What Nostalgia is Made From

It was in the winter of 2008-2009 that I came up with Nostalgia. It was my first winter living on my own and as such I was spending a lot of time in my apartment. This was the point where I was training myself to write something each day–publicly–to put my writing out there and alleviate some of the isolation and loneliness that I was feeling at that time.

Spending a lot of time in such a relatively small space–in a room of my own–gave me time to think. I thought back to the woods behind my old high school of Thornhill Secondary and how a friend of mine and I used to walk through them talking about different things. I had a few key lines of “Nostalgia” written down already at that point, but I needed a context for them.

Originally, I imagined a scenario with two childhood friends–two boys–who meet in the forest. One of them leaves and goes on with his life, while the other one stays in the woods and never ages a day. Then one day, the friend that left returns as a much older adult–having been worn down by time and experience–while the other is still young but in many ways much, much older than the other. I was also inspired by the times when my class in elementary school would go on overnight trips to places like Montreal or Paris, and I’d stay behind in the “skeleton-crew” class. At one point I’m pretty sure I was the only student of my grade in one class.

Sitting in my apartment made me think about a lot of those feelings, and the past, and that essence of it that I wanted to capture in a very precise way: an eternal and universal moment. I’m not sure what made me change the story to what it is, and making it only one central protagonist: one little girl. If I ever knew, I’ve forgotten, but it worked out well.

It is the best vignette I’ve ever made and I am proud of it. It cuts like an icicle into a human heart, and drifts away as transitory as a snowflake … or a shriveled balloon into the distance. It deserves to be seen, and have more company again. One day. Soon.

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