5th July 2021

Jigsaw Addiction

During Lockdown it has been like permanent Christmas; in normal times we would only attempt Jigsaws as an after-Christmas exercise, but in Lockdown we have done a great number, and I have to confess that doing them has become quite addictive. Whether this is therapeutic or an escape from reality may be debated, but it helps me to understand the forces of attraction that govern some people’s lives, compulsorily drawn by things they have to do. My wife and I are careful what we choose and eschew those puzzles that have too much sky or too much indistinguishable dark background. Whilst my wife always starts from the outside, anxious to get the borders in place, I begin with some well-defined, often colourful, feature in the picture and work out from that. Joyce is anxious to set limits to the exercise, but I want to start with what excites me most. Whatever the method, we move from the chaos of a pile of 1,000 separate, isolated pieces, to build a picture of beauty, reflecting the work of some great master. This, in a small way, may mirror the story of creation. And that gives me hope; for the world in which we live seems to show so many signs of confusion and turmoil, but constructing the big picture builds up a trust that, in the midst of all this perplexing muddle, God is creating in a multitude of human lives, images of kindness, goodness and beauty. With one puzzle we had used up all the pieces but there was still one more needed and we had to get the manufacturers to send us the missing part. It was a very small piece, but without it the picture was not complete, which again stresses the importance even of my smallness.

[If anybody wants a 1,000 piece jigsaw, let me know before we send them off to Oxfam]

John Briggs