For my entire childhood, my parents had big puzzle on a special table in our living room. My father, who started it, always was hiding the box cover. The idea was that we solve a picture, without ever seeing it. Different family members and friends that were coming at our house, have helped us, sometimes even for just a couple of minutes, so in a few weeks’ hundreds and thousands of pieces of puzzle found their places. We were doing this for years. At the end, I was so good in it, and I felt special pleasure realizing first where one piece goes, or how to connect two groups of puzzles pieces. Especially I liked when the key was discovered to some pattern and when I was able to see what was hiding on that place for entire time. This table was my father’s birthday present to my mother. I still can recall him putting it together and thrilled takes out pieces of first puzzle and puts them on the table. I was three or four years old and wasn’t aware of my mother’s happiness. The game wasn’t explained to me, convinced that I was too small to understand. But back then I wanted to solve puzzles with them.

Alone, in a living room, early in the morning, I climb the chair and spread hundreds of puzzle pieces over the table. They were small: some colorful, others dark and grey. Dark ones appeared to me like spiders and bugs, ugly and a bit frightening. They woke a feeling of discomfort in me. Collecting few of them, I got off the chair and hid them under sofa pillows. For few weeks, whenever I am alone in the room, I would get on the chair, took few more dark pieces and added them to the collection under the pillows.

That is the reason it took long time for my family to finish this picture. Frustrated, my mother counted the pieces and figured out that more than a hundred are missing. She asked me whether I saw them. Then I told her what I have done with the pieces I didn’t like, she found them and finished the puzzle. I remember watching her do that. While she was putting them into their places, the picture was appearing, and I was speechless. I had no idea that we will have a picture at the end. It is a really nice picture – serene scene of deserted beach. Without the pieces I hid, the picture had no sense.

Maybe the prerequisite for SUCCESS is to play the game unconditionally. Life gives us puzzle pieces. When I was accepting certain parts in my life and rejected, or neglected the rest, I could see just a part of my life: at the same time because of the success or celebration, or sadness and pain because of loss or failure I gave my best to forget. But just like dark pieces, those sad events, regardless of the level of pain they cause, showed themselves as a part of something much bigger that wasn’t complete without them. Insight in the whole picture created from pieces of something that was hidden, requires for each individual piece to be accepted as a part of a whole, as a gift.

We always solve puzzles, without being aware of the final picture we will get at the end.

Rachel Naomi Remen

*Puzzle – pictures printed on the cartoon, cut into hundreds or thousands of pieces, that should be arranged into one picture again.