I used to be enamored with the bittersweet longing for things that aren’t anymore … obsessed with the intimacy of my own imagination and memories … addicted to what can feel like the essence of eternity …
in love with Nostalgia.
And then, I had an epiphany: Nostalgia is not my friend.
I have spent decades as a rememberer of moments and a hoarder of guitar chords. But now I feel the shift in mere remembering. I can sense the moment when Nostalgia slides in bed with me – three tumblr scrolls past when I should have sought God for satisfaction; one too many repeats of Leeward Side; when the desire for inspiration morphs into the craving for a life He hasn’t given me to live.
Because the thing about my memories is the baggage they have been allowed to carry…. when looking at a photograph while listening to a song arouses wants I used to ache for and dreams I used to pray that I could taste. It’s ‘one sip’ of a celebratory toast that ends with retching in a toilet, cold face to the floor.
Nostalgia is the hiss of how nice it was that tries to plant bitter where the sweetness grew … ungrateful. It’s not enough to have lived through it; it’s not enough to remember that I did. It’s the need to have it conjured up again with greedy eyes glued to a smoking cauldron … an index finger itching for the Ring. A child of the 90s believing the lie that the safe years are evermore ended.
It’s the entirely unfruitful temptation to immerse myself in the memory of what it felt like falling in love with someone I don’t know anymore; the envy of a younger me adventuring through Targets guarded by palm trees next to train lines; the longing for a joy that I evidently don’t trust to be bested.
Nostalgia is the deceitful seed of rebellion that keeps me from falling fully into the next day that the Lord has made and allowing Him to make me into who He has seen all along – a surfboard and a beach town short of where I thought I belonged.
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