Life lessons from a LEGO brick

While I watched my son build his LEGO tonight accompanied with a hand-drawn instructional made by none other than himself…an image struck me.

A single white 2×4 classic brick, painstakingly drawn with care and devotion on a large canvas-a homage to the phenomenon that is LEGO.

The more I thought about the image, and how I might try to create something in my studio for the first time in 2 years, the more my brain began to fire, making its odd synaptic connections. I was overcome with a need to draw and then write. At first, I thought of the concept- to capture what is synonymous with 3-dimension in a 2-d format. The way Rembrandt captured the human form with light and paint or Ansel Adams, a grey-scale landscape on film. I wanted to pay tribute to something so simple but beautiful and brings my son so much joy and creative expression. (Except for when it doesn’t, but even a challenging build develops his (and our) patience and problem-solving skills).

Then I realized how a single LEGO brick can be a symbol of my life’s challenges right now too.  From that one brick; a single, rectangular prism, creatively can take shape, building itself into form and space.  One piece added onto the next, and the next by considerate placement and intention by its simple click design, they fit so well together…when properly aligned.  And when designed with mindfulness, a creation of many bricks can withstand force and pressure.  Until it can’t, because as my son often experiences, they sometimes fall apart.  But therein lies the beauty, it can be put back together – sometimes the same, but most often differently – dare I say better?!

And there it is, in this seemingly mundane moment, a window of presence.  This plastic brick screams to me silently about my life.   Just be, and build, take apart and rebuild – create with presence and accept the design.  STOP trying to force what doesn’t fit – STOP trying to build something upward without a proper foundation – STOP trying to save time by cutting corners, not reading the instructions when faced with 500-something parts, cause guess what…someone probably has drawn up instructions and has already solved this problem and knows the efficient way to tackle it – DO accept the help, especially when you are struggling! (That’s when you miss a piece or two and really eff it all up!!)  Or ultimately, when you are ready, with some experience and context – just free-build…it will come to you, the ideas will flow and you’ll make something that is yours.  Creating something that makes you feel something.

4 comments

  1. Nice observation! I have always used the Lego brick as an analogy for our existence. We live to create.. as we have the essence of Source often known as the Creator. Of course, some people use their energy to create human drama.. 😉

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  2. Very insightful! And as a Lego aficionado, I can totally relate to it.

    I am pretty sure my receiving a small set of Lego’s when I was a kid put me on a path towards becoming an engineer. Or perhaps the grownups in my life recognized engineering tendencies in me and so bought me a set of Lego’s. Either way, they were instrumental in getting me to where I am today. There are a lot of valuable life lessons that can be learned while “playing” with Legos. Or with anything that allows our imaginations to run unfettered.

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