home

I was thinking about the line “you can’t go home again” while I have been visiting home (Milwaukee, Wisconsin area). From the book of that title:

“You can’t go back home to your family, back home to your childhood … back home to a young man’s dreams of glory and of fame … back home to places in the country, back home to the old forms and systems of things which once seemed everlasting but which are changing all the time — back home to the escapes of Time and Memory.” (Thomas Wolfe)
Wisconsin is the same, it’s culture is everlasting, but I find a lack of form and system almost everywhere I look. I see a distinct difference in Wisconsinites and Washingtonians- folks in Washington seem to have grand plans about what they do with their land. On average, people tend to fields, farms, or gardens with more diligence and creativity than those in Wisconsin. Does it have something to do with the unfriendly winter weather in Wisconsin? Does that put a damper on people’s ideas for their spaces? Why do Wisconsinites love fields of grass so much? What is so special about grass? Do Wisconsinites like having that control over nature because nature controls them from December through March? Is there more of a pioneer spirit in the Northwest, versus a culture of stability in the Midwest?
Another question: what is nostalgia- why does it have such power? Power to cripple people in their old age into sitting around in their memories instead of enjoying all the freedom they have saved and waited for? If you can’t go home again, why do so many people choose to go nowhere?
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2 thoughts on “home

  1. to me, nostalgia is a yearning for something comfortable and familiar and is a product of that wonderful ability our brain has to essentially white wash our memories. I get nostalgic for high school days despite knowing that high school wasnt exactly a piece of cake. The interesting thing is that people can get nostaligic for places or time periods they have never experienced. Hence the main point behin Midnight in Paris, right?The tragic thing is that people, myself included, have a hard time differentiating nostalgia from what they really want or what the reality is. I have this drive to go back to Toledo, Ohio that is explainable ONLY by the fact that I am from there, and for some reason, being able to say 'I am from here' is important to me. However, in the back of my head, I know that I am probably not a good fit for Toledo. Yet my nostalgia for my home town, the suburban 8 lane streets lined with strip malls, is so strong that I am afraid it will prevent me from being really happy any where else. I'll always feel as if I am betraying my hometown, or that the new place just isnt "realistic" or "grounded". Sorry, Lauren, to use your blog as a sounding board. Ill stop now.

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