Posts Tagged ‘details’

The devil is in the details; so is the divine.

In other words, microcosmic stuff matters — atoms, quarks, corners, specks, chips, flakes.

It must; it’s everywhere, the particulate.

Recently, we installed dark hardwood floors in our home. Suddenly we notice tiny bits of white stuff — flakes, chips, particles — on the floor, everyday! Was the wood magnetized? Was it sucking white stuff out of the air?

Nope, it was always there, the small pieces  — tracked in from the outside, falling off our shoes, the litter from things dropped in the kitchen, the tiny residuals from snacks eaten in the family room  —  we just didn’t see it in the former, light carpet.


What to do? Vacuum more, sweep more, dust more; otherwise, we are living in a trash dump.

I’m currently building a wall at the front of the house. Millimeters matter. If the first course of block isn’t level, the next course won’t be and the error will worsens as I go up.

But, fortunately, this think concerning detail all works in the opposite direction too. Sweep everyday, adjust the level constantly, pay attention to detail and we then live with the good, clean, safe, healthy and beautiful — constantly.

I recently had to have a potentially hurtful conversation with someone. I suffered — for several weeks — as I literally extruded the right words from my brain, finessed the right tones out of the air and perfected a perfectly efficacious linguistic and proxemic  demeanor.

It worked, the conversation; it went well; it had the desired result, because I had paid attention to detail.

Today, I’ll bring to exact level some decomposed granite in the backyard to prep for some beautiful wedge shaped stone pavers that will make up a new circular patio. Tomorrow I’ll order eleven new double paned windows for the house, measured to an eighth inch, for a precise, weather tight fit. And then in two months, I’ll do a bigger thing — I’ll retire from a profession I’ve practiced for thirty years.

And when I retire, I’ll do that carefully too. I’ll handle my people carefully, my precious people carefully, with finely measured responses and with finely tuned and bubble-leveled affirmations —  as I have learned to do with everything.

The molecular matters.

Slivers and morsels and smithereens and iotas matter — especially when it come to each other.

“Have you even lived on your own?” I asked.

“Not really,” she replied. “Even last year, when I moved out, I kept going back over to his house, even though I knew he didn’t really love me. He said he did, but I know he didn’t.”

I turned her words over in my mind, like stones, looking at each side of each of them.”

“Perhaps it would be good,” I suggested, “for you to figure out your core, to become a strong independent woman, with known boundaries,” before you go back into any close relationships.”

“I think it would,” she said.


I pushed the camera down in tall grass, pointed it up into the sunlit blades, and snapped a shot, blind.

Then I extracted the camera from the grassy mess, flipped on the LCD screen and peered into the shiny glass.  

Thatched, crossed, beautifully sunlit blades — captured in detail was a pure ribbed and vaulted glory.


I pulled off the cover and glanced down at the tops of the valves, damp and webby and spidery. The manifold linked the valves together and then sent three-quarter inch pipes plunging into the ground. It didn’t make complete sence. I sat down on the low wall and looked harder. The one inch pipe was the supply line, the three-quarter inch  pipes fed each zone. Looking more closely, I could see that some of the pipes on the manifold were threaded. Then I knew. This beast could be screwed apart and another valve easily added.  By means of a few intricacies, I could yet turn my backyard into Eden.


I’ve noticed of late that both the beauty and the way forward are often found right in front of us, within the peculiarity of the details.