Wednesday, April 13, 2011

puzzle ring and the meaning of life

I have a puzzle ring. Some call it a fidelity ring. It is three bands that intertwine to form a lovely celtic knot. Once you take it off it quickly falls apart. I take it off every night. I have never learned to sleep with rings on, except my wedding ring, but that is another story.

So every morning I reach for my puzzle ring. I wear it on my right thumb. My Uncle gave it to my daughter, but, luckily for me, it is too big for her, so I wear it. I wear it because I love my Uncle very much. He reminds me of my father, whom I loved/love very much. My uncle and I didn't discover each other until he was well into his 70s because my mother had convinced me that he wasn't a good man. He is a good man. A very good man. My mother was mistaken. But, that too, is another story.

So, every morning I have to puzzle out my ring. Somedays it remains intact on my dresser and stays intact as I reach for it to put it on. Sometimes the rings are only slightly unpuzzled, and it is a simple matter to rearrange its knots. Somedays I sit on my bed, fussing and fretting that it will never go back together. Somedays I will still be fussing while my husband drives me to work. Somedays I am still fussing at my desk before school. And there are those days that I fuss until recess time when it finally all falls into place.

So there I was, sitting on a bed, in a little house in Seattle, this past weekend, fussing over my ring. And I thought....this is just like life.

It's a puzzle. Sometimes we find it all neat and tidy, sometimes we just need to fix a few loose ends, sometimes we have to persevere. Sometimes it just seems to fall into place as if by magic. Sometimes it feels like it could never have worked in the first place, and it certainly won't work now. And there is only one thing I have learned in all this puzzling. I can't give up. I never give up. It has always worked out, one way or another.

A few months ago someone told me that my puzzle ring was flawed. He said it should have 4 rings, and not 3. He offered to polish it, and he did, and returned it. My flawed little ring. I don't wear it because it is perfect.

I wear it because I love it. I wear it because I love the man who bought it. I wear it because it reminds me that I don't give up, because giving up is not an option. I look forward to sitting on my bed, sorting out those 3 rings every morning for a long, long time.

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