It’s hard to make sense of them big masses of color. When you’re in a sea of yellow, there is only yellow. And if you exist in a sea of blue, only blue.
It helps to course the boundary between the two. And certainly the painter himself was drawn to these areas. As you reassemble the disaggregated color, you become more aware of all the vertical and diagonal lines he dashed out cutting between light and dark.
And once you’ve spent enough time exploring these areas, it’s easier to dive into the small blotches of color that previously warranted no attention.
Take the green for example. Easy enough to pick out the few laurel pieces.
And Wa-la! A small part of the world has been made whole again.
I should confess at this point that I’m a bit of a puzzle Nazi. Here are the rules:
- Once pieces are on the table, no looking at the box. Ever. Life is much more fun when it’s a mystery and you have little idea where you’re heading.
- Don’t touch a piece unless you know exactly where it will fit. This leads to lots of slow pondering and a lot less fumbling. Plus you get the satisfying click when you seize a piece and snap it neatly into place.
- If you’re wrong, session ends. You walk away. Allows you to retrieve yourself from lost afternoons and lost lives fixating on the wrong thing. (I have to admit, I don’t always abide by this). Sometimes it’s superseded by rule #4.
- Well, if you insist. If a piece doesn’t fit, you have to hold onto it and within a reasonable amount of time find it’s rightful home. If you don’t, you’re out. If you do, you get a pass.
And then this kicker that I just made up:
5. Only use the pieces within the frame. Few of us start with a full deck. So we make do with what we got. In this case a third of the pieces are outside the puzzle frame. But I’ll soldier on, using only what I have at my disposal.
As you can imagine, these rules may well explain why I don’t have many friends.