Ripples #1289: Puzzling Pieces


I thought I had failed. In fact, though, I just hadn’t succeeded…yet.
~John Green, shared by Erica in Japan


I have recently taken up jigsaw puzzles as a hobby, and I’ve already learned something important: often, you can push a bit harder on a given piece and it will “fit”. It looks right, the lines seem to mesh, but pushing a piece into place, rather than having it fall right into place, has a ripple effect and soon you realize something is off, surrounding pieces don’t fit and the picture is skewed. When the piece truly fits you know, and if you try to force it you are never going to see the picture in its full, realized, beauty.
~Cathy Keibler, shared by Jenny in Shelbyville, KY (who loved this thoughtful social media post from her friend Cathy)


I’ll admit that after 25 years (still grinning about our Silver Anniversary!) of assembling these weekly splashes I’ve developed something of a knack for pairing up quotes and figuring out something ponderable to say about them. But even after 1,289 Ripples, I’m still lousy at predicting which issues will generate more or less feedback from readers.

There’s times I’ll work overtime on an issue, so pleased with how it comes together…and then mostly crickets in terms of the number of responses that come in. Other times, the pieces come together so effortlessly that I’m worried I didn’t put enough time/energy for it to zoom out to 25,000 people…then BAM dozens of responses pop back, several people blurting variations of, “this is the best one yet.”

I’m reasonably sure my long history of insecure second guessing will never evaporate entirely, and I’m also certain that some weeks will have a little more WOWSA than others. At the same time, I’ve more recently become aware of a gradual, steady increase in trusting myself and the Universe to generate a useful message at the right time.

The wisdom Jenny shared about puzzle pieces clicked a few things into place for me. I’m a big fan of jigsaw puzzles–like many other households, my sweetie and I radically upped our puzzle game during the pandemic. Just last week, Jamie was less than a dozen pieces away from completing a 1,000 piece puzzle on his own when he hit a snag… it took him a minute before he realized that just two misplaced pieces had messed things up quite a bit. He caught it by pausing to zoom out a bit and look at the larger picture, scanning the image for a spot that seemed a little off.

There’s deep satisfaction when we learn to recognize and celebrate the satisfying feeling that comes when the pieces fall right into place. And life gets easier and more fun when we remember that are are infallibly fallible humans beings. We will inevitably misplace some pieces because our egoes have tried to force them into a spot they just don’t belong. It’s not because we failed, it’s because we haven’t found the right fit….yet.

May some of your work, school, or life puzzle pieces fall into place for you this week, and may you stand back and admire the view even if it’s not quite done….yet.


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