Primates and Puzzles

Once upon a time a Dreamer dreamt a dream.

In the dream there was a very old building that had many rooms.

In each room a herd of primates busied themselves at a large table putting together a jigsaw puzzle.

Other primates had been working on their puzzles for a long time. One primate handed the Dreamer an odd piece they’d found in the box lid.

In many other rooms the same piece was in piles of red balloon pieces. But the Dreamer realized it probably wasn’t a balloon piece.

The Dreamer looked through the little box lid, and tried to fit the piece with many other pieces. After a long time the Dreamer put twenty pieces together. They looked good. But then he thought to himself, “The puzzle has thousands of pieces. Where fit?”

One primate said to the Dreamer, “No, no, you’ve put the pieces together wrong.” Another primate said, “That looks like it fits over there,” and pointed.

Different groups of primates were working on their puzzles in the different rooms. Many of them had been working on their puzzles for generations. And in some rooms they didn’t use the same pieces others used.

Then the Dreamer thought, “All the primate teams are putting the edge pieces together different from the others.”

One primate told the Dreamer, “A long time ago some primates took scissors to pieces to make them fit. How weird is that? Most primates won’t believe you if you tell them their puzzle pieces were trimmed, but from a distance you don’t notice. It’s still pretty.”

The Dreamer saw there were many different box lids laying in the various rooms. Some boxlids were very old, some were newer. Some of them looked elegant, but others were very mysterious. Most were quite pretty, but they were all handmade.

Then the Dreamer woke up and said, “What an odd dream.”

And the Dreamer’s partner said, “Tell me your dream.”

About Ron Goetz

My first wife used to say, "There's nothing so sacred that Ron won't pick it apart." My desire to be a pastor -- that was a temperamental mismatch. She was so patient. If my birth mother had lived somewhere else, maybe I would've become a cold case detective. But I would have had to be J instead of a P, I think. And that mid-life reevaluation, starting adolescence as a GARB fundamentalist and transitioning to a non-theist, that gave me an unusual skill set.
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