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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Culture and the Skin Deep Feng Shui

by sojourner (writer), Los Angeles, March 18, 2007

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So much decoration, so little time. I play and live in the apartments, restaurants, hotels and hot spots of our ever connected and ever growing community and then, only when the music fades, wonder if the Feng Shui is only skin deep.

Many in the Western world have embraced the Far East as if its’ allure and value were found only in the artifacts of decoration we place in and around our homes. The decoration isn’t limited to Buddhas and bed stands. It can be found on and in the human form by means of the temporary screen press and far more permanent tattoo guns of our personally expressive land.

China in general and Beijing specifically are places of vast history and individual pride we don’t often see in our 1doller take outs and international furniture warehouses. To embrace any culture there is a give and take of ones’ self. Taking is easy…it’s what we were born to do. It’s the giving that poses the challenges and true risks. Gaining a better understanding of the traditions and history we buy and sell is one vital step towards truly embracing the cultures we enrobe ourselves in.

Disguise it as a vacation or an adventure, but begin the process of not just decorating, but becoming. Beijing, China welcomes the young and old into its’ secret places of ancient mystery. The skyscrapers outside the city center in contrast to the markets and alleys of the Hutong district demonstrate the struggle of a city attempting to successfully cultivate and incorporate its’ newly grafted, technologically advanced branches, without poisoning its’ own roots, much like the city we call home. By participating in this struggle of ideals with the people who are there bridging the gap we begin to bridge the disconnect in our minds that manifests physically in the bamboo mats tucked snuggly under our mod 60’s coffee tables and flat screen televisions.

It’s not expensive and for the cost of that exceptionally framed print of a boy standing opposed to an oncoming tank hanging in my hallway I stood with Tiananmen Square forward and the Forbidden City behind questioning the cost of raising my own voice. Now the artifacts of decoration have become more than dragons and symbols, wind, water and earth. Now I’ve started to embrace the culture

This journey to decorate my soul has just begun and now that I’ve started, I plan on seeing through to the end. This is not all without personal consequence. Los Angeles is our lady and she is constantly threatened by not being embraced by her inhabitants and their temporary nature… It’s time for us all to stop merely taking both here at home and abroad.


Stay – The Red Lantern House
No.5 Zhengjue Hutong, Xinjie Kou, Xicheng District


About the Writer

sojourner is a writer for BrooWaha. For more information, visit the writer's website.
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