Sunday, May 8, 2016

Visiting the Past

Since beginning to work at Ella Sharp Museum for Living History, I've felt different about myself. I'm very happy that after a couple month hiatus I'm back to working a somewhat regular schedule. I feel happy to be contributing and to have good things to do with my time. I'm happy to be back teaching, where youngsters are engaged in what I have to say. 

But, it also has to do with the nature of the place that I work. Surrounded by history I feel a bit like a different person. Maybe a chance to escape myself and the binds of my own time. Science tell me that time only moves forward, and though we can't exactly go to the past, we can still imagine due to the work of those preserving it for us. 

The museum is doing an American Civil War two-day event in May, of which I will take part. This has led me to become obsessed with sponging up as much knowledge of the real live events that I can. I'm spending my free time viewing Hollywood blockbusters, watching documentaries, and reading history books on the subject. Again, when we feel trapped in the time in which we live, history can give us a much craved gateway to events we unfortunately or rather fortunately missed.

Also on my tour of the past I have been binge watching the Wonder Years for the past several weeks. As many others might be empathetic to, I get tears in my eyes about every third episode. Watching Kevin Arnold grow up, it about the most American thing a person could do. I'm sure we see a lot of our own family in the Arnold's, as was exactly the point. Kevin's constant life narration has gotten me to feel like I am narrating my own. No, I don't walk around thinking and then she picked up the pencil. But though I've always been a very self-reflective person, hearing Kevin do it makes me do it more and more. Daniel Stern, who voices adult Kevin, has a unique position to be able to relive his childhood from the future. Most of us don't get the opportunity to do that. We all try though, nostalgia is a wonderful feeling and many of us feel ourselves getting caught up in it. While we shouldn't get wrapped up in the past, so that we don't experience the present, it's always there for us. Kevin's eternal youth, preserved in an ABC warehouse let's us all relive our wonder years. With the right frame of mind and a childish heart, the wonder years are every year.

My own wonder years