A puzzle without a picture


Kiera Kemppainen

If my love on sunsets reflecting on the lake isn’t already a part of my puzzle, I hope a new piece appears on a table.

The pieces of the puzzle are scattered. They litter the entirety of the table that they are sitting on. At one point, portions of other puzzles were thrown in the mix as well. Those pieces have now either been removed from the table or found some way that they fit within the puzzle.

It took a long time to reach this point—the point of having only one puzzle on the table. Sometimes, a random piece of a random puzzle on an adjacent table miraculously appears, but soon, it disappears. 

I’m not sure if there are missing parts to the puzzle. It’s all in a jumble, and few pieces are connected anyway. I can’t find the corner pieces either.

I view it as a cold hard fact that the corner pieces are needed to make a puzzle properly. They are the key to organizing how the entire project will go. Once I obtain the four corners, I can move to all of the edge pieces.

The edge pieces are important to the puzzle overall, but why would I start by finding and connecting all the edge pieces when I don’t know where the corners are? I wouldn’t begin to know which pieces went between which corners.

It took a long time to reach this point—the point of having only one puzzle on the table.

The worst type of puzzle for my organizational method is a puzzle with more than four corners or no corners at all. Imagine looking for corners only to discover that the puzzle is circular, hexagonal, or any other random shape that the manufacturers pop out of their imagination. 

I have no hints as to how many corners my puzzle has. I’ve tried to find them in the jumbled mess on my table but to no avail. My brain begins to hurt every time, and all of the pieces start looking like they could be corners. What are the most important pieces? I’m afraid I’ll never know.

I don’t even have a picture on a box to follow for my puzzle. It has to be the worst puzzle design ever, in all honesty. I can’t possibly be expected to put it together with no guide. 

Truthfully, I’m learning to be okay with that.

I’ve never been someone who can sit for hours and stare at a puzzle, so I am forcing myself to walk away. And ever so slowly, I am letting go of control. I’m giving up on caring about putting the puzzle together and finding the corners. I have a lifetime to figure it all out. I’ll come back to it every once in a while, and maybe, it’ll eventually be finished. Or, perhaps, it is not meant to be put together. 

My life is a puzzle; I am a puzzle. 

I don’t know the key ‘corners’ that hold me together, nor do I know the most important parts of me. My ‘edge pieces’ are supposedly keeping the center together. I don’t know where any of my pieces go.

And I’m okay. I’m walking away from whatever table my puzzle is on and leaving it for another day.