Nostalgia: Weekly Photo Challenge

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© irene waters 2016

My Mum used to say “Irene you’ve got the memory of an elephant and an elephant never forgets.”

Being a memoirist, reflecting on times in the past is not an uncommon pastime of mine. Nor is my habit of staring at photos, remembering the events that went with them. Remembering and nostalgia, however, are for me two very different things. Remembering takes you into the future, gives you an identity and without those memories you become lost in time and space as we see with people suffering from alzheimers, other dementias and some head injuries. Nostalgia, on the other hand, implies, for me at least, that there is a longing to return to that former time, wishing a place in the past was where you would have preferred to stay and that is not true for me. I love living in the present although….

Those first emotions, the intensity with which they are felt. Such as the first time you fly in a plane. The build up of excitement as you sit, waiting to board.

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© irene waters 2016

Not only the anticipation of what is at the other end of the flight but the flight itself. The small niggling fear as the engines roar into life and the plane starts its taxi down the runway. The awe as lift of occurs and you are suddenly looking at the world from above.

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© irene waters 2016

The first time you see snow and other wonders of the natural world fill you with emotion that on subsequent viewings lessen with intensity.

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© irene waters 2016

That feeling of looking your best on the first occasion you are aware of it lives with you and for me, I have never felt as good about myself as that 4 year old did in the clothes she saw, persuaded her mother to purchase and modelled with pride and joy.

That first time feeling of love is the emotion I probably am nostalgic for. That fear that he will not contact you, dressing to impress, feeling as though you are floating on that cloud you saw from the plane, not coming down to earth for months. The world not existing outside of the two of you.

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© irene waters 2016

Although I may be nostalgic for that emotion that goes along with new love I am happy I have a different kind of love. I’m sure that I could get those new love feelings back but it would mean my old love would have gone and that is an emotion I am not looking forward to. I think I’ll stick with memories to take me forward into the future and leave the nostalgia alone, living in the present rather than wishing I was living in the past.

For Weekly Photo Challenge

About Irene Waters 19 Writer Memoirist

I began my working career as a reluctant potato peeler whilst waiting to commence my training as a student nurse. On completion I worked mainly in intensive care/coronary care; finishing my hospital career as clinical nurse educator in intensive care. A life changing period as a resort owner/manager on the island of Tanna in Vanuatu was followed by recovery time as a farmer at Bucca Wauka. Having discovered I was no farmer and vowing never again to own an animal bigger than myself I took on the Barrington General Store. Here we also ran a five star restaurant. Working the shop of a day 7am - 6pm followed by the restaurant until late was surprisingly more stressful than Tanna. On the sale we decided to retire and renovate our house with the help of a builder friend. Now believing we knew everything about building we set to constructing our own house. Just finished a coal mine decided to set up in our backyard. Definitely time to retire we moved to Queensland. I had been writing a manuscript for some time. In the desire to complete this I enrolled in a post grad certificate in creative Industries which I completed 2013. Commenced a masters by research in 2014.
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9 Responses to Nostalgia: Weekly Photo Challenge

  1. Thoughtful, and an excellent assessment of not living on past dreams but with them by your side and still moving forward. Really enjoyed this post, Irene.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. and, BTW, you had great taste even at 4! Adorable!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. pixiejan says:

    What a beautiful heartwarming post Irene. I really connected with it.
    Thank you….

    Liked by 1 person

  4. We can live on all the levels, past, present and future. And we do choose our preferences. Living in the past and future is the easiest, and living in the present is the hardest! But it’s something we all must do to have a truly meaningful life.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Nostalgia: Summer | What's (in) the picture?

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