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  • Nostalgia.

    At first, I fully intended to post a quote, something along these lines:

    "Nostalgia is a holiday in your mind. It guides you to your brightest memories. Like all holidays, though, know when it's time to return."

    Then, I realised things were left unsaid: I had more to say about the matter. Today, I have a rare, but strong, case for nostalgia, which all too often gets neglected by the citizens of this modern world, who, if busyness had a sound, would practically crackle like white noise, buzz like bees, or ring like tinnitus, seldom taking time for silence. Permission to proceed?

    Of particular interest was the final part of my initial quote: "...know when it's time to return". What did I intend by that, besides cutely concluding the aphorism, what meaning did it share? Was it only a cookie-cutter talk following a set of principles that effectively, but falsely, inspires? As I sat thinking about the comparison (holiday and nostalgia), though, I realised it was a deeply appropriate parallel. There was a reason this particular quote simply seemed right to begin with.

    If nostalgia is a mental holiday, it would mean you have a mental home to return to in the first place. What place is that for me?

    That place is the present. (The answer was easy to solve; no surprise, I have been so philosophical of late I could have contended with Gandhi.) That place is your Now, by which I mean this momentary version of you, right now, accepting and realising (change being the only permanent, invariable thing in this world) it is getting replaced every microsecond. Right now, it's getting changed. Nowadays, we call this mindfulness, being in the presence, sometimes even calmness or confidence or momentary nirvana. All of us have experienced it: for a while, you are aware of everything around you, you know how you do and get what you want, you are Moses facing the Red Sea.

    These definitions simply mean you are present in your body. This is your natural state; this is your mental home. Meditation undoubtedly is one way to achieve this. Yoga. Doing something you love and master, something you immerse yourself in so much the concept of time disappears, the seashell voices inside your head disappears, things disappear, disappear, untill all that remains is you and what you love. Nostalgia. These are other ways.

    When nostalgic, you realign your focus to yourself by reliving your experiencies. Better yet, the moments you remember are usually your best moments: you recall and educe particular, positive emotions you haven't felt in a while, (and here is the beautiful part) you train yourself to cultivate more of them in the future. You realign your emotional state to the state you had two weeks ago on the deck of that carribean cruise, two years ago hearing for the first time that song that would become you and your fiance's song, or twenty years ago when you played hide-and-seek with your parents.

    Amazingly enough, those feelings stick around, resillient to time's rusting quality. And, doesn't it feel good, a sort of daze at first, when you relive the moment, doesn't the emotion roll in like a tsunami, at first barely visible in the horizon, swelling and swelling until the first wave shocks you with its force, and the first cyclus washes in over you, washes away the negativity on its way, then the second cyclus, the third, leaving you with a blue, rippling wasteland of positive feelings.

    Nostalgia is not living in the past. Nostalgia is not the habit of the perpetually unsatisfied. More so, nostalgia is a reminder you have lived. It is you connecting with parts of a forgotten you, dusting away in a corner of your brain, rolled up like a scroll on a bookshelf. Its primary reason is to remind: to remind you those feelings are still there, to remind you to get you out of your daily rut, to remind you to to shake things up, to remind you to remember what has moulded you. Nostalgia comes when you need it, emotionally.

    Nostalgia is the janitor of your mental home.

    It knows everything that goes on inside you, and when to fix a problem.

    It sneaks around, wearing tyvek overshoes on black oxfords, a navy size 52 boilersuit, and a red caps, carrying its toolbox with expectancy.
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