Overcome with the bittersweet feeling of nostalgia, we may look to art as a bridge to a loving memory. Explore artworks, poetry, and music that conjure a distant home.
By Nancy Seda de León, Coordinator of Docents & Interns, High Museum of Art
Welcome to Tide Pool — a series of multimedia blog posts meant to immerse you in a headspace of creativity and inspiration. Each post presents a collection of someone’s thoughts, like the glittering bits of life that emerge and remain in a tide pool. This time, we’re invited into the headspace of Nancy Seda de León, Coordinator of Docents & Interns at the High.
In this mood board of sorts, enjoy a collage of images, words, and sounds intended to spark your creative mind.
In Nancy’s Tide Pool: Nostalgia
How should I feel? How do I connect? These are questions I asked myself when leaving one place to start in another. I was in the presence of a dream coming true, full of fear of the unknown — unfamiliar places, unfamiliar objects, unfamiliar people — but looking forward to a new beginning. The special moment I had been waiting for came: an encounter with art in a vast place. As I explored the halls and galleries of the High, my heart beat fast with joy. But then a void took over, and I was overcome with nostalgia.
As I kept returning to the galleries to study, I realized that inadvertently the objects of the Museum had transformed into a lifeline for me. While connecting to paintings, sculptures, porcelains, and many other objects, I was making new happy personal connections. And that is what nostalgia is — a wistful feeling for happy personal associations. Artworks can be beautiful, sometimes fantastic, always different, and we can use them to recall a way of thinking, a connection with a belief, or a bridge to a loving memory.
All the color of awakened aurora
may the sea and you expand it into a dream
that it carry my ship of seagulls
and leave me in the water of two skies.
— Julia de Burgos, “The Sea and You”
Read the full poem, in the original Spanish or in English, on the Literary Ladies Guide website.
Artwork inspiration found in the High’s galleries and at High.org/explore. Explore over seventeen thousand artworks online and find your inspiration.