Tuesday, September 21, 2010


If my life were a jigsaw puzzle (and that's often the way it feels) I think it would be the kind that you buy at a thrift store. Not the elaborate puzzles that are three-dimensional, the simple puzzles with the large wooden pieces, or the impossible puzzles that are all one color, but the kind that are actually a combination of several puzzles that were each missing pieces in the first place. 

It's all like some terrible joke that you'd play on a fifth-grader, giving them a project that can't really finish (if you're the kind of person who would do such a thing). You watch as they pull the pieces out, grouping the ones that look similar, piecing together small little patches that they assume will eventually join into one great picture. Part-way through the process they become frustrated. There aren't enough edge pieces. The bunch of pink flowers doesn't really look like it's going to join up with the magic eightball or the rainbow encircled dolphin. There are a number of pieces that just sit there on their own - neon green or faded puce. Where do those go? The answer: right where they are. They don't go anywhere. There is no picture, kid. You've just spent the past several hours, days, weeks, months, years trying to make sense of incoherent, but not totally unrelated puzzle pieces of life. 

What does one do with a box of useless pieces that don't fit together? What do I do with all of the unrelated interests, experiences, encounters and questions that have filled the past 24 years of my life? I can't come up with the real-life equivalent of a decoupage picture frame.

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