Light Novel Club Kindling: Nostalgia and Wolf

Our first Light Novel Club discussion is fast approaching, landing on April 6th (mark it on your calendars), but I couldn’t wait to just touch on one little quote from volume one of Spice and Wolf, the selection for this “chapter” of the club:

The pleasure of nostalgia is never without its companion, loneliness.

A pretty line, and one I find very true. It runs through Lawrence’s thoughts as he witnesses Holo smile and then sigh after relaying a funny story from her youth. Very simply, nostalgia always seems to be accompanied by a pervasive feeling of sadness.

I’m a lover of nostalgia. It’s a favorite feeling of mine—not only does it take me back to days of youth and happiness, it also sets an atmosphere or mood I adore. For me, it feels like the 90’s again, on a summer day (no matter when the event actually occurred), with me lying on the grass and looking to the sky.

But somehow, as Lawrence infers, this beautiful feeling is bittersweet. Sometimes, as with Holo, the companions are gone. The place may be gone. The time has certainly passed by. And in the place of a perfect memory we’ve formed is reality. And reality, whether in the past or present, is imperfect. It can be challenging. It can be depressing.

I don’t visit the past as much these days as I used to, though more a function of busyness than anything else. I think that’s a good thing for me, because painting the past in perfect strokes, as the Israelites did with Egypt when complaining to Moses, is both futile and inaccurate, and it’s what I do when I wax nostalgic. It devalues the goodness of today, the blessings of now.

Still, a peek into the past every once and a while isn’t a bad thing, so long as I imitate Holo, with a smile, a sigh, and a eye looking toward the future.

Want to join us for the BtT Light Novel Club? Just read volume one of Spice and Wolf and come check out our discussion on April 6th!

featured illustration by 茨乃 | reprinted w/permission

6 thoughts on “Light Novel Club Kindling: Nostalgia and Wolf

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