Last week I began the process of culling photos out of the WordPress media library for this blog because they are ineffiently taking up a lot of bandwidth. This blog’s library is already reaching it’s capacity on a paid platform and I’m unwilling to spend more just to store pictures that will rarely, if ever be accessed by anyone. This is a matter of being practical and thrifty (cheap). The fact is, I do not have the time and desire to read old material from 2011 and thereabouts–nor do I expect anyone else to care, either. Besides that, many of the photos are small, grainy images that do little to enhance those early posts.
While scrolling through the 2011 and 2012 pictures and selecting images for elimination, I had some big band era music playing on my stereo. I used to host a weekly big band music show back when I worked in broadcasting. Most of the show’s content was from my personal collection. These vintage records and tapes are still in my home but are now very rarely played.
The process of culling photos coupled with music that has lost its personal appeal triggered a bout of nostalgia. I became more aware of the fact that the people who listened to big band music as teens and young adults have either died or reside in nursing homes. People who were youths in the 1930s and 1940s are fading away. Even baby boomers such as myself are patronized and looked down upon by many younger people.
How many popular songs from 1973 are currently relevent or even remembered? Do millenials know that Doby Gray had a hit called “Drift Away”? Do they know that a country singer named Donna Fargo had a crossover hit with “Funny Face”? Even someone who was in the daily newscasts in 1973, Richard Nixon, is now just a curious historical figure who left the U.S. Presidency in disgrace. Most younger people couldn’t care less about Nixon.
Do many people of any age deeply care about big band music? Probably not–and that is a healthy, normal way to think about such trivia. Humans have only so much “bandwidth” in our minds to keep track of memories. Only so much information is actually beneficial to enabling an optimum life. It is considered healthy to let go of the past so as to allow us to be more present in the now. Why should I care about Donna Fargo or Richard Nixon now, in my contemporary world? They are just footnotes about my past.
Certainly there is some joy with nostalgic memories about my past lovers and regarding highpoints in my career. At the same time, it’s disconcerting and unhealthy to dwell upon the past. Obsession with the past causes melancholy and sadness that those people have moved on or died. There is no way to authentically recapture past glories. Reenactments are hollow and somewhat pathetic.
As we age, everyone and everything fades away to sepia-toned mental fantasies. Our physical and mental capacities slow down and become less vibrant. Eventually, we have to face reality and make peace with our own inevitable decline. While doing so, it’s good to keep a level head and beware not to allow this awareness to morph into a state of anxiety and fear.
Part of the process of becoming the best versions of ourselves includes the vital ability to cultivate a state of being at peace with everything, everyone, and ourselves becoming obscure. Can this be done without becoming cynical or nihilistic? That choice is left to us alone. Living an authentic, honest, reality-based life is not for the faint of heart; but it happens every day for many people.
The ability to place our dreams, plans, and projects into perspective and perhaps surrender some of them is a skill that requires discernment and practicality. To do this well allows us to appreciate the magnificent bounty of what we already possess. The fact is that impermanence is a major part of all of existance. Everything and everyone will eventually become obscure.
The Blue Jay of Happiness quotes actress, dancer, producer, and singer, Goldie Hawn. “What helps with aging is serious cognition–thinking and understanding. You have to truly grasp that everybody ages. Everybody dies. There is no turning back the clock. So the question in life becomes: What are you going to do while you’re here?”
Still, it’s a good exercise. I am surprised by the hits I still get on old posts, but I have largely avoided current news events. Announcements of upcoming events that are long past, of course, an another matter. What other blog maintenance activities are we overlooking?
I also receive occasional hits on old posts. This is why I’m only deleting most of the photos, but not the text. There are probably other maintenance issues I need to investigate.
My favorites from that era were Jo Stafford (Keep it a Secret), Kitty Kallen (Little Things Mean a Lot), and Bing Crosby. The instrumentals didn’t interest me very much.
I liked both of the Crosby brothers’ bands.
It is fun to remember the Big Band era. Latin dancing is appealing partly because of the big bands. A major part of my love of the movie The Mask is the big band music and dance. Smokin’!!! 😄🎉 Don’t delete your Johnny Depp photo. 😀
I’m a big Depp fan, so he stays!
Your last quote made me think of this one from Cars 3, “…You can’t turn back the clock, kid, but you can wind it up again.” Smokey Yunick – Cars 3 Which may be an obscure reference.
That’s a relevant quote, for sure.
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