We each have our favorite ways of relaxing, escaping tedium, and bringing our fragmented self together.  If we hadn’t before, we certainly have discovered our preferred ways during this pandemic.

We jigsaw puzzle people find refreshment and renewal in bringing several isolated, independent pieces together to form a cohesive whole, a big picture.

Working the puzzle consists of times when pieces easily come together and open the way to developing the section one is working on.  At other times, the pieces don’t fit, nothing connects, and one is unable to continue.  The tendency is to remain focused on that area, pondering, trying to fit new pieces, then  retrying to fit those pieces while becoming increasingly frustrated, at which point one wants to quite working “this stupid puzzle” whose pieces are too small, colors too similar, and so on. 

The better option is to move to a different seat around the table.  This allows for viewing the puzzle and pieces from a new angle, to see them in a different way, and it allows one to change focus.  Amazing how this simple change in focus results in additional pieces fitting together, moving one closer to forming a bigger picture.

How like life.  One sees what one is looking at from only one perspective, thinking this is the only way to see the whole picture until the pieces stop fitting.  One can stay in the same position, focused on the same spot and blame the pieces for not fitting or can accept there may be other ways of seeing the same thing. 

In my experience, I have never been able to complete the puzzle without looking at its many pieces from several different positions.  Maybe that is what is required to go from seeing only bits and pieces to seeing a bigger picture. 

If only this was as easy in life as in working a puzzle.

– Terri Sersch