My sister and I love to make jigsaw puzzles. It doesn’t matter to us, how many pieces there are, 500, 1000 …we aren’t picky. The picture is also not that important. If it were ‘subjunctive’ my wife, she would start by finding and fitting all of the edge pieces. My kids, on the other hand, would ask what they could start with, “I’d choose some colors, or patterns, but stay away from the sky pieces, or if there is a lot of buildings or the like.” They aren’t convinced, and give up after a while.
My sister and I start by turning over all the pieces, then choose where we would start. My brother in-law soon grew bored with watching us, and went to bed. We start to talk about this and that. It could be our current lives, or our shared past, which we’ve had together in many different ways.
We started in the same house, in the same city in the same State, California. When she got married and moved into her own house, I’d come to visit her. I did yard work and other odd jobs, she watered her tropical plants, and talked about moving to a small town. At night we’d work the puzzles once again. I’m not sure, but it seems like those puzzles kept us together, even though we were apart in time and space.
When she moved to that small town, I came to visit her. Now we worked puzzles again, in each others company, just in a new house, in a new town, but still in California.
When I finally moved farther away then we could drive to each other, the puzzle making stopped, at least for a while. She eventually came to Denmark to visit me and my wife. We still found time to work a few pieces into their slots, even though her visits were short-lived. I was also in the States, a long time ago, and we did puzzles at that time too.
It’s funny how after so many years and a whole Continent, an Ocean – The Atlantic and a part Continent- the European, all the way to Denmark, lie between us now.
5242 miles /8437 kilometers, as the crow flies, that is. That’s how far it is between our puzzle adventures.
I still think about her when I see my jigsaw puzzle boxes, sitting all alone on the shelf.
I think about how it is late at night, rather early in the morning, 1-2 am, and we’re still sitting there, opposite each other, turning those pieces around until they fit/seem to fit. There was always a piece or, three that fell down on the floor. We were unable to find those guys, no matter how much we looked, not that is until the puzzle was almost finished, then they turned up miraculously, as if they had been there all along!
The puzzle pieces were sort of like our memories of the past, I had some of them and my sister did too. We tried turning them around in our minds trying to fit the holes in our memories. We would come to some sort of conclusion, albeit it was some sort of unspoken agreement on the details of which we had forgotten. I’m not sure if my other sisters would have agreed on our conclusions? A lot of our conversations had them as the topic, which made them unsuitable in adding to the truth of the moment.
A low rumbling noise emanated from the bedroom. “The bear is restless”, commented my sister. I reply, “You could just work the puzzle with me, until we finish it off”. “No, I have to go in there sooner, or later”, she says, thus wishing me a Good Night.
Now I am alone with my memories and an unfinished jigsaw puzzle. The house has gone silent with just the occasional sound of sleeping bears.
I’d like to finish the puzzle, but it won’t let me do so.
– Now, just where are those missing pieces?