puzzle of a god

A familiar jumble in your hands, you can’t help but shake the box, a form of ritual bringing good fortune to you, the dissectologist. What challenge awaits you this time? Where will the journey take you? A pond ripe with lily pads? A candy store brimming with the sweetest of poisons? Or maybe a forgotten cottage of yesteryear? No, today you enter the realm of the gods, depicted: ‘Shiva’.

You slide your fingernail into the leftover canvas binding of the only map you have to complete your task, pulling your nail around the perimeter, separating the top from the bottom. Quickly, you remove the lid, emptying the contents out onto the table. One by one you turn them to face you, visually breathing in the contrasting similarities. Feeling your way around every nodule, nook, and border, then placing them back on the surface.

Pausing for composure, only for a fraction of a second, you notice two that belong together. You intended to work your way from the outside in; karma has another plan.

The stars remain aligned as you bond 2, 3, 4, 10, 20, 39; the luck soon wanes. Glancing around at the scattered bits, you familiarize yourself with the locations of the others. Another pair that does not belong to the first group, at least not in a way you can yet see. Locking those in place, your attention comes to another lone pair whose nook and cranny fit together without fault. Upon second glance the faults are now glaringly obvious; apart they come, giving rise to the questioning of all the other unions. No; self-doubt will not exist here. Rising, you cross to the other side; time for a new perspective.

Reorganization is now required. Comparing your progress to the map, placing the completed groups and pairs where they belong. Matching colors and shapes, making more connections, giving you a glimpse of your destination. Moving faster, as all falls into place, you find the fourth corner!

Hurrying only for curiosity’s sake, filling in the gaps becomes effortless. Something is wrong. Why is his third eye on his foot? Out of place, panic sets in; curiosity can wait. Pause for correction. A conceivable number of parts are left; you debate counting down each one; this seems childish. 19, the seed was planted; you are counting down. 18, your sphincter begins to tighten. 17, 16, 15, it all comes down to this, your mind is racing with thoughts of negativity; What if I am missing one? 14, 13, your vision begins to blur; you know what your destination looks like, thank you map. 12, 11, 10, 9, 8, 7, your heart slows, and you begin to think, Perhaps this is what ‘O’CH’Y’ feels like before pulling back the curtain to reveal earth, knowing that no matter how imperfect, it will be beautiful? 6, 5, this is it, no missing pieces.

Time stopped moments ago; you can’t help but wonder if you have been sitting there for one full eternity. You take all four corners into the palm of your hand as you rub your other hand across all those that came before, feeling every ridge and crack. Studying your work and deciding it is good. Deducing your way to a single corner, the moment of truth– light is radiating from the table, Behold.

As you sit in awe of your creation, you think, Holy Shit!, then scream “I AM SHIVA” as you passionately rip apart your hard work and place all 1000 of them back in the box. You give it one last shake, imparting good fortune to future shivas.

Don’t forget to wash your hands.

Talk soon.