Though school has officially ended for the summer, there have been a couple of union issues which still need some resolution. This must have been the subconscious energy that drove me to choose Diego Rivera’s mural, Production and Manufacture of Engine and Transmission, Detroit Industry, detail from the north wall (1933) to work on as a puzzle. Not to put too fine a point on all this, but the depiction of the diversity of laborers, focused and hard-working, and the dignity of work itself, in some small way, reminded me of the bigger picture of union work, and pulled me out of the world of detail and specifics which had the potential to overwhelm, stress, and discourage.
I finished the puzzle (1000 pieces!) yesterday afternoon after finally resolving one of the union issues which took a month and a half of intense effort (all while trying to simultaneously balance the many end of school year tasks and responsibilities). I have been nearly obsessed with working on this puzzle. Putting each piece in place has helped me center. Putting each piece in place has helped to remove some of the emotion for me and helped me to become more objective and gain clarity around these issues.
With this kind of psychological success, there might be great profit in manufacturing Relationship Puzzles or Disputing Country Puzzles, Ethnic puzzles or Civil Rights Puzzles. How about Parental Conundrum Puzzles? Grief and Loss Puzzles. Sexuality Puzzles. Transition Puzzles. Trauma Puzzles.
Indeed, no manufacturing of these puzzles needed. These puzzles already clearly exist. What is hard is finding the creative, sensitive, extraordinary, effective energy to organize and arrange all the pieces and then —slowly, carefully, and with intention— put them all together.