Remoy Philip

writer. creator. producer.

At Cavanaugh Park...

I'm too nostalgic. I'll admit it. I'm nostalgic for conversations I had yesterday. I've begun reminiscing events before they even occur. I'm reminiscing this right now.

Sometimes Noah Baumbach just can take reality and put it out in front of you. And your only response is, "Absolutely!"

The question has been asked, but I have to ask for reference's sake. But how do I (we) reference the last (or even current) decade? I mean simply just the "Two Thousands" isn't rhythmic enough. It's not quick off the tongue. It's not poignant or witty. The eighties, nineties, the bloody sixties, we've all heard the sixties. These decades fit precisely in between the bookends of number and "ies." And there they sit as we reminisce, even if the only thing we have to reminisce is a story or two that we never even experienced.

But the last decade doesn't have that precise colloquial name. It's impossible to do, the first"ies" maybe. Could be the millenial"ies." All sounds like I'm trying way too hard. But I need something because for me and a lot of others, its the decade we went from teens to adults. From tweens to semi-mature almost-grown-ups. And for that there are many memories that are worth my nostalgia.

See seein' a band that doesn't really mean much anymore can be just fun. Because ten years ago they meant something, hell, they meant a lot. A little anti-cool and a lot frustrated and with that, they make songs that speak for you even if the stories they tell aren't your stories at all. They are your rebellion or your soap box. They are your cool points and your window to the pit of emotions that is melodic and star filled. They are the myriad of emotions that is an American teen confused about his (or her) American future. But now, now it's sentimental and it's just fun. The words mean a whole lot less about the future but mean a whole lot more about the past. The songs are old, and you are older. So are they. And to them, I guess, they were real as well. Those words were their frustration, and just as you co-opted them, they were worth with it because it was real and because it was frustrated. But now that angst has become silly, and it's ok to laugh, because laughing and singing and dancing means you may have just moved on.

I have this battle with sentiment and nostalgia. I don't let myself do it much anymore. I don't allow myself to soak up in that sepia haze. Because when I put those goggles on, no matter how much I look at the past, it looks so beautiful. Even the pain and frustration, no matter how painful and frustrating still looks beautiful with a patina effervescence. As if I'm anesthetizing the reality of the past where the value of the past doesn't deserve the anesthesia. And as I gaze over them as images of a time, I loose the depth of meaning. I lose the fact that the romance I see through my nostalgia forgets all the pain that allows me this position. And that may be, at least for me, I'm doing myself and my past an injustice.

And that romance that links the present to the past via sentiment also locks me in. It's not a terrible shackle. Well, maybe not at face value. But I think this ball-n-chain of nostalgia can cause one major issue in an individual. Now I will say this, nostalgia will allow you to look at the past and say that was "simply the past." However, while it does have this quality, the bigger issue is that I don't you think it really allows you to just move on. With nostalgia, it plays this game of allowing you to feel like you're letting go of the past, but in essence you don't let go, because you're locked in to the sentimentality of the flat picture of nostalgia. You can't let go of that, and you don't want to because the romance of nostalgia is all too pretty.

But at least for me, the moving on has become to muy importante. The future, and that damn present, is all too visceral. Don't get me wrong I love the past, but the future, the future where I'm free to be whoever and do whatever without the shackles of the sticky romantic antics of the past. I think, check it, I know that I'm more free now, once I've forgotten the nostalgia, once I've chosen to let go of so much of the past sentiment, whilst really analyzing the past for what its really worth, pain, frustration, and joy, and then just moving on. The romanticism, and it's cheap beauty is what locks us in, but the freedom of reality is what keeps me moving.

But damn that Cavanaugh Park shit, that takes me back every time.

Without Relent,