An exploration of nostalgia's sweet heartache
Mixed media accordion book, two-sided, 12 panels (total)
Folded: 5.5 W x 7 H
Unfolded: 5.5" H x 30" W
Integrating collage and original text, Summer's Promise is an exploration of nostalgia for the past and the opportunity - always available to us - to affirm joy in the present.
The book began as a simple celebration of summer. But as I began down a path of nostalgia and memory, I found myself wondering why, when summer is purportedly a time for friends and family and fun, does its arrival make me restless and yearning for something undefined? And why do I experience such sadness when recalling happy days from my childhood summers, both real and imagined?
Wonderfully, the process of creating Summer’s Promise brought me clarity about these questions, giving me a new vision for summer as well as my life. I realized that, while my summertime memories and feelings may be bittersweet, they serve a higher purpose.
Urging my spirit out of its shell, they remind me of Summer’s Promise: “That life’s potential for joy is always here, always available. Any season, any age, any moment.” And that nostalgia, despite its accompanying heartache and longing, is simply a reminder to live fully in the present.
See full poem below.
by Lisa Zimmerman
Summer has arrived,
sparking memories from summers long past
and long forgotten.
I hold each in my heart
as tenderly as I hold bits of sea glass
collected at the water’s edge.
As I feel their weight, appreciate their beauty,
I am filled with longing for those
boundless, sparkling, idyllic summers,
both real and imagined.
But I pine not just for summers that
may or may not have been.
I long for the potential of summer,
her unending possibilities,
her promise of a life worth living as gracious
and wide as the horizon.
Today, with the weather warming,
I find myself yearning for an undefined freedom.
But just as nostalgia threatens a dark heartache,
those sea glass memories shimmer,
beckoning to my spirit, urging it out of its shell.
And I remember summer’s promise.
That life’s potential for joy
is always here, always available.
Any season. Any age. Any moment.