Nostalgia is based on the idea that things were ever better than they are now. They weren’t. Things have always been lousy.
I’ve been thinking about this in relation to places, too. I’m writing this in a cab, moving some final things out of the old family homestead, which is being sold. The old place is pretty much empty now, and I keep wondering if I’m going to get nostalgic at all.
So far, no.
And it occurs to me that nostalgia is pretty much absent from my writing, too. Of all the characters in my stories, I can only think of one who is now living where she grew up. And none of the rest of them seem to miss the places they came from.
As Vicki is fond of saying, “There’s no place like home. Thank God.”
Not that nobody has regrets, about how they left or what they left behind, but regrets are not nostalgia.
That scene on Mount Doom, where Frodo and Sam talk about their memories of the Shire? There’s nothing like that in my stories.
This was not a conscious plan (I guess that goes without saying – nothing else is a conscious plan, so why would this be? 🙂 ), but it is interesting how much we reveal about ourselves in our writing, not only by what we put in but also by what we leave out.