Friday, December 4, 2015
The end of nostalgia
I honestly don't know why it's such a singular memory to me, but I do distinctly recall the popularity of the show Happy Days. It was a big deal in my middle school, in the seventies, when I was in sixth or seventh grade. It was a nostalgia for an almost unfathomable past, the fifties.
I like to think of that relationship to the past now, and how the measure of twenty years has so utterly changed for me. Once it was inconceivable, now it is not nostalgic or mythologizing, it's merely memory, as in:
Last Friday we went to the museum to see the Delecroix exhibit.
In 1995 we went into a near northern suburb to catch a showing of the movie Babe.
But now I will tell you one of the sweetnesses, or perhaps it's a skill, that has come with age:
I believe in history now.
No, seriously. In 1976 the fifties were a different time. And for much of my life the past was tinged with fantasy. The world was a different place in history. But now I understand that the fifties were exactly like now. Because whether the Sun is younger or dinosaurs walk the earth or baroque buildings are going up all over Rome all the differences of the Universe's vast diversity of presentation pale against the terrible power of one astonishing, unifying thing: Now.
Now has always felt like now, wherever, whoever, and whenever you are. Time is just window dressing.