Saturday, December 6, 2008


The window at Axis (hair salon) on Dupont Circle.

I spent a lot of time earlier this week trying to capture a picture of myself that really looks like me, the unvarnished me, as it were, to post on my Facebook page. I didn't want the obscured Reya, half hidden behind the camera, or the glamorized Reya, heavily photoshopped (like the green-Reya avatar here on the blog). I just wanted a plain old pic of the "real" me.

It was a challenge, since I hate having my picture taken, even when I'm the photographer. I snapped so many images that after awhile, I got the giggles, a condition that helped me relax enough to get the picture I wanted. It's a little blurry, but it looks like me having a laugh at myself.

All that gazing at my own face apparently brought up some stuff I thought I had laid to rest long ago, because my dreams have been vivid and - well - awful, full of images and people that remind me of the many, many, many, many mistakes I've made in my fifty five years on the planet.

I don't wallow around in guilt much anymore, thank God. Guilt never improves any situation; it just makes things worse. But I do experience regret when I think about mistakes I've made, things I've done or said that were hurtful, bad choices, and for the many times I've cut off my own nose to spite my face. Ouch.

In my dreams, though, I am so pissed off, like last night, yelling at the top of my lungs at my ex-husband about wasting the best years of my life ... etc. Yikes. I must have been thrashing like crazy because when I woke up with a start, Jake was standing right next to the bed gazing directly at me, looking alarmed.

Some self examination is important, necessary. But too much of it, as happened this week during my photo session, just gets me all riled up. From now on, I'm staying behind the camera, oh yeah!


DC Discombobulated said...

Reya... if you want a picture that looks like the real you... then have a stranger take your photograph. Not a snapshot or a picture.. but a photograph. Find a stranger.. someone you just met and eat a meal across from them, have a couple drinks with them.. anything to take the edge off.. and let them make a photograph of you.

Just a suggestion.

Reya Mellicker said...

I've had people take pics of me in front of monuments, etc. They're so awful because I'm always self-conscious in front of strangers.

Good idea for those who aren't as vain as I am!

Squirrel said...

but you are very glamorous-- i've seen you in real life!
i love the way your hair mingles with the object inside the salon gold and gold --

deborah said...

the holidaze always bring up a lot of old stuff for me as well and the night you slept so well, i slept so badly that pillows and kitties were scattered around my room like confetti and i was upsidedown on my bed when i woke again

my effort has less to do with not remembering or reliving and more to do with the forgiveness i have truly offered (some of it isn't true) and the forgiveness i give myself with a kind of 'that was then, this is now'

too, i remember as many good things as i can around any bad thing--so papa stuff gets surrounded with his picking up the banana off the phone and laughing so hard; being totally amused and proud of you and hannah hanging all the stuff in your room from the ceiling, etc., etc.

warm thoughts of healing, light, positive energy, hazak (chazak?) the days grow short and our lives are a journey

all my love

Reya Mellicker said...

I can do all that when I'm awake, and I do believe it's profoundly healing. But when I conk out at night, there's no one in charge of moderation or censorship. That's when I start thrashing.

But I'm not slogging in it. More like I'm in a kind of awe that I could still be so worked up about ancient history. For heaven's sake!

Thanks, Squirrel!!

ArtSparker said...

I try to think of it as energy in search of an outlet(both emotional upset and not sleeping). Also, maybe this sounds like emotional efficiency, but it seems as if the little moments of self-realization are quite helpful, then if one sits down and attempts to weave them into a story (or, say, operatic self-castigation) they take on a life which has less to do with their raw truth.

Coffee Messiah said...

Hey, thanks for pointing out that link, it was fun to look at/read ; )

Although it feels wasted in retrospect (ex's that is) we do learn from those days, regardless.

Pictures, at least as a guy, I'd rather not anymore. I mean, if I could fit in the frame even anymore ; )

We are our own worst critics though, aren't we?????


willow said...

Thanks for the giggles. We are quite a bit alike when it comes to taking pictures of ourselves. And yes, we are our own worst critics, aren't we? Especially when we have an artistic streak.

Reya Mellicker said...

Our own worst critics? Oh yeah!

Barbara Martin said...

Your screaming dream is not bad, actually it's good. From my dream book based on the ancient oracles:
"to dream of screaming yourself" is considred a fortunate omen for all that concerns you closely.

Eventually, Reya, you will find the perfect photo.

lettuce said...

i think regret can one of the most destructive things in life
Too much self-examination - def. a bad thing for me too

that fab. reindeer looks most alarmed. is that how jake looked?

wishing you more peaceful dreams, dear reya

Rebecca Clayton said...

Thanks for the link to the Wall Street shaman. Let's hope he prevails.

My dreams are going through all the things I've wished I'd done differently, showing me what would have happened if I'd made other choices. It's really weird, but one dream follows another in chronological order, like chapters in a novel. I've decided I don't really want to read this book anymore, resolved not to waste time with regret, but still the chapters unfold, every few nights a new one. Guess I need to do a better job of accepting the life I've got!

Reya Mellicker said...

Or maybe you're resolving things at a very deep level with the dreams.

That's what I decided i was doing.