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The Chi of DC

Wed Feb 01 2017 | Author: Carol Olmstead
Every year on New Year’s Day or soon after, I take on major clutter clearing projects around my house. This year, after I did an obligatory closet clearing, I tackled my computer, and that’s where things got interesting.

I started with my desktop, deleting and filing files so the only folders remaining were the ones I clicked on frequently. Then, I went through my email folders, deleting or archiving the emails within them, then deleting the folders. Dozens of them. Or was it hundreds of them? I emptied the trash many times as I continued to get rid of information that was no longer relevant.

That felt so good I moved on to my website, where I was shocked to find many of the resources in my Links section were outdated or led to that dreaded 404 error code. Out they went. I updated the remaining resources with the correct link.

Next, I moved on to the Media section where I post articles that have been written about me and my Feng Shui practice, links to my videos, press releases, and assorted other info in my digital media kit. That’s where I discovered a long-forgotten interview I had done with Where Washington, a Washington, DC, magazine. The article was The Chi of DC by Corinne Whiting.

The editor had given me an aerial view of the layout of our capital city as designed by architect Pierre L'Enfant and asked me to perform a Feng Shui analysis. Among other things, she writes about how I characterized the straight line of the National Mall as a “poison arrow,” and the natural location of the city on the curve of the Potomac River as a positive feature. Despite the fact that the article was written in 2008 and many things have changed around the National Mall, I was struck by the timelessness of my analysis of the juxtaposition of the Capitol and the White House.

There's nothing political here, only a timely Feng Shui statement about how the layout of a city can affect what goes on within its boundaries:
L'Enfant called for a grand boulevard to connect the two seats of power, a direct line now disrupted by the Treasury Building. Olmstead sees Pennsylvania Avenue as a symbol of communication flow, yet she would prefer that the White House and Capitol be sited at slight angles (directly facing would be too "confrontational"). The Capitol's elevation asserts not just its dominant position in the cityscape but the very nature of democracy: the president must listen to the people. Could it be that the founding fathers did have "a natural sense" of the capital's design after all?

What do you think? Read the article, then email me with your thoughts about how the layout of Washington, DC – or another capital or major city – affects what goes on in that seat of power.

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Posted in: General | Tags: feng shui, Washington, DC, DC, White House, Capitol, National Mall, chi

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