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the Greek word for “return” is nostos

Will and Sophie


“The Greek word for “return” is nostos.
Algos means “suffering.”
So nostalgia is the suffering caused by
an unappeased yearning to return.”

Milan Kundera


I may suffer from a few strange and debilitating maladies, but nostalgia is not one of them. Driving past a house I once owned, riding through a park where I once rangered, pushing an old wedding dress aside in my closet, I am impervious. There is no desire to revisit, no remorse or sentimentality. Instead I have my sights set on here and now. This is especially true when it comes to my children. I fucked up a shit ton, that is for sure. And if I could do a few things over again, damn straight. But I don’t suffer to return to those days. Now I do my best to listen to my kids when they have something to say. I listen for clues that would direct me in supporting them. Recognizing, acknowledging, and comforting. Mostly I listen for opportunities to take responsibility for my poor choices and less than benevolent moments.

There was a time I felt bitter about my mother’s indifferent defense, “I did the best I could”. I considered this a lousy response to the abuse, disparagement and abandonment I experienced. That was until I heard those words come flying out of my mouth. Then I had to make a call to my mother and tell her. I had to call and say how annoyed I was and how now, I understand. It is in these moments, when we recognize our own human being ness. This living can be difficult. No one does it without making some questionable moves.

Today, without nostalgia I am doing my best to be compassionate, forgiving and accepting. I have no desire to return to some past moment. The yearning is to create the atmosphere, circumstances or conversations that reveal the reason I think we are all here…
and that is
to simply be here,
for each other.


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