Homecoming

Enough years of my life have passed for nostalgia to tell me that the future will never be as bright as my past. It weaves the most idyllic times, breathtaking moments and ineffable greatness that are worn like a patchwork cloak. Its mastery is in the sum of its parts but the parts falter under scrutiny.

I have vague feelings about foreign travel. I can evoke a general tenderness toward an atmosphere or people I met; or the exhilaration of being a stranger in a strange land; or not knowing what tomorrow will bring but that it will bring something: something…rather than nothing. Yet, when I attempt to narrow in on a particular memory it fails. I mean when I really try to conjure that moment anew. It cannot escape that vagueness of generality from whence it came. A laugh in a bar: but what was the joke or merriment for which I can only mimic a blithe tone? Amazement at newly encountered flora and fauna: but that animal, the claustrophobic trees of that jungle, they are not alive inside of my head. The woman displayed on my bed: her tenderness does not touch me and I cannot be so sure that it ever did since nostalgia twists the memory toward the sublime even if its seat is couched firmly in the mundane.

My childhood: I suspect that I do not remember it correctly, either. Rather, I have likely tailored it to suit my current identity. I do not look in the mirror, look into my own eyes and believe that I was ever a child. So I have to have a child’s memories through an adult’s lens. These are impossible memories. But I have to have something. I know that I didn’t just come into existence this morning with the full ideas of my collected years and self. Well, I don’t know this but it seems unlikely.

I want to know who I am. But the modes of thought and tools of conceptualization which I possess do not seem adequate. Things like aforementioned nostalgia, uncertainty, error, paradox, dissonance, etc. – are these things that afflict our minds or are they part of the blueprint? If the former, then there is the possibility for mediation and rehabilitation; if the latter, then…

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