I’ve Gone to Pieces

It wasn’t intentional, the pun, I mean.  It just so happens that my new hobby developed right around the time when I was going through an emotional crisis.  Or the beginning of one, anyway.  Actually, it was the middle of one, but I wouldn’t discover that until much later.

 Sitting around the dinner table one night, as we did as a family every night, I had what some may call an epiphany.  We were dining on yet another lovingly prepared, carefully selected fresh menu.  We were chattering about the day’s events when suddenly I had the striking realization that my days as a full time mom were numbered. 

 Don’t misunderstand.  My son was in high school and my daughter was in middle school.  It’s just that like at every other time in my life, I was already projecting into the future, worrying, and fearing the worst.  I was already having symptoms of the empty nest syndrome, and nobody had even dragged out a dusty old suitcase yet.

 That weekend, I dove into my first “pieces” project.  I gathered photographs of my kids from birth through the most recent, and began work on my first collage, which would later morph into mosaics.  I worked feverishly and continually for over a week, carefully cutting and placing pictures from birthdays to baseball, from rafting to rites of passage, from bowling to Bar Mitzvahs, from cross-country to camp. 

 When the dust settled, or I should say, the fumes from the spraying of a glossy polymer finish, I had officially begun my descent into a chapter of my life that has forever changed me.  I sought solace for my emptiness in unhealthy ways.

 I had literally gone to pieces.

 A Mosaic Self-Portrait-- abstract, of course.

But, with the help of friends, a resilient and dedicated therapist, two amazing and forgiving children, and a loving and patient husband, I have emerged, reinvented, put-together, and the only thing that goes to pieces are my tiles and glass chards.  And they are supposed to!


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