When I Just Need the Pieces to Fit

I have a table designed specifically for jigsaw puzzling. I won it years ago, quite by happenstance, at a silent auction benefiting autism. My intent was to simply start the bidding, but low and behold, I ended up being the only bidder and thus, the proud new owner of said table. Thank you, once again, Universe, for supplying me with the thing I needed most at the time.

There’s a saying that we are all born as a beautiful puzzle and life has a way of pulling those pieces apart over time. When life is a mess, my best efforts are failing and it seems like there’s nothing I can control, I pull out a jigsaw puzzle, sit at my table in the warm sunlight and let my soul settle.

What is it about a box of odd-shaped pieces that presents such a wonderfully delightful challenge? Perhaps, it’s knowing that the reward for the brain twisting effort will be a complete picture; fully formed, fully interlocked, neatly ticked and tied together, providing a true sense of accomplishment. Perhaps it’s the Zen-like state my brain achieves as it works out, not just the puzzle pieces, but the puzzles in my life. Perhaps, it’s simply knowing that if I can’t put all the pieces of my life together, at least I know these dang puzzle pieces will eventually fit.

Jigsaw puzzles were a family pastime growing up and that tradition continued as I raised my children. Spending time together, quietly working in tandem, allowing conversation to happen naturally, taking delight when my piece fit into their piece was a bonding experience. We’d divvy up duties; are you the sorter or the assembler? Do you want to put the flower together while I work on the air balloons? And don’t you dare hide a piece so you can be the one to put in the final piece!

With so much screen time nowadays, I’m on a campaign to lobby for the comeback of jigsaw puzzles. Turn off the noise of the world for a little while and settle into the gentle, relaxing rhythm of puzzle assembly. Maybe your brain will open up and provide much needed insight, or maybe you’ll just have fun with your family!

“There are no extra pieces in the universe.

Everyone is here because he or she has a place to fill,

and every piece must fit itself into the big jigsaw puzzle.”

-Deepak Chopra

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9 Responses to “When I Just Need the Pieces to Fit

  • You have inspired me to dig out the puzzles from my closet. Now I just have to find a horizontal surface where a puzzle could live while I’m working on it… and figure out how to get the cats not to knock everything on the floor!

  • Another great “piece” Korie. Check out Liberty Puzzles out of Boulder, CO. All hand cut, and each includes some whimsy pieces. (We all need more whimsy in our lives, especially during trying times.) ❤️

    • Wow! Love their puzzles and whimsy pieces as well as their tag line “Sit Long. Talk Much. Turn off that Screen.” Thanks for the suggestion.

  • I have always loved doing jigsaw puzzles. Reminds me of all the family together at the holidays. Your Dad – a truly wonderful piece in your life puzzle – would have loved this essay.

    • That’s one of the things that makes us such good friends! Thanks for your lovely comment about Dad.

  • Anja Langer Jacquin
    3 weeks ago

    Ah jigsaw puzzles! A big part of my childhood too, which I have managed to perpetuate with one of my children. You are so right about the bonding experience and just letting the conversation happen. Thank you for this beautiful story Korie. I hope are you doing well.

  • I love reading your blog, so inspiring! I haven’t seen a jigsaw puzzle for decades. Thank you for this inspiration.

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