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Nostalgia & The World of Ideas

Friday, February 18, 2005

"A feeling of sadness and longing that is not akin to pain, and resembles sorrow only as the mist resembles the rain."

- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow [poet]

Nostalgia is a killer folks. It is a creature trapped in a cage somewhere in the darker realms of your inner most self. At night you can hear it ratteling the bars and it can keep you up. Then there's that time of the year where it feels like the creature is on the verge of escape. This is the time we've come to know as "summer". Family, friends, people you met on the bus, are all going home and you...well you're looking forward to summer courses.

So what's the cure?

After 4 years of experiencing the most intense nostalgia I have made an Einstein-like discovery: there is no cure. That's right, nostalgia, like many chronic diseases has no known cure except one: going home.

Time, money, obligations, responsibilities, these are the viruses that enter the body and keep nostalgia working, keep the creature locked up. Teasing him like children poking animals in a cage at the zoo.

After 4 years I am Radiohead's 'homesick subterranean alien'. But! I will be returning soon. Its weeks away, in fact months away, but the sheer idea that home is a drop of water away is comforting. That drop of water feels like an ocean the sooner the time approaches. I have a countdown in my head.

Plato said that to every thing we see around us, from the water bottle in front of me to the copy of Dali's 'Persistance of Time' on the wall, everything has a true form, an original mold to it, an original copy. These forms and molds are known as Ideas. Supposdly they all exist in a place called the World of Ideas. So everything we see are just shadows on the wall of a cave, and it's all we know.

The soul, Plato says, belongs to the world of ideas. It was there before you were born and it experienced everything in that world. But once you're born, its sudden amnesia. It forgets where it came from. So for years we rely on our bodies, our senses. BUT! as we continue to experience things our soul is slowley waking up. Our experiences are like deja vu for the soul. You do something, you say something and your soul suddenly wakes up and says "hey, ive done this before" or "i've seen this before".

Suddenly you come of age and your soul remembers where it came from, and with that it begins a quest to return back to the world of ideas. It has, as Plato describes, a deep longing or desire to return whence it came. It knows there are more than just shadows on the wall. It knows that by turning around to see the shadow's source we are experiencing Eternal Beauty simply because the source must be more beautiful than any shadow.

I think Plato was on to something...

Since I got here my soul been waiting to go back. In fact it's bags are packed and it's waiting at the airport gate. Our bodies I guess are slower than our souls. I guess because our bodies spend too much tim analyzing, overthinking, and bound to the world of shadows. The soul is free.

But my body is catching up. In a few days I'll buy a ticket; a temporary succor for a long term disease.

What is it about Jordan in particular? Man it must be the water...or lack thereof.


Blogger Diana Salha said...
i love what you wrote. Keep on writing.  

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