I once read that nostalgia originally was an illness. The diagnosis army doctors put on boys from the Austrian mountains that simply were not able to thrive in the flatlands. Now we allow nostalgia to have a more genteel ring to it, almost like a reverence for the things passed. Sometimes it can be stifling too, making only what was, or what we remember about it, be the ideal state, not being able to tackle change and challenges. At the World Museum of Mining last week I saw this sign, perhaps the only way to balance looking back, looking forward and being here, just now? I think the quote is from T.S Eliot’s “Wasteland”. Anybody nostalgic about high school and EngLit able to help me out?
This doll symbolizes the stifling nostalgia to me. She has been standing, waiting, in this dollhouse for decades, looking for people who will never return, and as she is in a museum she is not allowed to engage in play with real, living children.