Sunday, February 8, 2009

A Sappy Post

"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.

Photo credit.


Shirley said...

There isn't any particular time period I long for, but there are moments I hold dear that I like to visit in memory; my first time riding a horse; boat rides with Dad, and all the lovely summer days as children. I find that rather than longing for the past, I long for the future, long for the world to heal its wounds and ugliness and turn to the beauty that can only be found in the Will of God.

Tom in Vegas said...


Very nicely said:0)

Adrienne said...

I'll take the 50's, thank you very much.

Our world has been changing at warp speed the past 10 - 15 years that absolutely leaves me breathless (and not with joy)

Tom in Vegas said...

You and my mom. My mother loves the music from the 50's and is desperately seeking a few songs she can't find anywhere.

Tracy said...

I have always wished I was living in the 50's married and raising my children in a time that seems more simple and less crazy. I know that some would say that it was not all that great.. but, for some reason, it sounds so wonderful to me:)

Melody K said...

I'm with Adrienne, the 50's were a good time for me. My family were ranchers/farmers, we lived by the seasons. The outside world didn't intrude too much. We had to go over to Grandma's to watch black and white t.v., we could only get one station at first. (And my kids would tell me, yeah, and you walked 10 miles to school, uphill both ways. Riight.) I guess what I miss most is having my Mom around, and my grandparents.

Rita said...

My director of studies when I was studying Physics at University said to me "My dear girl, I fear you were born 500 years too late, you should have been a Medici, you could have devoted yourself to your varied interests that way".

You know, I think he was right!

Mike and Kim said...

Started to comment on this yesterday but got pulled away from the computer....having stayed home with sick kiddos this week...this post really hit home. My "day off" with sick Craig resulted in doctor in Dallas, back home to pharmacy, just in time for lunch...then back to neighboring city to pick up the other kiddos at school. What happened to the days of being sick and cuddling with mom on the couch with the new coloring book and crayons????

What I do remember is running out the door after school and never even thinking about home until you heard mom or dad screaming to come in for dinner. So sad to me that our children have never, and will probably never, have that luxury.

Great post!