Life…the magical puzzle

Imagine that you are sitting at a table. You have a blindfold covering your eyes. On the table is a puzzle that is said, once complete, to hold the answers to all of life.

You’ve been at it for a long time now. Your fingers fumble through the pieces that you cannot see, turning them over and around–trying to discover how they fit together.  You often feel fatigue and even boredom and ask yourself, “Why do I keep playing this game?  What’s it all about anyway?”.

Time passes, you slowly find some pieces that seem to fit together–you can’t be sure.   Because of the blindfold, though, you cannot see the bigger picture.  You have not had a chance to see the box and get the master plan for how it should all look when it’s complete.  You become angry and yell out loud in the empty room.   Your voice echoes back in mockery.

Then you remember how it all began, how you agreed to the game–signed a contract to complete the puzzle on your own no matter what.  You remember the feel of the box in your hands for the first time.  You shook it and touched the corners.  The mysterious stranger who gave it to you disappeared–left you to open it and begin.  He said that the game was timed but that only he know how long you had.

“Tick Tock” he said and chuckled as he left.

You sift the pieces with your fingers, flipping them and wishing you could SEE…just a moment’s glimpse would mean everything.

Once or twice you think you hear the stranger at the door.  You imagine him standing there, checking on your progress while the second hand sweeps around the face of the big gold watch in his hand.

“Come on!” you call out, “This can’t be fair.  I’m trying so hard to get it right.”

He answers only with silence–if he’s even there at all.

At last, frustrated with the impossibility of your task, you stand and stretch your aching back.  With your fingers and shuffling feet you feel your way around the edge of the table and kneel to search the floor.  Perhaps you’ve dropped some critical piece that would make it all come together.  If only you could find it.

The clock ticks louder in your head.  “Time must be running low,” you tell yourself.  You scramble and feel the frantic beating of your heart.

Exhausted, with hope of success growing dimmer by the second, you sit still at last.  Silence reigns but with it enters peace.

You are resigned from all your struggles–surrendered to the fact that this is one test you will not pass with flying colors.

Then, your blindfold still intact, an inner light begins to glow.  Your hands move on a mission of their own.  As if invisible fingers are directing your actions, you pick up the perfect pieces.  One, two, three…a fitting pattern begins to form.

Without knowing how or why, you discover other objects on the table–things that clearly don’t belong inside the puzzle.  But then, since you have no other plan, you arrange them in their appointed place.  Against all the rational workings of your mind, they fit.

Now with springing passion, on your feet you dance and play with the happy mess it all must be.  Your laughter rings out loud inside the silent space, but now it echoes back to you with joy.

More and more quixotic objects find their way into your growing work of chaotic art.  Time has faded in importance.  You are infected with a delirium of creative fever.

So absorbed in your solitary moment, you fail to hear the footsteps of the stranger.  His whisper comes warm without warning in your ear.  “It’s time,” he says and with one swift tug of his hand, the blindfold vanishes.

The light that fills your eyes is blinding.  You feel the stranger’s hand on your shoulder.

“Look,” he says–one finger pointing to your creation on the table.

And there it is.  This dreadful moment is transformed into wonder when you see what lies before you.  It’s perfect.  Perfect.  Every piece and fragment, every weird object–all of it has become a mosaic of amazing beauty.

“But the box,” you say, “This can’t match the picture on the front.”

The stranger laughs out loud and holds up the box.  You stare in stunned silence and then burst out laughing, too.

“There never was a picture, you see” he says, “The design was all your own.  The only meaning to the puzzle is the one you give it.  You did your work with joy and love–you passed the test!”

You shake your head and laugh out loud.  “That’s all it ever was?” you say.

“That’s all it ever was!”



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22 Responses

  1. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by jacobnordby: is your life a magick puzzle? read this new post and I’d love to discuss your thoughts… >>

  2. Brilliant post Jacob 🙂 I don’t know what else to say, other than what a perfect way to describe the game of life!

  3. That is just so right! We EACH have a reality that WE create and we DO seem to do MOST of it in the dark. We fumble around and panic and fail… We lucky few WAKE up at some point and THEN is when the real fun starts! Oh, just because we’ve woken up doesn’t mean ALL of life is suddenly just oh-so-easy… It DOES however, mean that we are now guiding our own ship, as it were! And, IMHO the mere act of waking begins the journey to joyful abundance!

    • yes, yes, yes! right toward the end there, that’s the part that can be hard to accept…you know, the one where we discover that the puzzle has no meaning except that with which we infuse it? Puts the responsibility and power right back in our hands! Can’t blame some distant God anymore. 🙂

      namaste and jellybeans

  4. Jacob, this is just gorgeous. Beautiful, beautiful metaphor.

  5. Or, you could just take off the blindfold and create your life fully aware.

    Just sayin’…

  6. A new beginning, so intriguing, why we agree to it, we might never know, but it catches our curiosity and we accept the challenge. It’s exciting at times, exhausting at other times, but you’re right. It is like a puzzle with no picture to work from. The challenge and the fascination are what keeps us going, but when times are tough, we can step back and take a break from that puzzle and ponder on our next move, our next piece. Then that puzzle starts calling our name and we are right back at it because we know in the end all that hard work will be worth the reward, all the lessons we learned, we grew from, and it turned out to be just that….a beautiful work of art!

    Amazing writing! I love it!


    • Thank you, Raquel. I like your style, too… do you do any writing?

      Also (circling back), you’re right…tough times give us a chance to sort of break the shell and experience ourselves in different ways.


  7. Thanks for the time and effort you put into your blog and detailed information you offer! I will bookmark your blog now. Thumbs up!

  8. brilliant!

  9. Love it Jacob. Inspiring, thought provoking and wonder-full. We can’t always see the bigger picture and this too is beautiful for it keeps the dream inside us alive as little by little with each step we take another piece of the jigsaw puzzle fits neatly (and sometimes not always so neatly) into place/play :-)!

  10. Beautifully expressed, Jacob. In the past months a few more pieces of our respective and collective puzzles have been put into place – we completed a bit more sky (and the sky is the hardest part!). I’m so glad you and our NTSA share page friends became part of each others puzzles. Maybe that’s what it was all about – those connections, the pieces that needed to fit together to make each of our pictures a little more complete. I now have a puzzle that I fit into. Instead of always feeling like I am a PIECE put in the wrong box, maybe now I am a PEACE, put in the right box! Namaste my friend.

  11. Amazing post! Totally Love it! 🙂
    Deep gratitude! 🙂

  12. For me, I think so many are obsessed with getting the puzzle of their life right… all of the pieces in order and according to the rules, that they can’t even fathom thinking outside of the religious box they came packaged in. I think this story says much… when you are open, you leave yourself free to stumble upon a much more wonderful picture than the one painted by your particular denomination of religion. God didn’t create religions, man did.

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