I placed a 550 piece puzzle on the coffee table at my massage studio and encouraged the clients that were waiting to put it together, to find the pieces and fit them into place, to search and seek and to use their mind and hands in a productive, creative way.
After a week, I came out of session to see the puzzle completed….as best as it could be. Four pieces of the puzzle were missing, so I got on my hands and knees and searched for the wayward pieces.
I found two pieces which I quickly put where they belonged and then I swept under the furniture and looked underneath the cushions of the chairs and couch but the missing pieces were not to be found.
My original plan had been to glue and frame the puzzle and use it for art on the walls of the studio, but the missing pieces made me change my plan. but then….it hit me right in my heart of hearts.
Things don’t have to be complete to be beautiful. Life isn’t perfect and all the pieces don’t always fit in all nice and neat.
Everything doesn’t always fall into place and yet….there is beauty in the brokenness, in the vintage treasures,in the imperfections and in the space.
I don’t have to hear everything in order to understand the intention of what is said. I lip read and even at my best, there are still times I miss words and just fill in the blanks with my imagination…and sometimes that’s even better….or worse.
I also use AVA, the Audio Visual Accessibility app, to help me catch what people say.
Often my hearing friends stare at AVA and find flaws…they see the things AVA misunderstands,the parts that are muddled, the missing phases, the words that weren’t spoken…and they shake their heads and question the reliability and purpose of AVA.
However, I see AVA with different eyes than they do and my perspective changes theirs.
AVA gives me more than I have ever had, it gives me glimpses of conversations that I would have never caught, pieces of lyrics, words from people as they pass by, random bits and pieces that hearing people take for granted.
AVA lets “overhear”..eavesdrop,if you will call it that…all the things I’ve never been able to understand. I hold AVA while at soccer games and finally have a clue to what the other parents are laughing about.
I sit AVA on the counter as I check out at Kroger and read the flirtatious batter between the teenage cashier and the sacker.
Of course I don’t get every single word but I get more than I’ve ever had before in my life.
Another thing that came to mind as I looked at the puzzle with the missing pieces is relationships.
So often we expect another person to completely fill every need and want we have.We expect our loved ones to read our minds and fulfill all our desires.
Then if that doesn’t happen,we get disappointed, angry and hurt and throw up our hands and knock the puzzle to the floor, so to speak.
If all the “pieces” of our relationship don’t fit, match up perfectly, or look as good as we think it should, then we tend to overlook all the other pieces that do.
Isn’t that tragic? Instead of seeing the parts that are good. the focus centers on what isn’t. Instead of exclaiming over the beauty, the attention falls on the imperfections.
It’s as if it’s an incomplete puzzle that must be broken apart and put back in the box, stuck in the shelf of a closet until maybe,just maybe the other pieces show up.
I wonder,though, what it would be like if we overlooked the missing pieces and choose to see the big picture….to use our imagination to fill in the empty spaces with love and grace and a sense of humor….
Like this puzzle I had at the studio…look closely and you’ll see the bird in flight, the cat, the intricate designs and brilliant colors….and if you focus on those, you’ll find that the missing pieces just seem to fade into the background and not make much difference at all.
That’s how I choose to see life..as a gigantic puzzle with several pieces that just don’t fit and it’s all the more beautiful because of it and that’s how I see AVA…it’s another puzzle that is absolutely beautiful in my eyes.