On this house plan sketched on college ruled paper, I study the four directions—north and south, east and west, the placement of doors and stairs. My daughter’s partner says rooms and hallways must open and close on auspicious spaces, in order not to create voids. Windows must open not only to the sun and rain but also to the winds of fortune. What spells do the curlicues of dried brome grass press for us to read against the snow? To ward off evil, she lists for us water and crystal, wood and stone, mirrors and discs inlaid with blue glass eyes. In how many languages could we recite the more than 99 names of God? Because the eaves of heaven are steep, we need all the help we can get: celestial guardians to sit at the east, amulets for wealth in the foyer and on windowsills. A sword to guard the front facing north; and from the southeastern end of the garden, imagine a merchant ship steered by the immortals: laden with goods, coming to rest in the middle of your house.
—Luisa A. Igloria
In response to today’s Morning Porch entry.