We are all made up of our experiences. The pieces of us fit together like a jigsaw. Over time these pieces become the tapestry of your life. Occasionally they change, one piece is removed and replaced by something that you hope will fit the pattern more closely. It modifies the image of your life, altering the person that you are, giving you a new part of yourself to draw from.
We are never a complete picture. Our jigsaw is always changing and will only truly be complete at the end of our lives. As we take our final breath the last piece of our puzzle is revealed and only then can you expect to see the full picture of a person. But, as you build your jigsaw of life it is important that you don’t miss any holes along the way. We hear all the time of people who have something missing in their life, a piece of their jigsaw they have left in the box. Some even claim to have been given the wrong pieces of the puzzle and, by a cruel twist of fate, need to replace their image with whatever they can find. None the less, we all fill in the puzzle somehow. And let us not forget the human condition within all of this. At stages of our lives we realise that someone else might hold the next piece of our jigsaw. We hunt for those people and see if our images match. We might find that they do, or that two seemingly matching patterns can not line up when interwoven. Occasionally this will be an easy thing to rectify and breaking apart becomes an easy thing. At other times we find that the other pattern has already become intwined in to our own jigsaw to such an extent that parts of you are taken with the other jigsaw when it departs. But, we keep going. We find other things that fill in the gap.
What happens, however, if you have had a line of your jigsaw missing for as long as you can remember. The very edge of your life never squared off and anything you try and replace it with always leaving a jagged edge. You always feel as if there is something missing, as if life its self can never be compete. I have been like this for many years. The things that I have tried to replace my missing edge with have long since fallen by the wayside or become a part of the larger image of me. I had been resigned to never finding the missing edge in my life but it always nags at you and however happy you are it is always tinged with a sense of loss.
A little while ago I found the missing edge. As with all missing things it was where I would least expect it, like the place you put something for safe keeping that suddenly leaves your mind when you try to recall it. I couldn’t have found it any quicker because I wasn’t in the right place to find it. I had actually seen the missing pieces before and just not realised what they were or why they would become so important. Suddenly, there they were and I did everything I could think of to attach them to my puzzle.
I didn’t even realise what was missing before, or how it must have effected my life. It’s hard to be close to people when there is a part of you that just isn’t there. Suddenly I felt complete, for the first time in my life all of the edges were in place. I can’t describe with adequate verbiage the feelings that nurtured in me. Gone were the moments of loneliness and the empty regrets, insecurities and fears that I had carried for years were dissipated by the merest thought of what I had found. Sadly, I was not able to inhabit this revelry for very long. The pieces I had found did not belong to me. I hoped that they would, that there would be some chance to keep them at my side and I would have done anything to make this happen. Instead, before I could attach my new found edge, it was pulled away from me and the demons came back in to my life.
Now I am lost. It seems as if I have been in this situation forever but, of course, I have not. The pieces that seemed so right for me for the briefest of moments now seem detached, floating away from my life and nothing I can say or do can ever bring them back. Tennyson said “It is better to have loved and lost then never to have loved at all.” How apt that particular epithet but how hollow the sentiment when you once had a taste of all you could achieve, only for it to be denied to you. So, I keep going on. I don’t know what else to do but I so desperately want to find that again and I question whether I ever shall. If not, perhaps my jigsaw will always be incomplete.
How cruel a twist of fate.