, here in the mortal world, have more to do with people who are seeking me out and chance meetings. In the past two years I have been reclaimed by several old, old friends...elementary school friends. Friends I used to go to "sleep-overs" and first dances with. I have been contacted by students from the first few years of my teaching career, now 22 years past. I have observed (from a discreet distance) one of my first true loves, now into his retirement years, looking like his father, demonstrating the traditional craft he and I learned together as teenagers. Though I had to look deep into his face to find him, I could see it was him by the curve of his forearm; I know his bones. I have begun to remember phone numbers, addresses and other trivia from my single-digit years, when I can barely remember the ones I have stored in my cell-phone now. I have been dreaming of my childhood as I approach my later middle life.
I want to know why. Is it a natural process we go through as we age, or is it something more? Is there a new paradigm? A change in reality that is about to occur? Friends involved in most religions seem to think a change is coming; some call it "End Times"; some call it a "New Millennium". World affairs remain ominous. The Mayan calendar is rolling quickly to its end in 2012. Nostradamus predicts dire consequences for our actions...and I sit back and watch it all, and wonder what on earth (or otherwise) is going on. While the world is apparently going to hell in a hand basket around me, and everyone is searching for the happy memories to hold on to, I'm living my naive life. Day to day. I'm content, amidst this desperation and memory mining, and I'm confused about the newly emerging pattern. I'm not ecstatic, I'm not anguished, I'm not desperate or rapturous...I'm just content, and it's all I ever wanted to be...(desperately, rapturously, when I wasn't). I don't understand. I welcome the renewed friendships...but I don't understand why, NOW.
I do admit to vast expanses of lost memories. I have led a tumultuous, dynamic life, and in the manner of people who have had emotional trauma, I have forgotten much. Sometimes this bothers me; more often, it doesn't, because I don't want to relive the pain associated with those experiences. I wonder if this personal history of mine has distanced me from the nostalgia others seem to be searching for right now; I don't know. Again, I don't understand.
Are you feeling nostalgic a BIG way? Do you have any idea why? Do you think it's the zeitgeist? Or is it just that my peer group is aging, and I'm still misanthropic? Help a buddy out, here. I need some answers.

No comments:

Post a Comment