“The glow of success”
I was sitting across the room from her as she hovered studiously over a 1,000-piece puzzle depicting a forest with infinite versions of green and slightly darker green. She’d taken over the kitchen table and expelled all cooking and eating activities to any other surface. In the afternoon light, I watched as she circled the table with a piece in her hand, tendrils of her hair falling out of the messy bun she had fashioned in an attempt to concentrate. “Now where do you go?” she muttered to herself, absorbed in her tedious activity. “Not here. Oh, there! No? Really? Why must you tease me so?” And she kept moving, floating over the hours of work she had already committed to this landscape and could not, as such, give up on. Amidst her mutterings she pulled herself up, stretched, and readjusted her focus, giving herself renewed perspective. She once again looked to the image on the box, staring at it intently to try to identify where oh where the piece lived in the image. I continued to watch both enthralled and perplexed by her persistence. “Why not move on to another piece and then come back to that one?” I almost suggested, but bit my tongue as I saw the light in her eyes shift as she closed in on the top right corner of the box. A sharp intake of breath. She tossed the box aside, forgetting it instantly as she returned to the spread of grouped and individual pieces haphazardly (or were they?) strewn across the table. The piece went in without complaint. “Yes!” she yelped, and gave a little twirl celebrating her feat. I smiled when she turned to me and pointed at the table and then chuckled when she grabbed another piece to start the arduous process all over again.