Now I wander in confusion (4,6) – Megan Courtman
I cried when I saw my crumpled crosswords.
The Roomba had mangled them, whirred over their edges and swept at their corners. The paper plains become crags and creases and trenches.
“Oh,” I said weakly, and sank to my knees.
What metaphor was this? Half-done, half-loved labour in tatters? How to explain my grief for these squares?
My finger hovered over the first of the puzzles. I dreaded the feel of it, hated those contours. I tapped at a peak, it pricked me right back. I looked at my littered letters in valleys.
“You can still do them,” husband comforted. “We can flatten them out – they’ll be just the same.” But what of the folds and the scars and the tears?
There is spirituality in perfect minutiae – in the crispness of bedsheets and pages and grids. This: the essence of the perfectionist’s faith.
Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa. My sin of carelessness had begotten this plight. On the floor beneath the window I had discarded companions.
Several hours later I took husband’s advice: they are squeezed between tomes, like flowers in a press.
Faith is delicate, like a crossword.
Et in Arcadia ego.
Megan is studying data science and is currently teaching machines about crime. She still loves words though, especially crosswords. She can be found on Twitter, @CrypticMeg.