It's an odd phrase 'Living in the Past'. Someone I know thinks that I do - live in the past.
But don't we all? After all, the past was when I started this paragraph!
Where does the past end and the present begin? Or indeed the future for that matter. None of them have definite boundaries like fossil layers or the sound barrier. Surely our past is more like the youngest course of a river, a river of time in which we were born and currently swim upstream, eventually bringing us to the open sea of the future.
In this sense we are always connected to all three temporal states aren't we?
Perhaps I'm just nostalgic as, I suspect, most vintage toy collectors are? I had to look up Nostalgia to be sure of what I meant. It is, according to Wiki, a sentimentality for the past, typically for a period or place with happy personal associations. It is a formation of a Greek compound, consisting of nóstos meaning "homecoming" and álgos meaning "pain, ache".
So, Nostalgia is like homesickness by the looks of it. I cannot deny that I loved my Sixties and Seventies childhood and think about it often. I wouldn't have a blog like this if I didn't. Vintage toys are like companions from that special time, inanimate travelers who, like me, have survived, bobbing along in that river again.
I suppose collecting them and writing about them is like being a salvage merchant, rescuing them from smashing on the rocks.
But do I live in the past? The modern usage of this term seems wholly negative, an assertion that someone is in someway not here in the present, when they clearly are. Surely a concern for the past is a good thing, a reflective state that allows us to take stock of the current and indeed plan for the years to come.
I cannot live in the future and I'm not sure if such a phrase exists in English. Perhaps some people live for the future, for a distant realm somewhere else and anywhere but here. Germans call it Fernweh, the opposite of Heimweh. That's not me I have to admit, although I adore the futuristic visions of Gerry Anderson, Stanley Kubrick et al.
For those of us who were lucky enough to have happy childhoods I cannot imagine anyone not being nostalgic. There is simply something care-free, worry-free, stress-free and pain-free about being a happy child. In a word, yes, free.
If living in the past is recalling those halcyon days and somehow preserving some of that sense of freedom whilst we busy ourselves in our modern adult lives then yes, I suppose I do live in the past.
How do you feel about this expression readers?