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Finding Room

Written by K. Zimmer, Illustration by Lynn Scurfield

Finding Room is a story of grounding, of reclaiming and carving out space after experiencing trauma. Many of us will never experience the trauma that the author has, but there is a thread that runs through her essay reminding us that fundamentally what we all want is to be seen and held, and that the people who love us will always hold space for us, even if that means they have to pull us out of the wreckage. Do you need books? Can you have visitors? Please let me know — I'd be happy to come see you and bring you what you need. Kristen’s memoir-style essay is a testament to how objects and people can help us find our way back in moments when we feel lost, hopeless, or buried underneath piles of stuff.

This story, like a room, holds a feeling — many of them. And underneath the strata of debris that is sifted and sorted, tossed and kept, hope and possibility and healing appear.

Featured story for September 2019

I think about the unused objects I had been holding — hoarding — for years, how I used these unused items to imagine future versions of myself when the present felt unimaginable. These objects merged with the mess in my room, and the future became hard to see — but at least it was there.
— Kristen Zimmer

lynn scurfield

Lynn Scurfield is a freelance illustrator currently living in a quiet suburb just outside of Toronto, ON. Her work has been featured in The New York Times, Image Comics, The Walrus, Reader’s Digest and many more. Her true loves include talking about feelings, opening all the windows on nice days and looking at beautiful art.


k. zimmer

K. Zimmer is an English literature undergraduate at the University of Toronto. She has poetry and prose published in Feels Zine, The Vault, and The Varsity. Her poetry received the Norma Epstein Award in 2017 and 2018. She was a speaker at With/out Pretend’s Unruly Bodies series. In 2018, she studied Margaret Cavendish as a Jackman Scholar-in-Residence, and continues her Cavendish work as a digital humanities research assistant. She’s at work on a book.