A chunk missing from the jigsaw puzzle

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Today hopefully it’s my husband’s turn to come home from hospital. He’s been here following routine type surgery on an enlarged prostate and is recovering well. Though any person who’s undergone such treatment can tell you, it’s not pleasant.

We had hoped he’d be home after a day and night in hospital and when it stretched into two nights and days, fine, but yesterday when the doctor decided he wanted to observe twenty four hours of independent urinating and a check to see my husband was managing to empty his bladder fully, this was almost too much for him.

As well I went our for lunch with two of my sisters and came back to the hospital later than I’d planned.

The afternoon is the worst time of all in hospital. The afternoon after lunch drags and so my husband was cross with me and even more so when the lap top I’d bought for him to fiddle  on and from which to check  any unread emails proved cumbersome.

He needed to go through hoops to get into the hospital’s WiFi and in touch with his emails and there was only one unimportant email for him and everything else seemed cluttered with other people’s stuff, as in the lap top was not set up as my husband sets up his own fixed computer at home.

It all became too much and he fell into a sulk. With me.

He hates it when I fuss, but more so when I’m late or when I appear not to care and I’m caught tip toeing around him at such times, trying to tell myself this is not characteristic behaviour.

This is on account of being held passive in hospital for three days and nights feeling every drip of his personhood seep away especially when the nurses poke and prod and he must be ever so jolly and friendly with them.

I’m the only one who visits from home and outside. He’s told me not to bother others to come visit in hospital in the belief he’ll be home soon, but if I knew then what I know now it might have helped for him to have enjoyed the company of others. Hopefully, this morning he’ll get the all clear and can go home.

Last night I worked on a thousand-piece jigsaw puzzle on my own. It was tedious fitting all the pieces face up on the table and then likewise, a job to find all the end and corner pieces in order to build the frame.

With giant jigsaw puzzles I prefer to begin with the frame and work my way in.

It gives a starting point to everything, to have a frame and thereafter the pieces tend to fall more readily into place. But as luck would have it we seem to be missing a few pieces from the frame, most notably the left hand corner.

It troubles me. This incomplete frame. This unfinished structure in which I must work.

It makes it hard, as if the image of an American countryside circa mid 1800s will seep out of the open corner and spill all over the floor unless I can corral the pieces into place on the board.

And so it is in life. Am I so bossy as my husband makes out, trying to get things into some sort of coherent shape so as to be able to go on working with all that messy emotion in the middle.

A frame helps to make sense of everything, just like my husband’s ill temper makes sense when I frame it in the context of three days and nights in hospital.

A frame to me therefore is like context.

Context needs to be recognised in order for us to work with all that happens in between.

Or am I just rationalising to try to make sense of my unease at this moment, waiting yet again to hear back after almost two months from yet another publisher who just might publish my book?

It’s endless this waiting and I cannot afford to go into a sulk over it.

I prepare myself for disappointment. I rehearse my grief even before it hits so that I can move on to keep on trying even if I give myself a rest from the endless search for the one who will publish my book.

A crazy fantasy I have that thereafter I can have a rest and simply write as I please, which I do anyhow, but somehow it feels as though not only a single piece but a great chunk of the corner of my jig saw is missing and it feels hazardous and hard to continue.

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5 Comments on A chunk missing from the jigsaw puzzle

  1. Elisabeth
    January 24, 2017 at 8:30 pm (4 months ago)

    I reckon I’m like you here, Jim. Hospital experiences become fodder for writing as long as you’re a witness or not too ill to observe.
    As for the jigsaws, there was time when my daughters’ school organised for family photos to be converted into jig saws. Not quite the same as conventional jigsaws, which aim for something more than a cut and paste. Thanks Jim.

    Reply
  2. Karen C
    January 28, 2017 at 6:42 pm (4 months ago)

    Our family can be entertained by jig-saws from time to time. I like the mindless sorting and matching and the satisfying look of a completed border. I recently came across a style of jig-saw that has no borders and am considering it for my youngest son’s birthday this year, the one most like his father. The pieces are interchangeable and the border can move in any direction. Is it ever finished?
    No context at all.
    Context certainly is important when it comes to peoples behaviour and, as hurtful as it is to take out our bad humour on others, I know I have behaved badly towards people I love when things are not as I would like.
    I do hope I see your book published soon, Elisabeth.

    Reply
    • Elisabeth
      January 29, 2017 at 1:28 pm (4 months ago)

      That sounds like one hell of a jigsaw puzzle, Karen. I’m not sure I could manage that much choice. Even I prefer a little more order than ‘anything goes’, which reminds me of American politics at the moment but I won’t get into that. As for my book, I’m getting closer. Thanks, Karen.

      Reply
    • Elisabeth
      January 29, 2017 at 10:52 pm (4 months ago)

      Wow, Karen. What an amazing website and such puzzles. Thanks.

      Reply

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