At some point, everyone has a moment in their life to look back and reflect on where they’ve been.
I could almost guarantee you’ll have more than one.
Why are we so bent on referencing the past? What causes humans beings to be nostalgic?
Let’s get to that in a minute.
We’re back. We never quit, I assure you, and our online hiatus has only been a sign of hard work behind the scenes. It’s been a strange three months since my last post, the day before we left on our long strange voyage. Besides that whole weird thing with the chicken nuggets, it’s been a lot of “life as normal” for me, as TSS has been passed along into post production and [mostly] out of my hands. Things are coming along nicely, and we’re still well on track for an initial public screening in March 2016.
Three months have passed since we left, so adorably naive, on a trip that has already changed our lives forever. We never bargained for what we got; cancelled plans, lost luggage, exploding cargo shells, technical issues, bugs (lots of bugs), and less sleep than the human body should be capable of withstanding.
We didn’t get what we bargained for,
we got something infinitely better.
I won’t spill all the secrets here, of course, that would kill all the fun of the film! I will get sappy, nonetheless.
Yesterday, I began digging through boxes and bags of stuff still-unpacked from the trip (oh, don’t even judge me). Something as simple as a ticket stub to a St. Paul Saint’s minor league baseball game sent my mind reeling back to a time that seems like ages ago.
Nostalgia is a powerful force.
We can talk about my generation here, and how those of us born between 1987 and 1994 hand-wrote our kindergarten birthday invitations and invited guests to our sweet sixteens on Facebook. Our nostalgia sparks from the transitional period we were born in – physically and mentally caught between the need for the classic and familiar and that of the new and cutting-edge.
We could talk about nostalgia in a metaphysical, borderline-mystical sense of longing for a time engrained in your spirit through ancestors, or DNA, or what have you. There’s even evidence to prove such things. We could talk safety nets and familiarity, or simpler times, or anything you want, but I think a much simpler force drives nostalgia.
You see, we all fear repeating the past. We’re all so afraid that it’s happening right now, to us, and there’s nothing we can do. We’re gonna do it all again. Maybe, just maybe if we can dig enough in to the past, we’ll never have to face our dirty past again. Maybe it’s exactly the opposite; we long for those past times, but also out of fear; fear that “now” is worse than “then” and we’ll never know what “then” was like.
We’re all afraid of what we don’t know. We’re all looking for answers, because we all have fears and things we don’t know.
Is nostalgia always driven by fear? Is there some way that looking back can be good?
In my opinion, absolutely. When used correctly, looking back isn’t fearful nostalgia, but reverent history. History progresses us. History moves us forward. I am powerfully nostalgic, but by measure. Always strive to look at not only where we’ve been, but why we were there, and how it got us here. That can be so powerful.
Look back, but never turn around.
“The Times They Are A-Changin'” – Bob Dylan
“The Edge of Forever” – The Dream Academy
“Give Me Something” – Jarryd James
“2 Heads” – Coleman Hell
“Ripple” – The Grateful Dead