Thursday, March 01, 2007
My Mayhem

Mayhem, originally uploaded by Mellahoney.

We're fumbling through this for now - upheaval, mess, mayhem. Change is in the wind, and so are about a million germs (as the kids and I are all sniffling, sneezing, snotting), and so is something that smells (either the garbage, or a diaper, or both), changes at work, and Spring rising on the horizon, the thaw happening all around us - ice dripping and falling in dull thuds from our roof to the frozen ground.

In the midst of this dizzying mayhem of diapers and cell phones, tissue-clusters and sinks of dishes and tires with slow-leaks, I pulled out this journal that a friend gave me after Lila was born, and I turned on my fancy-pants Zen and I picked up a pen and I...sat in the bed and just stared at it. The word, Mayhem and the blank white pages inside.

And I thought, (The World Spins Madly On whirring ironically through my headset) What is it that I'm looking for in here? What did I hope to find on these stark white pages? Some sort of clarity in the midst of my daily chaos?

Attempting to return to this once easy and effortless habit was, well, an effort.

As a teenager, turning to a journal was necessary for dealing with all that cliche teenage angst that I carried around. Angst over imagined problems, social situations, stresses that shouldn't have been stresses at all.

Of course, I see this all now, now that I have no angst. Only a blank journal, a headset, and a husband sitting in the next room playing video games while I try to reclaim this habit of introspection, of writing things down.

Perhaps, the trouble is that I have no pent up frustration in need of venting. Life is, in general, good. I have a husband who does dishes and changes diapers. I have pleasant, well mannered children, who despite the occasional poo-on-the-walls-carpet-furniture-bedspreads-etc incident, are easy and wonderful. I have a home, a healthy relationship with my parents, my in-laws, good friends.

What is it that I wanted to journal about? Diapers? My so-easy-a-monkey-can-do-it part-time job? A few dirty dishes? Pshaw.

Instead, I finally brought pen to page and wrote a list of good things. Things to look on when riding a wave of stress or worry or self-doubt. I stuck in pictures of said good things. Pictures of my husband and I from before we were 'my husband and I.'

Pictures from our first apartment, the black and white ones I mentioned here before:

Things we wrote each other - Mella, You are Weird - His first love note to me, scrawled on a small piece of black paper while sitting at a booth at a 24 greasy-spoon diner (New England institution really, which has since been shut down.)

Then I moved on to pictures of my little whirwinds, the real mayhem bringers, the poop slingers, and my favorite people under the sun, the moon, the stars. I put their little hospital bracelets and the index cards with their birth weights and lengths - the first documents with their names, written in my mother's handwriting and taped to their glass hospital bassinettes.

It's all in there. My little journal of life-as-it-was-and-is.

My little journal of Mayhem.

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Blogger dillyweed said...

I like it. And the picture of you and your husband from before you were married is great. Thanks for attaching that. I love pictures (can you tell from my picturegallery, uh, I mean blog?)
Big hugs,

Blogger Mella said...

Oh, yes. I'm certainly on a photo kick these days...something to do with digging through all of the boxes and albums that were out of my reach for the 10 months we were 'homeless'

Between that and being done with pregnancy, it's a matter of reclaiming and re-examining myself.

That, and I find pictures inspiring, helps with writing.

Blogger zhoen said...

Funny how our own mayhem seems so much happier than the empty possibility before adulthood.

Blogger Darkmind said...

You ARE weird, Mella. I swear it would take me all day just to look at you! You're an optical illusion! I swear there are three different women in this post. Maybe its just "the crazy". You can't possibly be this difficult to identify by other people...can you?

Blogger LJ said...

Mella - I have enough angst to hand some out. Some of it is even teenage angst. Just ask, pal? I'll send you some!

Blogger Mella said...

I think it's all optical illusions with the way I photograph. People don't often have trouble recognizing me. Well, except for those who haven't seen me since I weighed a lot more, occasionally they have trouble recognizing me.

I actully put the pictures up here just to mess with you, Darkmind.

And, thanks for the offer, annoying as angst is, sometimes it makes for great fuel.

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