I find that I am hungry. However, it is not a hunger that is associated with food. It is a hollow gnawing that has me wanting to create and facilitate a sense of nostalgia for the life I'm living now. I want to create memories. The vivid and long lasting type that I can look back upon years from now and be satisfied with.
I have plenty of memories now that draw me back to different checkpoints in my life. And, given my notions of late, they allow me to extricate very fine details of my surroundings at the time.
Namely, I can recall the texture of the sidewalk from my childhood home. Cold. Rough. Surrounded by blooming phlox and almond bushes in the spring. I learned to ride my bike there before being unleashed on the road. Sitting on the curb of that sidewalk left dimples on the back of my legs but still, I did some of my best day dreaming there.
In exploring those memories, I've realized that there will come a time in my life when where I am right this very second will be a distant memory. I'd like to have an active hand in co-creating that memory--deliberately imprinting in fine detail what I will want to recall in the future.
Where am I? What does this place feel like? What is important to me? What are the smells, the tastes, the mindset of this time? What pictures are hanging on the walls? What are my routines? What will I learn from this point in time?
Can you actively pursue the creation of your own nostalgia?
I think you can. I think I've done it before in that I've recognized when I was in a pivotal time in my life and consciously said, “I want to remember this.” Then, my senses deliberately devoured and imprinted every nuance of the moment.
I've often been accused of being forgetful. And, it's true. There are moments in my life that I've heard other people speak of that I cannot recall the faintest inkling of what happened. I hear these and say, “I said, what? We went where? When was this?” Then, it occurs to me the idiosyncrasies that are created between one persons imprint of an event and another's. The same thing means different things to different people. I remember the smell of the freshly brewing coffee and you remember the wafting of the tea roses through the kitchen window. Separate tools and collections from the same exact day
So, in my hunger to foster this sense within myself, I'm also curious as to what and how others will remember this time in our lives. What will my grandchildren remember from coming to visit? What will my children recall years after I'm gone. What type of picture in their mind will they carry of me?
It's as if I am contemplating my own legacy. And, I'm wondering if I really have any part in fostering what I would like that to be or is widely up to the interpretation of the person contemplating it.
I know what I would like for my children to remember. But, what they end up storing about me, if anything, is out of my control. And, I think I'm ok with that—but I am interested to know.
I do think that consciously working to create another chapter in my book of memories assuages a bit of the pain I currently have with certain times in my life. In making a sense of nostalgia in my current time, I'm forced out of the past into the right now with a small sense of the future that isn't so overwhelming that I'm at a point of concern over it. But, moreover, I'm less concerned with where I will be and more concerned about what I'm giving myself now to remember wherever I may be then.
In a way, I feel as if I'm mentoring my future self. I don't have access to her wisdom. However, I can fortify and enrich her with the foundational memories that I'm creating now. And, in that, there is a drive to act with a sense of integrity. I'd rather not look back upon this time and think of myself as a schmuck. I'd rather be proud of the choices I've made and the actions I've taken even if there is no one around to assess that but my own self in the upcoming years.
It's a different type of perspective than I'm accustomed to. Although I am future minded, it is only at this stage in my life that I understand certain things and how they may or may not impact our future selves. The nurturing I provide to myself now will provide a means of nurturing for my future self and still in that, I will be able to push onward as a glance to my past.
And, what of the others whose paths are correlating with mine now? What is it that I can do to foster a sense of meaning that will remain once our paths uncross? It's not like I can nurture my future self with out any consideration to nurturing the future selves of others.
At any rate, I'm hungry. And, I doubt that the hunger will subside any time soon as I insatiably approach what I'm doing now—from the mundane of cooking a nightly dinner to the extraordinary that comes along and sweeps you up with it.