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Puzzle it Out

  • November 29, -0001
Susie and I enjoy jigsaw puzzles. We love the challenge of developing a keen eye for the smallest detail, finding the right pieces by discovering exact points of connection and continuity, and seeing the whole picture emerge from a thousand disparate pieces. When we do a jigsaw puzzle we're constantly studying the picture on the box, to understand what we're working to create, what it will look like when it's finished. The first thing we do is lay down the border pieces. That way we see where the boundaries are and we can begin to associate our resources - the pieces of the puzzle - with various sections, according to color schemes or content. Then the hard work begins of starting to assemble the whole. We usually work two ways at once: the part that seems to be screaming for most attention gets it, while we slowly build other sections bit by bit, alongside the primary one in our focus. Once a major section is finished, then it's on to the next part, all the while filling a detail here and there, and so on until the puzzle is complete. Now this is going somewhere (I hope). Our society today is broken and shattered into a zillion pieces, and the all the kings horses and men in Washington are assuming the responsibility of putting it all back together again. But it's not clear to me what vision is animating all the intrusive actions our government is taking. Where's all this frenetic activity going? And what boundaries do we intend to honor? Right now the vision seems very immediate - get in, take hold, and do something - and the boundaries are defined only by what Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid can push through and the President sign. We don't have unlimited resources to put this thing back together, but I get the impression that the majority in Washington don't share that view. Rather than attack this situation methodically, according to a vision agreed-upon by "we the people" and in a manner that has us addressing everything decently and in order, we seem to be just rushing ahead with whatever promises to make the biggest splash or dent. But then, what can we expect when all anchorage in transcendent truths has been severed, and the only restraints on those in charge is what they can think of next?

T. M. Moore

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