Let's make three quick mental pictures. They're simple riddles of sorts, and each one is a picture of the Trivium. However, each separate picture is incomplete in some way, lacking one or more of the Trivium's stages. The question is this: Which stage is pictured, and which stages are missing?
1) First, picture a construction site, an apocalyptic expanse of gray dirt. Piles of sand, rock, rebars, and I-beams flank the excavated abyss. Workers in hard-hats examine clip-boards while growling cement trucks idle in the lot, waiting to pour. Finally, an artist's rendition of the finished building is posted on large sign -- a sneak-peak for everyone of the finished product, months away. But then you hear the foreman say, "That'll do it, boys! Job well done." The site is abandoned and no more work ever done.
2) You see a carpenter at his bench with a magnificent array of tools spread in front of him. Dovetail chisels, planers, coping saws, fretsaws, routers, carving knives, a lathe -- all of the finest quality. The carpenter sets to work. First, he picks up a delicate chisel and begins to hack a stone in two. The chisel quickly dulls and snaps. Next, he picks up a carving knife, and, instead of setting it to wood, takes it to his garden and begins digging rows for his seeds. When done, he returns to his work-bench and switches on the planer -- but his hand slips, and he neatly planes off his palm.
3) You are watching a televised debate. The issue at hand happens to be one you feel strongly about, and you listen closely. However, you are soon disappointed: the debater arguing for the view you support is unquestionably the stronger speaker, but he is completely unlikeable. In fact, he's disgusting. He chooses the perfect arguments, but he is perfectly arrogant. He smirks and mocks his opponent. When the debate is finished, he has won hands-down, and truth has prevailed. Or has it? You realize suddenly that you had been hoping he would lose.