Would you start a 550-piece jigsaw puzzle if you knew it was missing one piece? Before you even opened the box, would you think, "What's the use?" or rather "Why not?" Maybe it makes a difference if you plan to keep it, like I did with a collection of Artsy Cats (by Mudpuddy), which I hung in the "grandkids" room.
I just couldn't part with these cute kitties and their laughable names -- Clawed Monet, Vincat Van Gogh, Frida Catlo -- you get the picture.
But I knew that the puzzle I selected to work during the holidays would not be a keeper.
The winter scene fit the mood of festive lights and hot chocolate, and I would enjoy watching the community come together for an evening of shared fun. Then I would say goodbye to the idyllic scene and pass it on.
As the remaining pieces dwindled to about ten, I became increasingly aware that none – none! – of them would fit in the lone space on the left edge. Surely, that piece had not been missing from the beginning. It had obviously fallen off the dining room table and was blending in with the rug below. A hands and knees search would uncover it.
Under a nearby cabinet, couch, chair? Nope.
I lifted the cardboard workspace three times, thinking what? That the piece would magically appear where it had not appeared before?
There was only one place left to look, the vacuum cleaner bag. Was I that intent on completing this puzzle that I would finger through mounds of dusty debris for one stray piece? Apparently so. Five gritty minutes later, I was still one piece short.
After a calming cup of chai tea and self talk, I finally accepted that which I could not control. The puzzle would remain incomplete. But there's a much bigger picture here, of course, pun intended. The empty space did not cancel out my hours of pleasure in finding spots for the other 549 pieces.
I could go on and on with fitting metaphors, but I have other puzzles to work.
Hopefully, all 500 pieces are present and/or I won't misplace a piece along the way. But I'll start them anyway. Why not?