Two things happened to me recently that prompted me to reflect on Nostalgia.
- I went to see former Pink Floyd man Dave Gilmour’s Live in Pompeii gig streamed from a Roman Amphitheatre to the Watford Vue cinema
- I went back to my old school; after 40 years
Gilmour’s guitar playing just gets better and better. He played tracks from Dark Side of the Moon (which I bought in 1973) alongside Comfortably Numb (which I loved as a student in 1979) and newer, fresher pieces like Rattle That Lock (2006). Base notes scoured depths I thought impossible for a guitar and the highest notes found perfect pitch right off the top of the fret-board. His lyrics provoked and his astral solos reared and soared like a big bird on the wing.
And School: Your education and your teachers shape you much more than you realise. I don’t think I was a perfect pupil but I was well taught and well cared for by a fine community of monks.
Forty years on, they greeted us like heroes; the living product of their efforts. And after a tour and a very good lunch they listened to stories of careers and family details, glowing with pleasure in what they had helped us to achieve.
Both events were, in their own way, nostalgia trips. Both experiences were more pleasurable today than I remember them being all those years before. Nostalgia is a powerful aphrodisiac, it teases out emotions that have lain dormant for a long time. It is the opposite of a bad memory.
The lesson I learned from the emotions these events triggered was that it is what we do today that will or can become nostalgic tomorrow. Do a thing wrong or badly and we’ll only want to forget it. Do a thing right and do it well and we’ll reap the reward of a little nostalgia in days to come.