Friday, June 4, 2010

Feng Shui All Over My House...

This morning I read a facebook post by a friend who is moving to a new office. She joked about getting some "feng shui" lined up. It reminded me about the day I learned about the concept.
Enjoy - DEREK

So Much to Learn:
- Derek Maul

It turns out I’m even less enlightened than I suspected. My children have pointed this out for years but now I may have to admit they have been right all along.

Of course I'm not a complete Philistine, and once in a while we do invite people over. Hospitality is socially remedial and it does force us to wash the dog and clean the house.

So Rebekah and I hosted a party. A scholarly acquaintance - one who teaches poetry, understands Edgar Allan Poe and is so well-versed she has led study groups to places in Europe where they have actual, real, authenticated culture – made a comment about our home.

“Your home has Feng Shui,” she confided.

“I’m really sorry,” I said, looking around for a good sized can of Raid. “Try not to alarm the other guests and I’ll call the exterminator right away.”

Well I needn’t have worried. Feng Shui is a good thing. It seems that when we shifted some furniture around to cover a couple of new pet stains we inadvertently hit Feng Shui pay-dirt and our family room is now on the official list of places to hang out if anyone wants to promote their health, wealth and happiness.

Which all goes to show how much I know and how culturally delayed I really am. So I did a little reading on the subject.

I found out about “chi,” which is described as the current of energy that links all things in the universe. Feng Shui is all about the flow of this force and the way its movement is integrated into the places where we live and work.

I’m not sure if Luke Skywalker "Feng Shuied" Darth Vader with his light-saber thingy, but I believe the idea is in the same ballpark.

I learned about the principles of “yin and yang,” I read about “the five elements” of chi energy and I explored the implications of “the eight directions.” The book made a lot of common sense.

My study (where I work) is a great space for creativity. I’ve always known that intuitively. Evidently the room enjoys a soft yin line flowing between two strong yang lines, my design limits eddies and whirlpools in the chi (unless I “cut” the chi with too much untidiness) and I have a satisfactory balance between the elements of water, tree, fire, soil and metal.

It seems to me that Feng Shui is an interesting combination of practical design elements, philosophy and basic psychology. The way we arrange the spaces where we live and work can certainly have profound effects on our mood and productivity.

Yet most of us live and work in poorly designed environments defined by clutter. We work in cubicles and go home to little boxes. We blunder along by sheer willpower when a simple change of environment would undoubtedly work wonders.

At the same time, it is important not to confuse good design with faith. We can live in the most carefully imagined surroundings possible and remain fundamentally lost if we are unwilling to tend to the most essential connection in the universe.

The Garden of Eden never lost its winning aesthetic, but living there was not much good for Adam and Eve once they decided to hide from their opportunity to enjoy a relationship with the one who created it all.

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