07-09-16 Puzzles

I love puzzles. Well, actually, I’m not a huge fan of puzzle puzzles- you know- 500 pieces of cut up cardboard shoved in a box that I’m supposed to sit down and assemble into a photo of kittens lounging in the tall summer grass, or the Eiffel tower at sunset, or babies dressed as butterflies. Those puzzles don’t do much for me.

But just about any other puzzle-like activity can hold my undivided attention far longer than anything else.

For example-

Scrabble- Take a bunch of random letters and form words. I like words. I like puzzles. This game is perfection.

Sharks teeth- I love looking for sharks teeth. I think it’s because I like zeroing in on a specific shape in a sea of sand, pebbles, and shells. It all looks like chaos, but your mind filters through it to find order. (as a kid, I was a sucker for Where’s Waldo books. Same concept.)

Taking photos- What? This isn’t a puzzle? It is though, isn’t it? It’s finding the perfect composition. It is choosing what to keep and what to throw away. It is narrowing time and space into a single, brief moment and freezing that moment forever.

Research- give me a topic and I will research it into oblivion. I like information. I like piecing information together. For example, researching my family history- an amazing puzzle of details and shadows of details, cross-referencing names, dates, anecdotes- all to form a bigger picture and deeper understanding of where I’ve come from.

Reading- Is this a stretch? Depends on the type of book, I think. I like a good thriller because I enjoy piecing together the information as I read. Can I figure out the ending before it happens? Can I predict what the characters will do based on their previous actions? Can I outwit the author? Sometimes I can, sometimes I can’t.

Editing- Here’s a bunch of footage, some interviews, and maybe a script (maybe not), now make something good with it. Editing is pretty much the ultimate puzzle, because there isn’t necessarily a right or wrong way (actually, there are plenty of wrong ways to edit, but I digress!) It is about taking a massive amount of material and whittling it down to what is the most important information to see and hear and putting it all together in a way that is both informative and engaging.

So there you have it. Puzzles are fun.

Did I miss any? Are there any other puzzle-like activities that I should investigate?

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