‘Le bon Dieu est dans le détail.’
Whether or (k)not God, god, or gods exist is no concern today as we contemplate the unknowns beyond our grasp and understanding. This is what the idiom ‘God is in the details,’ means to me. It conveys an appreciation for all manner of things we as humans marvel at while remaining simultaneously naïve as to the nature of their being. Likewise the darker perspective of ‘The Devil is in the details,’ conveys the same willingness to ascribe the incomprehensible to mystic forces beyond our worldview, understanding, or quite frankly, willingness to learn. Two perspectives of but many, both incontrovertibly expressing the same sentiment: details matter.
At the same time, these very details, while critical and integral to the nature of say perhaps a handknotted rug or carpet can, if exposed in a manner uncouth, present the attune and woke consumer with a quandary. How does one reconcile the true detailed nature of the exploitive practices of all manner of handwork against emerging modern day sensibilities of human worth, self-expression, and as it should always and forever be, the value of human labour – upon which countless civilisations have risen and fallen.
This labour day, think not of your cottage weekend or BBQ, nor lament indulgences lost due to pandemic, but rather think of the impoverished labourer upon which your – and my – lavish and wasteful Western lifestyle is built. Then on Tuesday let’s start fixing it.