Remembering Sappho today, from ‘To Anactoria’
Remembering Sappho today, from ‘To Anactoria’
I had this conversation with an especially perceptive batchmate of mine, he had posted an Owl City lyric quote (which I love) in his WhatsApp story and what followed was a brief exchange which reinstated my faith in good conversation:
So we spoke of nostalgia and I remember saying how I:
…never delete old music, I have everything people think are “trashy” now and whenever I listen to them, I remember how I used to be, who I listened to those songs with, how they smiled when “our” song came up and all of it, and I realize that I liked myself, I was satiated, content, I didn’t have demands and most of the good memories are from boarding so all of it, our farewell bonfire parties, end of school year November chill in the air, the night sky like an endless inky blue sea placid in its starry brightness and I’ve never seen so many stars in my life, I remember stargazing with my best friends, desperately looking for Draco and it was so quiet, no one would speak, we would wait and listen to the wild come alive, and I can’t do justice describing how unreal the night was, the crisp smell of winter air, crackling fire and us sitting away in the dark, overcoats up to our ears, rubbing our palms, huddled together, watching our backs after exchanging ghost stories, warily glancing at the outline the trees made against the sky, distinguishing it from the mountains’, pretending to hear a wolf howl, really hearing one! Bats, the wind, the trees swaying as coming alive, the hills descending with the darkness of the night broken only by the few stars that were peeping from the clouds, then the clouds overcasting the sky, the first drop of an occasional winter spray. And we’re all running inside, current failure, running up to dormitories, candles and fireplaces lit up. Sitting around for dinner, elated about getting home with the pinch of not seeing each other for 3 long, long months. It was magic
[7/28, 21:17] Ayana: No experience can be disregarded. I’ve been to seven schools and I die to know how it would’ve been to have belonged to one place for 14 years [7/28, 21:34] Ayana: It’s so complicated now. Everything, complicated, convoluted and ill-meaning and self serving all the time. It’s a small piece of paradise to be able to reconnect with memories of innocence. Really, that’s all I have to keep me going. Whenever I’m upset, I close my eyes and go away to kurseong, to those nights, years and years surrounded by perfect quiet with only the sounds of nature and good natured banter
And of course: his extremely valid point:
See, that’s why you ought not to question nostalgia 😛 Yeah, I would say, in other words, that life, Ayana, is simply waiting to see the present in retrospect. Nostalgia is our only way of time travel, by which the human mind uses it’s marvellous faculty of imagination to turn back the very laws of physics-we live at that moment of past, more powerfully than we live in our present, because we acutely try to feel and somewhat succeed in replicating the original emotion again and again. We live powerfully in those moments as our own ghosts. Perhaps the ability to visit our past, our past as we know it, is the best gift humanity has ever had.
[7/28, 22:11] Ayana: I don’t question it simply because I want to keep some things to myself, because it’s necessary to believe in the magic of old times, otherwise there isn’t much to live for, nothing except memories. [7/28, 22:12] Ayana: But I’m also aware that it’s not sacrosanct and it’s painful. But its always better to keep it out from dissection, because, really, bitterness of the soul/mind is directly proportional to time.
And still nodding my agreement to this statement he made:
Yeah. We need to keep certain things out of dissection. Dissect the body, not life.
Do you think agree with me? Tell me what you think.
Do you remember,
the last time their lonely eyes lit up
with mirth, the slow creeping smile?
Or that trek over the rickety bridge,
old with it’s years, coughing wooden dust?
Do you remember to hum to that tune
the now broken radio played.
That tune you said, reminded you of
sunsets and starry skies, of me?
Do you still revel in the smell the rain,
the pages from a new book,
freshly brewed coffee,
the winter air?
Do you recall the last time you
picked sea shells by your favourite alcove?
where the sun beat down on the sandcastles
and the seagulls sung over glistening waves?
Or perhaps all of it are a distant haze,
in an illusion of negative images, streaked with gray.
A lifetime of remembering and forgetting,
Leaving behind and being left behind,
Letting go and holding on.
A walk down the sepia lane
and idealistic nostalgia only age affords.
But I’m afraid they now have been long forgotten.