If Tom Cruise were playing Adam to Cameron Diaz’s Eve….well lets stop right there! Not good casting. Still, the dialog would be the same. As the gates slammed behind them: “Gee, I really miss paradise.”
Our longing for lost worlds [read: lost love, job, city, or youth] is hard-wired into us. Probably started when mom sent us crying off to kindergarten. Later to summer camp. All too human to miss whatever’s just been taken away.
Poets and politicians have a passion for lost worlds. For endearing names like: Thoreau’s “Walden Pond,” Griffith’s “Mayberry,” Brokaw’s “Greatest Generation, or the name of your old college.The further away the worlds, the more they glisten in the filtered sunlight of memory. Summers were longer, holidays brighter, families friendlier, aches fewer. As Sarah Palin would exhale: “The Real America.”
Our memories of what-was are shoulders on which we stand to see what-can-be. Gustav Mahler wrote his new music putting it this way: “Tradition is tending the flame, not worshiping the ashes.”
Flame or ashes…? Something to think about at this year’s May proms, June weddings, September reunions, and November voting booths. Find the flame, dump the ashes.
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