The Assorted Lives We Lead

When I was fourteen, one of my favorite indoor pastimes was putting a puzzle together. I stumbled across a series themed Cobblestone puzzles, and collected as many as I could. Some of them I still own. These puzzles had delightfully cosy scenes with a small home covered in ivy, cat in the window, cobblestone street below, featuring lots of flowers and other decor. I always felt transported by the pictures, which is something I craved.

Life is a puzzle, is the one thing I've settled upon as knowing about it. I have so many assorted pieces. So many different roles. So many descriptors, some of which seem contradictory at times, but really are just multidimensional like the job of being alive really is. Excited and frightened. Happy and worried. Trusting but skeptical. Loving but wary. The details are complex, like puzzle pieces you must turn round and round to get a good look at- to begin to understand; and this is a true and beautiful thing.

We lead assorted lives. I'm a special needs mom with needs of my own. I'm a wife. I'm a poet. I'm someone's sister, daughter, etc. I'm a musician. The list goes on, but you get the idea. These pieces lead to a set of assorted lives as I move in and out between different roles. I wouldn't call it multitasking because I'm usually rubbish at that. I can't be out in the garden while I'm writing this blog. I have to make choices.

For instance, instead of giving you a Wednesday prompt this week, I spent the day in my special needs mom role falling down a red-tape rabbit hole trying to get some provisions lined up for my child. It's gritty stuff that doesn't make good writing material. It took every ounce of brain power for the day. I had to set down one puzzle piece in order to pick up another. This is the truth about being a multifaceted person in a fast-paced world. Production is not the precedent, so I occasionally miss deadlines even when I care about them very much!

Maybe you have this experience, too? The call to keep producing pitted in the arena against the call to meet very real and personal needs? We are daily losing and finding, choosing and letting go, pursuing and surrendering.

What piece are you holding in your hands today? Where does it fit? Do you need to set another piece down for a minute?

Allow yourself a breath this week. A deep breath. If you need a prompt, it's yours for the taking.

A Deep Breath

The chimes are singing it:
Take your time now
The sun is signaling:
Go inside now
Tired limbs ask:
Can we rest now?
Humming mind, thrumming heart,
Let us breathe now.

I will probably always love doing puzzles. That didn't stop with childhood. I might be missing a few more pieces now, and not just from the Cobblestone series. I lose things by nature. Some things I never get back, like that sleep I'd hoped for last night. But somehow, I'm still transported. The view is still lovely. The dreams live on- regardless of whether there is any practicality to them. So for today, I'm going to set down what I can... and breathe.

Wishing you the same.




Jamie Bagley