I Fall to Pieces


I inherited from my father this amazing ability to neatly pack a car trunk.  It extends to suitcases and overly full closets as well, provided I am invested enough in the project.  There is something so intensely gratifying about fitting all the little odds and ends together into one cohesive picture, and even once the door is closed or the zipper pulled shut, I can imagine all those pieces snug and held against one another.

I love the way jigsaw puzzles seem like chaos at first, but then I connect those first two pieces and I feel godlike in my ability to create order (always do the edges first people).  I love the names for reliable processes in science, the way we understand photosynthesis or the Kreb’s cycle.  How the heart pumps blood through the same arteries in every body, and how for all our differences, we come out roughly the same- hands and feet, body and mind.  I love the repetition of making familiar shapes inside he asanas, of enfolding familiar souls with hugs and kisses.

Sometimes I try to see my life as a jigsaw puzzle.  I look at the things I did, choices I made.  Then I look at the results.  And I search for the repetition, the sense, how and the why and the wherefore.  Did wearing blue get me a callback?  Was it the song I sang, or the appointment time I chose, or did I skip my coffee that day?  If I had that awkward conversation in person instead of over the phone, would it have turned out differently?  Was I too much?  Not enough?  Was I too late or too soon, or was I just right but everything still turned out all wrong?  How quickly the tangle of forest inside my mind shifts from dappled and sunlit to dark and foreboding.

I often search for links and clues in the results of my choices.  I wore the blue dress and the audition went well- wear dress again.  I wore the blue dress and hit a wrong note- the dress mysteriously doesn’t leave my closet for months.  And what it boils down to is this: I was vulnerable, whether it be with a stranger, a lover, a friend, or just myself.  And if the result isn’t “good,” by which I’m sure I mean “how I imagined it would go in my head without any other input besides my own,” then my impulse is to quickly shove that vulnerability (not even neatly folded) high up on a shelf somewhere.  Where, mysteriously, it doesn’t leave my closet for months.

Yet it occurs to me that I am asking the kinds of questions that don't offer meaningful connections.  I wore the blue dress and the audition went well.  Was the blue dress the thing I wanted to wear on that day?  Did I feel good wearing it?  If yes, then it was the right choice, regardless of how the audition went.  Do I treat others with dignity and respect?  Do I allow myself to be vulnerable, by which I’m sure I mean “truly seen in all my flawed glory,” in my relationships, so that I can allow others to be vulnerable too?  Am I doing the best I can in each and every moment, and allowing myself room for the best I can to be different in each and every moment?  Then it was the right choice, regardless of how it went. 

It’s probably egotistical of me to assume that I could ever, through my tiny frame of experience, get a grip on the vast jigsaw puzzle of the cosmos.  But I can connect at least two pieces:

Love and love always fit together in the end.

Be well.