Pieces

When I said I read an article somewhere about jigsaw puzzles, how they can help with the recovery from post-traumatic stress, I think maybe you thought I was being flippant, even silly. I was four corners and almost all the edges in on a puzzle of clown fish, a swarm of them in all the otherworldly colors (even green), but when I asked if you wanted to help, you only smiled. Articles aside, I didn’t quite want to tell you — we just weren’t that close — that since November I’ve been having nightmares about the president raping me and my friends. You seem like the kind of person who likes to stay on top of things, who reads all the newspapers, and resists the new normal with all the composure of a bleached coral reef. And that’s fine. Nightmares aside, I am handling my shit, I am putting the pieces of my anxiety each in their appropriate place, arranging them into piles on the table according to color and line. The thing about puzzles is, there’s a moment between when you have all the edges done, and when you have enough of the middle filled in to see what’s missing, what’s left. I’m almost there. And when I am, I expect, it will get easier to forgive you — for the smile, I mean, and for everything you didn’t do.

Alison Leigh Lilly
Alison Leigh Lilly nurtures the earth-rooted, sea-soaked, mist-and-mystic spiritual heritage of her Celtic ancestors, exploring themes of peace, poesis and wilderness through essays, articles, poetry and podcasting. You can learn more about her work here.

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