Sunday, 22 March 2009

"It isn't necessary to imagine the world ending in fire or ice--there are two other possibilities: one is paperwork, and the other is nostalgia."

--Frank Zappa

I am noticing that spending all this time exhuming and listening to these cassettes throws me out of a rather important balance I work hard to maintain: between past, present, and future. it somehow hadn't occurred to me that "archives of exile" as a subject is AUTOMATICALLY about engaging with the past. of COURSE it is!!! and while I love history, love finding cool old stuff and bringing it back into the present, I realize that it's an ENTIRELY different thing to be dealing with MY OWN old stuff, which is actually very difficult and makes me a little crazy.

my mother rewrote her childhood as some kind of perfect idyll from which she had been cruelly exiled by being forced into adulthood. (nostalgia is indeed the end of the world.) my father, on the other hand, dealt with the early death of his parents, and his immigration to the US at age 19, as the start of an entirely new life: a blank slate over which he hardly ever looked to see his childhood or youth. my mother was almost entirely past-directed; my father almost entirely future-directed.

what does it mean to honor the past without wallowing in nostalgia? what does it mean to embrace the future without denying the present moment and the gifts of the past? how can an archive of exile be a LIVING thing, a thing that serves the present moment?

that's what I'm grappling with on this shiny cold spring evening right before heading out to the theater with my friends on 22 Mar 09 after spending perhaps too much of this day on 14 Sep 96.

I need to BE HERE NOW.

1 comment:

  1. Hello Eve - thanks for your very personal and honest posting. I've replied with a post of my own. Hope you're doing all right today. R.


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