Extravagance in the Details

Remember me?  I used to write three times a week.  Lately we have been finding our new rhythm to life.  Medical School began, kindy continued and my job brought a whole new set of schedules to juggle.  It hasn’t been for lack of wanting to write.  In fact I have had so many thoughts and experiences swirling in my head I couldn’t find words for all them so I said none of them.  If you are an all or nothing soul like me that makes perfect sense to you.  I am sure over the next few months those thoughts will spill into my writing as I process more and find my words.  

For now I will take you into my current thoughts as if we are sitting over coffee or Chai tea lattes, and I will share with you my thoughts today.  I watch a show on Saturday nights that is by no means new, but by all means brings me to tears each and every week.  Said show was actually banned from one of my apartments because one of my favourite roommates ever could not handle the roller coaster of emotions that this particular show brought with it.  I started watching it a few months ago and “it wrecks me” is an understatement.  Extreme Home Makeover tugs at a part of my heart this week that I haven’t really explored.  My husband and son laugh at me each week and if I declare that this week I won’t cry they look at each other and shake their heads knowing that I will definitely cry.  My husband made a passing comment last week as I sat bawling on the couch.  He said he wondered what it is that moves me so much in this show.  

As I thought about what it really was my first response was extravagance.  I didn’t actually say it because I feel like extravagant showings are not seen as appropriate here in New Zealand.  I hesitated to say that’s what gets me emotional each week for fear of being the ultimate American Stereotype.  The show rolled on and I still had no other good answer to that question, through blubbering tears I say things similar to “look they never could afford that and now it’s theirs,” “look they had no hope of that and now it is real for them” or “look they thought it wasn’t possible and now it is.”  Each week I seem to debrief with myself as my sweet husband listens on and tries to make logic of my ramblings.  That is one of the characteristics I cherish in him, he always calls me to ask why.  Today I was still thinking about it and in a quiet moment with my son at Kindy and my husband at Medical School one word popped into my mind as I was walking through my house to catch up on the latest T.V. shows I missed:  DETAILS.  

It isn’t the extravagance that kills me, it is the details that inform the extravagance.  It isn’t just a big house and pretty decorating, it is the individual person that is thought about and met with such specific details.  Rooms are dreams that some never knew they had, kitchens are created to meet a need and fix situations that seemed impossible.  Bedrooms are sanctuaries after a very hard season or life.  It is the fact that someone was heard.  Someone listened to the heart of another and out of that created something that went far beyond meeting a need.  They are seen.  They are not missed or overlooked.  Many times, if not every time, the member of the family doesn’t set out with a dream in mind of how they want their house or room.  They are asked simple questions:  what do you like?  What are you into?  What makes your heart happy?  What makes you smile?  Such simple communication tools.  I ask about you.  You tell me about you.  I listen.  I hear you. 

While the houses are always gorgeous it isn’t that aspect that makes me cry.  I have seen plenty of huge extravagant houses in my life time.  The extravagant love shown is in the details.  The details of a person’s desires, needs, wants, and self show up in each room.   It’s not the house it’s the details, the fact that someone was heard and seen.  Even the ones that would love to fall in the shadows and not be noticed are seen.  They matter.  Their story matters.  The details inform the extravagance, but more than that I believe the details are the extravagance.  So much to take from that thought.  I sit with that today because sometimes it is good for me to sit with something and not always turn it into an action.  Maybe my soul needs to hear that, maybe I need to remember the preciousness of the human spirit.  Regardless of why I am sitting with the lingering thoughts of those families and those designers I am letting the thought permeate my heart that the extravagance is in the details.


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