Every now and again, you might experience something that triggers the deepest pockets of your brain to flare up. Images and emotions buried long ago somehow weed their way to the surface of a mind within seconds, overflowing the wits and casting a shadow of longing over one’s lucidity.  No, this isn’t a drug induced fantasy. It’s what happens when your senses suddenly encounter something rare that they experienced a long time ago. Nostalgia can be a wonderful entity when it occurs. It can generate memories and images for you that you can’t create on your own, and cause tears to well in your eyes, and remind you that there is more to life than writing essays or filing reports. It can cause you to stop in your tracks, disconnect you from anything that is going on at that moment, and transport you to another world that was actually real at some point in time.


One summer evening, while walking through my town at sunset, I encountered this place. The building is actually a school. To me, it looked old, creepy and claustrophobic,  almost like some kind of medical institution. It immediately conjured memories of old films, visiting historical museums, and being in primary school, wishing I could escape and wondering what was outside. Thankfully, I had my camera with me, and edited the scene to remind me of the memories it triggered. From now on, whenever I go anywhere notable, I bring my camera, just in case.

And then, at the other end of the spectrum, depending on what is going on, Nostalgia can make you feel incredibly melancholic, trapped in a time and place you don’t want to be. Part of being human means being irrational a lot of the time. Whether or not there are a limitless array of joys available to you, and whether or not you are luckier than millions and millions of other people in the world, your forgotten past can creep up on you at any time and change your current perceptions of the world for a brief instant.


The architect who designed this place definitely knows a thing or two about kicking you in the nuts emotionally. Again, I edited the scene to match up with my thoughts at the time, so that it seems like there is no end to the tunnel. When one reminds one’s self about the past, sometimes black and white thinking can occur.

Should I keep using photos to capture the momentary beauty of the world? I only bought a camera when I was eighteen. If I spent the years before I was eighteen taking photos of every incredible sight I saw, would they have seemed so special afterwards? If I can just switch on my laptop and browse through all the special sights I’ve seen, will they lose their emotional attachment? Is permanently capturing the past a good idea after all? Well, I’ll never really know. I haven’t lived a long enough life and I haven’t had my camera long enough to decide. And I’ll probably never know. Because after taking shots like this to be accessed whenever you like, it’s kind of difficult to go back.

Desert Ibex

If I experienced this scene again, it would never be as special the second time.

Some of the strongest triggers of nostalgia aren’t even sights, but rather smells, sounds, touch and taste. I really hope a genius scientist invents a machine to easily capture smell and touch senses in my lifetime.


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