A Taste of Nostalgia: The Threads that Tie Us Together
Words by Rodney Gavino
Edited by Victoria Lo
To anyone, it would appear to be just a gray wool sweater with centered stripes ranging in a similar gray blue color scheme, but to me it is so much more.
Nostalgia is an organic, naturally induced feeling of euphoric happiness and warmth generated from things in our pasts. Photographs, letters, videos, small tokens of our childhood, even scents and tastes bring about these memories that wash over us and emerge unexpectedly like a pleasurable pang that we feel within our hearts. It makes us smile, laugh, even cry a little remembering fondly the moments from our past that changed and shaped the person we are today.
As we enter a season where the leaves begin to change, the days become colder, and the nights call for a hot cup of tea and a warm knitted blanket, I am filled with a sense of nostalgia all due to one very special item to me: a sweater.
To anyone, it would appear to be just a gray wool sweater with centered stripes ranging in a similar gray blue color scheme, but to me it is so much more. It was my dad’s sweater and it was my childhood. I remember at a young age spending moments with my dad and that gray sweater was always present. These moments are so special and so clear to me that they play like movies in my mind.
I am 4 and we are sitting outside on the porch. It is a cold and dewy afternoon, my dad in his sweater and I am in his arms feeling warm and secure. The itchiness of the sweater on my cheek and the lingering smell of fallen rain calms me quietly. I sleep.
I am 10, and it is my birthday. I shiver in the midnight air as we hug each other and welcome the new year joyously. My dad hugs me last; again, in his striped, wool sweater. As I hug him back, the smells of smoky and earthy like sandalwood fills me with happiness. I smile.
I am 13 and we are walking along the pier on a sky-painted-sunset evening. The air is cold, the lights are bright, the people huddle in groups, and my blue knit sweater is not enough to keep me warm. My dad gives me his gray wool sweater, and I put it on. Even though the sleeves dangle past my hands, it warms me fast. I hug myself.
I am 17 and my dad is standing in front of my new apartment in San Francisco. We have to say our goodbyes. “Are you cold,” my dad says concerned as he wears his grey sweater one last time. My mom wipes a tear while I quickly look away to do the same. She makes me stand next to my dad while she takes a picture.
I hug my mom, then my brother and finally my dad. One last time. They climb into the car and yell out, “Call every day to let us know you are fine. Do well in school and make friends!”
“I promise I will,” I say. I wave to them as they drive away. I hold my dad’s sweater in my arms.
I am 20, and I sit here writing to you about a sweater that once belonged to my father, but now belongs to me. While I wear his sweater now with a cup of hot tea next to me, I think about my dad and about the many moments this sweater has brought us together every time I wear it . To anyone, it is just an ordinary gray, wool sweater with different colored stripes in the center. To me, it is my life.
I wear my sweater whenever I want to feel home again.
My sweater is my past childhood moments with my dad; it is my present source of happiness and warmth. My sweater is my nostalgia.
Fall Fashion Show-Nostalgia coming this December 4th @ SFSU Cesar Chavez-Jack Adams Hall from 6pm to 9pm.
Save the date!
Tickets sold at the door-
With SFSU Student ID: $5
General Admission: $10