Doing puzzles makes me happy. It’s a door to a state of flow, mind-wandering, and grounding.
It starts with a pile of anonymous pieces and no idea where to start from. I proceed by trial and error, defining strategies, trying them out and adapting or changing if necessary. I learn by doing, while pieces start acquiring a meaning and a place in the overall picture. Bringing order to chaos has a soothing effect; even the inevitable moments of frustration and discouragement become an invitation to try something different, and explore other angles.
Once completed, I don’t frame the puzzles: after the last piece finds its spot, I keep the puzzle for few hours, and then I take it apart again.
“What’s the purpose, then?”, ask many. The joy is in the doing. I rejoice the quality moments on my own, fully present, and free to open as many bubbles of thoughts as I feel like.
A jigsaw puzzle is a riveting metaphor that speaks to me. It helps me remember that goals, dreams and plans have to serve and magnify how we experience and go through life, and not the other way around.
In the words of philosopher Alan Watts “We thought of life by analogy with a journey with a pilgrimage which had a serious purpose at the end the thing was to get to that end success or whatever it is or maybe heaven after you’re there. But we missed the point the whole way along it was a musical thing and you were supposed to sing or dance while the music was being played.”
Here the full piece, “You play the piano”.