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September 16, 2014

It’s all in the details


Hello friends!

I feel much better now, did I tell you I had some sort of Asian virus that completely knocked me out? Well — it was interesting to see the inside of a Jakarta hospital emergency unit. The doctors and the nurses were amazing, I loved them all and after they gave me morphine for the chest pains I knew they were highly professional! 🙂

I feel so grateful for friends who have sent me flowers, books, chocolate and encouraging notes, texts and emails
 I just want to shout out thank you, to all of you wonderful people! You’re the best!

One of the days when I was well enough to sit up, but not well enough to do much else, I went through some of my photographs and came across these ones from a Pura, a Balinese Hindu Temple. They got me thinking about details and how a small detail can make a whole scene come alive in storytelling. When reading, we are looking at pictures painted in our heads only with words, and I find a striking detail can really help that picture become real. It gives my mind’s eye something to focus on.


Sometimes an odd detail can make the scene come alive. A red wheelbarrow and a pile of orange bricks in a corner of the Temple grounds let us now someone is working here; they give the quiet scene a human presence. The meru towers pointing upwards to the sky and the shovel in front of the wheelbarrow pointing down into the ground, the pale sky and the brown earth; these are golden details for a writer!


The dragonfly hiding on the stone wall of the Temple, his glass wings still, like long double spectacles, his helicopter body the exact same luminous green as the patches of moss, his needle legs the same gray as the damp stone; this small creature tells the whole story of the stone wall, only with lightness instead of heaviness.


Here, the moss has painted long eyelashes on the fearsome stone statue, who gazes wide-eyed into the lily pond, surprised at his embellished reflection in the water.


The golden gate guards the entrance to the pavilion, standing in the small courtyard like a proud mushroom prince, carrying a small crown atop his black hat. In front of him: a striped carpet of stone and grass, meticulously kept, without much signs of usage. This is a place to enter carefully, a prince to approach with reverence.

Did you notice all of the meru towers wear different crowns? It’s details like that you gotta love about Balinese Temples!

I find that since I started to look for interesting details more consciously, I see them everywhere. Things I wouldn’t have noticed before make me smile and wonder and ask questions. And the wonderful thing about questions is that they lead to more questions, and suddenly you learn things you never dreamed of. This world is truly an amazing place, filled with wonders everywhere.

Take care & see you soon,



Is there any special detail you once noticed and never forgot that you’d like to share? Why do you think it made such an impression on you? I’d love to hear your stories!


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