Something about Nostalgia and Nihilism

I don’t know how to start blogs anymore. That sentence will suffice as a start.

A few days ago I wrote a piece called “Gray” that sat in my computer for a few days, because I didn’t know what to do with it. I’ve essentially given up on my previous blogspot, because frankly it bores me a bit at this point and I want to find my voice again, or maybe a new voice In my writing. So I started writing in the way that I used to write poetry, I just get an opening line, that’s all I really need, and I just let it go from there; don‘t stop just keep writing.

Sad to say that I used to write poetry. The truth is that when I think back to how my life was previously in numerous ways, I can get myself lost in the romantic nostalgia and remember the good old days. Rose colored glasses, right?

I suppose I still can write poetry and at any moment I might do so, but inspiration seems to be fleeting. When I decided to try and come out of my writing cocoon this week, I figured that I could just write about anything. I was driving my car the other day and saw the ladies that carry bananas on their heads heading into the marketplace. Something that I originally thought was so cool and exotic has now become quite commonplace to me. After passing them, I thought up something that I figured would be really great to write about later, but its totally gone from my head at this point. Whatever it was, I’m sure it was great.

All that this writing push has amounted to is two unfinished pieces that are on my computer entitled “Something about inspiration” and “Something about writing.” This will probably also be left unfinished and if I do post it, that doesn‘t mean that I‘m erasing this sentence.

Why is it that we see the world we used to live in with such affection? I’ve been thinking back to my last year living in Costa Mesa, the year after I graduated from college. I remember walking around the westside of that city at night listening to Matthew Mayfield on my iPod, totally alone, totally lonely. I was sad. And yet, for whatever reason, my mind goes to this time when I was sitting in Airplane Park writing poetry under a streetlight, when the ghetto bird shined its light on me from the heavens as the police were looking for someone in the neighborhood and I think to myself, “those were the days.”

Why is that? I was single, I was broke, I was lonely, I didn’t know what to do with myself a lot of the time and yet for whatever reason, I look back and say “that was the life” as Costa Mesa PD approached me and told me that I should probably leave the park.

Maybe, I’m just coming to a further realization that no matter what, life is hard. Being nostalgic about the past and choosing to remember the good things or romanticizing the hard things is easy. We feel it gives us license to look at our current plight and remark how un-enjoyable it is at times.

I’ve been reading in Ecclesiastes which is a very interesting book. A professor of mine said that Ecclesiastes is the favorite Bible book for nihilists, because if you take out the stuff about God, it sounds a bit like Nietzsche. The refrain though that keeps it all in focus is for men to eat, drink and delight in the work God gives them, as Solomon writes “this is a gift from God” (5:19). It makes me think.

Life is hard. Without God, its meaningless and vain. I want to learn how to live now and be happy with the spot that God’s given me.

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Author: Brandon Stiver

I am a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, living and working in Moshi, Tanzania. My wife is named Melissa and we have three children: Moses, Promise and Shepherd. We are directors over an orphan care ministry called Kingdom Families; advocating for the needs of orphans and vulnerable children and assisting families to welcome them into their homes as sons and daughters.

One thought on “Something about Nostalgia and Nihilism”

  1. Glad you have started writing again. I have missed your musings. Life does tend to take twists and turns we don’t expect. Tie your heart strings to Jer. 29:11 even when you don’t feel it.

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