April 9, 2017 Poem “Nine Rooms”

NaPoWriMo 2017 April 9

Nine Rooms
            A Spiral Journey Around Our House as a Bagua

Enter through the central eastern front door. Notice here,
in this place of career, a mirror and, opposite, Spring Creek, framed
in ink-black and ever-flowing, with one black stepping stone just out of reach.

Step right, into the space of opening insight, where I write
seated on denim blue, inspired by photographs of swimming pools,
ancient azure carpet, the cerulean sky through high windows.

Next, a still-greening family tree, shelves overflowing with history,
family mystery, and poetry. Here live the documents, ancestor-images,
old letters and departed people’s diaries.

Furthest west, evidence of a rich life. A trio of purple stones,
the global window of the televised tribal life, windows into
a garden filled with the purpling clouds of evening.

Adjacent, that red compass point, anchors inner and outer worlds–a tall vase
in the garden stands in all weathers, on red bricks laid by us. Fame & name.
Inside, a huge glass cherry, lipstick-bright, on its own pedestal: fruit of career.

Balancing lone insight, pink with potential, the rosy dreams
only life with a partner can provide. Also the essential necessities—
from cook books to record books, umbrellas and washtubs—that make dreams real.

Fragrance of oranges in the kitchen. Orange of stove flame
and curried pumpkin. A busy room with four doorways.
Children’s art on the refrigerator. All the best comforts of home.

Travel on toward the dining table and our home school room.
We gather here together, friends. Thank you for your wisdom
and good will, the teachings you share, and every earned white hair.

Arrive here, in the center, the balance wheel of radiant health
governing all else. Here find the polished broomstick,
glowing lotus scroll, and fine pocket watch bathed in golden light.

And from this inward resting place, a flight
of stairs, curving up toward a pearly moon,
the next level of lively adventure.

Leslie Schultz

I have been inspired by the concentrated wisdom of the Feng Shui bagua for many years. I have read a lot and played around with the ideas surrounding “the Chinese Art of Placement.” As a quilter, the bagua reads not only as a compass for balanced life but as a classic nine-patch quilt square.

This is a collage I made in 2010 in honor of the 50th anniversary of the Northfield Arts Guild, part of a fundraiser for the NAG in which visual art was made, donated, displayed in local businesses, and then auctioned off.  My piece–a photography version of a quilt– was displayed for a time at Bierman’s Furniture Store on Division Street. I later made a true cloth quilt version to hang in my kitchen using the same fabrics. (Discerning readers will also note that the favicon for Winona Media is inspired by this piece. It was designed for me by a young artist, Teagan Cole.)

Here is a vintage photo of me with my softer, quilted version of the piece:

Thanks for hanging in there this month! Hope to see you tomorrow. Meanwhile, happy reading! Happy writing! Happy life!

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Check out other participants at the NaPoWriMo Challenge 2017 home site!

2 thoughts on “April 9, 2017 Poem “Nine Rooms”

  1. Having the privilege of being welcomed into your home so warmly over the course of treasured years, I found great joy in reading “Nine Rooms” ~ and the photos were a special treat. Thank you for the post, Leslie!

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