"The dullest of us knows how memory can transfigure; how often some momentary glimpse of beauty in boyhood is a whisper which memory will warehouse as a shout." ~ C.S.Lewis
I'm not exactly sure why, but I've always regarded the nineteen sixties and seventies as simpler, happier periods than the present times in which we live. I'm completely aware of the societal and political turmoils that gripped this nation as well as the world during those times, and of the unspeakable pogroms against humanity that transpired at the hands of barbaric and dictatorial regimes. Suffice it to say, you'd have to be a fool to believe that the sixties and the seventies were Utopian times. Nevertheless, the noticeable simplicity of those decades (not everything in those days was bad) is something I find difficult to ignore. No e-mail, no September 11th terrorist attacks, no cameras watching your every move, greater accessibility to one another, and an elusive innocence that since then has dissipated. As the quote above implies, in retrospect, the most insignificant recollection of your past is amplified and idolized by memory, despite the fact that those same reminiscences may have been insignificant and mundane as you lived them.
The image below is that of famed Powell Street in San Francisco, California. Click on it (it should expand) and take note of how sunny the day is in this image and what the people in it are wearing; observe their hairstyles. Study the vehicles that clutter the streets and the building facades as they appear in the photo. For me, this image evokes that 60's/ 70's, uncomplicated way of life. Would it be naive of me to assume that crime in those days, despite the fact that it existed, was not as pervasive and as violent as it is today? I truly long for the simplicity and un-technological life of those times, despite the fact the I presently use technology to improve (and complicate) my day-to-day life.
To accentuate the nostalgic component of this post, I'm going to throw in some music from the 60's era, but not the song you might think. Instead of playing "I Left My Heart in San Francisco", I'm going to use a song by the same man who made "I Left My Heart in San Francisco" famous, but is infused with a breadth that will encompass more than just one place: "Once Upon a Time."
I'd like to know if any of you suffer from that earthly desire to go back to a period of your life that may have seem inconsequential at the time, but now long for. It doesn't have to be the sixties or seventies.
I should also mention that I was not born in the sixties but the early seventies.