Playing with Little Human the other day. A puzzle. 10 pieces. Not many, but enough.
Here’s the thing with puzzles. You spread all the pieces on the floor. They’re all there. You find the first piece, look for the second. So far: every things going well. The second piece and the first piece look made for each other. What could go wrong?
And so with an exuberant confidence, you glide the second piece to the first, you see how they’re going to fit and you feel that glee of joy at the inevitableness of that fit. And then it happens. The fit doesn’t happen. You try again, because hey, it’s so clear right? This piece and that piece, they’re made for each other. I mean the first even has the number ‘1’ on it, and the second ‘2.’ And this one has holes and this one has prongs and the prongs so clearly, go into these holes.
Except they don’t.
The joy starts seeping away, as cracks start stomping through that tranquil bliss that One Who Knows Where Puzzle Pieces Fit, so likes to feel. A worry, a tremor, a question mark appears: why is this not happening the way it should?
Ah ha! The thought comes; you just need to try harder! So you put some welly into it. You shove in your shoulder, push with your might. Your mind becomes fixed, as it closes to all other options. This is the way! The right way! The only way! Your pulse quickens, your blood boils, and a rumble of a dragon roar can be heard from not too far away. Puffs of smoke fume from your nostrils. Things are not looking good.
You hurl a puzzle piece into the air: stupid puzzle! Hideous puzzle! Infuritating puzzle…
And then a suggestion comes: what about trying another way?
A part of your whispers back: there is no other way! You’re in control! This is the way it should happen. Except, you’re a bit pooped, all that welly and all, so you surrender. And with some guidance, you watch in disbelief, fascination even, as these two pieces that you so thought you knew how they should fit together, do, just not in the way you’d envisaged. Because not only are they fitting, but they’re fitting without any struggle. And so you watch as the two pieces come together so simply so sublimely that somewhere inside of you there is a soft exhale, a puff of breath, your muscles relax and your gaze softens. Could it really be this easy?
And so you turn to the next piece, hope renewed. But this time you have a partner, a friend involved in the quest too. Perhaps they’ll be there next time too.
And so the process begins anew.
Or not, maybe that was enough. Maybe that one time of seeing two pieces come together so without struggle was so awesome and beautiful and inspiring and show tazzily splendid that you don’t need to repeat the same mistakes. And so rather then exert effort, force, or that wonderful thing, us humans are so insanely proud of: our will, you simply feel for the way that fits as it’s meant to. That feeling of ease, of simplicity, being the guide, instead of the deterrent. And this bewildering thought, sort of pulls you forward, through the quagmire. Like a carrot you hadn’t even realised was there.
Kids games, not just for kids.
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