August 30, 2007


I don’t do jigsaw puzzles very often, but Leighanna is putting together a massive one for her room that looks like something Lisa Frank would print on a Trapper Keeper: white and blueish penguins on icebergs with white and blueish glacier mountains in the background in front of a white and blueish sky next to a white and blueish ocean and a dark blue and light blueish starscape in the furthest background. In fact, the penguins are floating in space on top of these glaciers where there are atleast two horizons and several separate levels of landscape. It’s a precise puzzle is I guess what I’m trying to say, not a 20-piece Mickey Mouse riding Pluto down the street kind of puzzle. But I digress, the reason I’m writing this is that while puzzling away I started feeling like life is similar to a jigsaw puzzle. I know it can seem huge and confusing and not worth the trouble (like this analogy maybe) but in the end puzzles and life can be pretty cool and beautiful and bring a lot of different people together. Sometimes there are pieces that are easy- we can find the side pieces cause they have a flat edge, we can find the penguin babies because they have cute little faces and the big star is easy cause it takes up a whole piece by itself. But then we get to parts that we swear must have pieces missing. We’ve looked everywhere for just the right piece and it just isn’t anywhere. We find it later of course, it just looked different than we were expecting, or it was upside down, or something was covering it up. How often in life do we want something and actually just miss it cause it didn’t look like we were expecting? Also, how often do we forget the big picture? It doesn’t seem too harmful, but it’s like not looking at the puzzle box for instructions. You can go at it all by yourself, with no plan at all, but that is pretty rough. Plus, knowing what you want your puzzle (or life) to look like helps when you go through the day-to-day struggle that sometimes seems like it isn't getting anywhere. We are getting there of course, piece by piece, and place by place, but it just takes a while. Thank goodness too though, huh? If we just finished it in no time flat and said, “Done!” how much would we really get to enjoy the work, the company, the anticipation, the effort or the picture? I say take your time, work with a friend, be easy on yourself and take a look at the box once and a while. Sometimes the next piece is closer than you think. Don’t miss it or cram it where it doesn't belong.