Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Nostalgia

I never realized how many memories I have tied to Utah State and Logan in general until I came back after my 18 month absence; I remember that my first week back was one continuous chain of "Oh yeah, I remember when..." moments. And I discovered something new about myself: my Cache Valley memories seem much more tied to strong emotions than my Bountiful memories. In general, anyway. Maybe because they're a little bit fresher, or maybe because I was a little bit older, or maybe just because Logan is a little less familiar, but I've found myself encountering some very unexpected sensations of latent emotion walking through campus---teary eyes, burning heart, bittersweet recollections...

What's strange is that I find myself longing for some of it again. But logically, I know I really don't want it. I want now. Maybe that's what "nostalgic" really means, anyway---an inexplicable longing for the past, a painting-over of memories with rosy hues.

I remember stopping under a yellow-leaved tree one morning behind the Geology building to write a poem before class, just because I felt like it. I sat wedged between an outdoor vent and a metal box and wrote a spontaneous poem about loss. Or as a freshman, I remember carrying around a sketchbook (the last time I've done so) to sketch the campus statues between classes, slightly encouraged that my artistic talent was not as dead as I thought. As I pass the ivy-laden wall of the University Inn, I remember the time that I stopped and watched the birds fly in and out of the leaves for 20 minutes, mesmerized, as students swiveled their necks at me and stared.

I pass locations that bring up heavier memories---breaking up with Bradford in front of Bullen Hall, walking with Carter around the Quad and talking about life after death, having a talk about "our future" with Todd in the lounge of the TSC as we watched the sun set out the window. I never realized how drenched in memories Logan was until I came back to it...and I don't know why, but it's actually HARD for me to remember things. Let me clarify that: it's not hard for me to pull up the memories...but it is emotionally hard for me to think about them again, because even my happiest memories seem to always be tinged with sadness. Maybe because I generally know the outcome of most of them.

I always thought I didn't remember much. But maybe I was just in the wrong place for remembering.

4 comments:

  1. thanks for the post... I know I feel things about Ephraim in a similar longing kind of way (but not really wanting it the way it was) and I relate to some of your feelings. I hope you are forming good and happy new memories... It's sad/good how life moves us along so quickly. Love your blog Torrie... but I love you more!!

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  2. I love reading your blog, Torrie! I have places like that too, or songs etc that recall memories. I love Logan in the Fall! I think I need to come see you soon!

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  3. "The price of a memory is the memory of the sorrow it brings" That's my favorite counting crows lyrics. I know what you mean my friend :)

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  4. Torrie, your mind works so much like mine. And for some odd reason I feel like apologizing, even though I didn't have much choice in the DNA I inherited nor in the DNA I pass. Our minds are biased to reflect, to intuit, to feel strongly what so many seem to ignore. That perhaps brings on the sadness yet is a secret joy as well.

    Been meditating much on words from Matthew Arnold lately (his poem "The Buried Life" is our common psychological/spiritual heritage, Torrie.) In another poem he wrote:

    Below the surface stream, shallow and light,
    Of what we say and feel — below the stream,
    As light, of what we think we feel, there flows
    With noiseless current, strong, obscure and deep,
    The central stream of what we feel indeed.

    How many miss the central stream of what we feel indeed because of preoccupation with the shallow surface? But those who go deeper will always feel the disconnect and the secret joy. Our luck, our fortune, our blessing.

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