Friday, February 25, 2011

Puzzle Pieces

The best pieces are the ones you don’t expect. Pieces lost, maybe, in the spirit world before birth, or saved by the gods as surprise gifts, meant to be found bit by bit as you go along your way. Maybe you only see them when you’ve grown enough to do so, when you can see how well they fit you.

But you still love the other pieces, they still evoke tenderness and longing in you. They gave you shape, after all, when all you had of “something more” was faith that it must exist.

This is about beauty, and completion (maybe), and feeling whole.

This is about landscape. Maybe:

The scent of eucalyptus and coastal sage, and the way the fog blows in from the ocean to cloak the hills; the way the wind shapes the Monterey cypresses like a giant bonsai master.

But you still love the lushness of the other pieces, the way a mountain is automatically something covered with trees, the way rain drips off branches on old city streets. The way you smell rain coming.

But the pieces are all yours; it’s not about choosing.

Maybe it’s about being brave enough to change the shape of things, when it means losing an already beautiful contour.

And maybe there’s nothing outside of the puzzle—no loss, none of the completion you imagined, nothing other than loving the pieces you love and constantly being brave enough to shift them around. The picture was so pretty, but everything breaks or changes. The moment you think you can see just how it’s supposed to look, another of your pieces turns up, and your landscape rotates with the earth on its axis, and you’re dazzled all over again.


  1. Amy, this is so beautiful, and it has so much meaning for me, at this moment, tonight, in the depths of despair, and having (probably) guzzled too much whisky, but hey, needs must!!!

    I especially love the first paragraph " maybe you only see them when you've grown enough to". All my life I've worried about what it is I'm meant to do in life, and I often feel like I've achieved nothing. Yet with hindsight, most of my rubbish decisions have turned out to serve me well in the long-run, especially in my struggles with my youngest son, he's autistic and a handful (!)

    Thank you for sharing this, I found it comforting. Now, more Scotch required methinks, sorry for slurring......

  2. Thnk goodness someone else drinks around here, Sam. :) Raising a glass to your comments! My crap decisions also turn out to be miracles of unconscious genius (or, you know, so it seems after a few)... xox

  3. Hi Amy! This is just plain beautiful! I needed this today :) im in yayom with you! Love your photos! see you in class doll. xox Jennette (smashing rubbish)

  4. The photo & the piece work so well together... I like the way the gods/spirits gave you those two little bumps in the blue cloth following the coast range. Honestly, inspired, lovely image idea. I'm way into it.

    And the writing, I remember it, and the changes have (to me) made it more focused, in a way I like, like focused or centered around that swirling axis. Thank you for sharing.

  5. I studied the image a long time, Amy. It is both mesmerizing and haunting - the swirl of time, the body of the earth and the human body, darkness and light. I like it a lot! I think about Change and try to be open to it. Our lives are like jigsaw puzzles with some of the pieces hidden until just the right moment.