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XXXIII-- Babel Puzzle Afterlife

I carefully folded the Shroud of Babel and stored it in a closet.  Oddly enough, the magic that the puzzle worked upon the dark cloth seems to me now a more mystical product than the actual completed puzzle.  The puzzle itself waited for a few weeks for me to find my way to a Michael's craft store to buy a 40X60 piece of foam core.  A product called Modpodge was offered as the best way to lock the puzzle pieces together. It goes on very thick and reluctantly, and opaque (which was a little scary), although it dries clear and leaves no sign that it has been applied.  The puzzle turned out to be just a tad taller and broader than the board.  Working fast because of the quick setting time, it took some muscle, and I almost broke a sweat getting the foam board  "podged" and the back of the puzzle attached to it.  I weighted the edges as best I could for a few hours, and finally the puzzle was stabilized.

I had originally planned to mount it again on a thin piece of plywood and then frame it, but having no really good spot to hang it in the house, I looked for someplace to keep it safe for a while.  It turned out that it almost exactly fits in the space above the mantel of the old living room fireplace, the one built by the original Swedish owners of  the house. 

On the face of this fireplace are the words:  DAR LIFVETS HAF OSS GETT EN STRAND which I think means:  Where Life's Ocean has Given Us a Beach.  At one rocky point of existence more than a decade ago I had another small sign under it which read:  Yes, Welcome to Iwo Jima!

I set the very light feeling puzzle (only a pound or two?) on the mantel shelf, pulling the bottom out a few inches to give it a lean against the wall.  Over night it began to curl slightly from the right corner.  It seemed almost as though the puzzle was attempting to collapse in the same manner as illustrated on its face.  As I was leaving to get something to stop the puzzle from curling and to affix its top corners to the wall,  a draft from the opening door got behind the puzzle and launched it away from the mantle, knocking to the floor a pot of dirt, a small carved stone sculpture, and a framed picture-- those three items all broken to varying degrees. 

The puzzle was totally unharmed though, swooping to the floor like a giant feather.
Cydonia photo: ESA

This is the journal of David Ross
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