Thursday, November 15, 2007


I'm still sorting boxes from my parent's estate and I've moved on from bank statements and old bills to more personal bits of paper that were left behind. Correspondence of all sorts, letters and cards and old photographs.

Photographs and memories. This is a picture of me and "my baby" (as I called my little sister.) I still remember the feel of the necklace that she's wearing. Funny how memory can be. I am in the throes of nostalgia -- homesickness, but not for a place, more for a time. It used to be considered a disease.

Nostalgia describes a longing for the past, often in idealized form. Nostalgia may or may not also be known as homesickness... The term was newly coined in 1688 by Johannes Hofer (1669-1752), a Swiss medical student. The word is made up of two Greek roots (nostos = returning home, and algos = pain/longing), to refer to "the pain a sick person feels because he wishes to return to his native land, and fears never to see it again". From Wikipedia

My dad loved to take pictures. Here I am wearing a cross that I used to wear every single day. It was given to me on my 6th birthday by my grandfather I called "D." I still have the cross, but I wear a different one now daily. And I still have the baby doll that is being tortured in the background. I tried to give it to the girls to play with - they call it "scary." Hrumph.

All this sorting causes an odd sort of tenderness. Yesterday on the way back from a meeting, I found myself driving through the old neighborhood -- I haven't seen it -- really looked at it -- for years. I haven't driven down the street recently. I don't know if I want to. I think I want to remember the old house the way it is in my memories, rather than see what it might look like now.

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