I long for a past I didn’t live.

I was watching some old adverts from the 1950s, and as the scratchy music saturated the room around me, my retina display screen flickering with the erratic film of times of yore, I was overwhelmed with a feeling of deep sadness and great nostalgia.

I felt as though I belonged somewhere, and left it a long time ago, and these jingles reminded me of a time I was a part of, and yet missed.

It was so strange.

You see, I was born in 1994, the turn of the century. I would say I am a millennial, if even that, right on the cusp of one generation and teetering on the edge of the next.

I grew up with dial-up internet connection, satellite TV and the iPhone revolution. Of course, we didn’t have any of these things, because my parents had old fashioned notions about technology. My mum still thinks she doesn’t need a mobile phone, and laments days of yore when she could do what she wanted without somebody being able to get a hold of her whenever they wanted. It works swell for me, I am an anxious person and I need to check on my mother’s safety, much to her vast irritation!

Of course, there were aspects of my life that were still very reminiscent of times of yore. My grandmother’s kitchen was time capsule, not changed since 1971, and her habits and ways were very much what she had been brought up with in the 40s and 50s. Can you believe she was born in 1935? Before the second world war? My own Nana? The thought fills me with wonder. My mother was a70s – 80s teenager, and the pop songs of the time were what she sang when in a good mood. Songs I never heard but knew off my heart, so when I did hear them I was pleasantly surprised and suddenly sad.

‘Video killed the radio star, video killed the radio star’ over and over when she fried eggs or mopped the kitchen floor. I heard this song throughout my life from her own mouth, and then last month when I was watching Take This Waltz (directed by Sarah Polley) – the song played in one of the scenes, and I had to pause it, sitting up in shock. Hey, this is an actual real song!

When I was in a museum once, a song from 1904 played over and over again, scratchy and faint, and I stopped and stared at a wall for five minutes because I felt as though a rope had suddenly jerked me back through the curtain of time, and I was in a place I had never been, but ached for. I wanted to stay there forever, but at the same time I wanted to run far, far away.

I ache when I watch those old adverts. It’s so strange. What is this phenomenon?

When I scrolled down to see the comments under the video, I noticed quite a lot of other people felt nostalgia for this time too, despite never existing then and never experiencing it.

My husband scoffs at me, he has no time for the old, he is always looking ahead at what is new and innovative and what the future will be. But I seem to be a sad little ghost peering in through cloudy windows at years gone by, straining my ears to hear the voices of decades past. I want them so badly. I don’t know why, or what I want, but I want those sounds, that scratchy record player, those brown shoes, the clatter of forks, the dull brown wallpaper, the 1960 Cadillac, the haze of cigarette smoke, the jingles, the streets, all of it.

My logical mind tells me that this, here, now, 2017, is my time, just like 1962 was their time, and forty years later this will be vintage nostalgia; but I do not see it like that.

And I know I am not the only one who feels this way.

Its the strangest thing, because I am certain I would not particularly like life back in the 1950s. Men were incredibly sexist and women did not have many chances in the world, life was more difficult, and the economy was trying to recover from the Great Depression.

However, I know there were good parts too, else the elders wouldn’t want to talk so much about it.

What do you think? Do you ever feel nostalgia for a time you never lived?

bf0b07983e7aca65aeae6f5874e5969f

Advertisements

Is It Really Necessary?

i-love-you-sharon-cummings

 

 

Well, is it?

You tell me.

An example. I wanted to buy a funky ornament. It was a motorbike (or motorcycle for you Americans) made out of old watch parts. Damnit. I wish I took a picture! It was stunning, gleaming and so steampunk. Also inventive, artistic and a fantastic way to use an old broken watch.

I could tell lots of care and attention went into making it. How proud the artist must be.

I also thought how artists and creative people gather a lot of clutter.

Before I married Damian and moved in with him my bedroom was like this:

Many tottering stacks of books from all genres in all the available nooks and crannies. Polished and varnished original floorboards with lime green vines painted on in one corner. A yellow wall covered in colourful postcards from around the country (also some from various places in Europe and three from Barbados when Aunty Jo was on holiday there).

These things covering every free surface:

Paintbrushes, pens, canvases, papers, scrapbooks, booklets, notebooks, doodles, folders, glittery pen holders, a ceramic hand draped with necklaces and rings and pretty bracelets, a glass bowl filled with beads, Sir Jiles Darcy (Lulu’s pet rock), pots and potions, purses, a teeny glass vial labelled ‘fairy dust’ and filled with superfine glittery sand (a memoir from childhood plays with friends), a large glass diamond, marbles, old coins, old stamps, lots and lots of keyring, fairy lights, calligraphy pens, mini globes, steampunk ornaments, candles…

I could go on all day. Honestly. I had so much, and always accumulated more. My room was warm and cosy and interesting and colourful and cluttered!

Now my room is clean and tidy, all my books are put neatly away, all my odd little trinkets have vanished, replaced by neat stacks of untouched paints and paintbrushes. The theme is white and grey and brown, compared to the blues and reds and yellows and greens and splashes of everything you could imagine before.

So today, I stood staring wistfully at the pretty watch motorbike, and I thought about all the things I have to pack away in boxes, and all the things I gave away, and the lack of colour in my home, but all the things I have to lug around with me as I move around the country living in many different homes and I said, aloud, “is that really necessary?”

Well, that is arguable.

Maybe it is not necessary in that I don’t need it. But I want it, I want interesting things to adorn my bare surfaces. I want things to look at and contemplate. I want colour and vividly and brightness and things, like thoughts, to crowd my room. It inspires me and gears my brain for creativity!

I think the state of my room now reflects the state of my brain. It feels empty, I am lacking creativity, my thoughts are stagnant and repetitive, I haven’t painted in years, I am not as witty as I used to be. Something needs to be done! I need to bring back some of my clutter! It’s too tidy!

This is my computer background, a delicious, colourful, vibrant mess!

abstract-paintings-of-love-wallpaper-1

 

So I ask you, dear reader, is it really necessary?