|"Puzzled Cow", oil, by Robin Weiss|
And that we call Being.”
-- Walt Whitman, “Song of Myself”
My wife and I enjoy putting jigsaw puzzles together -- seeing the pieces slowly but surely slipping side-by-side into their proper places -- , and I also take pleasure in occasionally pondering what Whitman calls “the puzzle of puzzles”, the mystery of who, or what, in the world I am. Cracking the code of a jigsaw puzzle is a fairly simple task compared to the task of solving the grand puzzle of me. Jigsaw puzzles have maybe 2,000 pieces, but the mystery called me is composed of strange and disparate building blocks beyond numbering. As many stars as shine in the sky is perhaps the number of mysteries that make up what I curiously call “my” life, as though it’s somehow owned by little me instead of by the boundless universe. Like Whitman, I don’t worry about solving this puzzle, because I know it's bigger than the brightest star system. I just enjoy sensing its mystery inside and beside me, and bringing it along with me wherever I go, like a private and unfathomable gift from somewhere far off.