What does the word “nostalgia” mean to you?
Here’s what it means to various dictionaries (according to thefreedictionary.com):
1. A bittersweet longing for things, persons, or situations of the past.
2. The condition of being homesick; homesickness.
1. a yearning for the return of past circumstances, events, etc
2. the evocation of this emotion, as in a book, film, etc
3. longing for home or family; homesickness
1. a wistful or sentimental longing for places, things, acquaintances, or conditions belonging to the past.
2. a longing for home; homesickness.
3. something that elicits nostalgia.
Why am I writing about nostalgia today? Lots of reasons, including these:
- I am having a college reunion this month.
- My late father’s birthday is tomorrow.
- Fall reminds me of going back to school, and I’m not in school any more.
- Yesterday, I was talking to my son about somebody who went to school with me from 7th grade through my college years, who died two years ago.
- Yesterday, I started going through some old papers, which I recently retrieved from their storage in a place I lived two homes ago. I found many letters, including some from people I’m still in contact with (in person, through Facebook, or through this blog).
- I found a kind and thoughtful letter from the person I was talking to my son about earlier in the day, even though I didn’t remember our communicating by mail.
- Last night, I dreamt about somebody else whose letter I read, when going through those old papers, whom I haven’t connected with in many years.
I found a lot of surprising and not-so-surprising things, when I went through old papers — which have not seen the light of day for about twenty-five years — including:
- A copy of the abstract my cardiologists wrote about me, when I first started working with them in the early 80’s (which Dr. Mark Estes referred to in a previous blog post, here, when he said about me to a roomful of people, “My first meeting with her got me into this specialty.”)
- A copy of the memo my office-mate sent, in the mid -1970’s, about the going-away party sending me off to the company where I met the father of my son.
- A drawing I made of my son’s father, in the 1980’s, which might surprise anybody who has seen other evidence of my drawing skills, such as here:
- Another limerick I wrote about another old friend from school, in the 1970s:
I have many more papers to go through. Who knows what else will show up here?
Personally, I’d like some music to show up here, now. I’m choosing two versions of a tune I heard at the Steely Dan concert I attended with my son this weekend, even though the lyrics don’t fit.
(YouTube video found here)
(YouTube video found here)
After all, I AM going back to My Old School.
Thanks to friends and family members (here and gone); to schools and other learning opportunities (old and new); to all the cardiologists I’ve worked with in my long life; and to you — of course! — for any past, current, or future nostalgia you may experience today.