“[The professional] will not tolerate disorder. He eliminates chaos from his world in order to banish it from his mind. He wants the carpet vacuumed and the threshold swept so the Muse may enter and not soil her gown.” — Steven Pressfield, The War of Art
We rolled into the driveway, tired from the 4 1/2 hour drive home from the family lake house, but relaxed after our last getaway of the summer. Everyone piled out–Mark and I, the boys, my mother, the dog.
I was looking forward to getting the laundry done quickly and reestablishing order in the house and in our routines prior to the start of school in a few days. It had been a good summer, not too scheduled (for once), including a lot of quality time with family and friends.
The others went inside. By the time I got to the threshold, I heard their groans and gasps. My stomach tightened.
Water does not belong on wood floors. Water is not supposed to be dripping through the ceiling. But water was doing both of those things in our foyer.
Mark was already upstairs in the boys’ bathroom, trying to figure out what had gone wrong. The culprit was a half-finished leaky faucet fix. Mark had removed the faucet cartridges before we left, but hadn’t yet replaced them. Although he had turned off the water supply to the sinks, a slow leak somehow continued for the five days we were gone, filling the vanity and seeping down to the foyer ceiling below.
I emptied the linen closet of towels to sop up the water from the floors. After slashing the bubbles of pooled water in the ceiling and finding a bowl to catch the leak under the vanity plumbing, the dripping finally stopped. The wood floors were salvageable. The foyer ceiling was not.
Leaks and other plumbing problems play a strong role in Feng Shui principles, as they symbolize a loss of wealth. The faucet had been dripping for months, in fact, and I had told Mark that my Feng Shui reference book, Feng Shui Quick Guide for Home and Office, by Carol Olmstead, warned that leaky faucets “symbolize prosperity, wealth, and abundance dripping down the drain.” Case in point, the $900 worth of drywall replacement we have before us.
Not only that, the ruined ceiling is a serious crimp in my style. The mess in my entryway is a major source of negative energy (chi), causing me to feel not only unsettled, but also irritable and unfocused. My head will remain as messed up as the ceiling until it is fixed.
Feng Shui tells us that our foyers should be designed to attract the flow of positive chi. As the first area we see when we walk in to our homes, everything in the foyer should lift our spirits. Whether one “believes” in the methodology or not, it makes perfect sense from a practical standpoint. (As a sidenote, I recently heard that some people think Feng Shui is a religion, which is certainly not the case!)
Fountains or pictures of flowing water are recommended for the foyer as symbols of positive energy movement. I spent a lot of time looking for the perfect Feng Shui photo of a streambed filled with briskly flowing water, but it apparently wasn’t enough to fend off the power of leaky plumbing.
So this week, as I celebrate the start of school, I will also be celebrating the repair of leaky faucets and the foyer ceiling, all of which will restore my sense of order, secure my sense of abundance, clear my head, and, hopefully, enhance my inspiration.
Do you have your own stories of your wealth dripping away? Consider leaving a comment!