Nostalgia Isn’t What It Used To Be

photo: Chalmers Butterfield


I woke up early again this morning. I look outside but I don’t see anything. Everything is taking place inside myself. Sometimes I wonder if everything has taken place inside of me always. And everything and everyone on the outside was just a projection of my dreams, fears and longings.

After all these years, so little feels real. Or indeed lived. What if I never really lived? What if I was born dead and been living my life as a ghost? A ghost with human flesh and human features. Something which resembles a body, with a functioning brain and heart. With limbs that move but never go anywhere or touch anything.

Even now clasping my hands I don’t feel them. I could touch the lace curtain but I already know what it feels like. There is light. I’ve always loved it, especially the soft light in the afternoons which illuminates but doesn’t expose things I don’t want to see.

It’s better just to sit here and not move. Waiting. But not really waiting. Longing. But not really longing anymore. I often wonder if we are given a fair chance to live a real life or if instead we get mauled and torn and merely limp through our lives, never letting go of our crutches. And only at the very end realising we didn’t need them. That we could have taken a chance.

But then I forget all these silly thoughts and questions that don’t lead anywhere and instead just sit here, not looking at anything.



47 thoughts on “Nostalgia Isn’t What It Used To Be

  1. I’ve re-read this several times, Dagmar. It keeps calling me back, like the one about the prince’s head rolling. I think that it’s because it seems to relate to me, as a healthy person growing wiser (I hope!) with the years, and going into a more meditative state more easily and naturally. It’s great.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Liebende Dagmar

    Das Bild ist erschütternd
    Und zugleich in Seiner
    Würde heilig
    Mein Englisch ist zu dürftig
    Doch bin Ich ein Nostalgiker
    Des verlorenen Paradieses
    Und ein Romantiker
    Des Garten Eden
    Und vertraue Dir
    Bescheiden an
    Beide sind
    Immer noch
    Und hier
    In Dir

    Dir Joachimvon Herzen

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I actually whistled out loud reading this, and that’s not normal blog-reading protocol for me. Such profound words, many of which felt familiar inside my mind, and others that were deliciously foreign. The mind is a beautiful place to explore.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. It is Eli, once we get over our fear to pay a visit to the darker places as well and realise there is nothing to be scared of and all is part of our human make-up. Thank you for reading and your heart-felt comments. They are very much appreciated.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. The less we fight it, the better we navigate it – and you’re right, I think the dark places aren’t anything to be scared of. I’m scared of being scared of the dark places, if that makes sense. They’re necessary and contain knowledge too.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Wirklich sehr schön beschrieben die kleinen Teufelchen und destruktiven Muster, die das Leben manchmal wirklich sehr schwer machen können. Die Worte am Ende könnten auch von einem Zen-Mönch stammen, aber ich würde mal sagen, das ist eine universelle Erfahrung / Sichtweise / Einstellung und Herangehensweise an das Leben, die an keine spezifische Weltanschauung gebunden ist. Gut, dass ich hier auch mal auf Deutsch schreiben kann, weil das schreibt sich dann doch einfach flüssiger. Winterliche Grüsse aus Berlin

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Wow! That was so thought provoking…beautifully written too! I really loved this even though it’s sad it touches on some interesting feelings and conflicts. Again wow.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. i work as a RN for the state of california and i survey nursing homes to make sure they are complying with state regulations,. i see lots of elderly people and i feel, based on my observations etc. you have captured the feeling of life as they live it very well.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Lovely and thought provoking writing as usual. My grandfather suffered dementia in his last days. He could recall things that happened in 1937 as vividly as if they had occurred that morning but had lost his ability to recognize even his own children or grandchildren. It was both terribly sad and fascinating at the same time. Perhaps our minds compensate for the deterioration of our physical abilities by unlocking even the most obscure memories of our happiest times? I don’t know whether that’s true, but I wouldn’t mind believing so.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thank you as always for taking the time to read and write such thoughtful and inspiring comments. What you said about your grandfather made me think of a quote by G. G. Marquez from Love In The Times Of The Cholera: ‘He was still too young to know that the heart’s memory eliminates the bad and magnifies the good, and that thanks to this artifice we manage to endure the burden of the past.’
      Have a wonderful Christmas time and I’m looking forward to read more fascinating posts about the Cold War and beyond at the samovar.


  8. We are designed with incredible generosity and divinity… In our wellness is the strength that helps us knowingly or unknowingly through our weaknesses…
    The onlookers have no idea of what goes on in those who deal with the demise of body and mind but it is not all bad.. This I can not accept… Everyday ends with a glorious sunset somewhere… Every life too..up to us to find it…
    Inspiring piece of writing …

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Vorweg: Ich würde das sehr gerne auf Englisch schreiben, aber da mir das nicht vernünftig zu Verfügung steht, schreibe ich lieber auf Deutsch als gar nicht … Ganz unabhängig von den schönen Zufällen rund um das Foto und meinen Blogbeitrag “Sie schaut aus dem Fenster” mag ich deinen Text sehr.
    “Waiting. But not really waiting.” Acht Jahre lang habe ich mit meiner dementen Tante in einem Haushalt gelebt und denke, wenn ich deine Zeilen lese: So ist es. Genau so. Insofern einen besonders herzlichen Gruß und beim nächstenmal kooperiere ich dann auch vielleicht mal wieder mit einer Übersetzungsmaschine – aber dazu fehlte gerade die Zeit …

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Nein, bitte in Deutsch! Freue mich so über’s Internet wieder mehr mit der wunderbaren Deutschen Sprache und den Menschen in Verbindung zu kommen.Danke für deine Gedanken, 8 Jahre das ist eine lange Zeit, da gibt es bestimmt viel zu erzaehlen und zu schreiben… Freu mich über ein paar Ecken auf dich gestossen zu sein, werde es mir in deinem Blog wohlergehen lassen.
      liebe Grüsse,

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Liebe Dagmar, würde mich sehr freuen, wenn du an dem ein oder anderen Post Gefallen findest! Und die freundliche Aufforderung, weiter auf Deutsch zu schreiben, macht es mir natürlich viel leichter … Herzliche Grüße aus Bremen!

        Liked by 1 person

  10. Dagmar, I sympathize in part with your solipsistic view. And when looking up at the stars one granite-black night and tripping on your own feet, you realize that you obey certain physical laws, but that the cosmos in its infinite beauty dances to another melody, a quantum symphony where subatomic particles can be in two places at the same time! We are trapped in this dual reality, I think.

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I think one of the worst things about Alzheimers and vascular dementia is that we have absolutely no idea what our loved ones are thinking. I like to think that my Mum, when she was ‘away with the pixies’ was remembering the good times she had spoken to me about and not the bad times I had seen for myself.

    Liked by 2 people

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