tmbt: jigsaw puzzle pieces
Have you ever stood from a high vantage point to watch a city crowded with people dodge and connect as if managed by an astute choreographer? Even the most chaotic systems operate with intensely beautiful grace and coordination.
I remember how terrifying it was to ride in a taxi in Kathmandu for the first of five months I was there seven years ago. The absence of center lines and clearly-defined rights-off-way combined with the presence of bicycles, pedestrians, and the occasional bull or cow intermingled with the cars and trucks was overwhelming. But after a while, the brilliance of the system began to show itself. I soon realized that the philosophy that governed the traffic there was to “go for the open space” and the first one there, wins. No open space, no change in direction. Here, we seem to avoid collision. Object in the way, veer away. We seem to be looking for the problems to avoid. They were looking for the opportunities.
It’s starting to occur to me, after a long thirty-one years, that all the pieces that seem to be floating around me, particular matter orbiting my heart, mind, and body, just might be able to coexist harmoniously – that the seeming mishmash of objects that seem to have the high-potential for collision could just live here in the open space of opportunity. It just might work. And inside of that idea, I just might be able to relax my vigilant inclination to preempt disaster with structure and form – rules and planning. I could just let the pretty jigsaw pieces find their places instead of trying to make sure that no unmatched edges scrape each other.
In the end, I think the dining room table really could be a lovely display of effortless craftsmanship… pieces fit neatly together over time and under curious and playful hands – mine, and yours – to show off a spectacular, mundane, glorious, and simple landscape. A reflection of a life well built. I’d like to be old and gray and looking at that puzzle.
Photo by Clarissa Ines.