Have you ever dumped out a 1000 piece jigsaw? Half of the pieces are upside down. The disarray makes it hard to start. Everything is a big mess.
You remember your grandmother saying, “Dig out the border pieces first and put them in a pile. " Slowly you do that. Hey, here is a corner piece. But even that momentary joy does not seem to do much good in the confusion of the other 999 pieces that just don't seem to go together. You keep digging. Wow, two wagon wheels touching-a tooth and a groove-998 to go.
Slowly, here and there you find ten pieces of sky and the side of a barn on the border. Twenty or more pieces start to take shape. A border starts to form; yet you still have a mountainous mess.
There are less and less border pieces; the odds are getting against you there. One by one you turn over the upside down pieces on the tray. You put patches of sky with the clouds, and the barn with the waterwheel as you flick each piece over.
As ten pieces of barn make a group, one by one, you insert each tongue with the appropriate groove.
The border is nearly finished. You seek the last five border pieces. One, two, three, four, and five; the border is done.
Every piece is now face-up. The pile gets smaller and smaller as you grab pieces of barn and spot differences in the clouds and trees. You taste your goal as the task becomes easier and easier with each piece that snaps into place.
Life is a puzzle. It gets easier as you go, and is no fun when you dump it back into the box.
Andy Fletcher's career as an artist started early. He began drawing trains-one of his first loves-from his own photos when he was still in school. In 1992, Burlington Northern Railroad asked him to design their popular SD70MAC Executive color scheme. Altogether, Andy has drawn over a thousand trains, from steam to modern diesel and cars, cabooses and other equipment. He has been commissioned to paint trains for many of the railroad historical societies and museums.