Nostalgia vexes me.
There is a good and right nostalgia, the sort that comes perhaps at moments of wistful thinking or gentle sadness when needed. It may bring a moment to mind or perhaps a picture when we need it most, something to carry us over the hump of currently difficult circumstances.
Alas, my nostalgia does not typically operate in that fashion.
Mine seems to be much more insidious, quietly waiting in the back of my mind for a downturn in mood or situation. Then it leaps to the forefront with those magical moments of the past and the "what ifs" of a future it tries to script out in my mind. Not that any of this is based in reality, of course: in my case, not only can I not enter the same river twice but I seem to have the unfortunate habit of burning the bridge over it and everything in it back from the bank for two miles. The nostalgia does not care, of course, and usually I am not in the mood to examine the geography of the emotional at that time.
I am trying to be more aware. I figured out this week, perhaps for the first time, when it strikes me hardest: when I am emotionally upset or fragile or even somewhat depressed. And I can see where it is trying to take me - if not to a point of bad decision making at least to the point of thinking that there are options when quite often there are none. It works on my mind and soul like a good masseuse works on the back and shoulders, massaging out all the current tensions and leaving the mind relaxed and open to what I am sure it hopes will be its kindly recommendations.
Why this is, I have not fully determined. The nostalgia is coming from somewhere and it seems rather bent on ultimately causing chaos and emotional harm. Am I trying to subconsciously destroy myself? Is this simply the attempt to ease a pain that exists by floating a false past and unknown hope? Or is there something else at play here that I cannot see?
I know little and see less. All I can say with certainty is that even as I write this I can feel it stalking the back of my soul, whispering its siren song of pastel pasts and translucent futures to a heart that too often seems to see and feel only in shades of gray.