Friday, September 07, 2007


Does a rose give you feelings of nostalgia? Or a macaron?
Someone commented recently that I'm getting awfully nostalgic lately. I think every single post and picture here is about nostalgia for a past moment. This makes me very nostalgic. Fond memories have so much to do with forming our taste choices, both in our mouth/taste buds and in our heads.Is there a statute of limitations on memories? Or a sell-by-date when they must be removed from the shelf? Can I be nostalgic for what happened a moment ago?
I'll always be nostalgic for the luminous light in this little room in Paris.
A fragrance like my grandmother's Elizabeth Arden Blue Grass bath salts reminds me of...
staying over at her appartment, high over Fairmount park.
How can I forget looking out the window and seeing horseback riders below. In my memory, always a couple...always a prince and princess. I don't remember a thing about this moment. I do remember my mother taking us on picnics the same place she used to go horseback riding as a girl.

Can you be nostalgic for someone else's memories?


  1. Anonymous8:10 AM

    The Laduree green is so fragile and yet so beautiful.Yes, the colour can create nostalgia I think. For me nostalgia is a feeling quite close to longing. There is something I long for, something which has already happened, may be a childhood memory, something you smell, a tune whistled.

    Your post truly sat me in a nostalgia light green mood. (a good thing may be - I am planning a leek soup, with leeks from the garden, for dinner)

  2. Anonymous8:30 AM

    Like Proust's remembrances of things past...sights, smells, memories...

  3. And you say you are not a poet. We are but moments. One linked to another. Perhaps it is a desire for grace you are feeling, an appreciation for all fine things where it shows up. The remembrance of those who wear it so well. There is another fine moment waiting for you today. Fall does this to us I think. The change in light, the shift in the breeze. And roses go inward to build toward the spring.

  4. Can you be nostalgic for someone else's memories? Absolutely.

  5. Hi Carol- haven't been in here a while. Crazy summer!
    I love this rose/macaroon watercolor- is it recent? Gorgeous!
    Like yourself, I am sucker for is fully experienced with the passage of time. My husband bought me perfume my mom used to wear....every once in a while I sniff it....for nostalgia's sake. A dash of nostalgia and memories makes life so much richer.....have a great day.

  6. I've nominated you for a Nice Matters Award!

  7. I am nostalgia over spring/summer.. Where did it go??? Once again you have left us with something to ponder over till Monday. I loved what Janice c said..

  8. I read in a book once that there are two kinds of people, those who are always looking towards the future and those who are always looking towards the past.
    I love playing old music and leafing through my old books and drifting off into nostalgic reveries.
    Especially when one's lived as fascinating a life as you Carol, it must be lovely to reminisce.
    P.S. I have been loving the comments you make on Flickr - they make me laugh!
    P.P.S. My little sister is in Paris on her honeymoon - I'm jealous!

  9. oh absolutely you can become enraptured by anothers memories...i love to listen to others is especially blissful to hear tales of youth of my elder family members...although i am quickly become one of them...blessings, rebecca

  10. Anonymous4:14 PM

    I wanted to tell you that I looooove Elizabeth Arden's Blue Grass and I always have a bottle of it on my dresser. I've worn it for at LEAST 30 years.
    Also, I really like your blog and am thankful I can
    get it daily. You do beautiful work and your memories of your parents are lovely.

  11. Anonymous6:19 PM

    Thinking further about nostalgia, I picked up a book this morning and read the following:

    "As has always been said, clarity comes with the giving up of self. But what this means is that we cease to attribute selfhood to these echoes and mirror images. Otherwise we stand in a hall of mirrors, dancing hesitantly and irresolutely because we are making the images take the lead. We move in circles because we are following what we have already done. We have lost touch with our original identity, which is not the system of images but the great self-moving gesture of this as yet unremembered moment. The gift of remembering and binding time creates the illusion that the past stands to the present as agent to act, mover to moved. Living thus from the past, with echoes taking the lead, we are not truly here, and are always a little late for the feast. Yet could anything be more obvious than that the past follows from the present like the wake of a ship, and that if we are to be alive at all, here is the place to be?

    Alan Watts p. 82 The Joyous Cosmology

  12. Anonymous6:20 PM

    I'm not faulting us for our nostalgia, but instead, hoping to point to a "now living" through this sharing. At present, I need constant reminders because I have lost the childlike wonder of living in the present. I think your wonderful photos and observations of the delightful things you've seen are so beautiful because at those moments when you witnessed them you were totally present to them!

    I so enjoy looking at what you have seen! And hearing where you've been!


    Missn ya

  14. How on earth could there ever be a statute of limitations on memories dearest Carol?

    By hearing of stories about my great grandmother, grandfather and my grandmother their memories have now become mine and will become the memories of my nieces and nephews.

    That's the great thing about memories. :-) They never really die.

  15. yum, macarons and roses lovely combination and what a nice remembrance of your mother.

  16. How very lovely and beautiful is all that you share.
    Yes many flowers are sentimental to me especially since my beloved Mother died..........

  17. Beautiful Carol

    Blue Grass! You have brought me back through the years to a special time. I love that fresh scent.

    Scents are such potent and direct line to nostalgia and emotion

  18. Yes, I think you can be nostalgic for someone else's memories. But we need to find a good word for it.

    These photos and the watercolor are all beautiful but I particularly love the "Ladurée green" photo. That is amazing.

  19. This is such a beautiful post, it left me speechless when I looked at it for the first time yesterday.

    I think of a healthy dose of nostalgia as a positive affirmation of moments well lived. Life would be almost pointless otherwise.

  20. Anonymous5:42 PM

    What a sweet photo of you and your Mom. I have been looking at photographs with my Mom today and feeling nostalgic too!

    The things that make me feel particularly nostalgic are seeing games, curios, toys, clothing, from when I was little at flee markets.

  21. Anonymous5:43 PM

    And Swedish meatballs!

  22. Yes. Listening to others memories is always a special invitation.. a bit like opening an old suitcase that has been hidden and sharing it with the other.

  23. Yes, I'm nostalgic for the light in that room too, and I've never been there! Thanks for your memories!

  24. Nostalgia is the memory of the heart.
    Some smells, photos, memories and songs... make me feel nostalgic at times.

    Your photo of the green Ladurée macarons is so evocative, so enticing... so fresh yet fragile. You know, I've never had a Ladurée maracon. Next time I'm in Paris, it will be first on my heart agenda!

  25. Anonymous8:18 AM

    And nostalgia leads to memories which lead to stories or paintings...and this way we share what we remember so that they can belong to others as well.

    Now I'll always have tucked away in my recollections of macarons, which are already delicious memories, beautiful green ones...thank you for that gift.

    Meilleurs voeux!!

  26. Such delicate & beautiful colours ... I wonder if nostalgia = longing + love + good memories (with the bad bits edited out) .

    Beautiful painting too


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