There are a few songs by the brother and sister duo, Angus and Julia Stone, that do grab me. One of them is “Old Friend”. I enjoy the guitar, lyrics and mood of it, such as in this music video posted by the “Soothing Songs” youtube channel. I liked the way they described it in their posting:
In Greek, nostalgia literally means the pain from an old wound. It’s a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone.
Everybody has those memories — beautiful memories too painful to remember. This is a brilliant song Angus & Julia Stone performed in their Grandfather’s funeral.”
It can often seem that nostalgia is viewed as a negative rather than a positive thing. A dictionary that I have on hand has a simple definition, “the sentimental longing for the past”. I found this definition in a quick search online (vocabulary.com):
You feel nostalgic when you miss your childhood, people you know but haven’t seen in a while or the things that bring you comfort, like the nostalgic memories you feel when you listen to the songs you loved when you were little.
The adjective nostalgic is often used to describe someone who is homesick and wants to be back at home with family. It always involves a wistful memory of times that now seem better or simpler. A nostalgic feeling can involve home and family, but it can also involve a longing for long-gone moments. Even beloved things, such as old TV shows or athletes from a different era may provoke the feeling of nostalgia.
Thinking on it as that, it seems like an inevitable, if not a necessary thing… something that could also keep one going in difficult and uncertain times. I couldn’t help think about the Christmas season. I often wonder how I continue to embrace the celebration each year. But as each year passes, I celebrate it with many memories of those who I miss and those who used to be closer. I often think of those who helped me find value in the traditions, music, and activities that I and my family still do and share. I enjoy and do the activities because of nostalgia, I suppose, but it also feels like a sharing of history as well. I think I will continue to find goodness in that.
“Never a Christmas morning, never the old year ends… But somebody thinks of somebody — Old days, old times, old friends.” ~ Melanie Safka