Monday, August 16, 2010

Annie's Puzzle

One of my favorite poems, in honor of Village Homes friend and acclaimed water rights lawyer Anne Jeffrey Schneider, who passed away on July 30th:

"There must have been a time when you entered a room and met someone and after a while you understood that unknown to either of you there was a reason you had met. You had changed the other and he had changed you. By some word or deed or just by your presence the errand had been completed. Then perhaps you were a little bewildered or humbled and grateful. And it was over.

Each lifetime is the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.
For some there are more pieces.
For others the puzzle is more difficult to assemble.
Some seem to be born with a nearly completed puzzle.

And so it goes.

Souls going this way and that.
Trying to assemble the myriad parts.

But know this. No one has within themselves
All the pieces to their puzzle.
Like before the days when they used to seal
jigsaw puzzles in cellophane. Insuring that
All the pieces were there.

Everyone carries with them at least one and probably
Many pieces to someone else's puzzle.
Sometimes they know it.
Sometimes they don't.

And when you present your piece
Which is worthless to you,
To another, whether you know it or not,
Whether they know it or not,
You are a messenger from the Most High

--Lawrence Kushner

Thanks to this website where I found the text. I first heard the story while traveling in Israel as a teenager, and while I had my doubts about holy messengers, I couldn't help feeling that Rabbi Kushner had a valid point.

Anne had her fair share of puzzle pieces, and I was lucky to witness that, growing up with her boys Charlie and Logan in Village Homes.


Liz Merry said...

This is lovely and reflects my point of view exactly. Anne was brilliant at adding 'just the right thing' in to her many and varied relationships, fitting her abilities to your needs and accepting what you could offer with grace. Thanks for sharing this Julia.

gteamhj said...

Thanks for adding something to my own puzzle of understanding why some people are so special. xxx

miss J. said...

Thanks for your comments! The Schneider clan is a lovely and wonderful one. I felt like I learned a lot on Sunday, not just about Anne, but the world.

RachelVB said...

I love this poem. I love the idea of carrying around other people's pieces. I've felt this way about people I have met. It's a great connection and a connection I never want to lose.
Thanks, Julia!

miss J. said...

So glad you enjoyed it! :)