Monday, February 2, 2009

Abundance is in the Details

"God is in the details." This observation is attributed to the architect, Mies van der Rohe. Somehow it got turned around to "the Devil is in the details." Maybe God and the Devil share the same small places. Maybe they are not there at all and it's how we handle the details that determines whether they make a design sing or screech. 

This weekend I ate one of those meals served in four courses where the food covers about 2% of the plate. On the one hand, it was a laughable and pretentious situation. On the other, it invited me to appreciate every molecule of the food. In the planning, preparation and serving, every nuance of flavor, texture and color of this meal had been considered. It was beautifully done and I ate it in that spirit. Weirdly, the volume of food was miniscule, but by the end of the meal my belly was full.

I find this with perceptions of architecture and nature. The most boring and functional place becomes wonderful when I allow myself to appreciate the details.
How  sunlight falls on a window sill, the sculptural shape of a faucet, the pattern of cracks in a sidewalk can come alive just by opening my eyes and mind to them. 

In these lean times clouded with fear of worse, maybe there we can find some abundance in the details.

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