Picking up the pieces

Some progress, but not enough
Some progress, but not enough

I’m disappointed that I didn’t make more progress on the puzzle yesterday. It’s true that I built inwards from some of the border pieces, and that I have some of the basic layout arranged, but I had hoped to finish the border and start building inwards from all of the corners.

Since today is a Martin Luther King Day, maybe I can lure Cindy to the table to help work on the puzzle. One can hope, but since jigsaw puzzles are for people who are patient and who don’t demand instant gratification, I’m guessing that my hope is a 50-50 proposition.

Yesterday Cindy and I went to a viewing of an acquaintance who had died unexpectedly. That seems to happen more frequently as the years pass. Anyway, since I got ready early I spent part of my puzzle time wearing a necktie. More than once I found myself leaning over the table to take a puzzle piece in my hand, and then brushing other pieces off the table with my tie as I leaned back. Pick up the pieces, curse the tie, repeat process. Why, I wonder, are the things that should stick in your mind the hardest to remember?

***

So far I have made a big deal about the misrepresentations in my mini-autobiography. I want to touch on a few of the things that I would not change and perhaps would expand upon  if I were writing it today.

I originally wrote that when I was young my parents worked in factories and arranged it so that they were on different shifts. In that way one of them was home with my sister and me. Today I would expand that concept and say that for a while there was about a half hour gap from the time my father left for work in the afternoon and the time my mother returned home from work. Once my sister was showing me how easy it was to get from a second story window onto the roof of the back porch. She left me stranded on that roof for a while. I learned a lesson that day about trust. Thank you, my sister.

I wrote that my happiest times in high school were the social times. I’m sure that would come as a surprise to everyone who remembered the socially inept person that I was. But I enjoyed going to basketball games, the inevitable sock hop after the game (though I was to shy to ask anyone to dance), and the normal interactions with friends at school. Some classes were enjoyable. What I didn’t write was that being compared by teachers, to my more intelligent older sister became tiresome. It probably scarred me for life.

There was a section in the autobiography where I was supposed to pick one thing, one event, or one person who had been the biggest influence on my life. I chose to pick one of each. For a thing, I chose a cassette tape recorder because it allowed me to copy music or words that I love, as well as make tapes for my friends. You might think that I would change that choice to a CD burner now, but I wouldn’t. The cassette recorder introduced me to the concept of sharing music that I love. It is something I still do, though with the CD burner…same concept, different tool.

My choice of an event was the Vietnam war. It wasn’t because I fought, I didn’t, I had dream duty assignments. The influence came from basic training where I came to understanding what is important and what is not, what I can affect and what I cannot. Today I would add that there has been a lot less personal drama in my life since then, no matter how much people want to drag me in to their drama.

Finally, I chose Johann Gutenberg as the most influential person in my life. He gave us movable type which opened the door for affordable books, Today I would expand on that and tell how books have made mass education possible. I would build on that idea to include how mass education has made possible an exponential expansion of knowledge. I would probably even mention that blogs like this one are philosophical children of books. One might be tempted, though, to say that this blog is more like a pulp magazine…though they were more exciting.

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