Wee hour thinking

Ah – I waited too late to post my third on the third.  Didn’t take long for me to break a resolution. 🙂

The puzzle we began last year (yeah, like 4 days ago) is taking shape and offers a bit more hope than it did when we first dumped the 1500 pieces onto the table.  I’ve given up on it repeatedly and hubby has stubbornly kept at it, adding a piece here and there while I’ve threatened to toss it all back into the box and relegate it to a back corner in the floor of the closet.  He and I have spent a great deal of time sitting before the puzzle, working over the puzzle, confused by the puzzle, frustrated by the puzzle…since New Year’s Eve 2011. Patience and determination has paid off as we now find our hard work is paying off.  It’s not just a shell of an idea anymore.  It has taken shape and images are appearing, as if by magic, as we add each puzzle piece.  I have begun to talk about how it will look WHEN it is finished, not IF.  What first began as a tremendous overload of confusion and frustration is becoming a productive venture and one that we feel good about and believe the outcome will be something we can be proud of.

Oh, I know, it’s just a cardboard puzzle of a wintery scene – icy pond, snow, cloudy sky, dreary colors – that we will have invested hours upon hours in before it is no longer a puzzle, but rather a completed picture.

As we have worked on this puzzle, I’ve found my mind working on puzzles and frustrations of my life and I suppose have taken some of my angst concerning them out on the puzzle. 

The puzzle is hard.  It’s 1500 small pieces that look like nothing more than a mixture of flecks of colors when scattered across the table.  To look at that mess and believe a sensible and beautiful picture could be formed from it all would be inconceivable were it not for the box top that contains a picture of what the completed puzzle will resemble should all the pieces be placed in their proper places.

Puzzles – I think I prefer this type puzzle to the everyday puzzles of life. This puzzle comes with a box that I can dump it into if I tire of it.  A box that will close securely to keep it all neat and sealed off from my view.  A box that shows me exactly what I will get if I correctly connect the pieces. A box that comes with defined edges and takes up a certain space and no more and the area within is sufficient to confine the puzzle. A box that gives me a break and allows me to puzzle when I want, for as long as I want, and when I no longer want to puzzle I can put it away and all is well. 

Ah, but life doesn’t hand us puzzles in boxes.  We get a mixed up selection of several puzzles, all dumped together and given to us in fits and starts, in lumps or pieces, some today, none tomorrow. And, we work and we work and we work trying to put together the pieces so they create something that makes sense to us and it often seems that the harder we work, the more confused we find ourselves  There is no box in which to securely tuck the puzzle when we tire of it.  There is no promised outcome…no picture to go by.  Day after day after day we work over our puzzle, this piece with that piece and eventually we begin to see things scattered about that make sense as colors join and shapes form and we feel that maybe, just maybe the puzzle pieces do fit together and can come together to make something meaningful and beautiful.  And when we find the piece that pulls one part into another we whisper “wow” and begin again in earnest to search for the pieces that will fit together and bring about the full picture that will provide answer to our puzzle and meaning to our life.

Hubby is still working on our puzzle – it covers our diningroom table in its incomplete form.  I should join him and help put together our puzzle – each piece added brings us closer to completion, closer to full understanding, closer to being able to stand back and say “ah, now it all makes sense.”



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