Monday, December 27, 2010

Puzzle Pieces

Jigsaw puzzles are a part of my history. It didn't feel like a Christmas holiday unless someone was bent over one, reassembling the fractured pieces into a comprehensible, cohesive picture. I excelled at them, because I could pick up on tiny details, patterns and connections.

Shortly after my breakdown in the late spring, when all the thoughts and memories that lived in the back of my brain, (swept under a rug called "I've dealt with this") came tumbling back to the front, jigsaw puzzles kept me from falling to further pieces. When I'd get home from work (why/how was I still going?), or after my pysch appointments when I finally went on leave, I would park myself in front of my Venetian scene. The thoughts that would dance and jeer incessantly would be quieted, as my attention completely focused on deciphering flowers from hedges.

In October, I gave my sweetie a puzzle for his birthday. Things were pretty stressful at work for him, and it was a way for us to quietly work on something together. I think it was a Napa inspired scene, reminding us of our relaxing time in Northern California. My mom and step-dad were here visiting from out east around that time, and I was still struggling to maintain energy and balance. One of the days that we had planned as an exploration day, I suggested we stay in. We ended up piecing together the border for that puzzle, the three of us. It felt like home.

Last night, it rained. We vetoed the idea of Christmas lights and skating, and opted instead for watching Amelie, curled up in front of the fire. And then we cracked open my sweetie's Christmas present puzzle. George Seurat's La Grande Jatte. Simply because it was the Christmas holidays. No other reason than that. How wonderful.

This was from the very first "Very Special Christmas" album... since I'm feeling a little nostalgic :) Two other favourites from this disc, and my childhood memory, can be found here and here. Aren't the hairstyles just fabulous?!

reverb 27 – Ordinary Joy
Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments.
What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?


Anonymous said...

My son (5yo) and I completed our first 50 piece jigsaw puzzle together. I was looking forward to days that we could do this together. I was worried it may never come as he has a tough time staying still. Your response to ordinary joy has filled my heart and made me desire more of these moments. Thank you.

JamericanSpice said...

I'm glad the puzzles are such a tremendous help in keeping you focused and calm.

I love puzzles too and I'm introducing them bit by bit to my children so we can have those fun nights.

Very good song choices too.

Have a lovely day!

Muse said...

I quite love this! Puzzles do have a healing power. I love the quiet calm that falls over a room or group when a puzzle is taken out. Thank you for this.

Xmas Dolly said...

Puzzles are very relaxing, and just makes my mind go totally fixed on it. Now my friend you put on Bon Jovi, and I haven't heard this one in like forever, and who told you that I soooooooooooo love love Bon Jovi? Thanks for sharing. HAPPY HOLIDAYS and I truly hope you have a very Happy New Year!

Joanie M said...

John and I (mostly John) worked on a 1000 piece puzzle, when he was home, recuperating from a stem cell transplant he received in August 2009. It was a particular favorite of mine, a "Buried Blueprint" puzzle.
I think it's time to start a new one!

Love the videos!

Stacy Uncorked said...

Puzzles really do have a therapeutic affect, don't they?

LOVE the videos! :)

MMMM: Politically Correct Holiday

Robin said...

My mom has always been an avid "puzzler." While I was growing up she often had a card table set up and a puzzle going. I was not then (and am still not) good at puzzles. However, I can't look at a puzzle without thinking of her. And we often had some pretty outstanding talks while she worked the puzzle and I pretended to work the puzzle. I am living with her again and she still works puzzles all of the time. I admire her ability to see how things go together. I look at it and it is just jumbles. But we still have some pretty excellent conversations while she works the puzzle and I eyeball the pieces. Thanks for this post:-)

Lorie Shewbridge said...

I have never heard of either of these beautiful songs... but thank you so much for sharing them. I really enjoyed them and I really like Bon Jovi (and totally LOVE the hair, TeeHee).
Being a survivor of PTSD, I know the healing effects of puzzles myself. I have done my share of them and my share of crosswords and word searches. Music is also one thing that can also help (or hinder) my progress as well. I am so glad you felt comfortable sharing that aspect of your life with us as well. Thanks for playing along with our meme, I look forward to what you can offer us in 2011 and wish you a very happy new year filled with health, happiness and love!

Emily said...

Oh, I love this! We used to get my mom a jigsaw puzzle every year for Christmas when we were kids and I always remember winter break with my mom in the background, doing puzzles. We would help her from time to time, but she just loved them! It was probably her way of dealing with 3 wild girls all out of school during break;)

Glad you got to have a relaxing time- sounds cozy and warm:)

I always love the songs you post, too!