The Difficult Task of Seeing The Whole Picture

Editor-in-Chief Barry Boyce explains how practicing mindfulness helps us slow down and notice what’s really there—not just what our mind wants us to see.

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Over the year-end holidays last year, my wife and I rented an apartment near where our children live, and our twin granddaughters had several sleepovers there. We decided to get them something to absorb their attention, and time, for several weeks: a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle. These have never been my thing. I’d look at one taking shape in a corner on a table, a profusion of tiny pieces lying higgledy-piggledy. Insanely tedious, I thought. Searching for yet another patch of sky-blue in an irregular jigsawed shape looked excruciating.

My granddaughters, though, took to it with vigor and rigor. Starting first thing in the morning, patiently and gleefully piecing it together. With the whole family joining in, after several weeks, the picture began to reveal itself. So proud were they of what they were accomplishing, they wanted it framed.

Me? Still not so much into it.

As we neared completion, it became clear that 10 pieces were missing! The maker informed me that there is a form online to fill out. It happens often enough that there’s a form to fill out? Really? I imagined whole retirement communities pulling their hair out, questioning their sanity.

We dismantled the puzzle and, once home,…