Posted by: birdmaddgirl | 29 March 2012

mapless

this month i started working on a long-delayed scrapbooking, photo-albuming, general backlog of memorabilia of life tidying. have you ever done this? gone through the detritus of most of your life? it’s humbling. and horrifying.

i’m nearly unrecognizable to myself. in some inexplicable fashion, the poetry of my middle school self is replete with heavy-handed christian symbolism. wha?! (for those taking notes: i was raised in an entirely areligious setting. all of my service-going experiences have been 100% voluntary, largely for ceremonial events.) utterly baffled! and yet i still feel so in step with the confused and angry and introverted girl struggling to contain some small measure of her experience in the bounds of page. i had precocious ideas about aging and relationships that still ring frighteningly true. and i’ve only read through my first two notebooks of poems and three journals. there’s a long way to go. photos are interesting in their own way. i generally look so happy. was i so happy? how does the girl in those pictures sit inside the girl who wrote those words?

the timing of this strange experience is unintentional but i think fruitful. this year feels like a big opportunity. i expect to be unsettled in many ways (long-term travel, language uncertainty, new living situation, and that’s just what i can predict), so all this personal archaeology seems necessary. will i be a better self for this? i don’t know. i hope i can find some measure of kindness.

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Responses

  1. If you finish your stuff and want to do our honeymoon album, just let me know. All the pictures are on Shutterfly and I just can’t get my act together, which is a shame because I can’t imagine getting this project done post-baby. Also, I seem to have misplaced my travel journal, which as you know is HEARTBREAKING and AWFUL and kind of means I can’t think about the whole thing at all. How am I supposed to write captions on the pages without my journal? How am I supposed to remember the trip properly at all?

    • hopefully your travel journal is just taking a nap in some odd corner waiting for it to be warm out again. i bet you will need a project like this post-baby, though. something that doesn’t require sustained concentration but that forces a little bit of focus (and reminds you that you weren’t always a mom!). so many selves, so little time.

      i’m in auto-pilot photo mode. no frills, no muss. just take the pictures out of the shoeboxes and put them on those weird sticky pages. will have to circle back around and write on the backs, but that’s a project for another time.


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