Let me start from a new angle.
When people speak their native language in their native land, it seems obvious. It is a fact that is easily taken for granted. Nobody sees that ability as a skill or an art. Yet, take that person out of context and move them to a new country and suddenly that person's language ability becomes very impressive to those around. Similarly, when one follows the latest magazines or TV shows nobody bats an eye; but when one is caught reading Greek tragedies or watching silent films, suddenly the people around are surprised.
Language and art are the same in this respect. They are often not noticed until taken out of context. Were I born in ancient Nara or Crete, I would not find the culture to be so intriguing. It would simply be my regular routine.
There are two things to be taken from this.
I. It is hard to respect and savor our own lives and gifts until we take them out of context and get a new look. It has been a goal of mine (for six years now) to never again take my life and environment for granted. This age is as real as those before and after it; and our lives are no less meaningful than others. I want to live in full awareness and appreciation rather than wasting my time complaining about why I think my situation could be better.
What then of my interest in the past?
II. When one within a context has an affinity for another context, it is not actually a curse of chance, but a blessing. In such a situation, one yields that love and knowledge as a pen. A pen that can re-create old works to refresh others. I hope that every so often I may write something that inspires someone with curiosity or stirs in them some ancient - yet wholly new - feeling. I want to share what I find.
I suppose in this respect, one can find value in both living for the time and reliving the past. So long as they are both maintained with a proper perspective.