A few days ago, I was watching some old pics of my mum and dad and I got caught by one of them. Not because of what I was seeing, but because of what I felt when observing it. We all have, from time to time, this sentimental longing affection for a period in the past. But, I was feeling something different, something I had never experienced. I was feeling nostalgia for a time that I didn’t know. Can it be possible?
The photo was taken a long time before I was born, in São Pedro de Moel, a village where I spent most of my childhood holiday’s. It got me thinking. Was I feeling nostalgia for the place that I’ve known since my infancy or was I feeling something completely different from seeing my parents happily together?
My parents got divorced when I was thirteen, and I cannot recall a lot of happy moments with them together. So, perhaps seeing them joyful gave me something more than a pleasant sensation. Like if it would be possible for me to travel back then, witness their lives, and then, aftewards giving me this sense of nostalgia. Or, probably I’m just a hopeless dreamer travelling between time and space, trying to feel something more.
In the picture, both my parents are facing the camera smiling. They are smiling because they are happy and they are smiling to the person that was taking the picture, but they’re also smiling to the ones who would see the photograph in the future. They are smiling to me. It’s this brief connection between me and them that, possibly, makes me plunge in the moment and feel it very alive inside me, as if I had lived it.
It’s a wonderful and fascinating thing, how a photograph can be so powerful. Not only because it freezes a moment that no longer exists, that has vanished in time, but because it gives you the possibility to (re)connect with that precise moment and experience most transcendent feelings.