The Whole Picture

a drawing of a 4 piece jigsaw puzzle
a drawing of a 4 piece jigsaw puzzle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Life is a mystery. ”

I prefer to think of it as a jigsaw puzzle. The gathering of information and ideas for us to fit together, all the while, hoping to “get the picture”.

If you’ve ever made a jigsaw puzzle with many pieces, it seems an overwhelming task, at first.

Childhood teaches us to recognize the colors and shapes.

Adolescence is a time when we can start to recognize that flat edges go on the outside… a framing. But still, so very chaotic when we realize how many pieces are left to organize.

Adulthood is the time the sky pieces are bundled and, using the colors and shapes from childhood, we start to build.

As we move along, we make new bundles. Like pieces are organized, by color, giving us a plan and a vision of becoming whole. Then we start to examine the shapes because the shapes, are the true means that, enable us to build.

Colors are the events, both good and unfortunate, that we carry. Shapes are the way we react to and use the events. Learning to live takes practice and how we deal with events,( our scruples, our curiosity and our ability to forgive) give the shapes clarity and makes them interlocking.

Finally, we find that there are few pieces left. The organizing is done and there is an ease with which we build. A life, lived well, is now a beautiful picture. Even if a few pieces have become misshapen or lost, it is a wonder to behold.

Remember to help children to recognize and define. They will need that.

Forgive adolescent disorder and marvel at their framework, instead.

Enjoy the busy, colorful adulthood that you have worked for.

Take time to reminisce with the elderly, there’s much to be learned from people who see the whole picture.

Vacation in the Forest~ Mystery solved.

My vacation at camp was mostly miserable. We were daunted by heat and humidity to the point of sitting in the shade and not daring to move. It felt like horribly wasted time.

BUT, There was one curiosity that we experienced on a nightly basis. This mystery gave me one bright interest in the midst of all the misery and sulking. At dusk, and through the wee hours, we were visited by an odd crying in the night. It was creepy. It seemed to move freely around the perimeter of our camp. The considered explanations were a new bug, a fox lamenting the loss of a young one or a tree frog we hadn’t before known.

As the week went on, my curiosity outweighed my fear of the unknown. There was not a rustle in the bushes when the sound jumped locations. The thought of a bird being the culprit was all that was left. But what kind of bird?

This has been a year of raptors. My backyard in Massachusetts has had daily sightings of hawks, young and old. Other reports of hawks in greater numbers have flooded the Facebook posts of my friends too.

My last late evening brought out the daring in me. I recorded the sound on my camera and pursued it while the twilight still afforded me a view. Suddenly, I raised my hand in victory and followed the path of an owl silhouetted in brief flight above my head. AHA! The owl landed and reproduced his squeaking lament. We finally had an answer. But why didn’t it hoot like an owl? Why did it carry on and on giving away its position?

My son-in-law was able to access the web from his phone and searched for more answers. He found a site which offered immature owl sounds and found that our old friend, the barred owl, must have had young. One of which was squealing in our area. (Gee, I so wish that I had been able to see them in daylight.) I believe there is more than one. Now, as the days grow delightfully cooler, I have an interest in finding and photographing our new neighbors.

The first video below shows you the immature barred owl making the squeal that we have been hearing. It doesn’t seem like much until you consider it as a foreign forest sound from the dark.

The second video shows you what we will be hearing in greater frequency soon.

Summer Read – “It’s a mystery to me.”

This post is not intended as a book review because I have not finished the book…yet.

I am wondering if a “good” book is more a reflection of the reader’s frame of mind or the well-written nature of its content?

There are some books which I’ve said that I have enjoyed fully but were a bit of a struggle to get involved in and the details faded away ever after.

There are some books from which passages revisit me when I least expect it. Images haunting me. Yet they weren’t always from my professed favorites.

Then there is Strangers on a Train by Patricia Highsmith.

I was drawn to the topic of mystery stories after reading Harlan Coben‘s The Woods for book club. I enjoyed it but realized there were more famous and more stimulating examples of mysteries still unknown to me.

In 7th grade, our English class read, And Then There Were None~ Agatha Christie‘s novel also known as, Ten Little Indians. I didn’t like it…in 7th grade, I didn’t like reading very much either, though.

As I recently strolled down the aisle at the library, hoping to find a rare gem, I happened upon a section by Patricia Highsmith. Her photo jumped out at me. She looked like a writer. Her appearance was of a woman who spent more time on her thoughts than on her outward appearance. (I don’t think she would have been flattered by that observation but I mean it in the best way.)

Ah, now that an author was chosen, which of her works might I sample?  Why not start with her debut novel? The jacket mentioned that this book was the inspiration for an Alfred Hitchcock film. Good old Al knew what a good mystery was.

I started reading the book last weekend. I really like it…really. My normal approach to reading is an “all at once” or “not at all” mind set. I don’t want to put it down and lose track of any subtle clues or characters, especially with a mystery.

This one has remained a wonderful daydream. I’ve had busy stuff interfere with my reading time, this week, but the half read story has remained with me. The characters are clear and visible beings in my head. The story begs me to continue but what I have read is all still waiting!

Now, my own mystery is in this question.

Is this the most well-written novel ever or am I exceptionally clear minded and focused this week?

Let me say this:

There aren’t too many characters…there is a wonderful (dark) story unfolding…I understand everything so far and want to know everything yet to come. I suspect it’s a great book.

Since this is not an official review…I’ll leave you with my observations, as well as, whole-heartedly recommending it for a summer read.

Maybe reviews should be written during the experience of a book not from an after taste, after all.

Fortune Telling

Hey! Someone must be looking over my shoulder!

Library books.

Just yesterday, I had a fortune cookie and I was thinking how lame the fortunes are! Of course, if they weren’t vague and obviously, just for fun, there would be lawsuits.

Imagine you are sitting in a restaurant alone one evening. You crack open the delightful meal-ending treat and it says, “The people at the next table suspect you of a terrible crime.”

You glance quickly around the room meeting the eye of a man in an odd green plaid blazer. He grins and nods knowingly. OH NO! He knows!

It wasn’t your fault, it happened years ago!

But, how could he know? “I was sure that I was alone!” , you whisper under your breath.

The following months are spent looking over your shoulder and loitering at the entrances of dry cleaners… watching and waiting, hoping to spot that sickening green plaid blazer. THEN, when you find it, you’ll casually look for the man’s name and address while studying the price lists on the counter. Yes, it was a great plan. You can go to his home and reason with him,plead with him! That MAN…he’s been stalking you every night in your dreams! Your eyes are swollen from the lack of sleep. The perimeter of your eye sight is fuzzy and the fact that you have not changed your clothes since that chance encounter makes you really smelly!

Suddenly you are watching your reflection waving to you below the pier. How? When? Nothing matters anymore as you smile a “grinchly” grin at your visage which returns it, then disappears as you race toward the water, head first, shouting,” The book was only two days overdue!”*

* No one was harmed in the creation of this tale. You turn out to be a professional high diver who comes to his/her senses after a refreshing “dip”, and pays the library fine by donating your time to reading for children every other Tuesday.

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