Nostalgia

Nostalgia: From Greek ‘nostos’-returning home + ‘algos’- pain

Memories can contain truth and still be a lie
And we can be homesick for a home that was never ours
Sometimes the picture of the past is painted in the brushstrokes of nostalgia
Wide strokes that blur the sharper points of reality, dulling the story
Concealing the jagged edges of pain, sorrow and regret
Choosing colors far more vibrant for the memory than the sepia past
Caught walking backwards on a road that continually pulls us forward
Oblivious to the pitfalls and potential of the present or the promise of the future
Bent on returning to a home far smaller than we imagine in our minds
And a past that never was, at least not quite the way we remember
For our memories can contain truth and still be a lie
 
When the memories of the past overwhelm our imagination for the future
Or our appreciation of the present, then our homecomings will always be sad
Freighted with the expectations that they can never live up to
Loaded with a past too heavy for the ambiguity of the present to stand
We can look into the mirror of our desires trying to create a better past
But perhaps instead of continuing to attempt to touch up the painting of the past
We can begin the new canvas that stands before us blank awaiting our brush

Neil White, 2016

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