When we were at Goodwill just before New Year’s Day, I went looking for a nice puzzle for our New Year’s Eve tradition. I came across a 1000 piece Thomas Kinkade puzzle with the picture of a man fishing alone in the middle of a beautiful mountain scene. Immediately the image stuck me as perfect.
It took 3 days to complete the puzzle. It nearly consumed me. Every piece that clicked into place was a personal victory. As the image started to take shape, I couldn’t help contemplating the man in the picture and how he related to me.
Strange. I know.
To be honest, I don’t think the painting is one of Kinkade’s best works. The colors are very muted. Almost boring. The pink sunset blended with the heather mountains that blended with the clay rocks that blended into the stream that reflected the sunset.
So why did this image strike a chord with me?
It was the fisherman. Wearing his red plaid shirt, he was the only spot of color. He was alone in the vast expanse of beauty. He was there because he chose to be. Because he enjoyed taking a few minutes to be alone with his thoughts. To be inside his own head for a while without any interruptions. Maybe fishing wasn’t his passion. Maybe it was his excuse to get away from the noise. Maybe this is how he recharged so he could face another day. He’s an introvert like me. This man in the painting. Who has never lived a day. I know him.
I did a quick Google search and found the name of this painting is Almost Heaven. Fitting, I think. A quiet place where I can relax without any demands on my time or energy is almost heaven for me. However, I have a few extroverted friends that, though they would enjoy the beauty of a place like this, would be bored to death in about 2 minutes. They suffocate in quiet. I suffocate in noise.
I left the puzzle up for a day after it was finished. More because I wanted to celebrate my perseverance and introversion than because I liked the picture. I don’t really. It’s not my style. But I did enjoy the time of introspection.
The puzzle is in pieces again and will likely go back to Goodwill.