The pleasure of the puzzle

In his memoir Speak, Memory, Vladimir Nabokov describes the pleasure of a jigsaw puzzle, which his mother loved:

What had seemed to be the limb of a horse would turn out to belong to an elm and the hitherto unplaceable piece would snugly fill up a gap in the mottled background, affording one the delicate thrill of an abstract and yet tactile satisfaction.

Yes, exactly that.

I enjoy jigsaw puzzles and used to allow myself one a year, at Christmas. I would take some care to choose “the right one” for the special annual ritual.IMG_6106

Now, since moving to B.C., I’ve almost always got a puzzle on the go. Mostly 500-piecers, which fit a small table I can set in front of the sofa, or move out of sight at will, many of them picked up at the local thrift stores, sometimes unopened, but generally used. Continue reading