Saturday, 3 September 2016

I Puzzle Over Significance

A friend came round earlier in the week and saw the half-completed jigsaw puzzle my Younger Son and I have been tackling.  "I didn't have you down as a puzzle person," he said. "I'm not," I replied.

I didn't have myself down as a Mahler person either, but what I've learnt, seven symphonies and 1000 pieces later, is that listening to rousing music whilst searching through barely distinguishable tiny bits of blue card can make me behave like a different sort of person from the person I imagine myself to be - I become meticulous, methodical, patient, single-minded: satisfied in passing by the finding of a piece that fits.  Looking for Lego pieces, my son reminded me, used to produce a similar, almost forensic, effect in me.

I have also discovered that, when looking for missing pieces, shape matters more than colour as in indicator of fit.  I've learnt that if I keep looking, the piece is always there, somewhere. I am pretty sure this is a metaphor for something significant.

I am less sure whether it is significant, or merely a coincidence, that I came across the puzzle, a reproduction of a painting of Mount Lefroy, for sale in a shop in Presteigne when looking for a birthday present. Or that my son saw I'd bought it and asked to open it before I could give it away. I do know that the puzzle has provided the backdrop for several hours of gently concentrated conversation, some of it about Mahler, some of it about shades of grey, and also has resolved the problem of what to give my co-named relatives for Christmas.  It's also set me thinking about taking a trip one day to the place my Canadian grandfather was born.

The next symphony coming up on our playlist, no. 8, is known as the Symphony of a Thousand.  And next door in the charity shop, a thousand piece puzzle is displayed in the window, going cheap.  Now there's a thing.


  1. Thank you for sharing. I've always believed you have to try different tasks/games/hobbies etc. to find yourself. Though sometimes a totally unexpected experience exploits hidden traits and capabilities. Therefore, I don't take people for granted! :)

  2. :-) Thanks Kev. Thanks Mr Mo xx