Why the Details Matter

I set the table with
Clean, cut glasses, Christmas crackers
Flatware. Before breakfast
All the flat edges glimmer
In anticipation.

Do you ever wonder: What the hell is the point of Elizabeth’s blog?

It’s this: details.

It’s a place to read In The Details, as a way to understand ourselves, each other, the world.

“Letters from a Small State” is about “the little stuff.” It’s a place to be with and notice the little things that shape who we are. All those million details. 

So this blog could be about toast racks or or pink drinking straws or a small car accident. And it is. But it is also about how we make meaning from all the stuff we pack around ourselves everyday. Or choose not to.

But why?

I guess I started to really winnow down my blog topics to focus on the IDEA of details when I realized I needed practice writing about the details. I wasn’t too good at it. I’d often spend too much time pontificating, rather than noticing.

For example, maybe I might notice a man’s shoe, and then write an entire blog post about how that shoe affected how I thought about that man, and who I thought he was. Not only that, but what that meant to our culture.

Except that I did it all upside-down.

I’d preach my proclamations — about the man, about myself, about the world — but I’d forget to really think about THE SHOE.

The shoe, after all, is where the thought began. It was a kind of microcosm of IDEA. The shoe took me into “small state” — a series of linked theoretical and cultural conclusions and ideas that change, forever, my idea of “shoe.” But the shoe was NOT the idea. It was the place it began.

A detail is sometimes a thoughtless beginning.

What’s Coming up….

In January, I start a new series, on The River of Stones, 2012. I’m calling it “What Details Know.”

It will be a series of “small stones” published here, and also shared on ny blog at The Stratford Patch.

I hope you enjoyed the December series on the dream of Holidays… If you have any feedback, feel free to contact me anytime.

You can be a detail masher yourself. Anytime, here on my blog. I always warmly accept submissions.

In January, join me and lots of other beautiful people, on The River of Stones.

To join Fiona Robyn and Kaspalita’s River of Stones, all one does is:

1. Notice something properly every day during January.
2. Write it down.

Small stones (like the one written above), according to Fiona Robyn:

Small stones are everywhere, all of the time.  All you have to do is pause and let them appear.”

Take the pause in January to read or write a small stone.  Be a detail picker.

And be in a Small State.

You can read more about How to Write a small stone, here. And follow the completely wonderful Fiona and Kaspa on Twitter.

This is the second to last post in my December Series: “If Only in My Dreams.” See you back here on Dec. 31 for a recap.

  1 comment for “Why the Details Matter

  1. December 28, 2011 at 4:43 am

    Details… like getting up early when you don’t have too. And wondering just a small moment about the people you left at the job you quit to make more time for the details of living…
    Looking forward to all the different details ~Jules

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