Musings, Real Life, Writing

Order From Chaos

During the Covid pandemic, one of my sons gave me a jigsaw puzzle. He had no idea what he was starting. Since then, I’ve worked twenty-nine others, a few of them more than once. I’m currently working on the frustratingly difficult one in the photo at the top of this post. I refuse to let it defeat me.

Village Life

Working jigsaw puzzles can be a kind of meditation—even the frustrating ones. It frees my subconscious to do its work. Often that involves my writing. Sometimes when I take a break from writing, I move to my puzzle table, hoping, expecting, that some part of my brain is still plotting as my fingers fit pieces together.

Constellation Palace

Both those endeavors create order from chaos. Dumping 1,000 small pieces on the table and trying to recreate the photo on the box with them seems an overwhelming, maybe impossible, task. But you sort and study the pieces, start fitting together the edges or a particularly distinct part of the puzzle, and go from there until the full picture emerges. One piece at a time.

Much the same with writing. You start with a huge vocabulary—the English language has about 170,000 words currently in use—and your goal is to use some of those words to tell the story in your head. So you choose what you feel are the best words to to describe your characters, settings, and dialogue, fitting them together into coherent sentences to craft your story. One word at a time.

Clouds of the Afterlife

I won’t say it’s to the same degree, but whether it’s the last puzzle piece or the last word you fit into place, you feel a satisfying sense of accomplishment. A reward for patience and diligence. You’ve created order from chaos. Don’t you agree we all need to feel that power from time to time—no matter how small?


Garden Party

8 thoughts on “Order From Chaos”

  1. Beautiful puzzle. I laughed at your last comment about your husband not having the patience. That makes two of us. As far as writing is concerned–which still is a puzzle to me–but once a first draft of a novel is finished, I get that little jolt of power, realizing that I actually created something. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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