"But here is the truth of nostalgia: we don’t feel it for who we were, but who we weren’t. We feel it for all the possibilities that were open to us, but that we didn’t take.
Time is like wax dripping from a candle flame. In the moment it is molten and falling, with the capability to transform into any shape. Then the moment passes and the wax hits the table top and solidifies into the shape it will always be. It becomes the past. A solid, single record of what happened, still holding in its wild curves and contours the potential of every shape it could have held.
It is impossible—no matter how blessed you are by luck, or the government, or some remote invisible deity gently steering your life with hands made of moonlight and wind—it is impossible not to feel a little sad looking at that bit of wax. That bit of the past. It is impossible not to think of all the wild forms that wax now will never take."
Welcome to Night Vale #21, A Memory of Europe