I'm still traveling this week, and spent Easter weekend visiting a friend of mine, one of the numerous cool, quirky, fabulous people in my life who happen to be spread around the country and so I only get to see them once in a rare while.
This particular friend and I go way back, back to the days when carefree weekends filled with silly games were par for the course, and both of us miss being surrounded by a community of close friends who we might see and hang out with at length on a daily basis, the way you do when you're young, in high school and college. We lament the fact that out here in the adult world we don't really know our neighbors, rarely interact with them except for the occasional pleasantries. Living in proximity to others no longer implies a shared sense of identity.
To celebrate Easter, my friend decided we should try to bring people together. Her initial idea was to leave treat-filled plastic Easter eggs around the building, for neighbors to find and enjoy. But we figured, in this day and age of terror and skepticism, who is going to eat "unknown" candy? It'd be better, we reasoned, to give a little message, or invite people to DO something. Thus, the Puzzle Project was born.
We placed puzzle pieces inside Easter eggs and left them on doorsteps around the building, inviting residents to come to the common area and help complete the puzzle. We put the edge pieces together to get things started, and let other people take it from there. We left a little sign-in book, in case anyone wanted to share comments or thoughts about the experience. By the end of the day we had received several notes and the puzzle began to come together! People seemed intrigued, and happy to participate in an unusual group activity.
We hope the Puzzle Project might inspire our neighbors to meet new friends, but mostly we hope it made other people feel as good as it made us feel!