How often do you think about a jigsaw puzzle
after you have completed it? I have found, very recently, that these "finished" works perhaps fit together in ways that I could not have imagined. Like chaos theory
, there is no obvious pattern to the little pieces in your life that fly by in the short time span, but perhaps they will come together to form a more beautiful, flowing picture
I finished one of my puzzles over 8 years ago, when at age 12 I moved from my hometown of Kingston, NY, to South Salem, NY, in Westchester County. Granted that my social life at the beginning of middle school wasn't the resounding success that I would've liked it to be, I knew that, with the exception of the elite few, it would be highly unlikely that I would ever see those Kingstonians ever again. Puzzle completed in August of 1993.
Another of my "completed" puzzles occurred after I graduated from high school and began a whole new puzzle at the NYU Stern School of Business. Again, with the exception of my closer friends, I would not expect to keep in touch with many of my classmates. The effort of trying to extend the high school puzzle would not be worth the excitement of finding out the results of this new NYU puzzle. High school graduation was in June 1998.
Which brings me to the present. In putting together the pieces of my life in college, my a cappella group has taken one of the larger portions of the picture. On Saturday, March 3, 2001, my a cappella group went to Cornell University in Ithaca, NY, to compete in the International Championship of Collegiate A cappella semifinals. We performed with some of the greatest college a cappella groups imaginable.
It was a spectacular show. And it was a spectacular night, as far as my jigsaw puzzles -- finished and incomplete -- are concerned.
First was a blast from my past... my seventh grade crush. She showed up, looked at me, said hi. I did one of those cartoon-like double takes. She still looks great.
This, however, was not the end. She introduced me to one of the a cappella competitors from a Cornell group -- it was my neighbor from Kingston! He and I had been on the Kingston Swim team together. His sister, who was in my year, was there, too. We reminisced about the "good old days" and shared our laughs.
My 7th grade crush invited me to go to a party afterwards. I, of course, went... and who did I see but a good friend from my high school graduating class (obviously not that great, since we didn't keep in touch). We screamed our pleasantries and memories over the reverberating beat of Alice Deejay's Better Off Alone and Young MC's ever-so-enjoyable Bust a Move. And the funny way that things worked out is that my fellow high school classmate's roommate's boyfriend's roommate is my seventh grade crush. Simple, isn't it?
Perhaps there is more order to this chaos than we think.