I’m a big believer in nostalgia. As a person who’s mind is wandering at least 80% of the time, nostalgia is very important to me. And yet something was brought to my attention recently by the great John Darnielle of the one and only Mountain Goats. He mentioned in a tumblr post that we tend to get caught up in “romantic idealizations of childhood”. Too much nostalgia isn’t always a good thing; you can’t go back in time, and if you did you would probably end up disappointed.
Today I watched a Disney movie with my sister on VHS. When I brought the old tape up from the basement I was struck with a longing for previous days. When I was a kid we had about three Disney movies that we watched over and over. The Lion King, Snow White, and Beauty and the Beast. To this day I could probably still quote along with every one line for line, down to The Beast’s stutter “Do you… do you want to stay in the tower?” which they removed from the remastered DVD edition for some stupid reason.
Watching that movie again with my sister was beautiful, but watching it on VHS made not a smidge of difference. It wasn’t the technology that made me long for the past but the memories. And today, rather than getting caught up in the past I made a new memory. Of singing along to all of the songs with my sister, regardless of whether or not I was in key.
Betcha I’ll look back on today fondly, years from now.