Friday, December 24, 2010

I Am an Evil Spirit

The houses we own, the apartments we rent, and all of the things we put in them are an attempt to control our environment. By doing so, we think we can also control our lives. Consider feng shui, for example. This way of decorating and building design was originally an attempt to confuse evil spirits.

Most houses designed with feng shui principles include a labyrinthine walkway leading up to the front door. These winding pathways grow so convoluted that they don't seem to go anywhere, until you get there, of course. They also use mirrors to distract the evil spirits and send them in the wrong direction.

We Westerners find the concept of feng shui interesting. It seems to tell us that we can fundamentally change our lives by rearranging our furniture and adding a few mirrors, candles, and plants to our d├ęcor. As usual, we bastardize the culture and try to make it our own, completely leaving out the context.

My very limited experience with feng shui proved disappointing. One of the first things I realized was that my ex's desk was located in the power position of our apartment. This is the spot diagonal from the front door. From this vantage point, you can see the evil spirits who have made it to your front door and stop them before they cause any real mayhem.

My ex's desk was arranged so that his back was to the corner, and he could look out into the living room. It was intimidating to walk into that apartment while he was sitting at his desk. He would be staring at you as soon as you stepped in the door.

I felt a little like an evil spirit, but maybe I am an evil spirit. I just haven't come into my own yet.

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