Thanks for stopping by, whether you got here by a link or hitting "next blog" -- I am glad you are here. I've also done some writing on homeschooling, and what I learned thinking I was teaching.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Words as Puzzle Pieces

Growing up, I was easily defeated by jigsaw puzzles; usually because I never understood how to begin. And if I managed to assemble one, I came up short, missing one or two key pieces – usually because I dumped the box out. So, until God gave me a daughter who loved them, I avoided jigsaw puzzles.

Now, writing this blog calls to mind piecing together a jigsaw puzzle. Over the past few weeks, finding the words to write this blog has been like finding the right pieces of a jigsaw. I know what I want to represent, the puzzle of an autumn garden – but I am missing the lid and straight edges.
What does an autumn garden look like anyway?
Is it a flower garden, or vegetable?
Nurtured or neglected?
And when I am churned up, words spill out, like pieces from a jigsaw puzzle box, carelessly upended

I think back to the puzzle-piecing lessons my daughter gave me. She taught me to start jigsaw puzzles by studying the cover, and keeping it close at hand when getting the straight edges together. She also taught me not to upend the box, spilling, and losing puzzle pieces that fit only when the puzzle comes together.

Describing things I deeply care about takes me places I don’t want to go, like contemporary author Kathleen Norris warned:
“When we write about what matters to us most, words will take us places we don’t want to go. You begin to see you will have to say things you don’t want to say, that even may be dangerous to say, but are absolutely necessary.”
And at times, the words I write express ideas that aren’t fitting easily together. Forcing them to fit seems as unwise as forcing mismatched puzzles pieces. Ignoring them also is unwise.

So, I am glad for another day in which I may keep sifting through the puzzle pieces for my blog, remembering God is good – though life is hard. Even if I don’t have a clear picture of my own autumn garden, I can refer back to what Scripture says God looks like. (1 Corinthians 12:12-13;1 John 3:2) I will collect as many straight edges as I can to frame my developing puzzle. (Hebrews 12:12-13) Also, I will avoid dumping pieces all over the place: “Smart people know how to hold their tongue; . . .” (Proverbs 19:11 from THE MESSAGE )

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