Both God and the devil are said to be in the details.
Like paying back and paying it forward, it can be a matter of perspective.
According to Gustave Flaubert, “Le bon Dieu est dans le detail.” (On the other hand, Flaubert also reportedly observed that “God is only a word dreamed up to explain the world.”)
This week has been mired in details of both varieties–the sublime and the ridiculous. I have helped collect the maniacal mathematical minutiae demanded of financial aid applicants, searching through piles of receipts to provide such a deranged level of detail that financial aid officers on both coasts will know every nuance of our finances–from the aggregate contents of my youngest child’s piggy bank to the make and model of my mom van.
But I also have noticed lovely details I don’t think I used to notice. I like to think I am noticing the things my husband Jim would have–the shapes and colors which would have made him grab his camera.
I notice the swirling feathered designs imprinted in my windshield’s icy coating, which melts away to a view of the black predawn sky in which a plump orange sun is beginning to peek.
I see the marbled rainbows in a swath of oil by my feet as my daughter learns to inflate a depleted tire with the guidance of a mechanic who crouches by the car, demonstrating an automotive skill she would have learned from her dad if he were still here.
As I sit with one of my sons, my eyes are drawn to the clear glass that sits between us, which reflects light in a way that turns water into gold and dancing petals along the color spectrum.
“The sea is wide as the sky is blue
You’re standing on the shoreline but all is lost on you
For your mind is heavy and it seems your ship has sailed
You try to see the big picture but the Devil’s in the details . . . .
Hope is like a house with the porch light on
Even the dark keeps moving towards the dawn . . .”