You Can’t See The Picture If You’re Standing Inside The Frame


A couple of weeks ago, our family spent a weekend in Chicago. We stayed on Michigan Ave, 30 stories up. Our view of the busy street below inspired me to share a teachable moment with my son. I proceeded to say, what a busy world it is we live in, lots of coming and going. I then said, “it’s our work not to get swallowed up by the busy-ness.” To which my son replied, “No, mama. Look at clouds.”

Boy, was I schooled! What I took from my son’s comment was less about looking at actual clouds, but approaching everything I view with a ‘Big Picture Mind’. In my moment of sharing ‘wisdom’ with my son, I wasn’t even seeing the beauty of all that IS. The way the street-life, and traffic, and people, and sounds, all play their part in making this Big Picture worth looking at!

This ‘Big Picture Mind’ has been especially helpful as I mourn the tragic and unexpected loss of a friend. Over the last few weeks I’ve gone through the natural progression of grief: anger, sadness, disbelief, doubt, and this week with the funeral behind us, a form of peace. A peace that has only come from a realization that the Big Picture isn’t at all about trying to figure out WHY, but in noticing that life progresses forward even out of darkness. In no way am I thankful for the loss of my friend, not at all. But what I am thankful for are the conversations, the re-connections with old friends, and the celebration of life that has bloomed from this tragedy.  It makes me think of something I read recently, it went something like this: When the plans we set forth go awry, when we’re taken off course by something unexpected, it’s merely a way of distracting us long enough so that what needs to be born can be born. Here’s to looking forward to what will be born…
Wherever this moment finds you – whether with an awareness of BIGness, or a focus on the particulars, take rest in knowing that in some way it’s all the same thing. What you’re in right now, is part of the Big Picture. And if all else fails, look at clouds – a subtle reminder of the grandeur we are all delicately weaved into.

One response »

  1. Very thoughtfully put, Amber. We also are in the midst of a death come too soon for good friends losing their 23 year old daughter, Lauren. Celebrating her life tomorrow morning. It is beautiful to see people coming together in ways that are loving, generous and kind. Thank you for this blog.

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