Warning: The Following is not funny!
I want to see the world
through an old lens,
when theives and
enemies were trusted friends,
a filter to distort everything new
and soften all the colours put in view.
memory has a way of being kind
to thoughts that we rewind,
it's all film grain and missing frames,
deleted anger and absent names.
Real life car accidents are nothing like they are in the movies. In a movie everything is slowed down so you can experience each moment. Every scream of panic, every tire screech and groan of twisted metal is introduced to your eye in systematic flashes so that you can process the importance and severity of the incident. In real life there is no time for a reaction. In an instant you either instinctively make the right choice and swerve safely out of the way or you don't. In real life, there is not even time to yelp "oh shiiiiittt!" It won't be until several seconds later that you are able to discern whether you are dead. In real life, it will take you minutes, hours, days or years to fully understand that single moment.
As an observer, other people's lives seem to have divisions. When we are young we watch our elders grow old and die. When we are old we see new babies born into our world and monitor their growth through various rites of passage. What we rarely see however is the evolution and change within our own lives. Every day if we get fatter, thinner, older, balder we don't really notice. Of course we've all had those moments where we look in the mirror and exclaim "holy crap, I'm fat" or "holy crap, I'm old" but this is usually after years of "business as usual." Sometimes When you are too close to something you can't fully see it.
J.D. Salinger the author of Catcher in the Rye died a little while ago. The book was an important part of my adolescent development so after he passed I read several articles about his life from various publications. One article that I found interesting noted that he spent the greater part of his reclusive years watching old black and white movies. It was as though he didn't like the world he was living in so he surrounded himself with the world he grew up in. Perhaps, it was the only world he truly felt alive in.
In many ways (obviously) I feel the same about the feelings that I am foisting upon ol' Mr. Salinger. During my formative years I was obsessed with movies, music and books. I felt energized and inspired by almost everything that I consumed with my eyes. As a youth I was hungry for the things that nurtured my creative spirit but unfortunately that all changed one day.
At some point in my early 20's I was nearing the zenith of my awareness as a human being. I'm certain that many good books, movies and cd's have been released since that time but none have really grabbed or transformed me since. All of my favorite bands have either sold out, died or become a shadow of their former selves. I have grown through the extent of the lessons that all of their art could teach me but now there exists a hole that cannot be pacified. Science and mathematics are interesting fields but they do not move me on an organic level like art has in the past. Because of this, I never find myself quite connecting with anything new that is being created.
I'm not suggesting that what was created in the past is superior to what is being created these days. I am not a fan of The Hangover part 1 or 2 yet I think Dumb and Dumber is laugh out loud hilarious. However, if Dumb and Dumber was released today, I probably would not like it very much, if at all. The reason I liked Dumb and Dumber is because it was attached to my youth. All the gags and fart jokes were new to me. As a youngster, I inflated its overall worth because it was in some way subconsciously meaningful to me.
As a child I was aware that other people died every day. It took me a long time however to truly realize that one day I would meet the same fate. Also, that same fate could at anytime be thrust upon me as quickly and as carelessly as it was on the people who came before me. This thought made me take pause and realize that often hugely important parts our lives go by without indication or notice. We get attached to the anger, love, judgement or confusion of a moment for so long that we fail to see the impact and consequences of our actions. We don't learn lessons as quickly and as readily as they do in the movies.
I once thought that nostalgia was a happy sentimental feeling that was peppered with grief but it isn't. Nostalgia is simply sadness in its purest form. It is your body and soul now dead of feeling trying to claw its way back through a closed door. It is the wisdom that only comes with the loss of never being able to touch something ever again. It is a part of you, or perhaps the whole you that has died and fallen away, while you continue living.