Home & Garden, The New York Times (December 30, 2009)
"FOR many people, 2009 has been stressful, and the home a natural place of refuge. The furniture and interior designer Clodagh, known for her earthy, soothing aesthetic, has some advice for those looking to create comforting surroundings to see them through 2010, whatever that may bring.
" 'Your home environment should be your nanny,' said the Irish-born Clodagh, who is based in New York and goes by one name. It should make you feel 'welcomed and warm,' she said, as soon as you walk in the door.
" 'I really try to design irritations out of people's lives and to bring in elements that will make them feel better,' said Clodagh, who has followed the tenets of feng shui for 25 years and designed a number of wellness studios and spas, including YogaWorks in SoHo, Sasanqua Spa at the Kiawah Island Club in South Carolina and White Horses Spa at Doonbeg Lodge in Ireland. Her latest book, 'Your Home, Your Sanctuary,' written with Heather Ramsdell, focuses on how to make every room in the home tranquil...."
Feng shui? I'll get back to that.
The New York Times' Home & Garden article gives the reader a sort of once-around-the-store experience for products that Clodagh handles - and mentions some of her other commercial ventures. They sound like nice stuff: although a bit out of my class.
Still: there's some good common sense there. Like getting an uncluttered space (not likely, in my case) and discarding items with bad vibes associated with them.
Feng Shui?Basically, it's "rules in Chinese philosophy that govern spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to patterns of yin and yang and the flow of energy (qi); the favorable or unfavorable effects are taken into consideration in designing and siting buildings and graves and furniture". (Princeton's WordNet) You may have seen "qi" spelled "chi."
There are quite a few flavors of feng shui. The NYT article doesn't say which . I've got an introductory book on one version - but haven't really studied it. Yes, feng shui involves philosophies and ideas that grew in the east end of Asia. And yes, I'm quite sure that there are feng shui hucksters out there.
But I'm not willing to ignore feng shui, or ideas about qi/chi, because of the hucksters. Any more than I wouldn't 'not believe in' electricity because of a dishonest television repair shop.
Which brings up another point: 'Mystical' chi may be, in some people's minds. But the resources I've run into allow me to assume that it's about as other-worldly as infrared light or wind. Not being able to see something doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
Enough. I'll be on a soapbox, next.