Saturday, October 29, 2011

Nostalgia Hurts

It all started this morning when Kris caught up on a Simon and Garfarkle documentary we'd been keeping on the DVR.

It's a few years old, this documentary, so Paul doesn't look "elderly" the way he's been looking of late. The documentary covered all the old tunes, the good tunes. "Song for the asking," "Bridge over troubled waters."

Listening to the boys singing the old tunes I found myself transported, mentally, back to 1967. It was a beautiful fall day, and I stood at the corner of Fullerton and Lincoln, across from what was then McCormick Theological Seminary. The sun was shining bright. The anti-war movement was promising a new day. The hippies were scorned but not yet despised, and I was in my favorite part of my favorite city. It was a moment of life and hope and bright illumination.

Suddenly I felt myself tearing up and thinking about the potential that we had somehow thrown away. What happened to us? We were going to be the bridge over trouble waters, the friends who would be there to lay down our lives for one another. What happened?

I thought I had a photo from Chicago from a fall or a spring just like the one I was remembering, so I went hunting. Instead of finding just what I was looking for - I found the photos I've now posted on Facebook, including the one I've used in this post.

It should be obvious. It wasn't the 60's. It was the 90's.

There's Emily and Jon and me and we're in front of the Landmark Cafe, at the center of the Lincoln Park Zoo. It must be Christmas time, since I have both the children with me. It's obviously cold, but we don't seem to care. It may be kind of damp, but we don't seem to care.

I sort of remember this day. I sort of remember every trip to the zoo with my children, including the first trip Emily took to Lincoln Park Zoo, a trip where she was more interested in the pigeons than in the zoo animals.

I remember these days and I'm getting quite emotional. I miss having kids this size around, having kids discovering and learning and exploring without my having to tell them to look and listen and explore and study. I miss my kids and wish they weren't so far away.

I've thought that before, but I've never found myself so, well, weepy about it. I wonder if the illness and maybe the conditions I've been fighting this week has something to do with my emotional state.

Still, I'm holding tight to the memory of that day when we zipped from lion house to monkey house to ape house to Children's zoo to bird house and shivered at the few outside animals in between. I'm holding tight. Nostalgia hurts.

1 comment:

Mike said...

S&G may look (and be) a lot older, but they still appeal. My younger son went to a concert of theirs in Sydney Australia just a couple of years ago while doing a "semester abroad" at Macquarie University and is now a big fan. I know what you mean about Nostalgia though. I just finished putting together a "dedication page" for the VTech VetMed yearbook for my oldest son who gets his DVM next spring. Looking through all the pictures I could find, from when he was a baby till now surely did bring back so many memories.