Nostalgia and Reality

My repatriation to the USA has left me detached. What I mean is that I lack a connection, a sense of place, with Orlando, its people, and its culture. Disengaged from my current reality, I take refuge in the nostalgia of my former life in Europe. These recent cool days of autumn remind me of my first months in Europe, getting lost along cobblestone streets and warming up to the European lifestyle. They remind me of walking along the grands boulevards of Paris, of drinking mulled wine in Scandinavian Christmas markets, rifling through timeworn manuscripts in dusty archives, and seeking late-night cañas with friends throughout the neighborhoods of Sevilla. They remind me of my determination to, upon first stepping foot in Madrid, wander around the city alone, and the subsequent tears of joy I should have not struggled to keep back. These cool autumn days remind me of what I had been missing, and they remind me of the moments that I discovered it. Nostalgia of this variety is masochistic; it is a self-destructive comfort. Though it is a contributing factor in impeding me from developing a connection with Orlando, I refuse to surrender it.

Since I’ve made the deliberate – if untimely and temporary – choice to live here, I decided that being proactive in forming connections with a place is more honest than simply decrying a lack thereof. So, I went for a walk downtown yesterday, around Lake Eola Park, with my dog and my camera. I wanted to capture Orlando. I wanted to begin developing a sense of place. The photos, however, are revealing; they are fragmented, detached, and incomplete.

Dynetech Centre and Leaves

Dynetech Centre and Leaves 2

Dynetech Centre and Leaves 3

Old Florida National Bank and Palm Tree

Lake Eola Fountain, Sky, and Palm Tree

Apart from some minor color adjustments, I created these photos with nothing but my camera (read: no photoshop trickery).

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16 thoughts on “Nostalgia and Reality

  1. Thats what I like; straight from the camera 🙂 Then you have to use your creative eye at the moment itself and not afterwards in the computer. (although there are people who make great images afterwards; but that is not so much my kind of thing..) Thanks for visiting my blog; and I like your photo’s; see you!

  2. Well, fragmented or not, I think they’re great. You went out feeling fragmented and hoping to gain a sense of place, you didn’t find the ground that you were looking for, but you did look u and found pieces of sky and trees and cloud and buildings and windows – all fragments that tell the story of how you felt. They’re beautiful.

  3. These are some of the most beautiful and inventive photos I have seen. I understand your feeling of nostalgia. I lived in Delhi for two years and upon returning to Austin, Texas I felt a sense of disconnect and longing. I remembered falling in love with New Delhi very quickly but the same didn’t seem to be happening in a city I knew much better. Now however things are different. Truth be told slowly realizing that you have fallen in tune with a place is just as wonderful as the gushing feeling of falling hard and in love with a place quickly. Give it time. You will see.

  4. I really enjoy your post. I’m currently here in Germany, and the way you’ve described fall in Europe is exact! Though you don’t feel positivity for these photos, I think they’re all very creative and beautiful. I look forward to seeing more!

  5. it´s good that you went back. i´ve been here almost sixteen years and never have been back. and i think orlando is cool. hopefully you can keep the saloon door between worlds swinging…

  6. These are beautiful. Like Bella, I’ve never seen anything like them. Keep walking around Orlando and taking photos. Something in the detachment you feel is leading to some very creative photography.

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