Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgia

As soon as I read the topic for this week’s photo challenge, I knew the EXACT picture I’d use to define it, and the video I’d embed at the post’s conclusion. Less clear then (and still) were the words I’d use to explain these choices.  To paraphrase an old cliché, “I know it when I see it,” but further analysis of nostalgia is difficult. nostalgia The couple on the left are my parents, and the year is sometime around 1953-55.  Quite a handsome couple, yes?  He of quintessential Italian darkness and she fair skinned, fully Irish.  If you grew up around Boston after WW2, you were either 50/50 or 100% these nationalities, and fully Catholic…There was a sense of shared values in our neighborhoods and you knew where you fit.  In truth, this picture sparked me to join Ancestry.com exactly one year ago this week. A longing for the time and place of my ancestral past, a sort of geneological nostalgia, floods me profoundly EVERY time I see this photo.

Being in recovery, I have a love/hate relationship with the concept of nostalgia: yearning for an idealized, (maybe even sanitized!) version of the past takes focus away from all the good things happening in my life today.

Melancholia is rarely worthwhile, except perhaps in music and songwriting. 😉 Click on the YouTube video below, to hear these beautiful lyrics come alive:

Only the sunset knows my blind desire for the fleeting,,
Only the moon understands the beauty of love,
when held by a hand….like the aura of nostalgia

Click here for the complete lyrics to Nostalgia, written by Emily Barker

Until next time…..

🙂 🙂 🙂

13 thoughts on “Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgia

  1. wow, talk about nostalgia…….The Latin Quarter nightclub in Boston, the headliner, Tony Bennett.

    • I wondered where this was taken! Crazy to think you guys were younger in this photo than your grandkids are today! Time marches on, yet doesn’t seem to touch Tony Bennett! LOL!!!

  2. The past was never as great as we wish it had been, but memory softens the edges. Certain songs take me straight back to a time in my life and serve to remind me how far I’ve come. It’s not nostalgic for me in an idealized way. For me it’s more like a brief visit back in time that I know I can leave whenever I’m ready to return to the here and now.

    • Oh I LOVE how you’ve described nostalgia as a choice: ” I know I can leave whenever I’m ready to return to the here and now.” I never looked at if from that angle.
      Jagoda, I learn so much from you and your blog. thank you for taking the time to drop by and comment.

    • They were, weren’t they? 🙂 My father passed in 2003 but my mother is still alive and (mostly) well, living here in Vero Beach. She is the primary reason my daughter and I chose to leave MA. after our house was foreclosed. I figured a fresh start in a nice warm place with my mother nearby was preferable to looking for someplace else up north. Moving here was the best decision I ever made. 🙂
      Thank you also for your kind words about recovery. I can’t tell you how skeptical I was at the beginning. HATED every minute of it! But gradually, as I went to more meetings and started feeling better physically, my mind followed along. It really is one step at a time, one day at a time. 🙂

  3. I think the human brain remembers more of the good times, rather than the bad, when we look back… and this is possibly why we become nostalgic for the past… oh I would love to go back to the 50’s when Mom and Dad looked after me… or the 60’s when life was so free and life was just fun… but as we walk the path of life it seems to get more difficult, more of an uphill stroll, ’till we reach that place that the down hill run begins to pick up speed over which we have seemingly no control… so what is the nostalgic moment? The past good times .. I love your photo, kind of brings back memories for me to, your Dad’s hairstyle, Moms dress… oh those were good old days…

    • It is definitely a baby boomer trend to look back on the 50s/60s with fondness, forgetting the reality of an era so rigid it spawned a social/cultural revolution!
      However, I DO love looking back at the hair/clothing styles and remembering grammar school experiences, especially this one about the Cold War: the nuns used to tell us, “the communists will be knocking at the backdoor” and my young mind took it quite literally! For the longest while I kept an eye on that door, hoping I’d hear them coming up the tall flight of stairs to the backporch!
      ahhhh, nostalgia!!!

    • The old records from Europe are so amazing to see, aren’t they? Fascinating what can be found at Ancestry.com. I made an invaluable connection there with a 2nd cousin (of similar age) who had done much of the research already and who had first hand experiences with the Italian side of my family. I’ve really uncovered a lot there!

  4. Pingback: Weekly Photo Challenge: Nostalgic | Ryan Photography

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