Take No Details At Face Value, Not Even Famous Quotations About Details

Marsha of Splenderosa, this time joined by Tish Jett and Vicki Archer, have given us a new quotation to inspire posts. In this case, we reach back to 19th century France.

Gustave Flaubert, the French writer best known for his novel Madame Bovary, is generally  attributed with the saying, “Le bon Dieu est dans le detail.”

OK then.

As an atheist, I have no particular expertise in le Dieu, bon or otherwise. Let’s say believers think God made us in his image, atheists that we made him in our own. Or maybe better to simplify. There’s mirroring going on one way or another.

In which case, we should find ourselves in our details. No?

Voilà mes details. A partial list, of course, culled from photos I’ve posted here over the past 2.5 years.

Family diamonds, borrowed diamonds

The bracelet was made from my grandmother’s brooch, the earrings loaned to me by my blog’s sole sponsor, Beladora. I wore them to a conference a year ago and felt like a dang movie star.

A flock of perfumes

Buying new perfume is almost impossible, when one is sensitive to scent. Even the light shining through glass sample tubes confuses.

Louboutin Simple 70s, With PearlsLouboutins, pearls, and a Nars nude lipstick

Cravings for almond-toed shoes. A weakness for curves but wicked slants will do.

Picked carrots, the free side dish of champions

Eaten with tacos carnitas, $4.99.

Odd lone rose in my front yard, December 2010

In California sometimes roses decide to join the fall color party. And yes, fall may happen in December. It’s California.

The Previa, bought in 1991, still ferrying my kids around when they come home

It used to have plastic “spinners” on the wheels. They fell off. The kids wanted to drive the van across country but wiser heads so far prevail.

Do the details tell us that fancy is false and ordinary true? Do dents reveal more than diamonds?

No. We are not static, we people. Nor simple.

Truth isn’t in the details, it’s in the space between. We see our humanity in the contrails of transition from one aspect of ourselves to the other. Whatever you felt as you scrolled through these details, your gamut of reactions, your dynamic, that’s human.

But someone else will have to tell you if it’s also God.

Other posts on this quotation can be found here.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...


  • I love you. You know that, don’t you?

  • Lisa, so philosophical today, my kind of gal :).

    It’s funny because the phrase “God is in the details” is used quite a lot by Computer Scientists as a way of describing the intricate and seemingly infinite ways in which inelegantly constructed code causes gnashing of teeth and other miseries.

    Pearls always look so pretty in shoes. Why is that?

    I LOVE the idea of our humanity existing in the spaces between the details. IMO it doesn’t really matter if the source of our human is God as long as we see and respond to our shared humanity with a full heart.

  • I knew you would amaze…and you have. Such a brilliant take on the “details.” I love the way you think, Lisa, as you always always manage to make us think. Would you say this is the space existing between the details? Thank you for participating with all of us, it makes me so happy. Sending love, my friend…

  • I too am amazed by the way, you effortlessly wrote a beautiful, personal post on the challenge tossed your way. Details.
    The whole is a delicate, personal consistency of details..

  • Dearest Lisa,

    Assuming the details that join your computer and mine don’t act up today the way they usually do, I would like to join the chorus: you have a splendid, creative, fascinating mind and then, to make matters worse, you write so beautifully when expressing your thoughts.

    The cuff bracelet, OMG — if you pardon the expression. I think I would wear it right out of bed, all-day-long. While typing I would look down and swoon. I think it would add a rather interesting detail to one’s life. I’m sure of it.


  • Bittersweet vibes…beautifully written. Something to ponder today. Thank you, Lisa.

  • Lovely post….well done and very thought provoking. I believe details come in all shapes and sizes, not all beautiful, sparkly and polished, sometimes its those “dents” and imperfections that are the details that make something memorable or unique. Whatever it is, the details are what distinguishes a special something thing from something ordinary.
    Nicely done!

  • The jewelry is so, so beautiful! Those earrings are stunning. How lucky to get to wear them!

  • People are so wonderfully complicated. I love your pickled carrots and your old minivan as much as your sparkly diamonds.

    One of my delightful little quirks is my never ending quest for the perfect nude lipstick, so I will need more details about that one, s’il vous plaît.

  • “Truth isn’t in the details, it’s in the space between.”

    Ring the bells that still can ring
    Forget your perfect offering
    There is a crack in everything
    That’s how the light gets in.

    – Leonard Cohen

  • Lisa,
    So beautifully written and as always, so much to contemplate. You managed to quote, that’s so often used, I almost don’t hear it’s meaning anymore, and turn it into something more vast. The “in-between” has such resonance.

    Moving on to the superficial, I too lust after that cuff. Also think you should try your Louboutins with light weight black tights and the Tory Burch dress. That’s how I’m wearing mine. Details, indeed.


  • Those “details” look pretty spectacular to me…
    as do your wise words.

  • Lisa, wonderful post. I cannot get over the cuff designed around your grandmother’s cuff! Of course each image is poignant in its own right. The stuff of everyday life.


    Art by Karena

  • I remember your beautiful cuff. Oh the stories of a detailed life it must mirror. :)

  • Such a thought-provoking piece. Although I found your declaration of aetheism somewhat, well, unsettling, for lack of a better word. (I don’t really know why. I’ll have to think about that. Perhaps someday you’ll tell us how you arrived at your stance.) In any case, the images of your treasures are lovely – even that of your faithful mini-van (’tis something only a mother could love). When I grow up, I would like Louboutins just like yours please. Thank you for another wonderful post.

  • Excellent and philosophical interpretation with beautiful and thoughtful chosen images! Just simply good.


  • Small details make the whole bright with a touch of negative thrown in. Thank you Lisa. Ida

  • so when we were tweeting about tea, you were thinking about details, minutiae?
    another gently provocative post, thank you.

  • thanks for being an “out” aetheist. I am too, but sometimes I call myself a “lapsed Unitarian” because it seems to go down more easily in the Midwest…

  • OMG that cuff!

  • I read your post 10 times to be sure I read it correctly. You are an atheist. I love it!!!!! You could have knocked me over with a feather. I’ve long thought the real you hasn’t quite emerged, but now I am seeing the slow reveal. I like it.

  • Guess I’m agnostic… on a good day. The cosmos makes me stop to think, can we “know” anything for certain?

    Faith (or lack thereof) hasn’t much to do with appreciating beauty, both flagrant and subtle, as you do. I like details and at the same time find women can obsess about them, seeking “the perfect lipstick” or “the right heel for a shoe”. Sometimes, just being here is enough.

  • your post is definitely thought provoking. I like going away still thinking …

  • Previa! I drove a 1991 Previa until last November. Great vehicle, traded in with 268,000 miles.

  • That cuff alone is proof enough of God to this Episcopalian; I’m not here to evangelize, however, but merely to bask in the glow of good writing and pretty baubles.