I kill quite a bit of time playing Magic Jigsaw Puzzles on my laptop. It keeps me out of trouble. And it allows me to stop mind grinding on things. Sometimes it just feels good to allow yourself to go on automatic pilot, you know?

The app provides you with a free puzzle of the day, and you never know what it’s going to be. To add to the excitement, they do not allow you to preview the image. It’s like completing a real life puzzle without having the benefit of the picture on the box.

Most of the time that’s not a problem. I can figure out what I’m assembling, more or less, rather quickly. Obviously that’s the sky. And there’s water. Or a building. Or the fur of some animal or other. The more I’ve completed, the easier it becomes. I wish all of life were like that.

But sometimes they’ll choose an image that is so abstract that I don’t know what I’m creating until the very last minute. Those days drive me crazy. I like to plan ahead. I like to see where I’m going. I prefer to apply a certain amount of logic to my actions. How else do you figure out what to do next?

I don’t know why those particular puzzles push me so far out of my comfort zone, because they’re actually a metaphor for life. The idea that we can anticipate what’s coming is pure illusion. Most of us like to stick to our routines, but those routines can be shattered in an instant. We think there’s a plan, made by us or by some spiritual entity, but really it’s all pretty freakin’ random.

I don’t like thinking about this very often, but life is truly a puzzle without the box.


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10 thoughts on “Puzzling

  1. lyn sutton

    And some of us are missing a few pieces. 🙂

    You know I like a good puzzle. Had two of your fractals turned into them.

      1. lyn sutton

        Last time that happened…cut out replacement pieces and painted them to fit. No one knew unless they were pointed out. Wish it was as easy to replace the missing pieces to a puzzling life. 🙂

  2. lyn sutton

    When logic fails, try intuition or prepare to embrace illogical as the new norm…aka the political environment of 2017. Pieces go missing from that puzzle daily. 🙂

  3. Sam Ramirez

    I agree Barbara. I often tell my students that life can be very unpredictable and that they should always have a plan B.

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