nostalgia - quotes and descriptions to inspire creative writing
By the door was a woven mat, fashioned from rustic strings, enriched with the mud of thousands of boots - a testimony to the life that dwelled in the house. Natalie smiled as if she could hear the laughter of the children as they returned with new memories of the woodland, infused with the sound of the streams so full after rain. The door mat could have been replaced years ago, its edges were frayed and curled, but it was still here. Sebastian had had the floor polished, the curtains made anew and the walls painted... yet still it remained, giving treasured mind-photographs, the best kind of life-nostalgia.
Before I even realized it, I had come to look at that nostalgic riverside -envisioning the sequel to the dream I had yesterday. On that day, the person you were seemed so grownup. Unable to even say goodbye, I hid under my umbrella. If we cross paths again, please, don't forget me. Not like affection, not like love, not something that's changing. Its only you I like, and that's how I think it will always be. Holding onto my aimless feelings, I look back as people often do. Stopping the scene where we chanced to meet from fading gently away.
There was a store in the old village that still sold the penny candy. It wasn't a penny anymore, but it was all the same stuff. There were those little hard sweets that taste of soap, white chocolate mice and fizzy cola bottles. You could only self serve in little scoops to white paper bags and the walls were adorned with nostalgic black and white prints from decades ago. The frontage had been redesigned to look like a heritage building. The bay front window was broken into rectangles by a lattice of white wood and the door was a glossy cherry red. The uniforms of the staff heralded back to the 1970's and they greeted their middle aged customers as "sir" and "madam."
In the plaza the pigeons outnumber the red paving slabs. Just to walk from the tall terraced houses around the edges, with their stores at ground level, I must take small steps to avoid kicking them. These birds have no fear of me, I'm more scared they'll foul up the Italian leather shoes I bought only last week at Darcy's. A few minutes later my efforts are rewarded by being able to sit on the edge of the octagonal pool that surrounds the fountain, water spraying many feet into the dry summer air from the lips of a busty mermaid. The droplets arc high before cascading down at the will of gravity. I dig in my satchel for the baguette I plan to eat for lunch and the mass of grey feathers before me gets so dense you can't see the stone underneath. Between the splashing behind and the squawking in front the sound of the city traffic disappears, and that is why I walk here to eat. Here I can admire the brightly painted old buildings and imagine I am back in my home town. Just for a moment.
The beach is my go-to place. Some folks like their fancy coffees: cream and sugar with cream and sugar on top. But give me the pebbles that move under boot with their loud crunch- louder than fall leaves and present all year. I suck in the salty air like it's an elixir, to me I think it is. It tastes like home. The beach huts lie ahead, no bigger than my garden shed but painted the same kind of candy hues as the wooden buildings that line the harbour in Bergen. Some could have been painted yesterday, they are bright, unbleached by the sun. Others are more of less derelict, forgotten and left to rot in the briny spray. Their paint lies like peeling bark off an old felled tree, curling and broken. They are pale and their padlocks are rusted over. Above the sun is bright, but as always in November it has no real heat, only the power to render the ocean a glittering green-blue like my mother's eyes. I miss those eyes.
The boats were scattered over the harbour like fall leaves in a pond. The colours were beautiful, random, bringing forth echoing memories from Emile's childhood spent on the shore. He rocked back on his worn heels, hands deep in his jeans as he cast weary eyes into the wintry onshore breeze. The boats bobbed on the waves, turning a little as they did in their chaotic dance. The fishermen were home long ago, as should he be; but he wasn't ready to cast this scene to memory just yet. He wanted it to be his present for a while longer, to fill his senses. The cold air brought salt to his lips, the cry of the gulls that wheeled overhead in their lazy arcs filled his ears and the pebbles shifted underfoot. No music could be finer for Emile, the symphony of colour, taste and sound could not be replicated on a CD or in a photograph. He would only move from the spot once the daylight robbed him of the scene, stealing the colours and replacing them only with charcoal.
The swing that had brought Lisa joy as a child was lonesome on the hill. Its only movement now came in the windswept gales that beat the land down. Its once gay red paint was blistered right through with rust. The seat was a ghostly form of its previous self, the wood grain now ridged from the soaking in of the icy droplets; the relentless freeze-thaw taking its toll. On days when her chores were done before bedtime she would take the dog and walk to it. With an ungloved hand she would touch its rough surfaces as if it could take her back to the happy days of her youth, when her mother was still alive and the town had prospered. She yearned for the days when folks had the time to take their young ones to the swing and when taxes stretched far enough to pay for such things.
“Imagining the future is a kind of nostalgia. You spend your whole life stuck in the labyrinth, thinking about how you'll escape it one day, and how awesome it will be, and imagining that future keeps you going, but you never do it. You just use the future to escape the present.”
Amelia's dreams took her back to the rainforest. In the soft light and humid air she would tune into the noises like they were an auditory jigsaw puzzle. On each conjuring of her sacred place she felt a frisson of joy, the same kind as she felt when her dog greeted her after a long day, only many times more intense. The leaves would feel wet and more tough than they appeared, the aroma went right to her brain, intoxicating, rich. Then with a steady gaze she'd pick one small place and stare until she had unmasked the camouflage of the creatures hidden in plain sight.
The strawberry is small but perfectly red, like the ones I remember all those years ago in the farm store. It bears little resemblance to the white-topped monsters in the supermarkets, large with such a diffuse flavour and barely-there sweetness. This little fruit-royalty wears a jagged crown of deep green like summer foliage and it smells like heaven in my palm.
In the countryside the green had meant nothing to me. The grass was green, the trees were green and the bread was green half the time. I couldn't wait to leave, couldn't wait to leave that penetrating winter chill behind me and head for central heating, no garden and granite counters. Isn't that why I worked my ass off in school? Now my world is just grey: grey concrete, grey roads and grey skies. Sometimes I will turn a corner to find the city has planted a tree. Just one spindly cherry tree can transport me home, fill my lungs with fresh air and remind me of those I left behind. On these occasions I take a leaf for my pocket and I don't care who sees, taking a leaf isn't illegal, yet. Then at home I dry it between my old doorstopper dictionaries before digesting it to a skeleton and mounting it on green card. Now the forest of home is on my walls. Every leaf is my mother's smile or my father's bad jokes. How tired of them I was, how tired without them I am now.
My dreams are etched on celluloid. My soul prefers the old times, the good times of old movies that spun on reels. They were flammable of course, but they flickered and had imperfections that brought them a life modern hollywood productions can't invoke. I know I hanker after the impossible, a world that is a fictional representation of life back then, but I need it all the same: dames, broads, macho men, mobsters, gangsters and private eyes. Every minute is pure escapism that tickles my love of all things antique, all things historical. I want to walk with Charlie Chaplin, drink with Humphrey Bogart and ride with Bonnie and Clyde to the end of the line. I want to charm Jean Harlow, dance with Lucille Ball and dine with Rita Hayward. In this flickering films, in my cinema seat, I can do that and more.
Through the naked boughs, over the frigid grass, come ghostly echoes. I hear the hopscotch rhymes though the court is long gone. It was painted with perfect lines by the old preacher man, the one who told us to love and to share. The stones tumbled in their chaotic way, always at the mercy of chance. Our shoes travelled the numbers, always careful never to land on the forbidden square. I recall little Nelly Ogden, she could never pick up even the largest of pebbles without toppling over. The preacher used to dust her off, encouraging her to try over again.