Misty musings from out of the blue
"Old dream-maker, you heartbreaker,
wherever you're going, I'm going your way.
Two drifters, off to see the world. There's such a lot of world to see ..."
A few weeks ago Cold Case ran an episode that revolved around a returned Vietnam War POW who was deemed to have been a coward who sold out his fellow prisoners. It explored his anguish, and his death at the hands of the grieving son of another soldier who died in the camp. Again I misted up. It was so sad. And, of course, the episode was punctuated by the music of the era. But, that was my generation, too, and I found myself there.
I've been having a lot of sentimental moments lately, I've found. It's kind of odd. I don't know if it's my age, or where I am in life, or a response to losses I've endured -- and I have had a few of those. It's nothing to do with being unhappy, for I am not. But, sometimes, where I am today seems alien to me. It feels disconnected from what went before. All the plans and schemes I once had were fulfilled in assorted ways, but they now seem alien -- and so long ago. Yet, in other respects it seems so recent, too.
At an earlier stage in my life I disdain sentimentality. I saw it as cheap, mawkish and false. And, a lot of commercial sentimentality is. While I wasn't cynical at the time, I just could not understand how people could get so emotional over things I didn't find worthy of my drawing on my reserve of angst. I found the worldwide dismay and anguish over the death of Princess Diana nine years ago to be vulgar and self-indulgent. As tragic as her story was, or at least as tragic as her demise was, I didn't know her. I couldn't breastbeat over her. She was a lady who met with an unfortunate accident. The type of accident that happens every day of the week. So, to me, the outpouring of emotional tears at that time was nothing more than sentimentality.
That's different, and it is as different as the dichotomy between 'sentimentality' and 'sentiment.' Sentiment is honest; sentimentality is contrived. But, what I am finding is that offerings that are rife with sentimentality are now evoking sentiment in me. I move beyond Moon River in the context of the TV show, and relate instead in what that moment in time means to me. I personalize. That's weird. I have never done that before.
Yesterday at the beach I was talking to a little girl who had just turned nine. Sweet lovely child. She was visiting my community to stay with her grandparents, as Grandma explained. I simply found myself to be enchanted by this child, and that put me in mind of my stepdaughter who was around the same age, and even a bit similar in appearance, when first I met her. And I just felt a big sense of loss within me. She and Grandma then moved on after stopping to chat, and I was, in a way, relieved. I could get back to time-present. I tell myself that is better.
Anyway, what I would conclude by saying is, don't count on the way you 'think' you feel. Emotions have nothing to do with an intellectual process.